Camping in the Rain: 5 Things You Need to Know

This is a guest post by Jessica Peters, a freelance writer from Melbourne who blogs about health and fitness. Jessica is an avid traveller and regularly crosses the globe to learn about other cultures while blogging from her laptop.

No matter how well you plan, you can’t plan the weather. If you have a camping trip coming up, you will probably be making all kinds of plans and preparations, and you should have a plan and some equipment ready to deal with the rain if the weather goes bad.

Campers across the world have perfected techniques and tools to help deal with sudden downpours, as rain can strike anywhere and at any time. Rainfall in a forest or field can be a beautiful sight, but if your campsite is getting soaked or flooded, the magic of nature soon wears off.

In this quick guide, I will talk about five things every camper needs to know if they are going to stay warm and dry at their campsite when the rain starts to fall.

Find the Right Spot to Pitch Your Tent

Picking the right place to pitch your tent is an essential part of setting up your camp. Rainfall can happen at any time, even while you sleep, so whenever you are making your campsite you need to plan for rain.

You need to choose a spot that is elevated, to prevent flooding and give groundwater somewhere to drain away from your tent. Avoid setting up camp near streams, lakes, and rivers as these may swell in a downpour and flood your spot. Try to pitch your tent door facing the direction of the morning sun to give your tent some heat early on to help you get out of bed.

Create a Rain-Free ‘Living Room’ with Tarps and Cords

By using well-positioned trees, or pitching sticks, you can create a covered space between tents to create a dry area that you and your camping friend can use as a communal area.

With the right arrangement, you can even have space for a campfire’s smoke to billow out and away from the camp, letting you add some extra warmth to your space.

You can find online here more resources.

Wrap Up Warm – Whether You Are Awake or Asleep

Whether you are asleep or awake, when you are camping in the great outdoors you need to wrap up and keep yourself warm.

You can wear lots of layers while hiking and when you are around camp, and if you want to stay warm while you sleep you can't go wrong with a well-made, all-weather sleeping bag.

Hang Up While You Are Hanging Out

It can be difficult to deal with wet clothes when camping, and this is where having a communal dry area really comes in handy.

You can hang wet clothes you have worn while hiking out to dry under your tarps with extra cord and ropes. With the help of a warm fire, your wet clothes should be completely dry for you to wear the next day.

Light Up Your Space and Keep a Fire Burning

Having lights around your campsite really helps make it feel comfortable and homely and can be handy in a sudden emergency. With a well-maintained and safely constructed campfire, you can turn any campsite into a home away from home.

You must always be careful when lighting fires in the outdoors, but with the right training and experience, it can be safe, useful and even lifesaving. By keeping the late embers of a fire going, and giving it some light fuel, such as moss or twigs before you go to bed for the night, you can have the dying heat of your campfire warm you to sleep at night.

Camping can be a lot of fun and offers real adventure for campers who feel up to the challenge of surviving in the great outdoors. As long as you plan for rain and know what to do when it strikes, you should be able to enjoy yourself whatever the weather.

25 thoughts on “Camping in the Rain: 5 Things You Need to Know”

  1. Very insightful article. The points mentioned will surely help a lot in situations like rain.
    I have done camping once only. Looking for more such moments.

  2. Very helpful advice on what to do during camping in rain. I have not gone for camping yet but one day I will surely go for it. Creating a space for fire is important and also drying out the things.

  3. Very helpful tips to pitch a tent. I always worry about rains and creepy crawlies. It would be great luck to find that right spot between the trees for a dry stay. One has to be really careful with the fires too. Great post.

  4. I do not know much about camping but this was really insightful. Finding the right place is very important. I really like that idea of making space for some smoke and drying clothes. And yes, its very important to keep oneself warm and cozy, while hiking.

  5. Worrying about the rain is partially why I’ve missed out on camping so much. Your idea of a covered living room though has caused me to rethink my worries. Also such a great suggestion to maximize your drying time by hanging stuff up whenever you can.

  6. I never imagined camping in the rains. Rains for me always play spoilt sport. The tips you have shared will definitely make me try it atleast once. The biggest problem is the wet clothes and the tip of tarps and cords will definitely be helpful. Keeping the fire burning will also make it comfortable.

  7. These trips are very helpful and will (hopefully) remember them when I eventually stay in a tent for the first time. I do have tents but they are still in packaging and I brought them in 2014! So one day I will try camping. Using a tarp is a good idea also and never really thought of it, so I am going to keep that one in mind!

  8. I’ve to admit that I’ve never done camping before. Though I planned to do camping in Everglades, Florida a few months ago but couldn’t make it. Your tips are handy and one should be fully prepared in advance!

  9. Camping in England and the rain has certainly put me off camping. Some great tips here though, there is nothing worse than not being able to dry your clothes and having to put back on wet clothes for another day of hiking!!

  10. The rain has played a big spoiler in most of our travels this year. All parts of India has experienced un-forecasted rain this time. This post comes as a great tip while we plan our trip during monsoon. Wet clothes was always a major issue and the recommendations that you have provided are definitely to keep in mind.

  11. These are some important things to remember before going camping. Rain can really play a truant in camping experience. And so the choice of place for camping is truly important. I had once faced hailstorm in the night in one of of our camps. Although nothing happened, but we were so scared that the camps will blow off!

  12. I must admit i have been thinking of starting camping with the kids but as you rightly pointed out the unpredictable weather keeps me away from it . You can plan and plan but can’t guarantee the weather. However taking some of the tips you have given good make it easier and more pleasant even if it did rain. Creating a dry living area is a good idea so you not just stuck in the sleeping area. You do need to be careful with those fires for sure. Thanks for these top tips.

  13. This is why I don’t go camping! If you could guarantee good weather I’d be there. But, no, these are good tips for camping in the rain. Do your clothes really dry out in time to wear them the next day?

  14. Though I have not a very much camping type of person, but you have listed some very useful tips on camping that too in rain. Keeping or creating dry rain free space through tarps and cords is a good tip. Also hanging clothes inside the tent while going out is another good tip.

  15. These are really great tips! I love camping, but rain can put such a damper on it, I hate when everything is cold and damp. I’ll definitely keep these in mind the next time I go camping, especially on where to pitch your tent.

  16. This is definitely one of the factors about camping that worries me, how to handle poor weather. Some great tips on setting up camp to avoid rainy weather pitfalls, though!

  17. I am not a huge camper because it always worries me to be caught in less than ideal conditions. This post helps to be better prepared for rain. Such useful advise that can make for a much more pleasant experience if that dreaded rain hits while camping.

  18. This post is really useful! I love camping, however, I’ve never camped when it was raining so far. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind in case I need them someday. Especially like the part where you create a “living room”, I’ve never thought of this before!

  19. It comes handy to read these tips when one is about to camp.. such pointers are always useful to be reminded of being prudent and prepared .. well scripted article which clearly says the do’s and dont’s of camping .

  20. Very useful guide indeed! I once worked at 13 music festivals back in the UK and got very used to pitching up in the rain haha but wild camping is a fantastic thing too and I’ve not done as much of that. Tarp is a lifesaver though!

  21. Great advice! Using tarps and keeping the fire burning all the time can be really life-saving, especially if you’re also cooking on a campfire. I also really like your tips about choosing a camping spot. Taking part in music festivals, I’ve always been amazed by how stupid some people can be in that matter. Once I saw a tent pitched on a slope with the entrance pointing uphill and there was a heavy rain on the next day…

  22. I must admit that camping isn’t usually on my list of things to do. But the tips for camping in the rain were also helpful for hiking or touring in the rain. Finding a way to create a rain-free spot is important to provide some relief and a place to get things done. Layers will keep you warm. But also let you peel off some layers if they get wet.

  23. These are so many useful advice. I have been hiking the mountains for 15 years, so pitching a tent in the rain was the norm. However, I have never thought of all these tips especially that we couldn’t carry too much equipment with us.

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