7 Tips for Camping in the Rain

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Hey there campers welcome to my post where we will check out my 7 tips for camping in the rain this year. Our perfect day of camping is when the sun is up along with clear skies allowing us to enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer. But camping in the rain can also be memorable and enjoyable.

Rain happens, even if the forecast tells otherwise, so we have to deal with it at some point. The key here however is to know the right camping hacks, all of course with the end game of keeping us dry.

So let’s dust of the umbrella and have check them all out.

Tips for camping in the rain

As above, regardless of how many times you check the weather forecast, if you camp long enough you are going to spend some time doing it in the rain.  So to help you out, here are my 7 tips to make things just that little more comfortable:

1. Know the day’s forecast

Now I know that we have just said that the forecast is not always accurate, but it is still the first step that you have to take in order to take advantage of dry weather as you camp. In the days leading up to your trip, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast for the area where you’ll be camping.

Check back frequently because the forecast may have changed since your last visit, especially if you are planning to camp in mountain areas where the weather is frequently unpredictable. This way you have the opportunity to get everything ready for the wet, or even avoid it all together by postponing your trip.

Oh, and even if the forecast calls for dry days, you should still bring rain gear. 

tips for camping in the rain - tent in rain

2. Pick the right location

When you arrive at the campsite, one of the first things you should do is look for a suitable location to pitch your tent.  While camping near bodies of water may be appealing, higher ground is a better option. Water flows downhill, so setting up your tent on an elevated platform is ideal. 

Flat ground is more comfortable for sleeping and balancing your gear, but puddles form more slowly on sloped ground. That said, the slope you choose only needs to be steep enough to allow water to run around your tent.  If heavy rain is predicted, you can also protect your tent by digging a trench around it to channel the water away from you.

If storms are not predicted, then camping under trees is also a good idea as they provide an additional layer of protection and allow you to hang a tarp over your tent.

3. Bring a tent that can handle rain

There are several excellent rain camping tents available, but choosing the right one can be difficult. It’s also worth noting that no matter how high the quality, there will never be completely rainproof tents. Some tents can withstand much more rain, but proper tent maintenance and waterproofing is also essential.

Here are some tent features to consider that will make a tent rainproof:

  1. You want a tent with two walls, such as an inner section and a waterproof outer flysheet (tent rain cover).
  2. It’s best to look for tents with a Hydrostatic Head of around 2-3,000mm for heavy rain. The Hydrostatic Head is a measurement of the tent’s waterproofness. The greater the value, the better.
  3. In tents, large vestibules (additional areas covered by the flysheet, such as a porch) will allow you to dry items and move around.
  4. Rain will force us to stay inside the tent for extended periods. For this reason, larger tents are advisable to use since they provide more space to change out of wet clothes and relax. If you are doing solo camping, you might want to consider a 2-person tent.

If it is getting cold, you may want to consider some options to warm the tent as well.

tips for camping in the rain - tent under tree

4. Bring plastic bags

At this point, I would recommend big black garbage bags and airtight Ziploc-style bags since they are simple to pack, inexpensive and helpful to keep your pack dry. They can also be used to store wet gear, such as soaked shoes or drenched clothes too.

Firewood is the third application for sizeable black garbage bags. You can put dry firewood inside the bag before a storm allowing you to still make a fire after rain. The Ziploc bags are essential to keep everything else dry such as your fire-starting equipment, food, medicine, electronics and other important items as well.

02/18/2024 09:06 am GMT Lasso Brag

5. Pack your rain gear

For obvious reasons, it’s always a good idea to have some comfortable camping clothing inside the tent and waterproof clothing that you can quickly put on if you’re going in and out. Wear multiple layers rather than just one heavy layer so you can add or remove as needed.

Here are some other items to consider including in your rain gear:

  1. Waterproof jackets
  2. Waterproof pants
  3. Depending on the conditions/trip, you may want to wear waterproof hiking boots, gaiters, gloves etc.
  4. When the call of nature brings you outside, a poncho can come in handy.
  5. Bring a change of clothing and spare socks if your layers become wet.
  6. Avoid wearing cotton and down because they take a long time to dry, whereas synthetics stay warm when wet and dry quickly.

6. Construct an outdoor living or dining room

A good, covered outdoor living and eating area can be a Godsend if the rain is hanging around for any length of time.  This doesn’t have to be a big operation and can be accomplished by draping a tarp or two a branch or poles overhead. A good gazebo is also worth the effort too. 

A tarp over your picnic table will allow you to cook and eat in a dry area and it’s also a great place to hunker down and stay dry. To avoid flapping in the wind, tie your tarp as tightly as possible, and always set up a sloped roof to allow water to run off.

tips for camping in the rain - kids in rain gear

7. Enjoy the rain

And finally, this is the point where I tell you to steer into the skid and embrace the wet.  This step can be achieved by doing some activities that do not require you to walk around the campsite. Here are some suggestions for you:

  1. Play some board games.
  2. Read a book.
  3. Pull out a deck of cards and have fun.
  4. Paint the scenery of nature.
  5. Play some notes using instruments.
  6. Have some small talks with everyone.
  7. Sip some hot brews.
  8. Take a nap.


And there they are, my 7 camping tips for when the rain decides to visit your camping grounds. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences here.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.