How To Camp When It's Raining

How To Camp When It's Raining

Camping in the rain is an excellent way to experience nature at its most intense. Not only will you have access to some incredible scenery, but everything around you becomes unbelieveably beautiful when it's drenched by relentless precipitation.

The peaceful sound of raindrops hitting leaves and rocks can drown out even the noisiest city surroundings. There are few things better than the smell of wet earth and fresh air (ok maybe the comfort of a roaring campfire).

Seasoned campers know that rain can be a make or break when exploring the outdoors. It's no secret that rain, wind, and mud create new challenges for campers, with the potential to change surrounding conditions quite rapidly.

This can make things unpredictable on your camping trip.

However, don't be dismayed if it starts pouring down during your next outdoor adventure!

Instead of hunkering down indoors with some hot cocoa, let's talk about how to make the most out of an unexpectedly wet camping trip.

Pack the Right Equipment

This detail can't be stressed enough.

As a company in this business of selling camping equipment, we may be a little biased. (We promise you'll thank us later).

If you've gone camping before, you're probably well aware that the key to having fun during a wet camping trip (or any trip for that matter) is staying well-prepared.

You should have all your gear set out the night before, so you aren't fumbling with entrances and exits when it's time to pack up.

That way, all you have to do is throw on your rain gear and hit the trail. 

There are quite a few essentials which we can suggest that you take if the heavens start to open. While it is best to travel light in these conditions, here are some things that you can’t miss: 

  • Waterproof camping tent. Definitely, one of the most important items to bring, as some tents are designed to withstand the rain much better than others. 

Check your tent’s waterproof rating online to see if it’s suitable for the trip. Tents with a vestibule separating the entrance of the tent are also viable in the rain, as you can separate your wet belongings from the inside of your tent. 

  • Sleeping Pad. There’s nothing better than having as many layers as possible separating you from the ground. With a good sleeping pad, you’ll be much more likely to be warm and comfortable, especially in rainy conditions. 
  • A good sleeping pad will also provide you with the support you need to get much better sleep than just laying down on the floor of your tent. And what’s better than waking up refreshed and ready for the next day?  

    • Tarpaulin. This is something that has saved me in the past more times than I can count. This is the single best friend you will ever have during a rainy camping trip. 

    Bring as much as you can, you’ll always find a use for one more. 

    I like to sandwich my tent in between two, either having a tarp underneath the tent or on the floor of the tent itself. This stops the water in heavy rains from seeping up into the floor of your tent and wetting your belongings.

    Have the other one above your tent so you can pitch it or pack it down in a downpour without it turning into a soaking mess. 

    Find The Right Location

    This is a really important thing to remember as the composition of the ground can shift very easily once heavy rains start to come in.

    During heavy rainfall, water seeps into the ground and also becomes runoff, which is the water that travels down into the rivers and lakes.

    As a result, water will collect at the bottom of hills, and bodies of water will tend to rise after and during rain. You'll most likely be seeing a lot of puddles everywhere.

    Try and camp somewhere higher up above the ground so you won't be caught in the midst of moving water. Stay clear of camping near bodies of water as well as you're at a much higher risk of getting wet if the rains stay for an extended period of time.

    Essentially you're looking for something that isn't on an angle where water can run down, but also somewhere where water won't collect.

    Observe your campsite on arrival and look around for the perfect spot. You'll be very happy you did it.

    Two people cooking while camping in the rain

    Water Proof Clothing

    Making sure that you are wearing proper gear if going out into the woods for an outdoor experience is very important!

    When people think about what they need when they go out into nature, many just assume that their regular clothes will work just fine.

    However, this is not the case when it comes to camping in wet conditions. If you wear normal clothing when you go out into nature and something happens where it begins to rain, you will end up getting wet and cold because your clothes are absorbing water instead of repelling it.

    Good waterproof clothing should be lightweight, breathable, and properly constructed from the right materials to ensure that you're well protected from the elements. It also helps if they are designed in a fashion where you can pack them in a compact manner to save space and weight in your backpack.

    There's a huge range of fantastic waterproof clothing options out there, ranging from lightweight to heavier ones. Think about the type of trip you’re going to be going on and the conditions you’ll be facing. 

    For the hotter, humid tropical rainy conditions, lightweight waterproof gear is usually the best to keep you both cool and dry. 

    If you’re venturing out in the winter, a heavier waterproof outfit or a lightweight one with thermal layering underneath will usually do the trick to keep you warm and dry.

    Take some plastic bags to wrap up any wet clothing or keep spare dry clothing in also. 

    Check out the Forecast

    This may seem like an obvious one, but you really should be checking the forecast as much as you possibly can in the days leading up to when you go on your trip.

    The weather forecast can be quite unpredictable and can change frequently depending on what the conditions are like. So even if you’re expecting a completely dry, idyllic weekend out in the forest, take some waterproof clothing and equipment.

    Also, keep an eye out for extreme weather conditions such as high-speed winds and storms. While much camping gear available today is incredibly resistant to the elements, extreme conditions should still be avoided if possible.

    Be safe, you never know when the rain will start pelting down!

    Have Fun!

    Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic weekend camping. There’s a ton of activities you can do while it’s raining that can keep you entertained. 

    If you really want to make sure your trip is a success, try going with a group of friends. 

    Bring some games with you that you can play with your campmates, such as cards and board games. Set up your shelter, heat up some nice camp food and you can spend hours having fun.

    Camping in the rain might be a bit more work, but you'll still have a blast if you pack the right supplies. 

    You'll have plenty of laughs as you tell stories around the campfire and roast marshmallows under the stars. With a little love and some high spirits, camping in the rain can be one of the best parts about getting outside!