Rain happens. But there’s no need to let it ruin your camping experience. Here are a few tips for staying happy and dry when the liquid sunshine starts falling from the sky.
1. Choose the Right Site for Your Tent
Avoid pitching your tent on slopes, on soft ground or in depressions. Keep an eye out for areas that look like they’ve flooded in the past. Don’t set your tent up in these spots unless you are angling for a free bath once the heavens open.
2. Learn the Art of the Tarp
The good old blue or green tarp is a trusted workhorse of the Northwest camper’s kit. And for good reason. A well-pitched tarp can help keep common areas dry for cooking, dining and hanging out. Pitching a tarp over a picnic table is a popular option for soggy-weather camping.
Some campers like to pitch tarps over their tents for an added layer of rain protection. A large tarpaulin “roof” over your tent can also create a buffer zone of semi-dry space that can be useful for changing out of wet clothes or storing gear.
3. Plastic Bags to the Rescue
Bag everything for peace of mind. Garbage bags work well for lining the inside of backpacks and duffels to keep their contents dry. Large-volume freezer bags are handy for organizing clothing and soluble sundries.
4. Pack the Right Gear
You’ll want to bring rain jackets, pants and boots. The rain poncho is a popular and economical choice for heavy-duty rain repellency. Keep pack towels on hand to mop up any water that might sneak into your tent. And of course, avoid wearing cotton clothing, since it quickly loses its insulation properties when wet.
5. Keep the Inside of Your Tent Dry
Remove outerwear and shoes before diving into the warm, dry digs of your tent. Placing soaked items in a covered vestibule or dry sack before stepping inside spares your sleeping bag and dry clothes from the wrath of rain. Always dry out wet tents and gear before storing to keep mold and mildew at bay.