A bit of rain can certainly put a dampener on any camping trip, pardon the pun… But, there is no reason to cancel your plans or pack up when a bit of bad weather blows in if you are adequately prepared before you head out and pitch your tent.
Location, location, location
You know the saying – location, location, location. It is critical that on every camping trip, you think through where you are pitching your tent, even if the skies are clear. It is important that you consider where water will run in a downpour and avoid being close to a slope. It is an easy mistake to forget to look for an indentation near your tent that could collect the water running off your tent.
In some locations it can be difficult, but if possible, avoid being under a tree. When the rain stops, and water starts to drip from the branches above, it will dry you insane as you try to get some shut eye. It is also a good idea to avoid trees in case a storm causes falling branches.
Always pack wet weather gear, even if the forecast is clear, because if the weather turns, you will thank yourself later! Umbrellas are not particularly useful, as you cannot be hands-free, so we would recommend packing raincoats or ponchos, and waterproof shoes. Plastic bags or dry sacks are also a great thing to pack, as they will allow you to keep items that you do not want to store in your tent dry.
Don’t forget to vent your tent – as it gets wet and cold, your tent will condense on the inside, and who wants that?
Bring a tarp
There is nothing worse than being stuck in your tent as it pours down, so a great alternative is to string up a tarp between four trees and create an outdoor shelter. It can also be a great idea to set up a makeshift close-line underneath, so that you can hang up all your wet clothes.
Test out your tent…
If you have never camped in wet conditions before, and the weather is looking nasty, then a great thing to do is test your tent out at home. Set it up in your garden and spray it with the hose. Do it a few days before you leave on your trip, so you have time to make alternative arrangements if your tent does not hold up.
Written by Kate Nutting