I was in the checkout line at my local grocery store when I overhead the guy in front of me talking to the checkout gal about his wife and kids at the local campground and how they got rained on last night. They survived…but got a little soggy. Being “The Camping Guy”, I was about to give him some tips, but the line was growing behind me and I was getting “those stares” from other shoppers. So, instead I’ll give the tips here, so everyone can use them.
My all time favorite is Seam Sealer. I written about this a few times and even have a quiz on my blog around this idea. The bottom line is - always check your tent seams. It’s just a good habit to get into whenever you set up your tent. Sometimes it can crack or peel, exposing the stitches where water can get through. A $5 bottle of seam sealer can make the difference between a soggy campout and a dry one!
#2 Ground sheet. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen ground sheets under a tent floor that are sticking out past the tent. Imagine, as the water rolls off the tent roof and down the walls…it puddles on the ground sheet and rolls back under the floor of the tent! Yikes! So, please make sure you fold the edges of the ground sheet under the edges of the tent floor. This way, water will drain off the roof and tent walls and around the edges of the tent and soak into the surrounding ground, not roll back under the tent. (Note to self – make a video on how to properly position the ground sheet under the tent)
#3 Keep your gear away from the walls of the tent! Make sure your sleeping bags, packs, and other gear are not resting up against the walls of the tent. Remember, a tent is designed to deflect the water off the tent and onto the ground. A bump in the tent wall will cause the water to stop, pool and soak through.
#4 Bring Rain gear. Ya, pretty dumb advice, right. But, you’d be surprised how many people don’t plan for rain. I didn’t used to, but I got it drilled into me as a Boy Scout – “be prepared”. So, the next time you are at a Sporting Goods store, spend $2 on a couple plastic ponchos and tuck them into your camping gear for the next time it rains. In a pinch I’ve used green garbage bags, with holes cut out for the head and arms. They work!
#5 Take off wet gear. Once in the tent, don’t lie or sit around in your wet gear and muddy shoes. Take them off at the entrance and leave them there or some designated place for all your wet stuff! This way the rest of the tent space stays dry and warm. Sometimes I put a little piece of carpet or my SUV’s floor mats inside the front of the tent to put my hiking boots on.
#6 Relax and enjoy it. It really can be enjoyable to sit in the tent with the pitter-patter of the rain on the roof, sipping on a hot drink, reading a book or playing a card game. It’s all part of the camping adventure. And, once you know how to overcome rainy camping days, you will enjoy camping that much more.Tags: camping, camping 101, camping tips, campout success, care of your tent, ground cloth, rainy weather camping, seam sealer, tentIf you liked this post, buy me a coffee.