It's no secret that here at Millets, we love camping! Come rain or shine, there's no better way to spend a weekend than in the great outdoors. However, Britain is no stranger to a bit of rain, and chances are you may experience more rain than shine. But don't let that faze you, here's our top tips for camping in the rain, so that you get the most out of your outdoor adventure.
It might seem obvious but before you go, make sure you check weather forecasts to see what the weather looks like before you go. If it says it's going to rain, make sure you take all the right kit with you to keep you dry. Even if only a few showers are forecast, play it safe and remember to take your waterproof jacket and footwear. Also check the taping of your tent's seams before leaving, you made need a sealant top up.
Pitch it properly
When deciding where to pitch your tent, you want somewhere that'll keep you out of danger from the rain. Avoid pitching your tent at the bottom of any hills, the rain will naturally run downhill and collect at the bottom which could flood your tent. If you pitch your tent on a slight incline, then face the main entrance downhill so any running water doesn't enter your tent.
Use a footprint
It is always a good idea to use a waterproof and breathable footprint underneath your tent for extra protection. This will not only protect you from the damp ground but will keep your tent cleaner for longer. If you don't have a tent-specific footprint then don't worry, a large tarp makes a fine alternative. Just remember to fold the ends of the tarp underneath so nothing sticks out; you don't want to accidentally create a funnel for the water to build up under your tent.
Make a shelter
As waterproof tarp can also be used as a shelter above your tent, which is particularly useful when pitching in the rain. By using some rope and poles or using nearby trees to your advantage, you can set up a shelter that slopes away from your tent, so the rain runs away and keeps your tent out of the splash zone. A waterproof tarp can also be set up over a picnic table for a dry space to eat and socialise. We have multiple tarps available over on our web store to choose from.
If it rains, why not make the best of a bad situation and collect some of the rain in bottles, buckets and mugs to use as drinking water?
Try to protect any vents and windows on your tent with the overhead tarp you previously set up and open them up to promote air circulation without getting rain inside your tent. When you’re sitting in your tent on a rainy day, condensation will build up inside, making everything feel cold, damp and generally uncomfortable – this is often mistaken for a leaks in your tent which is often not the case, just keeping your tent ventilated will solve this problem.
Camping in the rain checklist
- Waterproof Clothing and Footwear - Make sure you have suitable clothing for any adverse weather. Waterproof jackets, waterproof trousers and waterproof boots or wellies should be in your kit, as well as a packable poncho for extra protection. Try to avoid cotton when it rains as it soaks up the moisture rather than wicking it away.
- Plastic bags - Plastic bags are your best friends in rainy weather. Zippable plastic bags are ideal for any smaller items you want to keep dry such as electronics or books. They also keeps your gear neatly together and organised. Any larger items, such as sleeping bags, pillows and firewood, you're going to want to cover with bin bags.
- Backup entertainment - The rain may spoil a few of your planned activities so always make sure you take alternative entertainment, such as books, magazines and a deck of cards.
- Newspaper - As well as something to read when the rain keeps you stuck inside; newspaper can come in very handy. Not only is it perfect to use as a fire starter, but if you roll up a few sheets and stick them in your wet shoes it speeds up the drying process by soaking up the moisture.
Be prepared to get wet
The rain can only ruin your weekend if you let it! So don't just sit in your tent waiting for it to pass. With the right gear you can still enjoy your outdoor experience. There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear! Go hiking, fishing, play games, splash around, embrace the experience! This is your holiday so make the most of it!
Dry out your tent
Packing a tent away when wet can lead to a build-up of mould and mildew and cause long lasting damage to your tent. Obviously, it's not always possible to dry a tent out before you set off home so make sure you take it out of your bag and dry it out at the earliest possible moment.