11 Best Camping In The Rain Hacks

Nothing is more frustrating than getting stuck in the rain on a camping trip unprepared. Instead of embracing failure, learn from our mistakes and make the most out of your rainy outdoor experience. We promise that with a few simple hacks, your wet weekend will still be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

camping in the rain

1. Select The Proper Campsite

    • Picking a safe place for camp is especially important during times of rain. Do not pick a spot in low lying areas that could flood such as land bordering rivers or creek beds.  If the ground is already pooling water, it will only get worse.
    • Stay away from unstable, dead, and dying trees. Check over head for suspect branches that could come loose. Avoid camping near trees that aren’t living or look like they will fall over.

2. Bring A Double-Walled Tent

    • Single-walled tents are garbage. They offer protection during sunny days but during heavy storms, when you need shelter the most, they leak and pool water. The single-wall construction prevents moisture from escaping, allowing it to condence on the interior, dripping back onto your sleeping bag
    • When it comes to selecting a rain-ready tent, skip the ultralight mentality and go for something a little more heavy-duty. The added weight is negligible compared to the added utility.

3. Dry Bags

Paddle Idaho Dry Bag

    • Always store all electronics and anything else that you’d like to keep dry, in a dry bag. Roll the bag at least 3-times to keep moisture out.
    • I keep my down sleeping bag in a dry bag at all times. You never know when a rainstorm will hit, and if your sleeping bag is down it will be rendered useless if it gets wet. The last thing you want on an overnight trip is to be wet and cold. 

4. Water Repellent Spray

    • Coat your tent seams and outer rainfly with a water repellent spray before taking it in the backcountry. This is useful on tents, your backpack, shoes, and any outer layer gear.

5. Keep Dry Wool Socks

    • One of our favorite camping hacks is to have a pair of thick wool socks that are never worn outside of the tent. These are kept inside of a dry bag and are only worn at night when you are ready for bed. Having warm, dry socks on a camping trip – especially when it is wet and cold outside – is a comfort that words do little justice.

6. Waterproof Headlamp

    • Having a headlamp is an essential piece of gear on an overnight trip. Spending a few extra dollars to ensure some level of water resistance is worth every penny. Should you find yourself in a storm struggling to set up a tent, you’ll be thankful for the precipitation resistant illumination.

7. Rain Jacket

    • An essential piece of gear for any hike, you never know when you’ll be caught in the rain. A rain jacket also doubles as a windbreaker or even pajamas!  That additional layer will keep cold nights away. 

8. Rain Skirt

    • Forget rain pants, I absolutely swear by the rain skirt. These provide adequate waterproof coverage from the waist to the knee, and still allow airflow to the areas at high risk for chafing. Stay dry while keeping the important bits and pieces well ventilated.

9. Embrace The Wetness

    • No matter how much gear you have, and how much you plan and prepare, you need to understand that if you are camping in the rain,  you will get wet. And that’s ok. It’s not the end of the world, and if you follow these camping hacks, you will make it through the night. Wet feet aren’t that bad, as long as your sleeping bag and tent are dry, everything else is just part of the experience.

10. Stay Warm

    • When camping overnight in the rain, it is especially important to stay warm. Do not sleep in wet clothing. If you do not have dry clothing, sleeping naked in your dry sleeping bag, with your dry wool socks, and that should get you through the night. 
    • Make a campfire if need be. If you know a storm is coming, start the fire before all the surrounding wood becomes wet. Once the fire is going, it is easier to keep it going than to start one with wet fuel. 

11. Air Out Your Gear

    • Every chance you get, air out your gear. If you can catch some rays of the sun, even better. Not only will this practice dry your stuff but it will also make it many times lighter to carry. The amount of weight bound up in water is immense.
    • Having paracord on hand makes it easy to string up a line and drape items over it. Absent a cord, small trees or bushes also work to keep the item off the ground and allow for airflow, which is necessary for the drying process.

Wild West Trail’s Camping In The Rain Hacks

Weather happens. Rain happens. But camping memories last forever. Don’t let your weekend get ruined because of a little rain. All it takes is some preparation. Get out there and don’t be afraid to get a little wet!

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