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There are 2 types of adventurers in the world.
One’s who enjoy camping in the rain.
And everybody else.
Personally, I’m part of the former group. There is something cozy about being inside a tent when it’s raining outside.
Anyhow, we’re not here to talk about my love of rainy camping.
I’m here to share my best tips for camping in the rain. Whether you like rain or not, this article teaches you how to make your experience more enjoyable in a downpour.
18 Tips For Camping In The Rain (A Complete Guide)
1. Bring The Party Inside
Unless you enjoy getting soaked from head to toe, It’s probably best to stay in your tent (most of the time, anyway!).
But that’s not to say you can’t have fun.
In fact, some of my best memories are being in my tent during a rainstorm. The key is to find ways to make it entertaining.
My go-to is always card games.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Poker (with fake money)
Board games are also excellent, especially when camping with larger groups.
But what if you’re solo camping? Don’t worry! You can still have a good time inside your tent.
I enjoy listening to audiobooks. However, you can also bring a Bluetooth speaker and enjoy some of your favorite jams!
Physical books are another excellent choice.
2. Don’t Let Your Tent Ruin The Experience
I understand some people enjoy being outside in the rain when camping.
But you still need some type of shelter.
If you choose the wrong tent, you could end up with major leaks.
And that’s no way to enjoy camping in the rain, is it!?
For people camping in hot but wet conditions, a single-layer tent is best. Single-layer tents only have 1 sheet of material separating you from the elements.
These types of tents are lighter. However, insulation is not the best.
I recommend the Hyke & Byke Backpacking Tent. It has excellent ventilation while keeping you safe from the rain.
- 1 Person Tent for Kids and Adults: This cold weather tent comes with a waterproof PU 2000 rain fly, PU 5000 bathtub floor and tent footprint; Keeps you safe and dry from harsh weather conditions
- Camping Gear and Equipment: Our 35 x 88 x 42 in ultralight tent packs to a compact 16.5 x 5 in carrying bag making it a great addition to your backpacking gear; Spacious and versatile 3 season tent
- Dome Tent Accessories: Included in this set is a footprint floor cover, aluminum tent stakes, stake press, removable gear loft, reflective guylines and convenient storage bags for every component
If you’re camping in cold rainy weather, you need a double-walled tent.
For this, I found the Moon Lence Camping Tent to be excellent. Unlike the Hyke & Byke Tent, it’s windproof, helping you stay warm in your tent.
- All-round protection: 190T PU material provides 1000mm water resistance and excellent UV resistance. Equipped with Rainfly, Our double layer tent provides stronger resistance to harsh weather.
- Breathable & Stable: Large section of mesh and 1 D-shaped doors with dual zippers. A ground vent and two windows provide much better ventilation, increase air circulation to help you stay cool and...
- Easy to Setup：2 Shock Cord Connecting Poles with clips on tent make it easy to set the tent up. Even one people can set up the tent less in 15min.
It also offers great protection against the rain, 210D polyester rain fly.
But the truth is, any tent is going to be on the cold side if you don’t know how to keep it warm.
3. Relax In A Hammock
I know what you’re thinking…
“Why would I relax in a hammock when it’s pouring with rain!?”
There’s something special about being out in nature when it’s raining, and it can make your camping trip even more memorable.
But don’t forget to bring a tarp!
You can even take a step further and spend the night in a hammock.
According to studies, hammocks have numerous many benefits.
For example, it’s easier to fall asleep. A study by the department of neurosciences found that the ‘rocking motion’ of a hammock promotes EEG slow oscillations and spindles .
To put it simply, hammocks help you fall asleep faster and maintain a deeper, more restful sleep.
But that’s not the only benefit of sleeping in a hammock.
Many people find hammocks more comfortable than air mattresses and a sleeping bag. This is because hammocks don’t put pressure on your muscles, so you can sleep comfortably.
This is also a godsend for people with bad backs and joint issues.
Finally, you don’t have to worry about rainwater seeping through the floor, as you’re elevated from the ground.
It may take some getting used to. But after a while, sleeping in a hammock will be your go-to.
4. Use Plastic Shoes
You can only stay in your tent for so long. After a while, you will need to venture outside.
And the rain is not the worst thing – it’s the mud.
Going outside in your normal boots means your shoes will be covered in mud and dirt. This mud will seep through the shoes and eventually end up inside your tent.
Luckily, there’s a solution…
Plastic shoes are relatively cheap and lightweight, making them the perfect addition to your camping trip. Because of their tough outer shell, they also stop mud from getting through to your socks.
This means you can easily slip them off just before entering your tent without bringing mud inside.
If you don’t want to buy plastic shoes, you can also use rain covers. These are placed over your shoes to prevent them from getting dirty.
The problem is they are not reusable, so you will need to purchase more when you run out.
5. Dress For The Occasion
Shoes are not the only clothing you need to think about.
If you’re feeling rebellious and want to venture out into the rain, you need appropriate clothing.
Hypothermia is no joke!
Not only does your clothing need to be waterproof, but also windproof. When it’s raining outside, oftentimes, it’s also windy.
This combination leaves you vulnerable to hyperthermia (depending on the outside temperature!).
My advice is to get a rain suit. Rain suits stop water from getting through and soaking your clothes.
However, they are not all wind-proof.
Therefore, I recommend the Frogg Toggs rain suit. It’s both waterproof, windproof, and provides an excellent range of motion.
- WATERPROOF – Fully Seam Taped Jacket and Pant Rain Suit designed with FROGG TOGG’S Exclusive Polypropylene nonwoven fabric blend, with a DRIPORE GEN 2 middle layer for Waterproof, Wind-Resistant...
- JACKET FEATURES – Adjustable and removable hood, full length parka fits over pants to avoid run off transfer, front zip and Snap down storm flap, elastic cuffs to keep elements out and raglan...
- PANTS FEATURES – Pull on adjustable elastic waist, adjustable leg openings, 4-panel cut straight leg design
The only issue I found is there are no pockets on either the pants or jacket. So, If you want to venture out in the rain, you’ll also need a waterproof backpack to carry gear.
Which is going to cost more money, unless you’ve already got one.
As well as rain suits, you should also consider the type of socks you need to prevent wet feet.
Plastic shoes may protect you from wet ground, but not from the cold. And if you’re anything like me, cold feet are a no-no.
The best thing I found to prevent this is neoprene socks.
I know what you’re thinking…
“Aren’t Neoprene Socks for divers?”.
The answer is yes.
However, they do an excellent job at shielding your feet from the wind and rain in harsh weather.
Pro Tip: Don’t wear cotton clothes, as they are very difficult to dry.
6. Choose Your Backpack Wisely
People think backpacks are only used to carry equipment. So, lower-quality options normally do the job.
However, get caught out in heavy rain and everything changes.
If water starts seeping through your backpack, then your equipment becomes damaged.
And damaged equipment could pose a significant risk. Your gear is your lifeline when camping off the beaten track, so take care of it.
Of course, you can prevent this from happening by purchasing a watertight backpack from the get-go.
However, I understand it’s difficult to find a reliable one nowadays. After all, many backpacks claim to be ‘waterproof’, yet leak with the slightest drop of water.
If you want my advice, go for the Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack.
- COMPLETE WATERPROOF PROTECTION: 100% waterproof to ensure your gear stays completely dry while traveling, kayaking, biking, commuting, camping, and fishing.
- EASY TO USE: Designed with a roll-top closure and single reinforced strip to ensure water stays out. Simply fold the bag down 3-4 times, buckle, and you are ready to go!
- PLENTY OF EXTRA STORAGE: Equipped with pockets on both the inside and outside of the bag. A large splash-proof zipper on the outside for quick grab and go items, and a built-in zippered pocket, mesh...
With most backpacks, water comes through the zippers when it’s raining. However, the Earth Pak features a roll-top design, so this doesn’t happen.
Not only that but it’s made with 500D PVC, which is the best waterproof material on the market.
There’s no water getting into this backpack – that’s for sure!
And with a capacity of 55L, there is more than enough room to store your equipment and dry clothes.
If you’re expecting a storm when camping but don’t want to spend money on a new backpack, I have another solution.
You can purchase a waterproof backpack cover.
These are not as reliable as the Earth Pak Backpack, but still, get the job done.
- 3 Layer Waterproof Technology: 100% WATERPROOF - Made of high-quality Tear Resistant Nylon Material, external waterproof coating, Inner layer cover with PU coating offers reliable protection of up to...
- ULTIMATE ALL-OVER PROTECTION: The Elastic and Cross Adjustable Buckle Straps provided extra stability and 50% more coverage, make sure your backpack get fully covered, protect your backpack even in...
- ULTIMATE HANDY: Weighing only 2.2~3.6 ounces(Size: S~XXL), Each backpack cover comes with a RAINPROOF STORAGE POUCH that you can just clip it to your backpack, you will never be unprepared for the...
7. Consider Your Fire Arrangements
Anybody can get a fire going in the rain, but keeping it burning is the hard part.
The first thing you need to do is to plan in advance. If it’s started raining, then you’re already too late.
You need to keep an eye on the weather. If you see the sky changing, then it’s time to get to work.
Grab a few black trash bags and start collecting dry wood and kindling. The reason for collecting this stuff beforehand is because it will soon be wet.
And starting a fire with wet firewood is near-impossible.
Plus, black garbage bags are waterproof. So, even if it starts raining, everything is protected.
After collecting your firewood, find somewhere to start a fire. Look for a place with adequate shelter, so the rain doesn’t put it out.
And by shelter, I mean tall trees with big branches. You should never use a rainfly or other flammable material.
However, using a tarp is an option.
Although make sure the flames are far away from the underside.
Check out the video below for a more in-depth explanation:
Also, don’t forget to put an additional tarp over your tent in wet weather.
Pro Tip: If you’re at a campsite, check that fires are allowed.
8. Look Out For Storms & Wind
Rain is fine.
Storms and wind on the other hand – not so great.
The problem with wind is that it poses a greater danger. You need to be careful and watch out for falling trees or branches.
If it’s too windy, I don’t recommend camping.
However, lighter winds should be fine. Just position your tent in a non-hazardous location.
I’m no tree expert. But after digging around, I found some warning signs that a tree is unstable.
For starters, stay away from trees with mushrooms growing at the base. This often suggests the roots are rotting, so it’s more likely to fall.
Another warning sign is cracking. If you notice a tree with cracks in the trunk, pitch your tent somewhere else.
It typically means the tree is unstable and more likely to fall in high winds.
For more information on unstable trees, check out what Basil has to say:
9. Vestibule Tents Are A Lifesaver
Unless you have a car camping, the rain means you need extra space for equipment.
Keeping everything inside your tent is a pain. And depending on the size, it may prove impossible.
Even if you do manage to get everything inside, there won’t be much space left over to move around.
To prevent this, it’s best to choose a tent with a vestibule.
That way, you have a safe area away from the main tent compartment. This means you will have a clutter-free sleeping area.
However, make sure the tent’s rainfly extends to the vestibule.
Some of Coleman’s tents have vestibules, but the rainfly doesn’t cover them. This proves useless in a rainstorm, so choose carefully.
10. Don’t Forget A Towel
Getting stuck out in the rain without adequate equipment is no fun.
So, it’s important to bring a towel with you.
And not just any old towel. I recommend a quick-dry towel.
They are self-drying and don’t need to be in direct sunlight. This means multiple people can use them in a short period of time.
11. Create A Cooking Area
Cooking in the rain is not impossible, and it sure doesn’t have to be unpleasant.
In fact, you can still cook a meal while staying bone dry.
You can use a tarp to create a makeshift cooking and dining area. However, I prefer to use a pop-up canopy.
Pop-up canopies are easy to set up, so you can save time.
Plus, most canopies have a tall roof and roll-up sides. That means the smoke from your cooking equipment has a place to exit.
And finally, they have plenty of space. Not only for your cooking equipment but also for a table and chairs.
Because sitting on the grass in a torrential downpour is not ideal, right!?
12. Pitch Your Tent Wisely
If there’s no chance of rain, pitching your tent is straightforward.
Find a nice spot and set everything up.
However, rain opens up a can of worms. If you pitch your tent in the wrong location, it’s more likely to flood.
Never pitch your tent in a small ditch. The ditch will fill with water and cause your tent to get soaked.
If anything, ensure your tent is on flat ground.
Although, there’s a better alternative.
I recommend pitching your tent on a hill. That way, the water flows downwards when it rains outside, keeping your tent dry.
13. Don’t Forget About Your Dog
Here’s something I learned the hard way…
It’s okay bringing waterproof rain gear for yourself.
But what happens when the dog goes outside and brings mud into the tent? A disaster is what happens!
To prevent this from happening, purchase a dog coat and gumboots.
A coat protects your dog from the rain so this doesn’t happen…
And gumboots prevent mud from getting onto your dog’s paws. Make sure to remove gumboots before letting your dog enter the tent.
A built-in vestibule sure helps with this.
Also, remember to get your dog a coat, so he stays warm!
14. Put Your Lantern Hook To Use
Most modern tents come with a lantern hook. But not everybody utilizes them.
When it’s raining and gloomy outside, it will be darker – even during the day. So, it’s best to bring a lantern and put it to use.
However, a lantern hook also has another use.
Rather than hanging a lantern, it can be used to hang wet clothes and towels.
15. Bring An Umbrella Along
You’re probably wondering, “What’s the point in bringing an umbrella when I’ve got waterproof camping gear?”.
I completely understand.
However, what about when you need to access your backpack? If you don’t have something to cover the opening with, your equipment will get wet.
An umbrella provides cover from the rain while you search through your bag.
Remember, if you’re in torrential rain, it only takes a few seconds to soak your gear.
16. Ziplock Bags Are Your Friend
While a waterproof backpack is more than enough, there’s always the possibility it malfunctions.
After all, some brands are not the most reliable these days.
To impose an extra layer of security, it’s best to use zip lock bags in combination. Put all your backpack equipment in ziplock bags and segregate by category.
Not only does this help keep everything dry, but it also helps with organization.
You don’t want to spend ages searching through a backpack in heavy rain, especially without an umbrella for protection.
17. Get A Doormat
If your tent has a vestibule or large tarp overhead, I recommend getting a doormat.
Doormats mean you will bring less mud into the main tent compartment.
If your shoes are muddy, they are also great for removing some of the dirt. In addition, you’re less likely to slip over on a doormat than on a tent floor.
18. Consider An RV
I get it.
Camping in an RV is a little different. In a tent, you’re more in touch with nature.
However, it’s always something to consider.
With RV camping, you don’t need to worry about leaks, drying clothes, or wind. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself.
Not only that but you can move if things get too severe. With tent camping, you need to take down the tent, clear the area, and load everything into your vehicle (if you have one).
And that takes time.
Time you don’t have when there’s a storm on your tail.
Is It Worth Camping In The Rain?
When I look back, some of my most memorable camping trips have been in heavy rain.
When it’s pouring down, you’re more likely to socialize with your camping buddies. Just make sure you bring the right stuff, like games and other activities.
Plus, you can get the board games out.
And who doesn’t love playing board games in a tent?
However, you need to make sure you plan accordingly. The reason some people don’t enjoy camping in the rain is because they don’t plan ahead.
First, their equipment gets wet. Then, the inside of the tent is muddy.
And before you know it, the whole camping trip is ruined.
The most important thing to do is check the weather forecast beforehand. If you know there’s a chance of rain, you can make sure you have the right equipment.
Also, you won’t venture too far from your tent and have a thunderstorm take you by surprise, huh!?
Is It Safe To Camp While Raining?
Camping when it’s raining is relatively safe. However, there are a few minor hazards to be aware of.
Firstly, it’s more common for people to slip over when it’s wet outside. So, take care with each step and don’t run.
Secondly, watch out for flying or falling debris. When it’s raining outside, wind can also be an issue.
With wind chucked into the mix, tree branches and other debris get blown around. Find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you could be hit.
This also applies to your tent.
Pitch it somewhere that’s far enough away from old trees and other objects.
Should You Put a Tarp Under Your Tent?
Yes, you should put a tarp under your tent.
During heavy rain, people put tarps over their tents. But putting one under your tent is also great to prevent water from entering.
Not only that, but it keeps your tent warmer if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t skip out on camping just because of the rain.
Most people do this, which means the campsites and popular spots are empty. That means you can maintain privacy while enjoying the rain from the comfort of your tent.
Here’s what I will leave you with.
Make sure you choose a reliable tent and bring the correct camping rain gear. A waterproof rain suit is perfect.
Also, don’t forget to pitch a tarp over (and possibly underneath) your tent.
That way, you have an extra layer of protection from the rain. Because trust me, you don’t want to wake up to wet gear and a tent filled with water.
That’s one way to ruin a camping trip, huh!?
If you have any questions, please comment below and you will hear back from me.
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