Inspiration, Tips and Advice /
TOP 10 TIPS FOR CAMPING IN WET WEATHER
The drops are gently drumming above you and your world has shrunk down to little more than the fabric walls around. You are cocooned, warm and dry; what’s not to love about camping out in the rain?
Plenty of us enjoy taking our nylon castles out and escaping all the bricks and mortar. But we are all too quick to offer an excuse when some good old fashioned weather shows it up. Well maybe it’s time to embrace the rain; after all it’s not called ‘the great outdoors’ for nothing.
With this in mind, here are some tips on how to turn soggy sleepless nights into cosy memories and adventures.
PREPARE FOR PRECIPITATION!
Weather forecasts are an obvious place to start when you are planning a trip. If it is going to rain, make sure you have all the right kit for keeping dry. Check the taping of your tent’s seams before leaving and top up with sealant if needed.
You’ll be spending most of your time outdoors, so even if it’s just going to be a few showers still pack those waterproof trousers and jacket.
Keep checking the forecast for the area right up until you plan to go as forecasts become more accurate nearer to the time. If there are warnings of severe weather forecasted think about moving your trip to another time.
To ensure you keep all your clothing and sleeping bag nice and dry, store them in a large dry bag.
IT'S ALL ABOUT TIMING
If you can pitch your tent before a downpour it will make things a lot easier so consider getting the tent up if you see rain clouds approaching. Get to know your tent and practice putting it up before your trip. You’ll be grateful after a long day spent outside.
PITCH YOUR TENT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
Before you set up camp think about your surroundings. Which way is the wind blowing? Pitch your porch out of the wind. Make sure your tent outer is as streamlined as possible, stopping it from flapping and keeping you awake all night. Is there any natural shelter behind a wall or under a tree to help with the elements?
Whether camping out in the wild or on a campsite think of where the water is likely to gather; avoid the flat spots at the bottom of a hill. It might be the easiest place to pitch your tent but you may wake up with your head torch floating by your ankles.
A LESSON LEARNT IS A LESSON TAUT
Tents are designed to be stretched firm and taut to effectively fend off any gusts or down pours. So if you can stretch that ground sheet a littler further or make sure that guy line is a little tighter your chances of a bone dry night are that bit higher.
THE AIRLOCK SYSTEM
When the heavens open and you want to dive into your brilliantly pitched tent think twice. It is likely your tent will have an inner bedroom area and separate porch area. Make sure you use the porch area to ‘depressurize’. Keep wet waterproofs, wet boots and wet rucksacks well away from the bedroom area.
If you’re in a family style tent with a porch, this will be invaluable for removing any soaking wet waterproofs and muddy wellies before heading inside.
Some tents come with gear lofts for you to dry clothes, although this can be easily improvised with a length of chord.
SUPPER TIME BLUES
Cooking in the rain and wind can be a real challenge. Getting hold of a wind shelter for your stove can be invaluable for cooking in all weather. No matter how tempting it might be, you should never cook inside a closed tent. Try to use your tent as a shelter or look for a natural shelter that you could use to get that all important brew on.
Some people prefer to take an extra tarp to shield themselves from most of the elements when cooking.
VENT THAT TENT
Rain and water from the outside aren’t the only ways to get wet and cold when you are out camping. If you seal all the doors of your tent, over time water will condense on the inside.
To avoid this, open any vents your tent might have (most tents will come with dual zips to form an easy vent), especially if you are sharing a tent with someone. If you are still finding condensation an issue, leave a little gap when you’re zipping up the doors of your tent.
Packing up and moving on after a wet camp can be unpleasant but it doesn’t have to be. Try unpegging your tent then following Taylor Swift’s advice and shaking off as much of the water droplets as possible while the poles are still in. Keeping that bedroom dry is essential for the next night.
It can be very useful to pack the wet outer of your tent separately into a dry bag and the dry inner into another section
If you’re carrying this for a few nights, place your fly sheet in the top of your bag to help it dry off in warmer weather
Joshua Cooper - Southampton Store
Josh enjoys any kind of adventure and has worked for Cotswold Outdoor for 6 years at the Southampton Store. He is a keen rock climber and mountaineer. His exploits have led him to India, Canada and Morocco. Having lived in the Lake District he knows a little about rain. He’ll be camping and climbing in Croatia this summer.