8 Tips for Camping in the Rain

it's raining, it's pouring, we're in our cozy tent snoring...


written by and for campers looking to choose their own adventure

Maybe you love falling asleep to the soft pitter patter of raindrops, or maybe you’ve tried every superstitious trick in the book to avoid precipitation on your biggest trip of the year … to no avail.

Whatever the case, we’ve got some tips from our camping pros on how to make the best of that soggy forecast and give even that rain cloud its silver lining.

Get fly

Make sure you know how to properly set up your tent with the rainfly fully attached and guyed out. If you plan to do any camping in sub-par weather, a full coverage rain fly with front/rear vestibules really go a long way in keeping you and your gear dry. With that little extra room for wet shoes or other gear, you’ll spare muddy tracks inside your tent.

If there is any chance of rain, it is always best to have your rainfly on at all times, and if you decide to risk it and sleep without the rainfly…be sure that it’s nearby and ready to go when those midnight raindrops start falling.

Separate wet and dry

Keep a specific spot in your car or in your tent for your wet gear from the day. Pack a tarp or shelter to hang wet gear under.

Have a separate area for your dry gear/clothing. Most importantly, be sure to have a pre-packed dry compartment for your sleeping gear and clothing. A good hack is to pack your sleeping clothes and dry socks in with your sleeping bag. There’s no better feeling than having a dry change of clothes to slip into once you’re cozying up inside your tent.

Pick the right spot for your tent

This is especially important when camping in the rain. Be sure that your tent isn’t in a drainage area, where water will collect. Look for a flat spot where water will drain away from the floor of your tent.

Up your tarp game

Buy a good tarp and learn how to use it. The dry space will do wonders for your sanity when you’re in your 15th hour of straight downpour. Prepare by purchasing some extra accessory cord and YouTube-ing tarp configurations before your trip. A tarp can be the ultimate game-changer when you find yourself camping in the rain.

Channel your inner James Taylor

Get some practice in with making fire in the rain before you’re out in the wilderness. Fire-starters and waterproof matches go a long way. Master your pyro skills with some more help from the Mom Goes Camping blog.

Timing is key

If it’s pouring rain, try to wait to set up your tent. Setting up a tent during heavy rain will cause everything in tarnation to get wet (This is another instance where the tarp can be a game changer!). Set up your tent first thing if the weather is clear when you arrive.

Entertain yourself

Think ahead and bring several games/activities. If you’re stuck in your tent for long downpours because no one else will dance in the rain with you, a deck of cards and a good book will likely save the trip.

Hang gear at home

After you get back home, be sure to hang your gear to dry the same day you get back! Odds are you’re tired, but it’s worth hanging gear immediately so it has time to dry before you put it away for storage. This will prevent mold/mildew and stinky gear on your next trip and helps add longevity to the lifespan of your gear.

Photo courtesy of Tommy Moore on a recent trip to Iceland

How do you live it up in a downpour?

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