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Camping Tips & Tricks: Camping in the Rain

camping tips and tricks

A rainy forecast doesn't have to mean a cancelled camping trip. In fact, camping in the rain can be quite fun - provided you have the right gear and the right attitude.

Here we list some tips that will put a silver lining around any cloud.


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  • Watch the weather forecast before your trip so you can bring the right gear.

  • If rain is forecast, be sure to pack rain jackets and boots, umbrellas, extra towels and games for the kids.

  • Set up a tarp or two in your campsite to make dry gathering and sleeping areas.

  • Purchased fire starters can make starting a fire with wet wood much easier.

  • Avoid cotton clothing, it won’t keep you warm when wet. Instead, choose fleece, polypro or wool.

  • Put your ground cloth inside your tent. It will protect you from the wet ground and won’t collect water.
  • If it’s warm, embrace the rain! Dance in it, canoe or kayak in it, stomp in puddles, play in the mud, go for a hike! (Stay alert to the possibility of thunderstorms and make sure you can access cover quickly.) You’ll be surprised how fun playing in the rain can be! Enjoy a nice hot shower in the park campground afterwards.
  • Attend an indoor nature program, spend the afternoon at the movies, have dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Savor the sweetness of falling asleep to the sound of rain.

  • If you’re really miserable, you can always go home and come again another time.

  • Air-dry any wet gear when you get home.

More Camping Tips & Tricks:

These fun videos walk you through some important camping skills
Weekend Itineraries
Wondering where to go and what to do? These sample itineraries figure it all out for you
Checklists & Instruction Sheets
What to pack, first aid kits, cooking tips, pets, rain and more!
Menus & Recipes
Seven camp-tested menus with recipes and shopping lists for any appetite
Fun Activities
Here we give you some ideas of fun things to do on your next camping trip
iPhone & Android Apps
Download one of our free smart phone apps to find parks for the activities you want to do
Park Events
All summer you can attend free concerts, nature and interpretive programs in the parks, see our schedule.

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