With the weather in many parts of the country being so unpredictable this year during typical camping season we thought we would share some of our favorite tips for making camping in the rain a little less miserable.
Tip #1 Waterproof!
If your gear says it is “water-resistant” that means it can usually shrug off a light shower. But that gear is not going to hold up in an actual rainstorm or through days of continuous drizzle.
So before you go camping, make sure tent is free of holes, and that all of the seams have been sealed. Be skeptical of “pre-sealed” seams – they can leak. If rain is possible in the forecast, make sure your tent, your jacket and boots are waterproof and not merely water-resistant.
Tip #2 Bring extra tarps and cordage
If rain is in the forecast or the ground is still wait from previous rainfall you are going to want to put a tarp under your tent, one on the floor of your tent and one strung up above your tent. You can also string up a tarp to keep rain or sun off a gathering or food prep spot. And you can use one to keep your firewood dry.
Tip #3 Choose the right campsite
One of the first things that you need to do when you get to the campsite is to find a suitable location to pitch your tent. While it may be tempting to camp by the lake, a better choice is to look for higher ground. Water runs downhill, so setting up your tent on an elevated area is ideal. Flat ground will be more comfortable to sleep on and to balance your gear on, but puddles have a harder time forming on sloped ground, so a slightly sloped surface is ideal.
The slope does not need to be much but just enough so that the water will run around your tent through the trench you dug. Additionally, camping under trees is a good idea. They offer an added layer of cover as well as give you the ability to hang a tarp over your tent.
Tip #4 Pack in zip lock bags, dry bags or even trash bags
This keeps your clothing and other personal items like pillows or sleeping bags from getting wet if it starts to rain before camp is set up. It also keeps your food dry.
Large trash bags can also be pressed into service as a makeshift rain poncho if you are caught unaware of impending rain.
Tip #5 Change Clothes Before Bed
Changing into dry clothes before bed is something you should do every night. You don’t want to go to bed in wet or sweaty clothes.
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