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11 Tips for Camping in the Rain



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A downpour can be a bummer during a camping trip. However, with these informed tips on camping in the rain, you will not have to pack up and leave yet.

RELATED: Camping Essentials For A Fun And Safe Camping Trip 

11 Sure-Fire Tips for Camping in the Rain

1. Layer Up

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A well-layered system of the right camping rain gear will help you regulate your core body temperature by wicking moisture when you are active and retaining body heat when you're relaxing.

It will therefore help to choose wool or polyester bases and mid-layers under your rain poncho or jacket. This is prim because cotton stays wet, which can lead your body temperature to plummet quickly.

Tip: Remember to pack an extra set of wool socks and base layers in a dry bag for hanging out at your camp as well as sleeping.

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2. Go for Bright Camping Attire

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Wearing bright colors ensures that you are not mistaken for a waterfowl or deer, which is likely if hunting happens near your camping grounds, and it is during the rainy season. Your urban color scheme will not bring out your eyes or make you visible outdoors, especially during a drizzle.

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3. Find the Right Spot for Your Tent

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Similarly, it is paramount to choose a campsite on an elevated ground not next to a lake or river. The last thing you want is to wake up to several inches of water after a downpour. What's more, being on elevated ground removes you from the path of flash floods that may occur.

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Note: Never set up camp under a tree. It is because water will continue dripping long after the rain is finished. Also, the wet and weak branches can easily injure you when blown off by wind at night.

4. Pack a Bivy Sack

Adding a bivy sack to your sleeping bag is a sure way to stay warm when camping in the rain. The extra layer of insulation will help retain your body temperature by protecting your sleeping bag from moisture.

Besides having an extra bivy bag, having a sleeping pad will also add to the insulation, keeping you warm.

Note: Ensure that you keep your face exposed as breathing into the sleeping bag can cause the down insulation to get wet and, therefore, underperform.

Tip: Synthetic sleeping bags will, however, insulate even when wet.

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5. Light up the Camp

Photo of tent at near trees | Tips to Help You Camp in the Rain

Lights are an excellent way to boost the ambiance under a tree canopy or tarp. Therefore, pack some LED string lights to drape around your campsite. Similarly, consider bringing along some candles, flashlights, and a good camping lantern.

Note: Remember to pack plenty of lithium batteries as they are extra-reliable, especially during cold weather.

Tip: Attaching reflectors to trees near your campsite will help you find your way back to camp should you return in the dark.

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RELATED: Survival Life’s Camping Checklist for 2021

6. Eat Up

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A large part of staying warm when camping in the rain is taking in as many calories as you can. The human body needs enough energy to preserve its core temperature. As a result, hot cocoa and any dutch oven recipes you may have will go a long way. You can throw in some veggies but be sure to prepare before heading out to camp.

Tip: Aztec hot cocoa with chili will also go a long way in maintaining your body temperature.

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7. Make an Outdoor Living Room

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Rain doesn't have to make your camping expedition boring. You can still have fun by extending your time outdoors. Create an outdoor living room by stringing together at least two traps overhead and one on the ground. Next, set up your camping chairs, tables, lights, snacks, and brews before getting some games and music going.

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8. Warm You Clothes

Nothing beats chilly mornings than having some warm clothes to wear. To do this, pack your tomorrow's clothes in a small breathable bag and stash it into your sleeping bag, so it stays warm next to your body overnight. This way, you will have yourself pre-heated clothes to wear in the morning.

9. Hang Wet Clothes

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You might be tempted to dump your wet clothes in a corner, but it will be much more helpful if you hang them out to dry. String a clothesline under your tent's vestibule or a tarp and hang any wet clothes to dry. Even if you are not planning on wearing them again, you will not have damp clothes smelling like mildew.

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10. Flip Your Water Bottle

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Nobody wants to wake up to a frozen water bottle. To avoid this, flip your water bottle upside down when going to sleep. This will help because usually, water freezes from the top, and in this case, the bottom end of the water bottle will freeze first, leaving you a few sips for the morning.

Tip: Do this every time you sleep because you might be too sleepy to notice the temperatures falling below freezing.

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11. Pack a Pair of Gaiters

Man walking on rocky terrain | Tips to Help You Camp in the Rain

Without rocking a pair of rain pants or gaiters to complement your regular pants, you risk wetting your camping gear or, even worse, having it soaked. Gaiters will therefore help keep you and your clothes dry.

Watch this video by Outdoor Boys on cold weather camping tips – taking beginners camping with kids:

Being outdoorsy requires you to have the know-how to survive in nature and make the most of any situation you find yourself in. Luckily, these tips add to that wisdom and thereby make your camping in the rain a little more fun and bearable. Have fun camping!

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Do you have other tips you can share with us? Let us know in the comment section below!

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  1. Owen King

    July 15, 2021 at 1:18 PM

    Rain camping – Grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and there was no other kind of camping.
    Always carry a tarp and rope.
    I use a hammock with a tarp a foot or 3 over it. Keeps me off the wet ground. If there happens to be minor flooding, I am above it. Hang pack and boots, preferably under the tarp.
    DON’T USE DOWN – gets wet, gets heavy, gets cold. Wiggys sleeping bags are the best that I have found, particularly for cold or wet weather.
    Hot food.

    Those are what gets me through the wet.

  2. Jerry Riddle

    July 16, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    Make wet proof matches by melting wax and dip the match head into the wax.

  3. Tim

    October 12, 2021 at 10:09 AM

    Learn your weather patterns, which direction does the storm usually blow in from, direction of travel. Set up camp downwind side of stand of tall trees, will block most of the rain, but won’t drip on you. Best way is watch forecast before leaving. Know cloud formations, it’s not that hard. Prepare for rain before it starts. Here’s the biggest tip, carry 2 self striking road flares wrapped in 2 layers of freezer zip lock bags. The worst thing you can do in the wilderness is get soaked and not be able to start a fire. A road flare will burn long enough to dry out tinder and kindling to get a fire going. Be smart, be prepared, get out alive.

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