As an outdoors lover, I know that Mother Nature does it best: waterfalls, glaciers, canyons, rainbows, and more. However, sometimes nature presents you with unfavorable conditions. After a recent trip to rainy Iceland, I could have used more tips of rainy camping. That’s why I have asked peer adventure travel writer, Megan Holmes, to help you and me out with her emergency guide to rainy camping.
Ready, set, go Megan!
Rain comes at the most inconvenient times. Just as you step out of the office, for example, even though the skies were promising an hour ago – or just as you’ve hitched up that tent. While some campers pack up and leave when it starts to drizzle, others test their luck and hope for the best. If you belong to the last category, it’s a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
You know, in case the rain doesn’t stop at all.
Feel the weather
When rain is on the way, you may be able to recognize the signs on your surroundings. Call it old fisherman’s intuition or whatever you’d like, but the clues are there, and they’re real – we humans did, after all, use to depend on being able to predict the weather if we were going to survive.
A specific type of calm might linger in the air, for example, and those sudden gusts of wind may also hint about what’s coming. If you have a dog, you might even notice that he or she is a bit more erratic before heavy rain sets in, so keep your eyes open, and you’ll be able to spot the bad weather before it hits.
Pack a lot of plastic bags
Camping trips of any kind should be filled with plastic bags, but especially when rain has been predicted. It’s perfect for wrapping up your clothes and electronic in, food that might get wet, and even around your shoes if they don’t hold water as well as advertised.
You need sealable plastic bags for your electronics, though, so make sure you bring different ones in all shapes and sizes. They’ll come in handy in any way.
Check the terrain
Before setting up your tent, it’s smart to have a look at the terrain. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere the rain might gather, so try to look for somewhere that slants slightly downhill without being uncomfortable.
It’s the kind of stuff that might make the difference between waking up dry or swamped in rainwater. A good tent can make all the difference, though, and you might as well start here before looking for a good spot to camp in. The better the tent, the fewer risks you’ll be taking in terms of harsh weather.
Grab a few newspapers too, if you happen to have any of those around still, and keep it dry in case you need to use it later.
It will be your best friend on camping trips when you need a fire starter, to stick in your shoes in order to make them dry a bit faster – or just to read old news in your tent while the rain is pouring down.
**Post contributed by peer adventure travel writer and lover of the outdoors, Megan Holmes.**