If you pack the right gear and are prepped with know-how, camping in the rain can be a fun way to test your equipment and disaster preparedness skills.
The Survival Benefits of Camping in the Rain
Get Started with Your Rain Camping
Whoever said the rain has to spoil your outdoor adventure? Camping in a rainstorm can teach you how to pack smartly and lightly, how to use your resources in the wilderness, and how to maintain a fire in the rain. It can also teach you how to implement safety precautions and think wisely. Here are some camping in the rain tips to get you started:
1. Rain Gear Checklist
If you are not packed for a potential wet weather, it is best to head home. Talk about a buzz killer. Here are a few items to keep in mind while packing for rainy weather, which we will go over throughout the article:
- Nylon clothing
- Extra socks
- Synthetic sleeping bag
- Steep dryer basket (to contain the fire)
- Plastic bags
- 5-gallon buckets
- Hiking stick
- Waterproof Hiking Pants
Packing in plastic is essential. Always pack your rainy day camping meals and belongings in waterproof, plastic containers. Trash bags and Ziploc are great, inexpensive options and take up hardly any room in your bag. Food and camping essentials can be packed in 5-gallon buckets. Bring extra plastic bags, just in case!
3. Tarp Shelters
First, post up your campsite on high ground to avoid running and groundwater. If you don’t have a dining fly, use tarps to create small tarp shelters around the campsite. This will allow you to move around and not stay cooped up in your tent. Pitch a tarp over a picnic table, which creates both a place to dine and to play games.
Be sure to store firewood in a dry spot where it is protected from the rain. As a precaution, also bring fire starters in case your firewood gets wet. A newspaper is a great option, which also makes for good reading material.
Don’t forget, just because it is raining does not mean your fire will not spread. You still need to keep your fire contained! Check out our article on how to build and maintain a fire.
5. Rainwater Collection
Use this as an opportunity to practice your primitive rainwater collection skills. Place a bottle or clean, empty container under an exposed area under the sky to catch water directly as it falls. Although it is not the worst thing in the world, try not to collect water from a tree or dripping from rocks unless you have a filtration system. It is also never a bad idea to filter rainwater directly from the sky.
6. Hiking Smart
If you plan to go backpacking or hiking, be sure to watch the ground you walk on. Wet rocks can be very slick, especially when covered in moss or fungi. Make sure the weight in your backpack is distributed well, which will help you keep your balance. Hiking sticks are a great idea in this situation!
You also need to be cautious about lightning. You are a moving lightning rod! Lightning can strike from miles away, so you can never be too careful.
7. Camping Hammock
Sleeping in a hammock above ground with a tarp cover can help keep you from getting wet on the ground, reducing your risk of hypothermia. See our favorite camping hammock here!
8. Surviving Hypothermia
If your body temperature drops below 95 degrees, you are at risk of hypothermia. Some symptoms of this may include pale skin, slurred speech, shivers, impaired judgment, and frostbite.
If you use these tips you’ll be resting easy, even when a storm is raging outside your tent. Put your skills and know-how to the test with some rain-proof camping.
Watch this video about surviving hypothermia by Discovery:
Camping in the rain is just basic in an emergency situation. You have to be ready for anything and that includes setting up a dry camp even when it really pours. Just remember to waterproof your camping essentials, know how to put up a campfire, and maintain your shelter to keep you warm.
Got any more brilliant ideas and tips for camping in the rain? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: How to Survive in the Swamp
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 3, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.