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Surviving a Camping Trip in the Rain

Updated on August 25, 2011

Camping trips are always fun when the sun is shining: families and friends sit around the campfire and tell stories, cook outdoors on the fire pit, go hiking, biking and play games. Yet most people that have ever been camping will have one or two memories about a time they camped out in the rain. It’s a little bit more challenging to truly appreciate the outdoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate: your tent, camping equipment and firewood can get drenched and you start to wish that you were back home where it’s warm and dry.

If you are heading out on a camping trip this weekend then the number one rule is to expect rain. Being prepared for the eventuality of rain will make your camping experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

First, watch this YouTube video for some great tips on correctly setting up your tent. These tips will help you stay warm and dry in the event of wet weather.


Not only will you need protection from the wet weather so that you can stay warm and dry, you will also need to consider some things to do that will keep yourself and your family occupied (and above all still having fun!) Depending on the severity of the rain and how long it lasts, you might also become limited on how much cooking can be done and so alternative meal ideas are important too.

So, bearing all this in mind, it's also a good idea to put together an "Emergency Rain Pack": a selection of items that you take with you over and above all the usual camping necessities. Here are some suggestions of what you could put in your "Emergency Rain Pack" to help make camping in the rain a lot more tolerable.

Shelter, Protection and Warmth

  • A large tarp for shelter: If you don't normally put up a tarp for shelter then it's a good idea to keep one in your Emergency Rain Pack. Store it at the top of the pack so that it is easily accessible. The tarp should be the first thing to put up when arriving at your campsite.
  • A ground tarp
  • String/pegs
  • Good quality Raincoat
  • Waterproof clothing such as polypro long underwear
  • Extra change of clothing
  • Spare Socks
  • Umbrellas
  • Extra blankets
  • Packs of air-activated instant heat Hand Warmers: available from camping stores or

Things to Do

  • Books and magazines
  • Pens, pencils and paper to write hubs, sketch etc.
  • Games
  • Deck of Cards
  • Music: iPod, mp3 player, guitar, harmonica
  • Kids pack: coloring books, crayons, Dollarstore games

Food and Drink

  • Prepared food that doesn’t require cooking, stored in tightly closed containers
  • Can opener if required
  • Snacks: chips, nuts, candy
  • Cutlery
  • Napkins
  • Bottled or canned drinks
  • Plastic Bags for garbage

Remember, when you're not using your Emergency Rain Pack, keep it in the car where it stay nice and dry. Surviving a camping trip in the rain is possible if you’re just prepared. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!


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    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from USA

      I love camping and have lost count how many times it had rained on us. My kids still talk of the Spring Break Camping Trip from hell we had a couple of years ago. They each took a friend whom had never been camping. Between the wind, rain, cold, broken down boat, and a chair catching on fire, they claimed it was one of their favorite camping trips ever.

      Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Barbsbitsnpieces,

      It's all about what you make of it, I think! Camping in the rain can be a lot of fun if you're prepared. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for your comment,


    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 6 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @Cloverleaf...A fun read, and useful, too, to reinspire oneself on the joys of camping through the tribulations!

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Adeleke, it really helps to be prepared for the bad weather - thanks for your comment.


    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Prasetio, thanks so much for your great comments and button-pressing!


    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      My friend, I really love this hub. You have wonderful advice about "surviving a camping trip in the rain". Your tips are valuable for us. I know it looks very annoyed when the rains come during the camping. But you come with with solutions. You got my VOTE and I"ll press all buttons here, except funny. Well done and have a nice day!


    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi TheEpicJourney how nice to see you again. Hiking is so much fun and great exercise too, especially with good company like your Zoe :-)


    • TheEpicJourney profile image

      TheEpicJourney 6 years ago from Fairfield, Ohio

      Great tips on here! Especially for maintaining body heat and all the safety that goes along with camping and being wet. I'm an avid hiker, usually day hikes but I've done my share of overnighters. I personally love the rain especially while hiking as long as its warm and not bitter cold. Even a little cold is generally ok though. If you can get passed the change in comfort level and stop and just really look around and enjoy the moment out in nature with all the rain coming down it's a very very peaceful, serene moment. Unless its a thunderstorm like homestead bound had lol, then it's best to take shelter ;) Just wanted to throw out the perspective though haha

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Thanks for the vote up Dexter! I am looking forward to reading the conclusion of your trip.


    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      I was so not prepared for a heavy rain storm as you will read in the conclusion of my amazing trip. This hub certainly would have served me well had I needed to survive the rain! Voted up, up and away!

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      A M Lehrer you're welcome and thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hyph, it sounds like you're a real trooper. You seem to escape from potential disasters by the skin of your teeth!! I'm learning a lot about you today!


    • A M Lehrer profile image

      A M Lehrer 6 years ago from Southern United States

      Camping in the rain is the worst!! thanks for the tips!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This brings back memories. Now I prefer a lovely RV where I can lock the door at night against wandering bears and rains. A few weeks ago we went hiking about 2 miles into the forest to a waterfall. A terrible storm came up with torrential rain and lightening. We were wet to the bone and blessed not to be fried by a bolt from the sky. It really didn't stop me though from wanting more. We have already been again.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      b.Malin, glad you had fun reading this one, maybe you and Lover Man should just stick to walking in the rain - that can be very romantic.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      LOL @ writer20, yes writing this hub did bring back some memories of camping in Cornwall about 15 years ago so I know exactly where you're coming from there!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      I gotta tell you, Lover Man and I are NOT campers, we would be terrible Unhappy Campers. But we do love walking in the Rain... Having said that I so enjoyed reading your Hub Cloverleaf, you always make them fun, and informative.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Funny we were talking about camping this morning which always brings back camping memories in England. Stepping out of a tent to wet grass then finding somewhere to do you know what and yes the darn rain.

      I have never stepped inside a tent again.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      That sounds like quite a nasty storm, I don't think I would have wanted to be in a tent for that one.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      I enjoyed camping even in the rain. But there was one time when we went camping just a few miles from home and a horrible storm came up. Amazing wind speeds and tremendous amounts of lightning. Finally just got in the car and went home for the rest of the night. Went back and packed up a very drenched site the next day. Was glad to have been close to home for this particular storm.


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