4 Tips for camping in the rain
Sometimes rain cannot be avoided on a camping trip.
Even though rain was predicted for the weekend, you decided to proceed with the trip. After all, you tend to get wet canoeing, so what's a little more water?
It poured so much the river rose to the point it was unsafe to canoe, but everyone still wanted to camp and hang out. They put tarps up, but you still got pretty wet and cold. Most everyone else stayed warm and dry. What? You vowed to be warm and dry the next time you camped in the rain.


  • Wet Weather Gear

The types of clothes and gear are probably most important to staying warm and dry. On the canoe trip, wearing cotton in camp. That's a big NO when it is raining. When cotton gets wet, there's no insulation and it takes a long time to dry. To stay warm and dry, dress in layers.

  • Tent and Tarps
If you were camping for 3 days and it poured pretty much non-stop the whole time. Your tent kept you dry... You're so proud of the tent! Having the right tent is a key factor in staying dry. Here are some tips:
  1. Quick assembly: It's good to have a tent you don't have to fumble around and has a lot of parts.
  2. Right size: The right size tent will keep you warmer. More room in a tent can be nice, but then there's more air space to heat up. The other important factor is the tent profile. A lower profile tent can be warmer and easier to put up in the wind.
  3. Ventilation: Condensation inside the tent can get things pretty wet, especially when it is raining outside. Keep air circulating in the tent so condensation does not build up. If this does start to happen, move your gear away from the tent walls so it can dry out and your gear stays dry.
  4. Waterproofed seams: Prior to your trip, make sure you waterproof the seams and if it is an older tent, make sure it is still waterproof. Usually do this once at the beginning of the season, but if you are going on an extended trip, it is good to check the tent again.
  5. Tarps: these are necessary to stay dry if you are cooking in the rain. Make sure you bring rope and poles if required for assembly.
    • Cooking in the Rain
    Since we knew it was going to rain on the canoe trip, we were able to plan quick assemble meals at home. We made foil packet meals that could be placed directly on coal. We also made homemade fire starters, so we had no problem getting a campfire going. Once there were hot coals, the foil packets went in and about 20 minutes later, dinner was ready.
    We had hot water going a lot of the time for people to drink and stay hydrated. When it is cold and wet, you may not feel like drinking cold water, so warm tea or warm water is nice to drink.
    Bring food that doesn't require cooking. Energy bars, dried fruit, and nuts are good to munch on and help to keep your energy up.
    • Be Safe
    Camping when the weather is raining can have added dangers. Be aware of your surroundings. You may not want to camp next to a hill that is unstable when it gets soaking wet. On the canoe trip, we took a look at the river and assessed it wasn't safe to go for a paddle. We also made sure we camped far enough away from the river in case it did rise.
    1. Be careful walking on rocks and on even ground. It can be slippery when wet.
    2. Keep an eye on your fellow campers. Know the signs of hypothermia. If someone is demonstrating these signs, get them warmed up or to medical help if needed.
    3. Use common sense and know when to call it quits and go home.