Camping In The Rain

Camping in the rain can be uncomfortable, but there’s no need to let the rain ruin your outdoor experience. These 11 simple hacks for camping in the rain will help you ensure that you don’t have to cancel your outdoor trip and still have an incredible time!

In fact, it can be a great and magical adventure, listening to the satisfying sound of the rain, watching the scenery of thunderstorms rolling through, and enjoying the cool breeze pressing against your face.

Wear The Right Clothes

Two things to remember when it comes to choosing the right clothing: insulation and waterproof. At the minimum, you should wear boots, rain pants, and a waterproof jacket. Pack extra, especially socks and base layers. 

You need to get your clothes off once they’re wet to avoid discomfort and skin issues. You also need to have changes of clothes prepared even if you’re wearing an incredible waterproof outwear. In most cases, these outwear will make you sweat when worn for a long time. 

Aside from wearing the right clothes, a good layering system will help regulate the temperature of your body. Layer up to retain your body heat. Choose wool base or polyester material as your mid-layers under a jacket.

Don’t use cotton clothes as they get wet quickly and its insulation can be fairly poor. Cotton clothes also take a longer time to dry off. Sorry, leave your comfy cotton home. 

Camping in the rain - a group of tents on a hilltop

Choose The Right Tent Site

The location of your site is one of the top factors that impact your overall camping experience. Do your research and choose the right tent site. If you are choosing a wild campsite, then there’s gonna be a bit more work for you to do.

An ideal campsite has a little elevation so pitch your tent on high ground. Choose a campsite that is not beside a lake or a river. Waking up in two inches of water during a downpour can cause you a lot of hassle.

And while you want to position your tent o the flattest possible site for comfort, pitch your tent on the ground that is a bit sloped if possible. This can ensure that there won’t have pools anywhere on your site. 

It’s also best to avoid setting up your tent under a tree. Even long after the rain has stopped, and drops will still keep trickling on your tent and falling branches could hurt you or damage your tent if the wind gets stronger overnight. 

Pack Foods That Don’t Require Cooking

Many campers would love to enjoy hot camp food, but if it’s raining really hard, then hot food can be off the menu. It’s fine to pack meals that need boiling or cooking but pack with you something that doesn’t require cooking.

You’ll find yourself in trouble if all you have in your bag are raw meals. When it’s raining too hard, building a fire may not be easy. Even if it’s completely possible to cook while it’s raining, there’s a good chance that you don’t feel like it so it’s always nice to have an alternative.

Note that we humans need more calories when it’s cold to keep the body temperature. Don’t skip meals and keep the calories coming. Also, try to keep your food choices as healthy as possible. 

camping in the rain - rain in the forest

Bring Plastic Bags, Lots of Them

Whether you pack food, clothes, or gear, you should have sufficient plastic bags to store things in, so that nothing gets wet or damaged by the rain. Air-tight Ziploc and big black garbage bags are cheap and easy to pack.

They’ll be life-savers if you get caught in the rain. Store your wet items such as drenched clothes and soaking shoes in a plastic bag to avoid them from everything else wet.

You can also use plastic bags to store dry firewood and other fire-starting tools so you can still build a fire in case you’ll need to make one when the rain stops.

Other important items such as medicine, books, and snacks can also be kept inside sealed Ziploc-style bags.

Lay A Tarp Underneath Your Tent

Tents can flood when camping in the rain and it can be a miserable ordeal if you won’t deal with this well. One effective way to prevent this from happening is to lay a tarp underneath your tent.

It is extremely vital to put your tarp down inside the tent. The rain can strike your tarp if any portion of it sticks out from underneath your tent, where the base of your tent is likely to soak it right up.

If you have a wider tarp, fold any excess and make sure no portion of it is extending out. 

Even when no rain is falling, a tarp under your tent stops any moisture in the soil from seeping upward. It also serves your protection from poking twigs or sharp brambles.  

Put Another Tarp Above Your Tent

Especially when it’s raining really hard, you will need to put another tarp above your tent to keep it extra dry. Putting another tarp above your tent is especially helpful if you opt to stay camping in the same place for several days.

An overhanging tarp also gives you an extra space where you can take off your clothes and shoes without getting inside the tent and provides you a place to hang a clothesline outside.

Like it or not, the wind is an unpredictable factor when camping and it can compromise the stability of your tent. A tarp above your tent can also serve as extra protection for you and your tent from strong wind. 

Remember To Bring Stuff To Do

When it’s raining too hard, even the great outdoors can be oppressive or boring. Bring something that you can do. If you’re a reader, bring your favorite book with you.

Be sure to have your camping in the rain activities sorted before you leave home, if you’re camping with friends or family members, bring board games or playing cards that everyone can enjoy. 

Don’t grab your phone to watch Netflix Movies, instead try to find ways to share in the moment with your fellow campers and make memories through having a laugh.

It’s also not wise to spend your phone battery while in unusual circumstances. 

camping in the rain - a tent lit up at night in the woods

Prepare For The Night

Unpack all the things that you’ll need for the night and gather them in one area. The ground can be slippery so pay extra attention when moving around the site. If you’re cooking, have all the ingredients ready.

It is suggested that you chop and slice the ingredients while the sun is up or, if possible, this should be done at home before commencing with your camp.

Don’t cook inside your tent. It’s extremely dangerous! You can set up your tent or other things on fire and you can quickly get carbon monoxide poisoning.

An extra tarp above your tent can give you a little rain-free space for cooking. Ideally, all the things that require preparation such as cooking or pitching a tent should be done before the sun goes down. 

Get Dry ASAP If You Get Soaked

In case you get soaked, get yourself dry ASAP then get warm. If it’s warm enough inside your tent and you don’t have a dry towel with you, get naked to allow your skin to fully dry. Don’t just leave your wet clothes anywhere. Hang them under a tarp to drip and dry. 

If your shoes are soaking wet, dry them by stuffing balled old papers or newspapers inside. Avoid using wet socks or wet shoes for a long time.

Prolonged use of wet footwear can lead to damage to the skin or blood vessels. Infection may also occur because molds, fungus, and bacteria can also multiply faster in a wet environment. 

Having a hot drink can help warm your body temperature so you might want to grab a hot drink after you dry yourself up. Hot drinks like coffee or cocoa are also mood-boosters perfect for rainy weather.

Light Up The Night

A tent can become a pretty dark place when night sets in. Boost the ambiance of your camping experience by lighting up the night.

Bring LED string lights so you can drape them around the site. Pack a handy camp lantern, a torch night, and flashlights with you. 

Consider the power supply, lighting style, and charging system for your lighting equipment. Other types of lighting used in a large group of cabins may not have the same feature as the solo campers usually have.

Research about your needs and be prepared with the appropriate power source of your lighting. Bring extra batteries for your flashlights and other equipment especially if you plan to camp longer.

Camping in the rain - rain falling into a puudle

Enjoy The Rain

Lastly, enjoy the rain. Camping in the rain can still be fun and relaxing. Follow all the tips above. Allow yourself to enjoy and relax the rhythmic pattern of the rain.

Sit back and watch the beautiful storms rolling through the area. After all, camping is all about relaxing your mind and soul.


If you have any more questions about Camping in the rain, I’d love to hear them and I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

Tell us about your experiences when camping, have you been in a wet camp or been caught out because of unexpected weather events?

You may also like to read our article on How to stay warm while camping in a tent.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.


6 thoughts on “Camping In The Rain”

  1. Hello Shane, 

    I will be going camping with a couple of friends in a few days, but I really want to get all the information I’ll be needing to have the best time out there. Since it’s been raining lately I really don’t want to have any regrets. I like the idea of a tarp above and below the tent because there may be some really heavy rain and I don’t want to get soaked. Thanks for the tips. 


    • Hi Lawson, Yes the tarp over the top of everything is a great way of helping to keep the rain off, plus if you use one larger than the tent itself you can use this extra area as a dry place to set up your kitchen, table and chairs, etc. Thank you for your comment I hope you enjoy your trip. Don’t forget to tell us how it went.

  2. Hello Shane, I really enjoyed reading your article and I truly wish that I could follow all that you shared in it but unfortunately due to health complications, camping in the rain is impossible for me. Nevertheless, I learnt a great deal from your article and all the valid tips and points you gave and enjoyed reading it. 

    • Hi Sean, I am glad you enjoyed reading my article and learnt a little from it, I wish you well with your health, and I hope you have lots more enjoyable adventures in the future.

      Thanks Shane.

  3. Thank you for this article, though I love camping I have never tried it in the rainy periods. Apart from knowing the difficulties attached to it, I also know that it can be quite a problem for me when exposed to too much cold. However, going by what you shared here it would be an exhilarating experience for some people, it is simply great to see and I am delighted to come across this here. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Hi Darmi, Camping in the rain is not something I have done often, it is more a case of getting caught out when the weather turns suddenly. However, in some parts of the country, it can rain very regularly so preparation is the key.

      You are right when you say there are difficulties attached to it but having the right clothing, plus a good tarp and staying as dry as possible makes it more comfortable. I too, dislike the cold so having the right gear just in case is super important.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Shane.


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