how to cope camping when raining - Bubbablue and me

Ultimate camping in the rain hacks – how to cope

About: Camping in the rain hacks for when you want to make the most of the wet weather

No-one really wants to go camping in the rain but sometimes there’s no choice. You have to have fingers crossed in the hope it’s only a day or drizzle and that the sun will come back. But rain can put a dampner on a holiday for the parents at least. There are things you can do to avoid getting washed out, and to make the most of it.

Camping in the rain hacks and how to cope - Bubbablue and me

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Camping in the rain hacks and tips

My top tip for coping with wet weather camping is to go with friends. It’s much more cheery and encouraging if you can all give each other a boost, and you can help each other out with tents.

Setting up camp

1, Know how to put up your tent fast

Before you go, practise if it’s your first time. You need to ensure the outer goes up first (or have an all in one pitching tent which makes it even easier). I usually use a footprint (or a huge groundsheet*) to go underneath to help protect the bottom of the tent, but in the rain you need to get that up super quick and the tent on top before the footprint gets wet. Lots of people help

2, Wear as little clothes as possible

If it’s warm, shorts, t-shirt, waterproof coat, and flip flops. Especially if the campsite has no drying facilities, you don’t want to get too many clothes wet straight away.

3, Keep everything in the car until you need to move it

There’s no point moving everything into the tent when you don’t need to get it wet

4, Choose your timing

If there’s going to be a break in the weather, wait for it. Some tents can go up in less than 20 minutes, especially if there’s a few of you helping.

Once set up

5, Keep everything away from the tent walls

6, If worried about leaks, store clothes in plastic bags

7, Have plenty of towels

Just in case of leaks. Our tent is great, but this year it was so windy and wet, the rain was dripping through via two of the wooden toggles which roll up the window covers were. Thankfully not for too long and only a little, but lots of good tents, do sometimes have leaking issues. You can waterproof the tent when you get home.

8, Ensure you have plenty of rainy day activities

Having plenty of camping activities helps get through bad weather. Games for kids and the family, crafting stuff and music all go down well.

9, Have a tent with a porch to avoid bringing the rain in

Or if not, try setting up a tarp and king pole over the front door. A door mat just inside is also helpful for leaving wet shoes on.

10, Have a gazebo or event shelter

Bear in mind most campsites charge extra for additions to tent, and watch out for wind with gazebos, but they’re definitely worth having for cooking under. Just have a windbreak or sides to help shelter you. As we camp with friends, we use the gazebo as a central point for eating but they’re certainly great for coming together to cheer everyone up when the rain doesn’t look like stopping.

11, Plan rainy day activities off the campsite.

We match rain with other water, and tend to head for the nearest leisure centre or splash centre so the kids can enjoy a swim. The cinema, bowling or other similar activities are a great idea, if you want to stay dry. If you don’t mind the rain, then find places like National Trust or other local attractions with indoor and outdoor options.

rainy evening camping
Enjoying camping despite the rain

Striking camp

12, Plan your exit

If you know there’s going to be a break in the weather, plan for taking the tent down at that point. Weather apps are your friend! We tend to spend the previous evening getting as much as possible packed into the car, leaving only sleeping and breakfast things out to use. Then it was 30 minutes to get everything else packed and into the car in the morning in the dry slot.

13, Have a bin bag as an emergency tent bag

It’s always harder to pack away wet tents, so if you can’t get it back in the proper tent bag, just use a bin bag until you can get it home, reset up the tent to dry it , and repack it properly.

Wet weather camping isn’t as fun as in the sun, but kids generally don’t feel it as much as us grown-ups. Ours are usually happy to still play outside and mooch around between tents, but don’t stick it out if you don’t want to. Cooking is the hardest thing so make sure you have some kind of shelter to cook behind without being at risk of setting it alight or gassing yourself in the tent. But if you can get through a camping trip in the rain, anything else is easy.

Also, check out my storm protection for tents post.

What would you add to my camping in the rain hacks?

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