How to Maximize Fun When Camping in the Rain
Nothing can ruin a perfectly planned camping trip faster than wet weather. Rain can quickly dampen everyone’s mood, put a stop to activities, and cause major camping discomfort. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and knowing what to do when camping in the rain, you can maximize the fun despite the wet weather. As a father of three and an experienced camper, here are my top tips for making the most out of wet weather camping.
Invest in a Quality Tent and Tarp
Investing in the right kind of tent can make all the difference in the camping experience. Choose a quality tent that’s waterproof and has adequate ventilation. Many tents have up to three layers of water resistant fabric which will keep you dry even in the heaviest rain, and the ventilation will keep everyone cool and comfortable too.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to invest in a large tarp, such as roof-top camping tents. These tents are great for providing extra protection in wet weather. They are lightweight, easy to set up and can be placed strategically around the campground to provide hours of additional dry space, allowing you and your group to maximize your camping activities even during rainy weather.
Stoke a Roaring Fire
For many campers, having a campfire can be the highlight of the trip. But, when the weather is wet it can be a challenge to keep the fire roaring. The key is to use the right kind of wood, which is wood that’s been properly dried and seasoned. This type of wood is often found at your local hardware store. Also, adding some kindling can help get the fire started faster and keep it going longer.
If you can keep the fire going, it’s a great spot to hang out, snuggle under blankets, have a hot drink, share stories, and even cook some tasty treats. Be aware of the area’s fire regulations, and for safety, always have a bucket of water nearby to keep the fire under control.
Explore and Take Time to Appreciate Nature
Rainy weather is the perfect excuse to explore your surroundings. Take some time to walk around the campground, appreciate nature’s wonders, and enjoy the beauty of the area. Depending on where you’re camping, you may find that the trails and nearby streams are more enjoyable in the rain — make sure you bring an umbrella just in case!
Create Fun Games and Activities
Rainy weather can create ideal conditions for fun activities. Get creative and make up stories, have an indoor scavenger hunt, or play some classic board games. Break out your playing cards for endless games of Go Fish, Crazy Eights, or War. You can even check out some modern versions, such as Lost Cities, Tell Tale, and High-Low.
You can also make use of any indoor space available, such as a screened-in porch, cabin, or camper. Kids can have special requests — set up a tent in the living space and host a movie night, complete with popcorn and blankets. This is also the perfect time to teach campers some new skills, such as how to tie knots or carve spoons.
Cook the Most Delicious Camp Meals
When it comes to food, rainy weather can open up a world of camping cooking opportunities. Try your hand at some good old-fashioned campfire cooking, making use of pans, Dutch ovens, and grills. You can also whip up some delicious one-pot meals like beef stew, mac and cheese, or chili. And, you can’t forget about making desserts, such as cobblers or fire-roasted s’mores.
Be sure to prepare for rainy weather cooking, bringing enough fuel, supplies, and utensils. Check out my education article on the best cooking supplies and equipment to bring as well.
Take Some Time to Relax
Rainy weather can provide the perfect excuse for some quiet bonding time with your family and friends. This is an opportunity to unplug and really take in the experience. Whether it’s snuggling in the tent, sipping hot cocoa, or listening to the sound of the rain, this is a chance to relax, reflect, and enjoy some quality time with the people in your life.
Don’t miss the opportunity to watch some of the most stunning sunsets too. As the rain clouds clear, the sky lights up for some spectacular displays — enjoy it with your group and capture some beautiful memories.
Watch and Learn From Nature
Wet weather is the perfect time to observe and learn from nature. Take this opportunity to step away from your electronics and appreciate the beauty the world has to offer. From plants and insects to animals and birds, there is so much to observe. If you’re lucky, you may even get a glimpse of some of the area’s wildlife.
If possible, combine these observations with a video camera, such as a GoPro. Having a GoPro is great for documenting your adventure too — you can use it to make some cozy campfire videos or capture the perfect sunset. This can be a great learning experience for kids too, as they start to understand how animals and plants function in their environment.
Never Forget a Rainy Weather Essential
Finally, don’t forget to bring along some essential items that help keep you comfortable and dry in rainy weather. This could include ponchos, rain boots, tarps, waterproof matches, stackable containers, and umbrellas. You can also get creative with your supplies, such as using garbage bags to create an impromptu shelter, making use of spare clotheslines to hang wet items, and don’t forget to bring some extra towels just in case.
Watch this video for more ideas on what to bring when camping in the rain:
Rainy weather can be stressful, but with a little preparation and some creative ideas, you can have an adventurous camp trip in spite of the wet weather. By investing in quality gear, building the perfect camp fire, exploring your surroundings, and creating games and activities, you can maximize the fun even in wet weather.