Tips for Camping in the Rain - Panergy
Rain is an unfortunate part of camping. Even if you've been out on a hundred trips, you'll always groan to yourself when you see dark clouds rolling in, but you don't have to call off your trip just because of a little precipitation.
Of course, you should avoid rain if you can. Check the weather forecast before you plan your trip and know whether you're camping during your area's rainy season. You might still run into rain, of course, but you'll minimize your chances of a wet trip.
With that being said, here are a few important tips that will keep you dry and comfortable when camping in the rain.
BRING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Camping is all about preparation. If you don't plan for the rain, you're asking for trouble.
Make sure to buy a good tent that seals completely. Look for waterproof materials and test your tent in your backyard with your garden hose. If you know your tent's strengths and weaknesses, you'll be better prepared when you need to keep water from coming in.
You'll need a separate dry area for cooking and other camping activities, so bring a cheap tarp or canvas made from water-resistant materials along with high posts. Be ready to build a roof; tarpaulin sheets work well for this purpose.
You'll also need a stove, since cooking by campfire is pretty much out of the question during a thunderstorm. Never cook inside your tent. This can cause a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.
Bring dry newspaper, starter logs and wood in case you need to start a campfire after the storm. Check with your campsite to make sure that you can legally bring in your own wood. Some state parks forbid this practice to protect the local ecosystem from bugs that might be hiding in your logs.
WATERPROOFING TAKES ONLY A FEW MINUTES
If you've got the right materials, you can waterproof just about everything that you bring with you.
All you'll need is a bunch of plastic bags and tubs. At the first sign of rain, protect anything that isn't waterproof by bagging it or storing it. If anything gets wet, give it plenty of room to dry out. Keep sensitive electronics in your tent, but not on the floor. Never assume that your tent is 100 percent waterproof.
CHOOSE A GOOD LOCATION FOR YOUR TENT
Many campers dig ditches around their tents to divert rainwater. This is annoying to other campers, and you can usually get the same effect by choosing a good campsite.
Pitch your tent on a slight slope so that rainwater travels away from you. Look around the site for standing water; if you see any, choose another spot.
You can throw a tarp under your tent to prevent water from coming in from the ground. Put a thick-bristled rug at the entrance of your tent to collect mud and other debris, and always remember to take off your shoes as soon as you step into your tent. Otherwise, you'll need to do a lot of cleaning before you head home.
WEAR RAIN-READY CLOTHING
There's a pretty decent chance that you're wearing cotton or a cotton blend right now. Cotton traps moisture, which is why most high-quality camping equipment is made from polyester blends or other weather-resistant materials.
If you bring cotton clothes, you'll have a soggy trip. Bring socks, pants, shirts and a coat designed for rainy weather.
You can have a lot of fun camping in the rain, but don't take unnecessary risks. If you're caught in a lightning storm, drive to a safe location and wait it out. Don't stand under any tall trees or bundle up in a metal tent. Stay safe and always keep yourself prepared.