Wet Weather Camping Tips
Camping is great. Camping in dry weather is best – but there will undoubtedly be a time when you find yourself far from home, under canvas, and the heavens open. So do you pack up and head for home? Or stay and rough it out, despite the less-than-favorable weather? Read on for some of our top tips for coping when camping in the rain.
1: Ensure your equipment can handle it
You get what you pay for – so invest in a decent tent or campervan awning. Ideally, one with a sewn in groundsheet and also a footprint groundsheet underneath. This will prevent the underside of your tent getting muddy, and also stop draughts and water from creeping under the edges of your tent.
It’s also important to get a tent with a great Hydrostatic Head. HH is the measurement for waterproof capability. The higher the number, the better waterproof the tent. So, a tent with a rating of 5000HH will keep you far drier than one of 2000, for example.
A tent with a canopy over the door will help you to stay dry when getting in and out, too. Or a tent with more than one door, so you can choose the side facing away from the wind and rain to use as your entrance and exit. It will help to prevent a splash of water landing on both you and the entrance to your tent when you unzip the door.
2: Be Prepared
If there’s rain forecast (or even if there isn’t, lets face it it’s the UK) make sure you take some equipment to make your life easier if the heavens do open. Prior to setting off, check your equipment for any damage, and repair and maintain where necessary. Most tents require a coat of waterproofing every 4 years or so depending on use. Some seam sealant, tenacious tape, spare towels, a spare tarpaulin, and a lidded plastic storage box will all help to make things a little bit more comfortable. If you end up with a leak or a tear, the seam sealant or tenacious tape will help, the spare towels and tarp can mop up excess water from the tent entrance and create a porch area if you don’t have an extension. A lidded plastic storage box means you can leave your wet footwear outside without it making the interior of your living space wet and dirty.
Tent carpets are a handy way of stopping the inside of your tent getting too damp and mucky as well. Many tents have a carpet specifically for the make and model available. A door mat in the entrance will also help.
3: There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing
Don’t end up with lots of wet clothes hanging in your tent – there’s no need! Just wear the right gear to stop you getting wet in the first place. Waterproof trousers, jacket and wellies for everyone – and your under-layer should stay dry. They pack up small for storage, and will dry more quickly than wet fabric layers.
Condensation builds faster in wet weather so you could end up with double trouble with rain plus condensation. To minimise this, be sure to utilise all the ventilation on your tent – open the vents, open the doors whenever the rain stops, try to dry any wet clothes outside in between showers, or at the campsite facilities. Keeping things as dry as possible will mean that the rest of your stuff stays drier, and you, more comfortable.
5: Packing Down
Packing down in the rain is hard. Get everything inside packed up first, obviously, and use black bags to keep all the wet enclosed. You’ll without a doubt need to pitch and dry your tent thoroughly at home, so fold it down as best you can and then when home, put it back up, wipe off any mud with warm soapy water, and dry very well before folding down and putting away for next time.