Tips for camping in the rain

We all hope for clear blue skies when we’re camping but the weather gods do not always smile upon us! Sometimes we’re caught camping in the rain, but it really isn’t all that bad, so long as you’re prepared. If you ever find yourself camping in the rain, here are a few tips to make the stay more enjoyable for all!

1. Choose a good spot

Depending on the campsite you’ve chosen, this can be easier said than done. But a good campsite will have you camping on flat, level ground making it a much better place to be if you’re camping in the rain. If you do find yourself on a slight slope, make sure to pitch your tent at the top of the slope and face the entrance downhill.

2. Take a tarp

Tarps are fantastic things can be used in a number of ways. Laying one underneath your tent can keep moisture getting in from the ground. Just make sure your tent is completely covering the tarp, otherwise you may find yourself sleeping in a puddle. You can choose to put a tarp directly over your tent, this will help your tent from becoming drenched and if placed covering the entrance, will give you a porch for organising yourself before getting in and out of the tent. Tarps are also great for hanging over your cooking area, giving you a socialising space by the fire too. Let’s face it, noone likes soggy burgers. We like DD tarps best if we’re caught camping in the rain.

Camp set up for rainy days

Photo Credit: Russell Morris

At our Wild Boar Wood Campsite, we use a parachute hung up over our communal campfire to offer shelter for a number of campers in the rain. We’ve seen campers use the same thing at Beech Estate Campsite.

Parachute shelter when camping in the rain

Parachutes can make a great shelter when camping in the rain. Photo Credit: Dan Skinner

3. Ask for a pitch near the toilets

If you are booking in a particularly rainy season, request a tent pitch near the facilities. This will save you from getting too drenched when you nip out to the toilet.

4. Know your tent

Practice pitching your tent before you get to the campsite. Camping in the rain can feel far worse if you’re trying to figure out how to pitch a new tent in the middle of a downpour. Get the process down before arriving and you can have it set up and ready in no time.

5. Avoid setting up in the rain

If it looks like the weather may break, waiting an extra 30 minutes or so can alleviate some pressure and means you won’t get soaked whilst setting up. If you don’t have this luxury, make sure to leave the rest of your belongings in the car or somewhere covered while you get the tent up. You don’t want to be taking wet gear inside your tent.

6. Pack the right clothes

Pack quick drying clothes, waterproof jackets, waterproof trousers and a good pair of wellies or waterproof boots. Being dressed appropriately for the weather is what makes the biggest difference. Noone enjoys sitting in wet clothes for a weekend away! Take as many pairs of socks as you can pack, you won’t regret it.

Don your wellies for wet weather camping

Click here for our tips on how to stay warm when camping

7. Take lots of plastic bags

Use these to keep your wet gear away from everything dry. These can also be used to keep firewood dry! 

8. Keep your firewood dry

You’ll need your campfire for heat and for cooking so this is a very important step to camping in the rain. Use plastic bags, tarps, or anything you have to keep your wood dry. You’ll have a very hard time trying to light a campfire with wet wood.

9. Choose easy camping food

You don’t want to be cooking campfire meals that take a lot of prep when the rain is pouring. Pre-make a meal before you leave for your camping trip and you’ll only need to heat it up. Otherwise, choose something simple to make.

Click here for some easy camping recipes

10. Take newspaper

This can be used in your wet walking shoes to speed up the drying process. Also a great way to help get the fire started, which really will be welcome if it is pouring down.

11. Do not keep wet things inside the tent

This will just lead to a damp tent and condensation. Keep wet things in your porch and get out of wet gear before entering your tent.

12. Ventilation

Open vents where possible to keep fresh air circulating. If you get a break in the rain, think about opening the tent up fully for a short while to air it out. It’ll help to stop any damp and get rid of musty smells.

13. Don’t forget entertainment

It can be a worry that you’ll get bored and just sit inside your tent if you’re camping in the rain, but it doesn’t have to be this way! Make sure to pack your favourite games and don’t let the rain keep you inside.

Games and activties for camping

Photo Credit: Kari Bis

Click here to read our ideas for rainy day activities

14. Most importantly, enjoy it

Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits! Make the most of the moody views, the quiet forest and splashing in muddy puddles!


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