Rain that lasts for more than a couple of hours can frustrate campers and quickly ruin the mood on a camping trip. With a bit of preparation you can minimise the impact of wet weather and make it easier for all campers to endure. Here are some tips to help you.
Equip yourself well for wet weather. If you’re driving to your camping ground, it’s easier to pack extra items in your vehicle, but if you’re hiking in and carrying all your equipment, you’ll need to be more selective.
The more obvious things to pack include: warm clothing, raincoats, gumboots, beanies and gloves. Consider packing a spare set of clothes in a waterproof bag, just in case things go ‘pear shaped’. Rain ponchos don’t take up much room and old towels help when mopping up water. They can easily be hung out to dry when the sun returns.
If you’re driving, take extra tarpaulins, as they not only protect against the rain but also shield against wind. You can never have too many plastic bags and ziplock bags – you’ll always find a use for these when it rains. They are cheap, take up minimal room, and are lightweight.
Before you leave home, test that your tent is weather-proof. There’s no use waiting until it rains while you’re camping to discover the roof leaks, or the fabric retains water. When selecting your campsite, look for existing puddles and areas where water runs off. Pitch your tent on flat ground on top of a waterproof tarp.
If it does rain, make sure your bedding and other gear are not leaning against the tent wall, as they will absorb water through it and you’ll never get to sleep in a wet bed. To avoid condensation on the inside of your tent, keep it well ventilated. A waterproof tarp over the tent will protect against direct rainfall and allow you to keep some air flowing through the tent, even as it rains.
Once the rain stops, dry out any wet equipment as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than being holed up in a tent with wet, musty bedding or clothing.
Try to look on the bright side and maintain a positive outlook. The rain will eventually stop, so find some games to play out of the weather, or just plan to do something different. If you’re not in the remote outback, but in a popular tourist location, visit local attractions such as museums, cinemas, cafes, clubs or just take a drive and reward yourself with a meal or drink at the destination. Here are some more tips for camping in the rain, as well as some tips for maintaining hygiene while camping.