You’ve been counting the hours to your dream camping trip. You’ve packed your gear and tent and the day has finally arrived. Unfortunately, 40 days and 40 nights of rain seem to have come along with the big day threatening to destroy your vacation plans. So how do you salvage that long anticipated trip when you fear the wrath of God is upon you? Easily – you prepare for it. Here are some tips for surviving an epic flood without an ark.
How Do I Keep Everything Dry?
- First, buy a tent that isn’t begging to be drenched by the first drop of rain. Tent material and coating will have a measurement in how waterproof it is. It will be a number in millimetres. The higher the number, the more waterproof the tent.
- Tarp the shit out of everything. Tarp under your tent which not only acts as a barrier between ground water and the tent but protects the floor of it as well. Tarp over the tent high on the front and low on the back to allow the rain to roll right off. Make sure there are no dips or you’ll be daring the water to dump on you when it pools during a night storm.
- Keep items a few inches from the outside walls of the tent. Condensation will form in damp, cold conditions and touching the actual surface will cause water to drip in.
- Roll your pjs, pillows and blankets in your sleeping bag to keep them warm and dry. Better yet if you will be in the car bring your pjs with you to get toasty warm.
- A portable heater meant for camping will have you high and dry and as warm as a hot dog over a fire. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions because well its just not fun to end up dead on your epic camping trip.
- When it finally does stop raining, open the flies of the tent to allow the tent to dry out in the warmer air.
How Am I Going To Cook?
- If your budget can afford it buy one of those canopy tents which can be as cheap as $30. These provide protection from rain so you can whip up a gourmet meal on your gas cookstove. Be careful not to set the tent on fire – you may need it again.
- Some parks have kitchen buildings you can set your cookstove up in. Take what you need, go have a meal and relax in the comfort of the shelter.
- Try out that awesome looking restaurant in the nearby town. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were discovered due to bad weather.
- Eat food that doesn’t need to be cooked. Fruit, a bowl of cereal or a can of cold beans can be cracked open and consumed in the comfort of your car.
What Activities Can I Do?
- If there is no lighting or if raining lightly you can still hike, swim, canoe and fish. Quit being a baby, put on some water-resistant clothes you should have packed and go and enjoy yourself. I love photographing in the rain, it adds drama to the photos.
- Is there a museum, shopping or a theatre in the nearby town? Every town has something to do indoors. Get in the car and make a day trip out of it.
- There is still the good ol’ stand bys – read, play cards or board games or other activities that are possible in a tent.
- If the guy next to you has a sweet set up and is sitting dry and comfortable, go over and strike up a conversation. Maybe you’ll get invited in to dry off.
Rain doesn’t have to spell impending doom for tent camping. These tips will keep you dry and before you know it, the sun will be shining and you won’t have missed a single awesome moment of your trip! If these tips don’t work… it maybe time to start building that ark!
~True North Nomad
What are your tips for keeping yourself busy, fed and dry when camping?
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