How to Stay Dry When Camping

Whether you’re a frequent camper, planning on getting into camping, or someone who camps at festivals or for other events, the chances are at some point you’ll have the pleasure of camping in the rain. 

Camping in the rain is very unappealing, as you’re much more exposed to it than you would be if you were in a house. A tent only acts as a thin barrier between you and the elements outside, so the effects of rain are felt much more when you’re camping in the wilderness. 

Tips to Stay Dry When Camping

Staying dry when it refuses to stop raining can be a struggle, and even harder to stop yourself from bringing water into the tent as well. Thankfully, there are lots of different tips and tricks to help keep you and your tent’s interior dry during the rain. 

  1. Prepare for the rain, even if it isn’t forecast. 

You’re never going to be properly prepared to camp in the rain if you haven’t got the correct equipment or didn’t come packed in the event of rain occurring. The trick is to prepare for rain, even if you’re not expecting it. This includes bringing equipment, clothing and activities that are all rainsafe to ensure that your experience will be the best it can be, despite what weather gets thrown at you. 

  1. Check your tent

When prepping for your camping trip, make sure your tent has been thoroughly checked over for any holes or tears which could potentially lead to leaks if it were to rain. As discussed in waterproofing your tent, the steps taken to ensure your tent is waterproof are simple and it could save you a lot of money in the long run. 

  1. Make a covered porch

Some tents already have a built-in area at the entrance that’s covered, but if yours doesn’t, a porch can easily be made using tarpaulin and a pole to prop it up with. Ways to set up tarpaulin are discussed in Do I need a tarp under my tent?

A covered porch gives you somewhere to dry off or somewhere to keep items dry such as shoes, backpacks or water. 

  1. Make some more shelter

The more shelter means the more likely you’ll stay dry. Whilst there are some naturally occurring shelters such as forests or ledges. It is, however, important to remember that water has the potential to pool under ledges and it can therefore become dangerous. 

Although natural shelters can offer more coverage, man made structures can also help. Things such as gazebos or tarpaulin can provide you with more dry space. Setting up a gazebo a short distance from the tent to use as a cover for a campfire is also something to consider. 

  1. Ponchos and raincoats 

Raincoats may take you back to your days as a toddler, but they’re definitely a viable option when it comes to camping. Ponchos, raincoats, or any loose-fitting garment that is waterproof can easily be thrown on over your clothes to keep you dry. Ponchos and raincoats are ideal as it doesn’t matter how wet or dirty they get.

  1. Rain pants or gaiters 

The wet grass and terrain will easily soak through your pants if you venture outside the tent. This is where rain pants or gaiters come through. Rain pants are thicker and much more water resistant to regular pants, and gaiters exist to protect your calves (and socks!) from the wetness of the foliage around your campsite. 

How to Stop Water From Entering a Tent

  1. Use a covered porch

Remember that covered porch mentioned earlier? It can be used in a bunch of ways that can assist in keeping you dry. A covered porch can be used as both a storage area to put wet items, but it can also be used as an area to change into dry clothes before fully entering the tent.

  1. Take another pair of shoes

Taking another pair of shoes to use solely inside of the tent is a good way to keep not only rain, but dirt and other debris out of the tent. It’s surprising how much muck can be picked up by shoes, even when they don’t look dirty. Keeping a second pair of shoes in your tent’s porch to quickly change into when clambering into the tent will make a big difference. Sliders or other shoes that are quick to put on and take off are preferable. 

  1. Take clothes just for wearing inside the tent

Similar to taking a spare pair of shoes, taking a spare pair of clothes that are just for wearing inside the tent is a great way to make sure that you’re limiting the potential for rainwater to make its way into your tent. 

  1. Make sure your tent is waterproof

Discussed earlier, tents usually are bought waterproof but can sometimes need a little TLC to keep them working as intended. If you’ve found that your tent has a hole or tear in it, it can easily begin letting rainwater in. Knowing how to patch a tent is essential in cases like this. 

  1. Don’t let any items within the tent touch the walls of the tent

If you’re in your tent for longer than usual because of the weather, you might notice that the walls of your tent are becoming wet. There’s no need to panic though, as this is normally just condensation that’s built up due to the heat within the tent. Spending extended periods of time within the tent will produce more body heat, thus producing more condensation. Keeping items away from the tent walls will keep them away from the condensation and keep them drier. 

  1. Consider the position of your tent

Make sure your tent’s door is facing the opposite way to the wind. This stops the rain being blown into the tent once the fly is opened. 

  1. Use a camping cot

Using a camping cot can keep you elevated above the floor of your tent, so if moisture does leak in, it can be avoided easily. If a camping cot isn’t your style, there are other camping bed hacks which you can use to avoid any moisture on the tent flooring. Another way to do so is by purchasing a bivy to use as an additional layer when sleeping. Bivys are more waterproof than the traditional sleeping bag and are lightweight. 

  1. Put towels down by the entrance

It’s quite impractical to take a doormat with you when camping, but using some spare towels as a replacement will also get the job done. Wiping your feet before getting into the tent will dry off whatever rainwater may be clinging to you. Using them almost as a carpet will also help protect the foundations of the tent. 

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