9 tips for camping in the rain | Great Lakes Guide

Environment and Education

9 tips for camping in the rain

Published June 22, 2018

Sometimes, it rains. But a little water doesn’t have to drown out your fun! Don’t let a little bit of rain ruin your camping experience.

Here are 9 ways to help you deal with camping in the rain.


Avoid pitching your tent on a hill or in a hole

Try to camp on higher ground with a bit of elevation and avoid camping too close to lakes and rivers, just in case they swell. This will help you avoid potential flooding and waking up in 5 cm of water! Pitch your tent close to the camping rain shelter for your own safety as well.


Bring good rain tarps for camping

These rain tarps for camping are an essential part of a successful rainy camping trip. They can be draped over your tent for extra protection from the rain, and under your tent in case the ground gets soaked. You can also use these tarps to help keep your clothes dry — string up some rope under the tarp for a quick and easy clothing line.

Worried about everyone curling up in their own tent and missing out on social time? Create an outdoor living room! String up your tarp between some trees for a makeshift shelter. Set up some comfy folding chairs, ambient lights, and break out the snacks and board games to keep the fun going all day long.


Bring lots of lighting

Rain often means dark, cloudy skies. Bring extra flashlights to hang up, or LED lights to string around your campsite for extra ambient lighting. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries!


One word: Snacks

We don’t know about you, but rain makes us hungry. Make sure you have lots of snacks and comfort food on hand for a rainy day! Better yet, bring hot chocolate or Irish coffee to ward off cold, hangry tummies.


Bring lots of plastic bags

Plastic bags will make your life a whole lot easier. Use them to wrap up any wet items that you want to keep separate from your dry things (and don’t bring any wet items into your tent!). Use plastic bags to line your backpacks and bags, especially in places where you store your electronics.

You can even tie or tape bags around the bottom of your pants to make sure your legs stay nice and dry during your morning trip to the loo.


Wear good rain gear

Remember the good ol’ days of wearing splash pants and wellies as a kid? Grab your old wet-weather gear and jump into some puddles! Investing in good rain jackets, pants, and boots can be a real lifesaver when you’re camping in the rain. Staying dry is the key to staying comfortable!


Don’t be afraid to go outside

A little rain never hurt anyone! Unlike the Wicked Witch of the West, you won’t melt. So don’t be afraid to go out and have some fun! Swimming, cycling, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities can be equally fun in the rain. In fact, paddling on the lake with rain drops falling all around you is a unique and magical experience.


If you plan on hiking, bring hiking sticks

When it rains, it might get muddy and slippery. Bring along some walking sticks or find some good, old-fashioned wooden sticks to help you keep your footing along the way.


In a thunderstorm, stay under tent protection

In the case of lightning and thunder, it is safest to stay under the protection of your tent. But don’t despair! There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

This is the perfect excuse to chat and catch up with your friends and family, or take that long overdue nap. Listen to the rain pattering on your tent roof, blast some rainy day tunes, and play your favourite board games.

This is also a great opportunity to read that book that has been sitting on your shelf for ages, or listen to an audiobook.

We recommend these audiobooks for rainy camp days:

The Ghosthunter Series

by Cornelia Funke (read by John Beach)
Are you a fan of things that go bump in the night? Swap campfire ghost stories for some rainy tent ghost stories! These short and entertaining books have just the right amount of suspense and spookiness for the whole family.

The Harry Potter series

by J.K. Rowling (Read by Jim Dale or Stephen Fry)
Whether you are a fan of the voice of Jim Dale or Stephen Fry, these books are the perfect soundtrack to a rainy day. As the rain patters on your tent roof you will be transported to Hogwarts, with magical spells and creatures to enchant you for hours on end.

Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson (Read by Alfred Molina)
This book will take you away from your rain-soaked tent to a far-off land filled with pirates and buried treasure. Whether you are 13 or 93, this classic tale will take you on a fun swashbuckling adventure like no other.

If you are looking for more great books to read in the rain, check out the What to read by the water article for more inspiration.





Fall, Spring, Summer