Advice Camping, Backpacking & Hiking

How to Stay Warm, Dry & Comfortable While Camping in the Rain

camping in the rain
Bertie
Written by Bertie

Whether you’ve been planning your camping trip for months or have just decided to head out an impromptu excursion, there’s nothing that kills your fun quite like finding out that rain is in the forecast. While you can’t control the weather, there are some easy tips that you can follow to help you stay warm, dry, and comfortable while camping in the rain.

Think Smart About How You Dress

What you wear is arguably the most part about staying comfortable while camping in the rain. To stay dry, make sure you choose a polyester or wool base, as well as mid layers beneath a waterproof coat or poncho. Avoid cotton and blue jeans, as these don't dry quickly, and they’ll make your body temperature drop. Include plenty of extra layers in a dry bag so that you have clothes to change into just in case you do get soaked.

Pack a Tarp 

There’s nothing worse than spending your entire camping trip tucked into a small, cramped tent because it is raining. Instead, create an outdoor living room so that you can sit outside in the room. Fashion a unique living space by stringing up a tarp or awning. Then, you can stash camp chairs underneath and relax in comfort - even in a downpour.

Make Sure to Waterproof Your Gear 

If you’re bringing along an older tent or other equipment that hasn’t seen the great outdoors in quite some time, make sure you waterproof them ahead of time. Use a spray or a sealant, but whatever you do, make sure your gear can hold up to the heaviest of downpours.

Pick the Right Camp Site

Try to select a campsite with at least a little bit of elevation if rain is in the forecast. This will help reduce the amount of water that makes its way into your tent. A campsite that faces the morning sun will make it easier to get out of bed when it’s raining, too. You should also avoid setting up camp under a tree, which will cause water to drip on your tent.

Take at Least One Camping Lantern

When you’re camping in the rain, it will likely be a lot darker than if you were camping on a clear day (or night). Make sure you bring plenty of lighting to brighten up the situation. You can hang string lights, light some candles, or just pack a good old-fashioned camp lantern and plenty of flashlights. A few reflectors don’t hurt, either!

Bring Lots of Food 

You’ll be starving when you’re camping in the rain - for a number of reasons. You need more calories to stay warm when it’s cold, so you’ll want to add some carb-heavy treats to keep your hunger at bay. Try to prep all of your ingredients at home so that you don’t have to do it in the rain, and don’t feel bad about indulging in a few extra calories!

Pitch Your Tent or Tarp Correctly

A saggy pitch is one of the main reasons you'll get a soaking. And the worst part of that, as I have discovered personally, is that it usually happens in the middle of the night while you are trying to sleep. Trust me, the last thing you want is to have to venture outside in a storm to adjust your guylines or re-stake loose tent stakes. If you don't now how to do that, test test test in your back yard before you go!

And actually, it's not just about getting the right pitch. If you think it's going to rain, think about bringing a bigger tent. A 3 person tent can offer up to 50% more floor space than a 2 person tent. That might not provide 50% more comfort, but it will be more comfortable!!

Approach the Experience with a Positive Attitude

At the end of the day, no matter how well you prepare for your camping trip, you can’t control the weather. The most important thing you can pack is a good attitude - be willing to roll with the punches, and you’ll have a great camping trip. Yes, you can have fun even if it pours the entire time!

About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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