If you decide to go tent camping in the rain, you need to learn many tips and tricks before you embark on your journey.
As you may or may not know, camping in cold and wet conditions is not for the feint hearted, nor is it recommended to anybody, because hypothermia is a real thing and it’s not something to take lightly.
In this article I will be giving you the best tips and tricks, along with all the best secrets to ensure you will stay safe when the inevitable does happen.
Be Prepared In The First Place
Pitch Your Tent On Top Of A Hill
Never mind thinking you will be safe from the elements if you pitch your tent in a ditch or valley, so think again.
You are more likely to wake up in a deadly flash flood with your entire tent filled with water if you do this.
Avoid this deadly mistake in the first place and pitch your tent on top of a hill.
But a flat one, of course.
Bring Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are so handy when you are out in the wilderness.
Line the inside of your backpack, cover your backpack with a trash bag at night time, place your more valuable items in a plastic bag too.
Performing these actions will ensure your contents will stay completely dry.
There are so many benefits that plastic bags provide, it will be silly to pass up them all up.
More incredible uses at: Urban Survival Site
Even if you don’t end up needing to use them, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can use them as a firestarter in case your kindling gets wet.
You could also use it to dry the insides of your shoes (one of my favorite tricks with the newspaper).
Stuff the inside of your shoes with newspaper and leave it there overnight, the newspaper will soak all the moisture, completely and thoroughly drying your shoes!
Bring Extra Tarps
I would suggest you bring a minimum of 3 tarps if you want to be completely prepared for a surprising rainstorm during the day (or night).
One for the bottom of the tent and one to place over top of your rain fly if need be, just for that added protection.
The other one can be for an additional shelter over your picnic table or any other common area to keep you dry. These places include: cooking area, dining, hanging out, etc.
Pack The Right Gear
Raincoats, ponchos, rain boots, pants.
These are all valuable clothing items that you should not leave behind.
For those of you who don’t know, thunderstorms do happen in all 4 seasons and most of them are unexpected.
So it’s only necessary to be prepared for them in the first place.
Add extra towels to that list too! These come in handy for when rain starts leaking into your tent (just in case anyway).
You wouldn’t want to be left in your tent for the entire day without ANYTHING to keep you entertained would you?
Well that’s why you should bring some sort of entertainment along with you in the event that a rainstorm does pass through.
- Mobile phones
- Movie players
- Notepad to write
- Board games
- Coloring books
These are all viable options, but they are only a small handful of the hundreds of items you can choose from as well.
Tips And Tricks
A great idea if you want to have another water source, you can never have too much water (you never know, something could happen to your main source), so collect as much as you want.
You should get it as it falls straight from the sky though.
So avoid collecting it as it falls from trees, leaves, bark, or you run the risk of picking up sicknesses.
Keep Your Campfire Sheltered
Just remember that most thunderstorms will pass through fairly quickly, so you should keep your campfire out of the rains way.
Under a tree or a tarp will work fine.
Then you won’t have to start the campfire up again.
Because the rain CAN and WILL put it out completely, while making your hot coals wet and cold.
Air Out Your Gear
Mold and mildew will grow on your gear when you don’t let it dry out after it gets wet.
These can and WILL destroy the fabric of your tent and backpack, etc.
While rust will ruin your metal items like your stakes, utensils, knives.
Keep The Interior Of Your Tent As Dry As Possible
When something gets wet, it moves onto another item.
Before you know it, everything inside your tent is damp and cold – including your bedding!
However, you can stop this from happening simply by removing your wet clothing and shoes before diving into your tent.
And that’s exactly why I prefer to use tents with a vestibule room, for a place to store your gear when it’s raining.
Take Extra Advantage Of 2-Room Tents
If you haven’t heard of the epic tent trick yet, then you have been missing out my good friend.
Get yourself a double-room tent and use 1 room for getting out of your wet gear, storing your dirty laundry, placing all your camping equipment in, then keep ONE room for sleeping and hanging out in.
This works wonders and it’s something I highly recommend for you to try as well!
Hypothermia is not something you or any of your friends/family want.
So make sure you educate yourself on what it is and know exactly what to do when the symptoms start happening.
However, you need to know what the symptoms are in the first place.
The Hiking Life offers a more comprehensive guide about it.
Get Out Of The Water In A Thunderstorm
Lightning strikes during, before, and after a thunderstorm. If you are swimming, get out. If you’re in a boat, then also get out.
And avoid hunkering down between branches, as they are prone to break and fall on you.
Keep Kids Calm
If there are kids involved, make sure they are your number one priority.
Know where they are at all times, and if you can, keep them by you in the tent.
Help them keep their mind off the loud noises and keep them calm.
You can do this by playing board games or reading to them, even a movie on the Ipad works great 😛
Watch Your Step
The terrain changes immensely when a thunderstorm hits!
Rocks become slippery, rocky terrain gets loose, dirt turns to mud, steep hills can become unpredictable, and streams become stronger.
Ask yourself: is it still safe to go exploring, or if you should just go back to your campsite, hunker down, and wait for it to pass through. I’d go with the second option 🙂
My Final Opinion
I may also add that your very first line of defense is your tent.
And if you rush the shopping process you run the risk of waking up in the middle of the night in a puddle of water, simply because you purchased a bad tent.
However don’t worry, I have you covered.
Here is my comprehensive guide about tent buying, I highly recommend you check it out if you want to stop any unwanted disasters from happening when you’re in the wilderness.
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