CAMPING | Wet Weather Camping Tips – The Ultimate Guide To Camping In The Rain

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Nothing compares to a good weekend camping, and sometimes, all you want to do is hit “skip” on the chaos of everyday life and become one with nature. A campfire, roasted marshmallows and just relaxing as far as possible away from civilization is a great way of relaxing and enhancing your sense of wellbeing, that is, until it starts pouring with rain!

There are two ways in which this can go. You can stay warm and dry inside your tent and still make the most and have a great time, or you can have water leaking in from everywhere leading to a thoroughly miserable time!

Nothing can ruin a camping tent faster than a wet sleeping bag – so it makes sense to prepare properly for adverse weather. If you are planning a camping trip anytime in the future, here’s what you need to keep in mind to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever the weather has to throw at you.

wet weather camping tips

Before You Go

Check the Weather Forecast

One of the smartest things that you can do is to see if it’s going to rain during the days you want to go camping. If the forecast says there is 50% or higher chance of rain – it’s a pretty safe bet that it will rain. If you really hate camping in bad weather or the forecast is particularly bad, you might want to reschedule your trip.

It’s worth remembering though, that rain in the forecast can often mean just occasional rain showers with plenty of brighter periods in between, so don’t be put off entirely by a gloomy forecast!

Buy a Tent with Taped Seams & Good Waterproofing

Make sure that you buy a high-quality tent with a waterproof outer layer, taped seams and don’t choose a single skin tent. Look for a good HH (Hydrostatic Head) rating, anything above 3,000 should keep you perfectly dry in even torrential rain.

A tent with a sewn in ground sheet too is a much safer bet in wet weather, making it far less likely that water will get into your tent, and you might want to go a step further by using a footprint ground sheet or even a tarp hung over your tent for extra protection.

Pack Smart

Camping is nothing like staying at a hotel or B&B. Things like heels, hair dryers and so on will be no use to you, so make sure you pack for the weather you’re going to be camping in.  Pack things that you will actually need like tarps, Ziploc bags or dry bags, waterproof jackets and boots and other equipment designed to keep you and your gear dry.

Ponchos are also a very good option especially for setting up camp in the rain as they will keep you nice and dry. We’d also recommend that you Invest in a good portable stove too, being able to eat tasty hot food or warm up with a hot drink can make a damp camping trip more bearable.

wet weather camping tips

At The Campsite

So, you’re packed and ready to go. You’ve reached your destination and all you have to do is set up your gear. Here’s what you’ll need to do in order make sure your camping experience isn’t a wet and miserable one.

Head For The High Ground To Set Up Camp

If it’s raining, water will obviously start gathering in the lowest “flood zone.” Therefore, to prevent any surprises, you may want to set up camp as high as possible. This way, the water will collect lower than you are, and you won’t risk waking up in a puddle.

Furthermore, you may want to avoid camping too close to a river or a lake. If it starts raining, the volume of the water will increase which could lead to flooding, and you really don’t want to find yourself sharing your tent with fish!

Create  A Communal Outdoor Living Area

If you’re camping with a group of friends, the chances are that the first signs of rain will send each of you running back to your own tents to stay dry, a sure-fire way to kill the communal camping vibe! A large tent with a living area is great, but if you all have small tents, why not create a communal area that will also protect you from the elements?

For car campers, taking along a Gazebo or event shelter is a great idea, whilst for backpackers and those camping light, tarps make a good choice for creating a communal outdoor living area. Just string one or two over your heads and secure them onto trees. It might not be a bad idea to bring some camping chairs with you as well since they will prevent you from sitting on damp ground.

After that, build a campfire, grab some snacks, a beer or a brew and kick back with a guitar or get playing that Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens game you’ve all been dying to play ever since you got to the campsite.

wet weather camping tips

Break Out the Comfort Food

It’s raining, you’re freezing, and all you have on you are cans of beer or Gin and tonic water. This won’t really do a great job of keeping you warm! Plan ahead and make sure you bring some comfort food along as well.

Nothing compares with a hot chocolate on a chilly rainy day – or if you feel up to the challenge, a campfire curry or stir fry is surprising easy to rustle up. With a bit of planning, cooking and eating well when camping isn’t difficult. Just make sure that you bring food and a suitable stove – and obviously, a tarp or similar to keep the rain off!

Layer Up Smart To Stay Warm & Dry

If you see a storm approaching, now is a good time to ditch the T-shirt and get some clothes on that will stop your teeth from chattering. A good layering system will wick the moisture away from you, helping you to retain your body heat, and keeping your temperature regulated when you are on the go, whilst thermal layers will help to keep you warm when the temperature drops.

Polyester and wool-based base layers (we recommend Merino wool) are always a good choice for camping, along with a good waterproof jacket. Remember that whilst cotton feels nice next to the skin, on a camping trip it will only retain moisture, so cotton is best avoided in rainy weather.

Make sure to pack extra clothing including warm base layers and some wool socks in a dry bag, and ensure you have a waterproof rain poncho or jacket with you. For all your camping essentials you might find discount codes at places like

You’ll experience sheer joy if you’re able to change into warm, dry clothes after being soaked in the rain!

Insulate the Ground To Sleep Snugly

When you’re camping, there are three things that you are definitely not allowed to forget: the tent (pegs, poles and mallet too!), your sleeping bag, and ground insulation. From an inflatable mattress to sleeping pads or SIMs, it’s crucial to ensure there is a barrier between your sleeping bag and the floor to help keep you snug on your camping trip.

If you are car camping and space is not an issue, you might also want to consider taking with you a tent carpet or some rugs to add a further layer of insulation to your tent. Find more tips relating to how to stay warm when camping.

Final Thoughts On Wet Weather Camping

If there’s one thing that we know about nature, it’s that you can never predict what’s going to happen! The sky might be clear now but an hour later it could be pouring with rain – an unexpected downpour can happen any time.

So, even if it’s beautiful and dry outside, you need to prepare yourself for the worst that the weather can throw at you. Even if the weather forecast predicts sunshine and clear skies, it’s still a good idea to ensure you are prepared for sudden downpours on your camping trip.

With a decent tent, a good choice of pitch, warm food and extra clothing you’ll be able to make the most of your camping trip whatever the weather!

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Plus Voucher Code. You can find out more about our sponsored post policy here.