In a perfect world, every time you camped out, the weather would be perfect – clear skies, not to hot, not too cold, and a comfortable breeze. Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, we can’t always plan for pop up showers or storms when you pack for a camping trip, but there are things you can do to make the best of camping in the wet weather. Here are some tips to help you stay dry while camping in the rain.
Pack Wet Weather Gear
While you probably don’t have a ton of room in your camping gear for a lot of extras, you should definitely pack some items for rainy weather. This could include a poncho, small umbrella, a raincoat (if you are in cooler temperatures) and some water resistant footwear. Many times hiking boots can have some water resistance made into them, so you might be able to get by with just those shoes. You also want to pack several extra pairs of socks in case yours get wet.
Wait it Out
Sometimes if it is a quick little pop up shower – you can wait for it to pass and then make your campsite or keep moving. If that is the case, try to take shelter under trees, in your vehicle, or put up a makeshift shelter out of a tarp or poncho to stay dry until it stops raining. It’s not a bad idea to wear your poncho once you start moving again, just in case another storm flares up.
Pick a Good Camping Spot
Putting your tent or shelter in the right spot is also crucial to staying dry- especially if it starts to rain while you are sleeping. The last thing you want is to wake up in a puddle! Look for spots that are more uphill – less chance of rain seeping down into your tent. If you’re on flat ground, consider digging a small trench or ditch around the outer edges of your tent – this will help the rain to collect there are not in your tent!
Create a Barrier
Many people who camp frequently know that one of the secrets to staying dry is creating a barrier between you and the water. This could be done by hanging a tarp (tied to trees) over your tent or sleeping shelter, to help deflect any rain from falling down right onto your tent, or by putting one underneath the area where your tent will be sitting. This can prevent water from soaked ground from seeping up into your sleeping space. If you get stuck without a tarp to put underneath – you can use brush or dried grass, or even newspapers to get the same effect of a barrier.
Keep Your Body Dry
Once inside your shelter, take off your wet articles of clothing. Hang them or lay them out to dry as best you can and put on dry clothing. This is why it’s a good idea to pack at least 2 changes of clothes, even for short trips, it gives you extras in case you should get drenched. Use whatever you can to dry your hair and body. The sooner you dry off, the sooner you will get warm. You don’t want to get chilled because that can cause a host of other issues.
It’s pretty easy to implement these ideas to help keep dry if you camp in the rain. Any of these tips can be used alone or together to make “wet camping” a more pleasant experience.