How to Survive a Rainy Camping Trip?

How to Survive a Rainy Camping Trip

Your camping weekend has been planned out, only to discover rain clouds in the forecast? You might want to hold off hitting that cancel button before you do! Camping with the rain can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Taking a walk in the drizzle and listening to raindrops on your tent can be an unforgettable experience.

Do not let a sprinkling of rain turn you into a miserable person. If you know what to expect, you can navigate a drizzly camping adventure with a smile on your face. When you’re out in the beautiful wilderness (quite literally! ), keep an eye on those sky patterns. There is more to it than just avoiding the damp; safety should always come first. The best thing you can do is to retreat when the clouds look ominous. Storms can come at any time, and sometimes we learn the hard way that quick and fierce storms can creep up on us without warning. As a result, you should always be prepared for rainy days. Any camping trip can be truly enjoyable and successful if you are prepared, no matter what!

Having survived a few soggy socks and surprise downpours, I advise you not just to survive, but also to embrace and revel in them. Adventures don’t wait for the storm to pass, but rather teach you to dance in it. To learn more about ‘How to Survive a Rainy Camping Trip,’ check out the next sections; you won’t be disappointed!

Tent pitches, hammock stands, and RV parks

Choosing the right location for your shelter is essential, as you don’t want to wake up soaked in a puddle. For tents and RVs, the higher ground makes it easier for water not to pool around you. It is also advisable to avoid areas near bodies of water that may rise.

When it’s supposed to rain overnight, but the next day it’s supposed to be sunny, you might want to set up your tent, RV, or hammock so that the morning sun can dry it off. Under trees, you can find a place to hang your hammock or tarp if it’s raining, but if it stops raining, you might hear dripping all night long.

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How to pack for a rainy camping trip: Clothes for Camping in the Rain

The best thing you can do in rainy weather is to layer up. Clothing close to your skin should have moisture-wicking properties, especially if you’ll be hiking or doing activities that make you sweat. Textiles made from wool or synthetic fibers are better than those made from cotton. Despite wearing Under Armour, I know many hikers who prefer Smartwool or Patagonia tops.

Your outer layer should be waterproof, but how many layers you wear depends on how cold it is. When the weather is wet and I’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, I wear either water-resistant pants or waterproof rain pants. It is also very convenient to have thin waterproof pants that can easily be slipped over whatever else I am wearing. The rain jacket from REI as well as the waterproof rain pants.

If you expect to get wet and muddy, bring extras of everything you need. As a result of the rain, everything that gets soaked will take longer to dry because the air is so humid. Don’t be fooled by the sounds, putting on damp and dirty socks is just as much fun as it sounds!

Shoes for Camping in the Rain:

While camping in the rain, waterproof shoes such as hiking boots are a must-have. Bringing both will earn you bonus points since you won’t be able to avoid getting muddy, or still getting wet.

You can also wear gaiters over your shoes if you want extra protection. The garments are usually detachable and waterproof, reaching just below your knees and preventing mud and water from getting inside. When you want to hike and have shorter boots like mine, they can be particularly useful. Whenever I hike, I kick a lot of dust and mud, so gaiters keep my socks and pants dry and clean.

Food for Camping in the Rain:

Camping Foods Favorite

Should you be unable to cook, bring snacks and ready-made foods. While waiting for your egg scramble to be ready in a windy or sideways rain is not easy, it may be difficult to stand around waiting for it to be ready. In addition to Lara bars, fruit, sandwiches, and chips, I always bring them to the campground.

Pro Tip:

You can make a great chip dip with salsa and cream cheese! The cream cheese doesn’t need to be softened in a skillet at all-just mix it in the container with the salsa. Rather than a grill or fire pit, you may want to bring backpacking or camping stoves as backups. Make sure you ventilate your tent, RV, or cabin properly before using them.

Rainy-day Camping Essentials: Rain Fly

When tent camping in the rain, be sure to pack a rain fly to stop your trip from becoming miserable!


It is also a good idea to bring a footprint or tarp that you can use underneath your tent to provide insulation and protect it from the ground. Make sure that your tarp will fold up directly under your tent if you don’t use a footprint. Overhangs can collect water if they extend beyond the edges of your tent.


In addition to blocking rain from getting into the tent’s door, vestibules can also reduce condensation. You might like this tent if you need more space compared to my backpacking tent.

Rain Tarp:

Take a rain cover with you if you are hammock camping. Hammock camping in the rain can be challenging, and I don’t want to discourage you from trying it, but just so you know what to expect. My clothing kept falling out of my hammock whenever I jumped into and out of it, and I sometimes forgot my shoes.

As it turned out, bringing lots of extra clothes was a good idea! In spite of the rain, I stayed dry and comfortable in my hammock with this ENO Hammock and ENO Hammock Rain Tarp. You should also buy hammock straps.

Rope and Paracord:

Using a tarp for a shelter can allow you to enjoy your camping spot without getting soaked. Your tarp can even be used as a clothesline if the rain stops if you bring to rope and paracord to hang it on. Make your life even easier with a pre-made canopy like the Caddis Rapid Shelter.

Rain Covers:

It is a good idea to bring rain covers for backpacks and daypacks. There are some packs that already have a thin rain cover. You might find a zipper at the bottom of your pack if you look. Rain covers are included in both of these 25L daypacks.

Sleeping Bag:

Choose Sleeping Bags

There is no way around the fact that a sleeping bag is a must. A synthetic bag is better than a down one in wet climates since it allows for better water resistance and dries much faster. Even breathable bag covers or bivy sacks can be worn over sleeping bags if you wish.

Make it yourself with your rain jacket if you don’t want to spend the extra money! You can just wrap it around your bag. You may find these synthetic bags useful.

Sleeping Pad:

Consider Size and Weight

You can bring more than one sleeping pad if you like to have more insulation. Besides being warm, you’ll be much more comfortable with insulated sleeping pads. During the night, this Thermarest sleeping pad will keep you warm.

Dry Sacks and Plastic Bags:

Best Dry Bags

Keep your belongings dry by packing dry sacks, Ziplocs, and/or trash bags. A Sea to Summit dry sack that doubles as a compression bag are one of my favorite items. It’s so easy to save so much space with compression sacks since they squeeze out all the air from items like sleeping bags and clothing.

Although it isn’t necessary for camping, I often use it for backpacking, and I love items like this that can be used for multiple purposes-the fewer things I have to buy, the better!

Waterproof Matches:

Be sure not to get wet wood if you plan to make a fire in the campground. Firestarters such as waterproof matches or lighters can also be used.


You might need several towels in case it rains and you need to dry off, or if anything gets moist. Due to its lightweight design and nylon microfiber content, this towel dries really quickly.


Flashlight in Camping Power

You should also take some lights with you, including string lights and flashlights. It is recommended to bring extras since they may even be needed during the day if it is cloudy enough. Don’t bring anything solar-powered since there may not be enough sunshine for it to work.


To prevent tracking mud inside your tent or RV, you can also bring a rug outside that you can use to wipe your shoes on.

Fun Activities:

If you have to spend all day indoors while camping in the rain, bring fun things to do. When I’m going to be inside for several hours, I love to bring board games, books, journals, and drawing materials with me.

Trekking Poles or MICROspikes:

To prevent yourself from slipping in the mud, you might also want to bring trekking poles or MICROspikes if you plan on hiking.

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What to Do if You Get Wet

The first thing you need to do if you get wet is to dry yourself off and warm yourself up right away. Wearing dry clothes, lighting a fire, and getting into your sleeping bag will help you do this. Wet clothes should be hung up right away, though humid weather will slow their drying. They can also be dried next to a fire, but be careful to keep an eye on them.

After You Get Home

Don’t pack anything away unless it’s completely dry to prevent mold growth. Also, you can waterproof your tent with Nikwax for your next trip, though I haven’t done it. There is, however, an option to consider. Have a great time camping in the rain with these tips for staying dry. If you have such a great time, you might even wish for rain when you go camping next time!

Hello, my name is James Tinnin and I am an outdoor enthusiast, writer, and avid camper. I have always had a deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and my passion for nature has only grown stronger over the years.