A lot of people overthink about how to deal with rain when camping and just imagine being stuck inside a tent with nowhere to go and no source of heat, but if you follow along here we’ll give you the quick rundown on how to deal with rain or snow when you’re camping.
Think Ahead With Your Tent
Even the most expensive tent on the market will quickly become a swimming pool if you don’t think ahead a little with where you pitch it. Pick a spot that is the highest available – you don’t want to put your tent at the bottom of a slope as water will naturally run downhill so you want to make sure it’s going away from your tent and not towards it.
Trench Your Fire Pit
Using a small shovel, dig a small (1-2 inch deep, 2-3 inch wide) trench around your campfire to help route water away from it. Everyone knows that water isn’t going to help keep your campfire burning so make sure you provide an alternate route for water to travel. Just another reason why we always suggest keeping a folding shovel with you!
You will want to avoid cotton clothing whenever possible because once cotton gets wet – it stays wet so you’ll find yourself feeling much colder and clammier if it’s raining out. Stick with synthetics whenever possible as they’ll help keep water from soaking in.
Tarps Are Your Friend
Keeping your campsite livable in the rain or snow is much simpler if you bring along a tarp and some paracord rope. It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but you can throw a rope over a nearby tree limb and hang a tarp over your campsite so you’ll be able to keep the grounds around your tent pretty dry, which means you can hang out outside of your tent for cooking, eating, and whatever you choose to do.
Never place a pop-up canopy over a campfire or grill as the smoke and fumes will get trapped inside and pose a danger to your health and safety. Also, these types of canopies tend to be made of synthetic materials that don’t handle sparks well and can catch fire fairly easily.
The best way to cover a campfire or cooking area with a tent is by putting your tarp at an angle and keeping these heat sources at the edges of the high sides. Doing this will allow for the smoke and fumes to have the most room to cool and dissipate before reaching your tarp, and also travel along the incline of the tarp and roll forward outside of your seating area. This will be the safest option to get the smoke out, reduce the risk of catching things on fire, and keep you dry.
Don’t Be A Hero
Lastly, you don’t need to be a hero and prove to anyone that you can rough it. The above tips should be more than enough to keep you dry during a wet season but if it ever becomes the type of storm where you find it too much for your comfort level, it’s best to head for a drier spot. Remember, camping should be fun so don’t ruin it by trying to be a hero. There’s no shame in moving your family to a cabin if the weather is too much to handle.