Camping in the rain – best hacks
Camping is one of those experiences you can get to know yourself truly – to experience the thrill of nature in it’s true and bare essential form.
It’s all great till the sun is out – but when the sky starts pouring down on you, it can turn out to be an unapologetically miserable experience if you happen to get caught without the proper gear or equipment.
We had our baptism in the “rain” while making our way up to Wangedigala and it became a real test of both our resolve and our equipment. We learnt what works and what doesn’t. We also understood that reading and preparation is only part of the learning experience, with experiencing the real thing showcasing the areas which we were best /least prepared. To top it off, the rain started pelting down on us as soon as it turned dark and along with not being able to see anything, posed us with a unique challenge. But thankfully we came out of the ordeal almost unscathed, with some vital lessons learned along the way.
First thing first – Check the weather forecast.
Looking at the prospective weather forecast for your destination is the most vital thing you can possibly do before heading out. There are numerous weather apps about – like Accuweather.com , such give somewhat accurate forecast. But hey, weather can be a fickle thing and if it says a chance of rain, you’d better get prepped anyway and go expecting rain. In the worst-case scenario you should consider postponing your trip. Especially if you have no desire to get wet. And miserable.
The best place to start is by packing the right gear required for your camping experience
One of the best ways to keep yourselves ready for any weather change during your camping escapade is carrying everything that you determine that is essential to your journey. Remember that it is always a juggling game between practicality and weight; the more loaded your pack will be – the harder it would be to haul it along, especially if you are trekking up a mountain.
Make sure that you pack enough clothes by bringing an extra layer of insulation. Preferably you can carry clothes made of wool rather than cotton to keep your body warm during rainy and cold spells but since wool can be weighty you should choose a product that is relatively light weight. Also a few t shirts made from lycra or nylon can go a long way. Since they dry out easily it can make a marked difference. Being cold and shivering in the night is perhaps one of the worst experiences you could possibly have while camping in the outdoors.
A raincoat /rain tarp can be a lifesaver! As well as helping you to stay dray it can double as an extra layer of insulation over you OR over your camp tent – making the tent more resistant to the effects of rain.
You should also take a few waterproof tarps some lights, and other things that might help you during the night. Along those lines, a camping mat or a thermal pad will do you wonders. Such a waterproof layer between the base of your tent and yourself will undoubtedly allow better insulation comfort and not to mention prevent you from getting damp from all the moisture and water that is sure to well up from the bottom.
Ensure you carry waterproof gear and equipment
Before leaving for your camping adventure, it is imperative to check and ensure that you have waterproof clothing in case it starts raining while on your camping. You should check to ensure that your tent will insulate you and your group against the harsh rainy weather. You also need to carry a waterproof backpack to put your clothes and electronics. You can also come with Ziploc or plastic to help keep your items and electronics safe - but be mindful not to leave the waterlogged plastic bags behind when you return back to civilization.. A few packs of water absorbing material such as a few packs of silica gel. These will help keep water drops and moisture from wreaking havoc on your electronic devices.
And be sure to get yourself a good portable light or some headlamps. Having some uninterrupted light will do wonders on a camping adventure , especially if the heavens open up and start pouring down. If you have a leak or rain starts dripping and seeping into the tent having ample light to detect and then remedy it as much as you can have great implications. Nobody wants to return from a camping trip with a waterlogged camera or a phone. A simple hack can prevent any of this from happening.
Select a suitable campsite
Selecting an appropriate camping location for your tent is one of the most critical things to stay safe during camping on a rainy day. The choice of a suitable site should be aimed at finding a level field away from rivers and lakes and from more exposed mountain slopes with a possibility of flash floods or water runoffs. You should preferably select a slightly elevated piece land that will keep your tent floor from getting swamped from the water running down from your tent. If you find time a shallow trench dug around the tent directing the runoff water away from the campsite will be invaluable.
When it comes to camping, some of the times you will not have the luxury of choosing the most preferable site to pitch camp. At such a time you should stick to the basic “do”s and avoid the “don’ts” as much as possible.
While in theory you should erect your tent in an area not very close to trees to avoid the dangers posed by breaking branches and twigs during a torrential downpour, if you have the threat of heavy winds – a windbreak such as a grove of trees can be an asset. So, realizing your needs and acting on such would prove to be pivotal.
Get your tent up correct!
Good preparation is the key!. Make sure you properly familiarize yourself with all your kit before heading out. This gives you an opportunity to be more prepared and to get a fell of what needs to be done, and you need to look out for. For instance, we found out that our first tent (which had a built-in rain cover) trapped and fanned wind inside, making it almost unbearably freezing. Fortunately, we had done a practice run in our backyard prior to setting out, and just had an easy solution figured out. A few pieces of duct tape and insulating plastic sheet became in instant success.
Utilize your tarps or rain cover to cover your tent and prevent raindrops from making their way inside your tent. You can also use the tarp to create camping rain shelter that would be great if you happen to be cooking, or in need of a hot beverage to ease out the cold.
A portable Stove is a lifesaver.
It is imperative you have a portable stove – especially when camping with the danger of rain. With all the kindling and combustible wood getting damp due to the rain, you can have a hard time starting a fire, regardless of how mush accelerant or fire starters you would use.in such times a portable stove can be a lifesaver. You need not be dependent on firewood , as well as spend exuberant amounts of time foraging for wood ( particularly in the dark ) allowing more time to set up your tents and prep your site.