32 Tips for Camping in the Rain

32 Tips for Camping in the Rain

rain camping

Camping in the rain can be fun and also a little disappointing when the rain ruins your plans for a fun outdoor adventure. It doesn't have to be all bad though. Here are a few tips and tricks for making the most out of camping in the rain.

  1. Find the Best Tent Site
  2. Finding the best site for your tent is just as important even when the weather is clear. With a tent you need to ensure that your campsite has proper drainage and that your tent will be able to handle any precipitation that comes at it, including any potential wind gusts if you are camping somewhere windy. Check the ground for rocks or sticks which could puncture a bottom on your sleeping pad or even tear a hole in your air mattress making for a very cold evening of sleep. Also make sure you camp away from bears and other wildlife.

  3. Wear Extra Warm Layers
  4. When camping in the rain you will most likely end up wet during some part of the day from either being out in the downpour or from having some part of your clothes become moist as they absorb water. On top of that, you will have already made your body wet before it begins to cool down in the evening. To keep yourself warm, wear layers. One way to stay extra warm is putting on an insulating layer like a fleece or wool sweater or sweatshirt before you go to bed at night because this will hold in the warmth your body naturally generates when sleeping, so long as you are not lying directly on the ground.

  5. Use Hand Warmers
  6. Hand warmers will come in handy whenever you need to warm your hands. Leave them in a pocket or sock so that they will be close to your torso and thus hold in more heat.

  7. Wear Orange Clothing
  8. Orange clothing is the universal safety color meaning it will be easier for you to be spotted by rescue workers. Plus, wearing orange won't make much of a difference in terms of heat retention.

  9. Bring a waterproof backpack
  10. Put your safety supplies in a waterproof backpack and carry it with you when you leave the tent. Your supplies should be placed in individual plastic bags or containers to keep them dry.

  11. Eat Warm Meals
  12. Just like having warmer clothing or staying dry can help keep you afloat during bad weather conditions, so too can eating warm meals provide extra insulation from the cold.

  13. Exercise Carefully
  14. Any strenuous activity such as running, jumping or climbing will just drain even more heat from your body so be careful about exercising too much.

  15. Camp Near Water
  16. Not only is water good for drinking but it's also excellent at buffering direct heat loss from Windchill and cooling your skin via evaporation. Try to camp near a lake or stream if possible and gather fresh water for drinking each day or two if necessary.

  17. Always Have an Emergency Plan
  18. One of the best ways to stay warm during bad weather is to have a plan in place in the event things start to go wrong. Have a backup way of starting a fire if your matches get wet, check your gear every day to make sure it's still in good working order and have a backup location in mind if you can't stay where you are.

  19. Avoid Alcohol
  20. Ethanol is extremely flammable and will dry out your skin, increasing heat loss. In cold or wet conditions, alcohol consumption should be avoided when possible because of this effect.

  21. Wear the Right Clothing
  22. While wearing lots of clothes might keep you warm in a sauna it has a terrible insulative value when wet. Make sure that any clothing worn while camping in the rain is either totally waterproof or at least resistant to moisture damage.

  23. Make Sure Your Tent is Waterproof
  24. Another important tip is to make sure your tent can keep out water and windchill. A tarp laid over the top will help provide extra insulation from the cold air outside.

  25. Keep Moving If You Get Cold
  26. The last tip you should follow is to not stop moving if you feel yourself getting cold. One method that many people use is what's called "Yoga Fire" where they sit down with their arms circled around their knees and lean forward. This helps trap body heat to keep them warm while allowing them to still move around freely for work or leisure.

  27. Don't Spread the Rain
  28. Another common mistake made when it comes to camping is spreading out parts of the tent that is getting wet. This causes water to travel through your tent and ruin your gear. Instead, you want to put all your things in a corner and keep them there until they're ready to be packed up for departure.

  29. Pack Extra Clothes
  30. It's also important to pack extra clothes in case you get soaked or soiled while you are out in the rain. You can place these clothes on top of parts of your body that might not stay warm when exposed such as hands and face. Just remember to take them off when you go inside because keeping them on too long will reduce the insulation qualities needed by other parts of your body.

  31. Use a Bivy Bag
  32. Use one of these to help keep your sleeping bag dry while you are out in the rain. It also traps more heat inside the sleeping bag, which is good for keeping you warm when it's cold outside.

  33. Make sure that food is stored properly
  34. Keep all of your food in airtight containers and place them off the floor so that they can stay dry if water does get into your tent or shelter. Keeping it elevated also makes it harder for bugs to reach.

  35. Preheat Your Clothes
  36. Preheating your clothes helps to trap heat in a bit better. Get them wet and then hang them in the shelter or your tent. Make sure that they are spaced out so they can dry faster and you can easily get dressed when it's time to go outside.

  37. Wear Waterproof Boots
  38. This is one of the most important pieces of advice for camping in the rain. This keeps your feet from getting wet, which keeps you warmer and drier than if you had just worn sneakers during your camping trip.

  39. Bring Thick Socks
  40. Thick socks will help with keeping your feet warm, but it will also help with the boots. Ensure that the socks are thick enough that they won't fit into your boot, or else water can seep in.

  41. Boil Water for Drinking
  42. This should go without saying if you're out camping and you need water to drink and cook with. You'll be better off boiling the river or lake water than drinking straight from it without boiling it.

  43. Don't Wash Dishes in Rivers or Lakes
  44. This isn't just advice for camping in the rain, but also any other time you're roughing it outside. There are plenty of small animals that could get into your food and cause some serious health problems.

  45. Bring Extras of Everything
  46. This includes your tent, sleeping bag, utensils, and everything else you'll need while camping. It's always a good idea to carry extras because you don't know when something might break and leave you stranded out in the wild.

  47. Keep Your Tent Zipped
  48. You should keep your tent zipped at all times during rain. This ensures that you won't get any leaks in your living quarters.

  49. Bring trash bags
  50. Trash bags can be used to store clothes in a corner. The trash bags will protect your clothes from all of the rain.

  51. Keep Your Sleeping Bag Open
  52. Keeping your sleeping bag open allows you to remain warm while still trying to stay dry. As long as you have a tarp over your head, you should be fine because it will give off enough heat for you to survive without any problem.

  53. Be Stealthy With Fire
  54. When camping in the rain, fire might not be ideal especially if the ground has become very soggy and muddy. But if you do want to start a fire, be sure it's in an area where the heat will not cause any damage to the surroundings.

  55. Be Prepared For The Worst
  56. Don't forget about emergency items such as a first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, and flares. You can also pack things like tarps for shelter and extra blankets so you'll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings your way.

  57. Pack Extra Food And Drink
  58. Be sure to bring lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks just in case the road is closed or some other issue happens that prevents you from leaving the campsite too soon.

  59. Remember To Have Fun
  60. Always remember what camping is all about: having fun! Rain won't stop you from enjoying yourself if you make the most out of it. Just have fun while being safe.

  61. Don't Leave Your Food Out Overnight
  62. You should never leave food outside overnight , even in your tent . There will always be animals getting into things and trying to take anything they can get their paws into.

  63. Have A Backup Plan
  64. Just in case an emergency happens and you can't make fire because of the rain, be sure to have a backup plan on what your group will do instead should this unfortunate scenario come true.


Camping in a tent, sleeping under the stars is what many people enjoy about going camping. So if you want to make sure you don't get wet make sure to bring a tent with a waterproof fly that covers even the tallest peaks . Having lots of trees around can also help keep your tent from getting soaked through. Even if it's raining when you're waking up there's nothing better than being protected from the elements inside your cozy warm sleeping bag.

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of CamperRules.com, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

Follow Me @ Twitter | Facebook | KevinPommells.com

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.