Weather is an important component that contributes (maybe) the most to the success of your camping trip. The wind, the heat, and the rain affect a lot of your camping experience, especially the rain. We cannot control the rain and the weather itself as they are like a woman’s mood. However, we can minimize the effect of the rain on your trip, if you follow the below camping in the rain tips.
It’s obvious that you should check the weather forecast well before choosing the date and venue of the camping trip. It might help you reduce about 80% chance of getting caught in sudden rain. Then, these camping in the rain tips listed below will help you prepare yourself for the left 20%. In the worst-case scenario that there is a sudden rain during the camping trip, you might still be able to have an enjoyable and warm time.
- 1. Choose the correct location for setting up the tent
- 2. Think about a waterproof tent
- 3. Consider using the seam sealer
- 4. Make sure that you can start a campfire in case of rain
- 5. Choose suitable clothes
- 6. Prepare and rainproof area
- 7. Keep the gears, devices and important items dry
- 8. Eat enough calories
- 9. Double the sleeping pads
- 10. Bring the entertainments with you
1. Choose the correct location for setting up the tent
When reaching the campsite, you need to look out for a suitable camp setting up spot. The spot can’t help you avoid the pouring rain if it happens, but it can prevent you from getting flooded. Bear in mind the following facts when choosing the spot and you will get yourself the most suitable one.
+ Choose hillocks or knolls instead of flat terrain. This will help the water drain much more effectively. Never think of a sunken spot or low areas if you don’t want to wake up on a pond during the night rain.
+ Don’t camp under the big trees. Many will think that camping under the tree canopy will reduce the rain amount falling on the rainfly, but it’s a dangerous and wrong idea. In the event of big winds picking up or even a storm, the falling branches or even the falling trees will harm you badly.
+ Stay in a safe distance from the trees so that you still are able to suspend the tarp and stake the tent to the ground.
+ Avoid camping near a river or a stream, especially when you camp in the mountain area as you will never know for sure about the water level. It will change significantly after night rain or even cause a flash flood, which is unpredictable and deadly.
+ Choose the spot/tent direction that enables you to get sunlight as things will get colder after rain. Hang the tarp right away after getting up after the night rain to dry them out quickly. You don’t want to fold it when it’s wet all over.
2. Think about a waterproof tent
A waterproof tent is created for such usage. It will minimize the chance that you get wet during the sudden rain with its special design and material. In case you wish to buy a new waterproof tent, my previous article will be of assistance in suggesting a suitable one.
If you don’t want to buy a new tent just for a trip that you don’t know there is a rain or not, and your current tent is still good as new, you could use below hacks to make your tent waterproof:
+ Take advantage of the rainfly. You should never leave it at home as it not only helps you not to get wet, it is also a good cover for small random things that might fall over the top of your tent.
+ Use a hydrophobic spray. This is a unique and cheap idea to turn your tent to a waterproof shield. The hydrophobic spray over the tent will allow the raindrops to run down quickly. Remember to spray it again after a few times usage, as the prolonged sunlight might wear them off.
3. Consider using the seam sealer
Another way to get fully prepared for any chance of having a sudden rain is using the seam sealer on the seams of your tent, which will prevent the water drops from getting into the inside through the seams. Whether your tent is pre-sealed or not (according to the manufacturers), having the seam sealer on it is never a bad idea.
GEAR AID Seam Grip WP Waterproof Sealant and Adhesive is an ideal choice that I’d love to suggest to you as per my personal experience. It is able to seal up for 12feets of tarps, tents with a single tube of 01 oz; keep the moisture out and let your tent be dry and comfortable. You can use the product to keep other gears to be waterproof due to its sealant that flexes with fabric and bonds to various types of material (nylon, polyester, canvas, leather …). That special sealant also serves as a great repairer for any peeled or cracked gear which withstands scrapers and scratchers.
4. Make sure that you can start a campfire in case of rain
During the rain, the campfire will warm everything up: from your body, your spirit to the atmosphere around. However, it is never an easy task to start a campfire, and it is extremely harder when it rains and everything including the fire’s fuel gets wet, even if you are an amateur or an expert in surviving techniques.
First of all, you need to know how to start a campfire. Try it at home at least a few times before the trip to make sure that you won’t freak out of what is needed and what to use first. Remember to bring a reliable lighter with you everywhere. Whether it is a lighter or fire starter or matches; make sure they are waterproof. The regular ones will become useless when they get wet, and at that stage, your skills don’t make any sense.
Next, get yourself some dry tinder that is lightweight and catches fire incredible easily and burns quickly. Dry firewood can be found somewhere around you, but not in the event of heavy rain. In that case, you might need to dig down the first layer or look around to find those which lay under the bark of fallen logs.
Last but not least, add a couple of dry logs to the fire center to enlarge and lengthen the fire. It will get burned anyway due to the tinder, providing that they are not live wood and not too wet.
There are some tips you should know when starting a fire:
- Choose a solid base for the fire and avoid the wet surface
- Build the fire like the way people build an office tower: put the thick logs first as the ‘walls’, then add the small and thin branches/sticks as the floors. The small branches and sticks catch the fire better than the thick logs, and the thick log is way good at prolonging the fire
- Remain a good airflow by putting the tinder between the sticks. Do not compress the sticks together which will reduce the ventilation
- Use the waterproof lighter/matches to light up the fire from the bottom.
5. Choose suitable clothes
If your camping time and venue would get you a rain, consider wearing/packing with you the waterproof clothes, or at least the suitable ones (that are light, easy to dry and keep the heat well. Do not wear cotton or wool clothes if there is a chance of rain as these fabrics get soak quickly). Some might think a waterproof tent is enough and in case of rain, you just need to stay inside the shelter. However, you never know when exactly the rain comes. It might rain when you venture away from your campsite, and I’m sure you don’t want to stay in wet clothes as it will make you lose heat faster than ever (25 times faster than in cold air condition). Also, if you are young-in-heart and want to have some fun other than just sit there watching the rain, the waterproof layers (jacket, boots or rain poncho) will help.
6. Prepare and rainproof area
If you don’t bring enough waterproof clothes but still want to enjoy things in the rain, a rainproof area will be a good idea.
You can use the extra tarp and string them overhead with the trees around you. However, it doesn’t work during a rainstorm as the heavy rain and big winds might blow everything including you away. Also, remember to put one tarp on the floor so you can sit together and not get wet from the ground.
7. Keep the gears, devices and important items dry
It’s essential to keep things dry, even if it is not in the event of rain. The moisture will make you feel uncomfortable (especially when your clothes get wet) and even the manufacturers say that your sensible electronic devices are waterproof, keep them in a plastic bag that is sealed properly. Be careful with the hook-up, wires and generators as it might be extremely dangerous when they get wet after the rain.
8. Eat enough calories
When it gets colder, our body burns more calories (about twice as much as normal) to keep the average temperature. Hence, make sure that you eat enough food to supply enough calories, and diversify your campsite meals with various kinds of vitamins (such as C from citrus fruits which maintain your immune system and energy levels or B12 from fish to reduce tiredness). Sweet things also boost the mood and a hot drink on a rainy day is never a bad idea.
9. Double the sleeping pads
When we put the tarp before setting up the tent, it helps us a lot in minimizing the chance that the moisture can get in from the below. However, it does not contribute a lot in keeping you warm. Hence, doubling the sleeping pads will assure a dry, warm and comfortable sleep. Also, remember not to buy the pads made from materials that absorb moisture.
10. Bring the entertainments with you
When the rain is falling and you cannot go out for any outdoor activities, some board games will help you entertain. If you all are not so sociable, think about the books, laptops or tablets. In case you are a daydreamer, turn the music on while chilling with some beers. The raindrops then will do their job by adding the beautiful natural melody.
Above all, you need to have positive thinking about the rain. Instead of being sad and thinking all is over when the rain comes; just find the ways to enjoy it. If life gives you a lemon, let’s make lemonade. ‘’Prevention is better than a cure’’ – and I really hope that this article with useful camping in the rain tips will help you get an unforgettable experience.