Waking up with a flooded tent is not pretty.
It is actually one of the worst things that can happen when you’re out camping.
In fact, what you know and don’t know will determine how well you will tackle this tragedy efficiently and in a timely manner.
So guys (and girls), that’s what I will be discussing today.
I want to teach you how to handle a flooded tent if or when the time comes.
Don’t panic, stress out and go home!
Some people will experience a flooded tent, start panicking, have no idea what to do and end up going home.
All they needed to do was assess the situation, make a plan and take action.
In some instances it might be better to spend the rest of the night in the car.
There’s no need to get stressed out and then go home though, unless of course there is no other option.
When you wake up and notice rain in your tent, figure out where the leak is coming from.
If there’s a few drops, soak them up with a towel.
If it’s a little worse, place a towel directly under the leak so the towel captures the drops.
This will give you some time to clean up the rest of the water inside the tent.
When you’ve taken control of the situation, slap some duct tape directly on the damage.
Duct tape is the best “temporary” repair option, which is why you should ALWAYS have some close by
Setup a Temporary Shelter
If the duct tape isn’t working properly (maybe the leak is coming from a seam), throw a tarp over top of your tent and stake it down!
And yes, you guessed it…have a spare tarp and some strong stakes in the car FIRST, so you’re ready for when it happens.
You can never be too prepared my friend.
Note: You could also try putting duct tape on the outside of the tent, however, it may not stick as good.
Have no duct tape, no towel and no tarp? Please tell me you’ve got a bucket at-the-ready!
It is by no means the best option but at least it is one and it works.
Place it in a position where it can catch the leaks. You may even be able to spend the rest of the night inside the tent if you set it up correctly.
Stronger Leaks (Constant Flow)
Okay, so your first line of defense is the rain fly.
When that becomes useless your options become limited.
When there’s are strong, consistent flow of leaks coming into the tent you need to act quick.
Yes, you need to throw a tarp over top of your tent and stake it down good.
Note: Duct tape is good for minor leaks, but if you want to take the “safe and secure” route you can use a tarp at the very start.
Flash Floods – Water Coming in through Floor and Door
Waking up with your tent absolutely FILLED with water is the worst experience, especially when there’s little ones involved.
I wouldn’t even wish that upon my own worst enemy!
This is what will test your patience the most. This will make or break everything you’ve learned.
When your tent is filled with water as a result of a flash flood, it is often caused from your tent being pitched in the wrong place.
This can definitely be avoided in the first place.
But for the sake of formation, I will tell you what the next steps are.
Make Sure Everyone is Safe
Safety is #1 priority.
Everyone should get out of the tent immediately – to a safe, dry spot (under a tree or rock).
Anywhere where rain cannot get you is the best place; for the meantime anyway.
Get Your Equipment Out
One or two people should go back to the tent and get all equipment out.
It’s going to be flooded, wet and yuck, but you have valuables and expensive equipment.
You already had a bad experience, don’t make it even more worse by having your valuables and equipment completely ruined.
Everyone is temporarily safe anyway!
This is why it’s SO important to have a few spare blankets and towels in the car just for emergencies.
Everyone needs to get as dry as possible using the towels.
Use the blankets to keep warm thereafter, ultimately avoiding hypothermia and other related illnesses.
Allowing your equipment to drip-dry is better than sitting it on the damp ground or on the boot of the car.
Hang them over a branch, otherwise park the car under some shelter so you can hang them over the car instead.
Leave the Tent as is
If everything is out of the tent, leave it!
You can always come back for it the following morning.
What’s important in the meantime is staying dry and getting some sleep (for the rest of the night anyway).
Sleep in the Car
I highly recommend sleeping in the car for the rest of the night, as it is safe and dry.
This may not be the best option if there’s many kids involved, however, this is your time to make a decision that best suits you and everyone involved.
Driving and being sleepy doesn’t mix.
An uncomfortable nights sleep is better than falling asleep while driving home, so riding out the rest of the night in the car is my preferred choice.
It is always fun to see the aftermath the next morning anyway, AND you won’t have to drive all the way back just to get the tent.
Staying calm and not panicking is the best way to handle such situations.
Your friends and family are counting on you to keep everyone safe, so when you start falling apart because you simply “don’t know what to do”, they are going to start panicking and stressing out as well.
However, I’ve just told you the best way to handle a flooded tent in the middle of the night; so you have no excuses!
I’m sure you are strong enough to take action without falling apart.
Just Remember: Deep breaths (very important), calm everyone else down without SHOUTING, assess the situation, take action.
Do that and you’ll have no trouble handling a flooded tent my friend.
Well thanks for reading.
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Let us know if you’ve experienced a flooded tent before? How did you handle the situation? Leave your comment below 😀