Through our years of camping- whether in a tent, cabin, camper, or RV – I've found that there are 5 things you really must have to be prepared for camping in the rain.
#1 : Tarps
If you heed no other words of my advice, know this: tarps are your best friend when you are camping in the rain. When we were tent campers, we always put a large tarp under our tent before we set up. And, if rain was possible, we would put another over our tent. Consequently, we stayed far drier than our friends who didn't use a tarp. We also use tarps to cover anything left outside overnight – chairs, grill, etc.- so they aren't wet in the morning. If you have a bit of rope, something to attach it to, and a few stakes, you can also craft a second dry shelter with a few tarps. Definitely a sanity saver if space is small!
#2: Alternate Method for Cooking
If your only dining plans involve cooking over fire, you're going to be very disappointed (and quite hungry!) if it rains too much. While you can certainly keep a fire going through even the most drenching downpour, it is certainly no fun to stand in the rain to cook. Pack easy-to-eat cold foods and also consider a travel propane grill.
#3: Extra Towels
When you are wet there is nothing so good as a dry towel. And, because towels aren't likely to dry well when it's raining, you'll want a few extra. Don't forget about the pets! No one likes a wet dog in the tent or camper! Packing light? Use Microfiber, quick dry towels. Tip: if you are tent camping pack your clothes in plastic storage containers (like Rubbermaid) to keep everything dry!
#4: Camping Rug
Also called a ground mat, this has been our favorite purchase since we began camping. Available in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs, a Camping Rug is thicker than a tarp, so is less likely to lift with the wind while providing cushion from sticks and rocks on the ground. Placed just outside a tent or camper, this will also help keep dirt from tracking into your abode.
#5: Boredom Busters
There is nothing worse than being stuck in a small space with nothing to do. Be sure to bring some boredom busters: books, a deck of cards, UNO, wireless speaker… my girls often tote their Rainbow Loom. Something to avoid the “I'm bored” whining.
Camping is a fabulous family getaway. Use these camping in the rain tips to keep your camping trip from being a wash-out.