Is the Weather Terrible? You Can Still Comfortably Go Camping
By Amy Shelton
Photo © smgu3/Twenty20
Jul 25, 2019
Camping is a great activity to do in the summer with your kids. From lush green forest and fresh water, to family hikes and laughs around the campfire, what is there to dislike? (Remember: don't let those mosquitoes get you down!)
Although some may tell you that rainy weather is to fear, it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your camping adventure. Here are a few recommendations of things you can bring and do to make the most out of your vacation.
Relevant Reading: How to Help Kids Get Over Some of Their Camping Fears
What to bring?
Nothing feels worse than getting caught unexpectedly in the rain, completely unprepared. So, even if you’re expecting a sky full of sun, it never hurts to pack for what may come. Here are some things that would be handy in the event of rain:
With more than a few camping trips under my belt, I can confidently say that I never head out without my rain coat. Waterproof outer layers are easy to pack, and also allow for a much more dynamic camping experience where you have freedom to enjoy the outdoors while still staying comfortable.
One option I’d recommend is outdoor sandals. Although they won’t keep your feet dry, they offer lots of support, give you stability in slippery conditions and dry quickly. Don’t want wet feet? Rain boots are an obvious choice for wet weather, although some might find them too warm on humid summer days. Waterproof hiking shoes or boots will keep your toes dry and are meant to withstand any camping condition. And you can always just bring an extra pair of shoes. Keep one pair for when you can stay dry and one to get wet in.
Having a rain shelter is great, because you can create a dry space for hanging out when you need a break — without risking tracking water into your tent. There are plenty of options to consider, from canopy-style shelters to screened-in “kitchen” tents, but a great low cost option is simply a large tarp and some rope tied to some trees or other supports.
Expecting wet weather? Plan meals that don’t need to be heated up or can be prepared quickly in a downpour. You can’t always cook on a campfire in the rain, so make sure you have a plan B if that is your preferred cooking method. Strategically set up your tarp over where you cook to give your campsite a covered kitchen area. And remember, never use your camp stove inside your tent!
Relevant Reading: Here's What I Did To Help My Son Cope With His Fear of Weather
What to do?
Now that you’ve packed all that you need to keep you happy in the rain, the next question looms like those rain clouds: what do you do now?
A classic solution to rain day blues, break out the board games and stir up some fun family competition. A deck of standard playing cards is another go-to on my packing list. They’re super versatile and take up next to no space.
For persistent light rain, getting your kids out moving is a great way to release some of the energy they’ve likely built up waiting for the rain to end. The rain can completely alter a landscape, and there is something magical about watching it land on a lake or listening to it fall on the leaves. Plus, nothing beats stomping in a huge puddle.
Hitting the water is one of my favourite activities to do when I’m camping, regardless of the weather. Swimming in the rain is an amazing experience and a feeling like no other, but make sure there is no thunder or lightning to be heard or seen. Plus, if you’re going to be wet already, might as well make the most of it! Rain or shine, make sure to swim with a buddy and supervise children at all times.
There are so many ways to have fun in what may be considered “unenjoyable” weather. Some other tips for an optimal experience include: properly setting up your tent by avoiding locations where water can pool (e.g. holes and lower ground); keeping an eye on the sky and moving things into a shelter before the rain begins; trying to keep dry clothes dry, even if that means keeping wet clothes wet; and doing your best to keep a positive attitude.
Rain has a bad reputation, but if you’re prepared to handle it, it can just be another part of a memorable trip.
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