General Question

silverfly's avatar

What are some good ways to camp in the rain?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) April 16th, 2010

I have a camping reservation this weekend and there’s nothing but storm icons in the forecast. We’re camping anyway, dammit! But I guess it would help to know of some common things to do to help prevent wetness and mud accumulation.

Have you ever been camping in the rain? What can we do/bring to make the weekend enjoyable despite the impending weather?

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18 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Take a big blue tarp to string over your picnic table at the campsite. Remember to dump any water that collects in the tarp.

Here’s a preview.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Do not set up your camp in the low spot, or on the high spot. Low spot is obvious, high spot could attract lightning. Cover your fire wood with a tarp, And keep your tinder in a dry spot.

rooeytoo's avatar

We have a big tarp we put up over the tent and it extends out to make a large covered area beyond the tent itself. We attach it to the roof of the cruiser. @marinelife gives good advice, keep the water off the top of the tarp. You can hang stuff on the side to keep the rain from blowing in. It also helps if you have an extra tarp to put on the ground under the tent and the overhead tarp.

Always take off wet clothes before you enter the tent and keep the tent itself zipped up tight. One of those little battery fans hanging from the ceiling of the tent helps too.

As long as it is warm rain, I don’t mind it, but wow, cold, windy and wet too is not my favorite. But I am a sissy when it comes to cold!

ubersiren's avatar

Worst night ever, camping in the rain. Put tarps under the tent as well as over. Stay on high ground.

trailsillustrated's avatar

mix lots of drinks too

silverfly's avatar

@trailsillustrated For sure! Booze should cancel rain.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Dig a shallow trench around the tent, pile the dirt on the tent side of the trench. This will help keep any runoff out of your tent.

gemiwing's avatar

First step- admit that water will win. You won’t be completely dry no matter what you do.

I set up a tarp under the tend in a ‘bathtub’ configuration, then place another tarp over the top of the tent- big enough to leave a good size overhang.

Beyond that? Enjoy the rain. Get a long and narrow tarp, take some dishwashing soap. Take the tarp and put it on a gently sloping hill. Lather up in dish soap- voila! Adult silp n slide.

jaytkay's avatar

Lots of spare socks.
Wool and synthetics are a lot better than cotton when wet.
Playing cards in case you’re stuck inside.

nebule's avatar


um…nope…plenty of changes of clothes I’d say,... done this a lot!!

always take you’re boots off at the door

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

There are some really good suggestions above ^ for a dry campsite.

You also want to make sure that you will be able to start a fire when conditions are wet. Bring some dry firewood and kindling with you, along with a lighter, flint and knife, and waterproof matches. Hint: Dryer lint lights easily and makes for excellent kindling, so head to a local laundromat and fill up a ziploc freezer bag. Bringing dry fire-starting materials will be a big help, but you should also be prepared to use wet materials.

Every year before camping season, I practice taking wet pieces of wood, whittling them down to the dry material, and starting a fire in the rain. The better you are starting a fire in a practice run, the better you will be if there is an emergency and you need to start a fire quickly. Here is where the waterproof matches come in handy.

Have fun!

silverfly's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Great suggestions! I was planning on gathering wood from a nearby forest, but considering the fact that it’s been raining all week, we may want to bring dry stuff. Thanks.

WestRiverrat's avatar

After you build your fire, set any wet wood you gather near it. Lay two pieces on the ground, just close enough together to hold the next two logs off the ground, perpendicular to the first to logs. Then stack your wood on this crib with about an inch of space between each log. criss crossing each layer. This will let the heat of the fire dry the wood before you put it on the fire.

Don’t cover this with a tarp. Use the tarp to protect any dry wood you have away from the fire.

skfinkel's avatar

It took us years to figure out the tarp thing—but that makes a huge difference. And you can take more than one. Also, camp up high, not on the banks of the scenic river or stream, where the water runs down to…Bring a change of clothes, and extra matches.
You can still have lots of fun doing this, it’s just different.

JeffVader's avatar

I find camping in a 5star hotel can be excellent when its raining….. especially if it has a spa!

Sophief's avatar

@JeffVader I was just going to say camp inside. But 5star hotel is even better.

JeffVader's avatar

@Dibley Hehehe, yeh, thats my favorite type of camping :)

oxenfree's avatar

take your bathing suits, i always wear my bathing suit when it rains cause then when it stops i dont have the clothing i brought with me all soaked. and water shoes if you get the right pair they’re confortable and you don’t have to worry about getting your shoes all wet. keep fire wood dry, we keep ours in the car. tarps and extra towels are definately good.

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