Camping is considered, by some, to be a year-round activity. However, the outdoors can be an unpredictable place, and unexpected weather can occur, but don’t let that stop you if you’ve got the outdoor bug. A few useful tips can make camping in the rain a fun, exciting experience, rather than a dreary one.
Be selective about camping locations during a strong rain or thunderstorm. Remember that lightning often accompanies these storms, so stay away from water, which conducts electricity, and also avoid high elevations. When hiking during a shower, be careful about the footing of the terrain. Even gentle slopes can quickly become slippery. In addition, stay away from loose boulders or dirt that could slide, and also avoid large tree branches that may break and come crashing down.
Whenever rain is a possibility, bring both a ground cover and a tent fly. A ground cover, such as a tarp, is used either under the tent or inside the tent, to line the bottom. The ground cover should be waterproof and will help to keep moisture from seeping into the tent. A tent fly is a tented piece of waterproof fabric that’s hung over the tent itself. The tent fly whisks water away from the tent, helping campers stay dry. It wouldn’t hurt to pack an extra large tarp to reinforce the rain fly in case things start getting really soggy.
Another thing to bring when there’s a possibility of camping in the rain is several plastic bags. During rainy weather, important paper materials, food, clothing and electronic gear can be easily damaged. Wrapping packs or other important items in plastic bags, such as grocery bags, garbage bags or sandwich bags, can prevent this problem.
Always keep fire materials dry and ready to use after the rain has stopped. During a shower, it’s easy to forget that all the wood in the area is getting wet, and will no longer burn readily. Keep a pile of wood in a dry area, or wrap it in a plastic bag or tarp to keep out moisture. In addition, carry dry fire starter materials, such as paper or tinder.If gear or clothing does get wet during a rainstorm, dry everything out as soon as possible. This will help to prevent mildew, and will also make the rest of the camping trip more enjoyable. If clothing becomes wet, remove it immediately and wrap up in dry clothes or blankets. Hypothermia can be a real danger in cold, rainy weather, but the proper precautions can help to prevent this.