It happens despite our best intentions and efforts—you are all packed and ready to head down to your camping site when the dark clouds start rolling in and the rain starts to pitter-patter all around you. All of a sudden, nobody really wants to go camping anymore. Camping in the rain can really put a damper on everybody’s spirits if you let it. Although it can truly limit some of the activities you have previously planned on doing, camping in the rain can still be comfortable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.

Follow these 7 tips for camping in the rainy days, from preparation to keeping yourselves entertained, to make camping in the rain a fun and memorable experience for the whole family!

Preparations for Camping in the Rain

1. Choose your campsite location wisely.

Choose your campsiteCamping in the rain can be messy, wet, and uncomfortable—even more so when you choose your campsite poorly. Not only that, it can even be dangerous!

Choosing your campsite wisely, on the other hand, will make the difference between a terrible camping trip and a memorable experience for the rest of the family. Luckily, we have you covered with some dos and dont’s on picking the perfect location to pitch your tent to keep everyone’s spirits up and most of all, stay safe during the camping trip.


  • Pitch your tent on high, flat ground.
  • Choose a well-draining area.
  • Camp under big trees or some sort of shelter from fierce winds.


  • Camp near bodies of water.
  • Camp under overhanging branches.
  • Pitch your tent in a sloping area.
  • Camp in depressed areas where water can accumulate.
  • Camp under lone trees where lightning could strike.

2. Waterproof your tent.

Waterproopf your tentTents are usually waterproof and can hold their own even with a bit of rain. However, constant exposure to heat, wind, and rain could eventually wear down your tent’s waterproof qualities. Cleaning your tent improperly could also result in damage to the coating of the tent material, rendering it…not so waterproof.

Another key area of the tent to consider when sprucing up its waterproofing power is the floor of the tent. Nobody wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a puddle but water can leak into the floor of your tent and turn it into a mini pool.

Keeping your tent waterproof is necessary to stay dry and comfortable during a camping trip in the rain as the tent your primary source of shelter. This guide from Ardent Footsteps can teach you how to waterproof your tent so that when the rains come, you won’t have to worry about keeping dry once you are inside your tent.

3. Plastic bags are your new best friend.

They are not really the environment’s best friend but plastic bags can really save your life when you are camping out in the rain mainly because they are already waterproof themselves. Use plastic bags of all sizes from large garbage bags to the smaller Ziplock sandwich bags to protect your stuff from the rain.

You can use plastic bags to:

  • Segregate clothes and other stuff in your backpack.
  • Line your bags to protect your clothes and other belongings.
  • Protect your gadgets from getting wet in the rain.
  • Keep foodstuffs dry and protected from the rain.

Cheaper plastic bags may not be reusable, but for a single camping trip, they will do. Just remember to dispose of them properly after use. Respect the environment and campground rules by being responsible with your trash and plastic bags.

Camping Activities for Rainy Days

4. Build a fire with wet wood.

Build fires with wet woodCamping is an adventure, and in adventures, you have to be prepared for anything that can happen. You might have arrived in a sunny, dry campsite only to have gray clouds roll in and inconveniently rain down on you just as you finished setting up your tent, making you cold, and miserable.

Not only that, how can you start a proper fire to take care of that problem when the wood all around you is wet?

Thankfully, you can still start a fire with wet wood so you can cook and keep yourself warm in dreary weather conditions. Know which kind of wood you can use to build your fire as well as the steps to get it blazing cheerily in no time in this detailed guide so you will never have to suffer through the cold with gnawing hunger pangs again.

5. Tell stories.

Tell stories in the rainPeople love stories. It does not matter what age they are, everybody loves a good story and camping trips are often the best avenues to share stories.

Remember that old TV show where campers sit around a fire and tell each other scary stories? Well, you can do that huddled in your tent with the rain falling all around your and the wind whistling through the trees to create a chilling ambiance.

If ghost stories aren’t your cup of tea, funny and exciting stories from your childhood and experiences will also do. Kids especially love stories of daring and adventure, while adults love a good humorous story.

6. Hike out in the rain. Yes, you can!

Hike in the rainYou have been planning to go out on a hike but the sudden rain has ruined your plans. Or has it?

While hiking out in the rain can present different challenges to campers—muddy and slippery trails being one of them—it can still be a beautiful and memorable experience. The trails can look fresh and beautiful after a spell of rain.

Just remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to shorter trails instead of daylong treks.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and dry.
  • Bring a water bottle along and stay hydrated at all times.
  • Bring snacks you can munch on along the way.

7. Read books.

Camping and book lovers might not be a match made in heaven but if you give a bookworm a nice, dry tent, some books, and a bit of rain, they will happily agree to go camping with you. There is nothing a bookworm loves more than poring through pages with the sound of raindrops falling around them.

The next time you find yourself waiting out the rain in your tent, get a small fire going, make some hot chocolate or coffee, and whip out a few books. The image alone of you reading in your tent with a steaming mug of coffee and the rain falling around you is an Instagram-worthy picture!

The last note…

Camping out in the rain can either be the worst trip of your life or an experience that is definitely one for the books. However, making this a great and memorable experience for you and the rest of the family takes some deliberate planning and preparation (like waterproofing your tent). It also pays to pick up a few skills beforehand (like building a fire with wet wood).

Staying cooped up in your tent can keep you warm but the close quarters can give rise to short tempers if you are not careful. Defuse the situation by bringing out fun games, music, and snacks to keep everyone comfortable and happy.

In the end, the rain is not what makes the trip but it is the experience and camaraderie in itself.

What do you think of camping in the rain? What other activities can you suggest for camping in the rain? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

Melanie CampbellBio: Melanie Campbell is an outdoor and camping enthusiast behind Ardent Footsteps, enjoying this wonderful world since 2010. She shares expert advice when it comes to camping and outdoor trekking. With the main focus on making the most out of camping and outdoor adventures, Melanie will make you want to go out today!