Simple Instructions For Pitching A Dry Campsite In The Rain


You’ve woke up on the day you’re supposed to go on a camping trip, and it is raining. So, the first thing that ran through your mind is – it is time to cancel the trip and get back into bed, right? If you do this, you’ll miss the chance to experience something new, amazing, and, above all else, different, and challenging.

This article will lead you through the process of setting up a dry camp even under the rain. So don’t let a bit of bad weather spoil your fun – nature is pretty amazing even when it makes you wet! Take a look at this step by step guide, pack your stuff, and off you go! Of course, it is not necessary to follow these steps exactly, but it should serve you as a good opening point and help you stay on track if you start to lose an idea of what to do. So, how to set up a tent in rain?

1. Plan And Try At Home

When it comes to setting up a tent in the rain, it is essential to be prepared for everything. The night before you go, make a step by step plan and try your best to keep up with it. Sit with all of the future campers and go through the process. If someone has a proposition, hear it out. Remember – a camping trip should be about having fun, so try to keep everyone included, but don’t force it upon someone. Go through the plan until everyone says yes to their tasks.

Make a list of all the gear you’ll need and pack it up so it is within hand reach and easily accessible.

Now it is time to switch from tactics to practice. Try to go through all the steps and set up the camp inside your house, before you head to the campsite. If you’re not sure how to execute something, this is your chance to learn. Once on the campsite, it will be a bit harder, especially if the rain is pouring down and you want to hurry up. Practice hanging the tarp, try to get the tent up as quickly as possible. If you decide to do it in a backyard, you could add up the sprinklers and have a real simulation.

2. Finding The Best Place

Once you get to your campsite and get to choose the place, make sure there are no tall trees around if it is raining, because tall trees could attract lightning during thunderstorms. Don’t build trenches. And do not build your camp near the water, because it could easily and quickly rise, no matter how small it may look at first. You don’t want to risk being in the center of flash flooding.

Look for higher ground than the area around it. If that is not possible, at least try to avoid the low-lying area or canyon floors, wash… Another place you should evade is the bottom of a slope or any similar area where you spot water gathering. If you spot an overhang or a boulder, that is the place you should go to.

3. Think About Your Relief

Let us tell you a secret – setting up a tent while it’s raining outside is nowhere near being fun. If you, while doing that, have unfitting shoes, you’ll be looking at the efficient way to ruin your trip before it has even begun. Invest in waterproof boots before you start your journey, it will make the whole situation way more comfortable.  If you don’t have them, the simple rubber boots will do the trick. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to summer. If the temperature is high, getting the camping sandals will save you – they dry fast, have a good grip on wet surfaces so you won’t have to worry about slipping, and most importantly – fit well enough during the hike.

And if you think about how to keep yourself from getting wet, visit your camp store and ask for rain gear. You should find anything you need – from a raincoat to the waterproof flashlight and fire starter. Or try and make some by yourself.

4. Get The Fly Ready At Home

If the forecast says there is a great probability of rain, you should roll the rain fly inside of your tent while still at home. Open the tent, stretch the rain fly inside. There is a possibility some of the water will get through the mesh portions, but the rain fly will keep the floor dry, which is another benefit, besides the fact that, while you spread the fly, you could also have an extra camping night by doing it inside your house. Also, do not forget – there could be small puddles of water when you set up the tent on a rain fly, so be careful when you take it off to reposition it.

5. Single Wall Tent Is An Option To Consider


Single wall tents are way easier to set up in the wind or rain, as their rain fly is not separated from the tent, so you won’t have to fight the wind while you try to hold it still enough to place it where it should be. Besides that, the time needed for setting the single wall tent up is way less compared to a two wall tent. And make sure it is waterproof.

6. Waterproof Bivouac Shelter As Plan B

If something goes wrong and your tent gets all wet inside, having a bivouac sack – or simply a bivvy – could make the difference between having a nervous breakdown and having fun. In fact, this item should be included in your list of essentials and you should have it by yourself all the time, while you’re camping or hiking.

If the interior of your tent becomes so wet you couldn’t sleep in it, set up the bivvy inside your tent. It is a lightweight shelter that most campers or climbers use as emergency weather protection. Most of them are waterproof – but check this when you buy it – could endure a lot of bad weather, and keep the body heat inside, this way preventing you from getting cold.

7. Sponge Can Be Your Best Friend

Now that you’ve set up the bivvy inside your tent, it is time to remove the water out of it. And there is no better way to do this compared to a large sponge. Besides this, think about bringing a small shovel. You could use it to divert small streams of water that go across your campsite or to fill up any newly formed puddles. The third thing you could look out for is quick dry micro-towels, which you could use to wipe the water out.

8. Wait It Out

No matter how hard it rains during the day, there will be periods when it slows down or stops for some time. That is why you have an option to simply sit somewhere and wait for the rain to slow down before you set up the tent, this way avoid doing it in the rain. If you have a lightweight tarp, set it up, create a shelter, make some tea or coffee and wait until the rain stops. Who says you have to set up the tent to start your camping fun?

9. Don’t Forget Your Backpack

The two most important things you’ll need to keep dry at any cost are your clothes and your sleeping bag. The third one on the list is your backpack. Remember, all the important things – your documents, your personal equipment, gear – are in your backpack, and if that gets wet you could end up being in big trouble. That is why you should get a rain cover for your backpack, just in case.

10.  Steps To Set Up The Tent

Your gear is safe and dry, your tent’s floor is protected by the rainfly, now it is time to set the tent up.

Set Up A Tarp

Yes, you should do your best to avoid being around tall trees when it’s raining because it could be dangerous during thunderstorms, but the small ones could be really helpful, as they could provide you with a place to set up the lightweight tarp or a rainfly.

Set Up The Groundsheet

If you own the freestanding tent, set the groundsheet up under the tarp, and place your tent on top of it. If your tent is a tarp one, place it wherever you find it best, but think about turning it so the tarp above provides you with a bit of dry space in front. Also, although you don’t need it, having a groundsheet is recommended even for a tarp tent, as it will prevent the mud from reaching your tent bottom.

Move Your Packed Stuff And Gear

Now it is time to move all your stuff from your car to your tent and open them without the risk of getting them wet. Then unload them and place your sleeping bag, gear, first aid kit, etc. in their place.

Time For The Second Tarp

If you’ve done setting your tent up and placing your clothes and other stuff into their place, it is time to set the second tarp up, around 100-150 feet from your tent. This is where the cooking and eating area will be. Once the second tarp is lifted, place your stove or your grill or the whole kitchen there and start enjoying your camping trip!

Hang The Wet Stuff To Dry

Before you start to cook and/or eat, take off your wet clothes and hang them under the tarp next to your tent to dry. This rule doesn’t apply to beer countries, where you’d want to eat and remove your food away as quickly as possible.

If It Still Rains And It Is Time To Go

Rain could be fun on the day you arrive, but it can become a real nerve cracker if it continues to pour all stay long. Now when the time to pack has come, there are some steps you could follow, that will ease the camp breaking process up.

Start by packing your sleeping bag, mattress, and clothing in your dry bags and move them under the tarp. Shake off as much water as you can, then move your tent under the tarp and remove the rest of the water before packing it up. The next step will be muddy and most likely really wet – take your groundsheet, try to remove as much mud and water as possible, then place it in a bag separately from other stuff.  Now it is time to get your cooking gear, pack it up and place it into your car. Last but not the least, remove the tarp you’ve used for cooking first, then when all other stuff is packed, remove the last tarp, pack it up and you’re good to go.

Globo Surf Overview

If you camp long enough, you’ll end up getting caught in rain eventually. Although maybe not so pleasant, it shouldn’t be something that will force you to cancel your trip. This article should serve you as a simple guide on how to camp in the rain and what to do to minimize the stress and maximize the fun.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!