Sunday, 12 July 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away - A survival guide to tent camping in the rain

I can't say we've always had the best luck weather wise when we've been camping, but it has been particularly abysmal the past few times we've gone since the minions were born: Like the time we were forced to sleep in our compact car which I wrote about here or a couple of weeks ago when we were facing a torrential rain fall while we were camping with the cousins.  Despite some of our soggy luck recently we are both still big fans of the great outdoors.  I've compiled some tips to make life a little easier and a lot more comfortable when you're outdoors and you know the storm clouds are coming.  I hope it helps!

Molly and Jack at the edge of a hiking trail in the rain!

7 Tips Essential Tips for Camping in the Rain

  1. Take inventory of your equipment and manage your supplies before you go.  How many tarps do you have?  When was the last time you used a water sealant spray on your tent fly?  Does anything need to be replaced?  Don't forget extra batteries!
  2. Be the man with the plan. Come with a variety of activities and lighting (hence the need for batteries) that makes it easy to enjoy your time inside a tent. This can include items like colouring books, stories, board games, crafts, a deck of cards, cross-word puzzles and a small supply of food that doesn't require a fire to cook. Our favourite no cook camping meal is a ploughman's lunch with crackers, cheeses, cured meats, pickles, olives, and sliced veggies - this also makes for a great picnic meal for a day at the beach if the rain decides to stay away.
  3. Plan how you set up camp wisely. Don't put your tent up at the bottom of a hill, begging water to run into it. Set up on high ground and use your best judgement in terms of tree and shade (or rain) coverage.
  4. Know what's available in the towns around your camp site. Sometimes a break from the rain such as catching a movie, going to a local bowling alley, indoor mini golf or great restaurant is enough to put everyone in a better mood.
  5. Research the amenities at the parks you visit.  Camp facilities might have a laundromat on site or nearby that can help you dry out sopping wet sleeping bags.  Other parks offer indoor movies or indoor nature seminars that will give you a break from the rain.
  6. A light rain never hurt anyone. If it's threatening to rain it's probably a good time to go for a hike. Trails aren't muddy yet and you can still enjoy what nature has to offer.
  7. Know when to call it a day!  The last time we went camping there were severe weather alerts, warnings and over 40mm of rain expected over a 15 hour period.  Also despite our best efforts to rain proof our aging tent it was leaking, a lot.  Since the main thing Molly wanted to do was go swimming, we opted to pack up a day early and all enjoyed an indoor pool and camping food in front of Netflix instead.  No one regretted the decision!

To read tips on surviving camping with toddlers click here.

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