A camping trip can be an exciting, enjoyable and eco-friendly way to travel and explore. You can go hiking, mountain biking, surfing… or just exploring and traveling around. But when the weather is wet and rainy, there is plenty of potential for things to go wrong. Being prepared, sensible, and choosing the right gear such as all-weather tents, a waterproof backpack, and the right outdoors clothing can make a big difference. Here are five tips for a stress free camping trip in wet weather.
Know Before You Go
If you are planning a camping trip in a rainy climate, it is important to check the weather forecast before you leave. While camping can be great fun in all weathers and all seasons, it is vital to know what conditions you are likely to be facing. It is also important to do your research regarding the places you intend to stay, and what the terrain and facilities will offer.
Choose the Right Tent
If you are tent camping, then it is important, if rain is forecast, to make sure that you have the right tent for the climate and conditions. A cheap summer tent may be fine for sunny, balmy conditions, but could leak badly in heavy rain. Make sure you have a three or four season tent that will stay dry inside even in a heavy downpour. A tent with a porch will also be handy when you need to get in and out of wet weather gear without saturating your sleeping quarters.
How do you know if the tent is waterproof? Tent fabric is never 100% waterproof because it needs to breathe. But this is a bigger problem with clothes we wear, because we constantly rub the fabric and push the water in. With tents, they are made in such a way that the outer shell never touches the inner tent. This way you can get away with much lower level of waterproofness. Still it is better if the outer fabric has at least 3.000-5.000mm HH. HH means hydrostatic head which tells you how much water pressure the tent could hold overhead before water began to seep through the fabric. The minimum level to classify a tent as waterproof is 1,500mm HH, but you can obviously opt for the highest number you can afford. Still, if the tent is not constructed correctly water can get in through seams, so not everything depends on the water column.
Pitch in the Right Location
Wherever you choose to camp, it is important to take the conditions on the ground into account, and to choose a pitch that is suitable for the rainy weather. Do not pitch at the bottom of a slope, or too close to a river or waterway, or you could quickly find yourself in a soggy situation. Try to find a place that is at least a little bit elevated.
Make Sure You Have a Waterproof Backpack
Having the right backpack is very important on a simple, back-to-basics camping trip. It is terrible to get into a dry tent, out of the weather, only to find out that everything in your backpack is damp. A good quality, waterproof backpack can make all the difference. It will keep your clothes and other belongings dry no matter how wet things get outside.
There are lots of backpacks that are labelled as waterproof but only a few of them really are. The rest are usually made out of partly waterproof fabric but not in a way that keeps the water out if you are dealing with more than a light rain. For heavier rains you want a backpack that is 100% waterproof and will keep your things dry even when dropped in the water. One of the best waterproof backpacks is the DryTide 50l waterproof backpack, it has plenty of room for a few days of gear and loads of features that set it apart from other waterproof backpacks.
Pack Clothes Suited to the Weather
Of course, it is also very important to make sure that you have the right clothes with you for your wet weather camping trip. There is an old saying that goes something like: “There is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.” So make sure you have good waterproof jacket, hiking boots and even pants. Clothes are very hard to dry in a tent, so it is best if you don’t get wet in the first place. With the right wet-weather gear, any outdoors recreation can be a lot of fun, all year round.
If you are planning a camping trip in rainy weather, don’t be disheartened by the forecast. Instead, make sure you are prepared and pack well, and you will be able to enjoy time spent in nature without stress, and still have a lot of fun.