Rain happens even when you have checked the forecast beforehand. Well, the weatherman you think is always spot on is not always right. When you walk by a campsite to see that the ground under your feet is squelchy, and grey clouds are gathering, here are some things you can do to survive your camping trip without ruining it.
1. If It Is About to Rain
Your first instinct should be a move towards higher ground. If you have never set camp in a place where it has rained before, you should know you might be in the flood zone.
To counter this, you must choose a ground for camping that is a little elevated and is not directly next to a lake or river. What is even better is that even when your tent is facing the morning sun, you will find it easier to get out from your sleeping bag on rainy mornings.
One of the most common mistakes people make is that they camp under a tree, assuming it offers a sense of shelter. It does not. Trees are actually dangerous to camp under, the branches can break and fall right over your tent during a storm or if the wind picks up a little. And if it is only drizzling, the water from the tree still keeps dripping over your campsite which can be annoying.
2. Camping Under a Canopy
People often find themselves swamped in darkness when their campsite is under a tree canopy and it rains. Do not let this ruin your adventure. You can spruce up the mood with a little DIY magic.
It helps if you pack string lights with you. You can drape these around the campsite, you can also light candles that look like they are flickering in broken glasses or glass jars, also pack flashlights and lanterns for the campsite too. But this is not all you will need. Get extra batteries and make sure that these are lithium batteries so they won’t let you down in the cold.
Another handy tip for the dark is using reflective tape. If you think you will take a walk and might not return before dark, use these to trace your step back when it gets dark or starts raining.
3. Don’t Retreat to Your Tent at First Drip
If the people who are sharing the campsite with you go back to their tents and you have had no fun on the trip, do not hesitate to make a makeshift outdoor area that protects you from the rain. All you will need is a tarp for this. If you have packed extra tarp that goes on the ground, set it up as a roof, and park your camping chairs under it.
Before you go ahead and execute this, you should learn how tarp works. You would want to go for the green and blue tarp. These are good enough for you not to just hang out but cook and dine under as well. You should also consider setting up a tarp layer on top of the tent for an extra layer of protection. If you do choose to go with this, set up a large tarp roof with enough margin around the tent to give you dry space to change clothes without getting wet. With this hack, ambient lights, the brews you packed, and a few cool games your evening is saved.
4. The Right Gear for the Rain
You will definitely want to invest in a waterproof backpack to keep your gadgets safe, but that’s not all. The 3 essentials you need are boots, pants, and jackets. The rain poncho is also an economical and popular choice for you. Make sure you pack towels on hand so you can mop up any water that might try to get into your tent. You should also avoid using cotton clothing, which loses all of its insulating qualities when damp. You want rain pants and gaiters to get you through hiking when it is damp post rainfall.
If you are a digital nomad who loves to travel all year round, do not forget to wrap everything you own in plastic bags. The best way around it is to use garbage bags which work wonders as a lining on the inside of duffels and backpacks. Large freezer bags are excellent for protecting gadgets and for organizing your clothes, toiletries as well.
5. When You Are Tired and Wet from the Rain
Before you dump your damp clothes in a corner and sleep, think about something worse than rain. You would have to deal with mildew when you wake up in the morning! The tarp you hang over your tent should provide enough space for you to hang a short line where you can hang your clothes. Without having to worry about wet apparel in the morning, is the right way to camp. Otherwise, you will be too bothered by it.
6. Protect Your Bedding Even If It’s Not Raining Yet
When you set up camp for the first time, you should insulate the ground too. Get a bivy bag to guard the sleeping bag against getting damp. Another great thing about it is that it retains heat too. Another tip is to get two sleeping bags, which helps keep you warm. If you can find a synthetic bag, that’s great too for insulating the warmth.
7. Keeping Everything Warm
If you are afraid that it would get too cold for you to be able to clean your hands or the water might freeze, a cool trick is to keep all your water bottles upside down since water freezes from the top. This way when you wake up in the morning, it would have frozen from the bottom of the bottle. Stuff some of your leg warmers in your boots so that when you wake up in the morning, you can feel cozy and after breakfast take a walk to keep your body warm.