Camping In The Rain Checklist: Tips & Tricks For Success

camping in the rain checklist


Camping in the rain can be a lot of fun if you come prepared.

If you are not prepared, it can be one of the least pleasant experiences of your entire life.

That’s why we have put together this extensive list of everything you need to enjoy camping in the rain.

Take a look at our camping in the rain checklist and make sure you are prepared.

Don’t Forget A Waterproof Tent

waterproof tent

The first and most important thing on your list is a high-quality, waterproof tent.

Many people try and tough it out without a waterproof tent, but trust us – it is going to make this entire experience much, much worse.

Having a tent that can handle heavy rains will ensure that you have a comfortable, dry, and safe home base that will keep you dry.

We highly recommend getting a waterproof tent and making sure you know how to set it up before you are camping outside in the rain.

Go To Higher Ground

This may be obvious to experienced campers, but for novice campers, it bears mentioning.

Even if you do have a waterproof tent, it is important to set your tent up on higher ground to avoid boggy areas that will accumulate water in the rain.

Additionally, if it is likely to be extremely windy, try and pitch your tent in an area with natural windbreaks.

Be Prepared Not To Have A Stove

camping in the rain checklist

It’s important to note that depending on the intensity and duration of the rain, you may not have access to a stove or camping cookware for the entirety of your trip.

Make sure you bring plenty of food that can be easily put together and does not need to be cooked.

If the rain is only supposed to be temporary, make sure you bring plenty of snacks to hold you over while you wait for the rain to stop.

Tarps, Tarps, Tarps

camping in the rain checklist

Tarps are crucial.

When you first arrive at the campsite, whether or not it is raining, we recommend putting up a tarp.

This will make the entire experience of setting up your tent significantly easier.

Otherwise, you have to put up the fly first, and then crouch inside of it while you put up the inside, which is extremely uncomfortable.

Additionally, we always recommend bringing extras tarps because they are so versatile and useful.

You can always set up extra ones above you to create a dry living room type area.

They can also be placed on the ground to help create a barrier between you and your things and the wet ground.

Bring Plenty Of Plastic Bags

camping in the rain checklist

Plastic bags are extremely useful when you go camping, and we highly recommend bringing extra ones just in case.

You can use them to store food, keep your items organized, and protect your valuables from the rain.

If it does start raining, we recommend keeping your electronics, wallet, and other important gear in these plastic bags inside the tent.

Don’t Forget Waterproof Gear

gear on the mountaintop

This may be obvious, but we highly recommend picking up waterproof gear if you know it is going to be raining during your camping excursion.

You may be able to get by without some of the rain is going to be mild, but if you have waterproof gear, you can actually enjoy the rain.

In addition to keeping you dry in and around your tent, having waterproof gear allows you to enjoy the outdoors in the rain, which is really the whole point of your trip – to enjoy the outdoors.

Make sure you have at least a proper waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes and you can still have a lot of fun in nature, even with the rain.

Additionally, moisture-wicking clothing can help wick moisture away from you, thus keeping you dry.

Prepare For Condensation In The Tent

water droplets on tent

It’s extremely likely that between you, your gear, wet shoes, dogs, water, the rain, and the humid air, that condensation starts to form inside your tent.

This is why it is so important to keep items off of the tent walls since this is where the condensation will form.

This is especially true for anything that is not waterproof, and also your clothing.

Set Up A Rain Tarp If Your Tent Isn’t Waterproof

If your tent isn’t waterproof, make sure you bring plenty of tarps so you can set one up as a rain fly.

You will need high-quality bungee cords to make this happen, so make sure you back plenty of them.

If you are car camping, you can set the rain fly up using the roof of your car to stay dry.

Fun Things To Bring Camping When It Rains

In addition to being prepared to camp in the rain, it is also important to bring some fun things into the tent so you and your camping friends can have a great time, rain or shine.

1. Cards

cards while editing

This is a classic for a reason.

With a deck of cards, you can play all sorts of card games with varies numbers of people.

Bring a deck and you are assured to have hours of fun as the rain comes down outside.

2. A Chess Set

For the intellectuals in the group, a small chessboard can be a fantastic way to exercise your brain and provide hours of entertainment.

We recommend picking up a small magnetic chessboard as opposed to a larger wooden one.

It will take up less room in your back and the magnetic pieces will be much easier to keep track of.

3. Paper For Drawing, Charades, Etc

Paper and pens are are you need to have a great time during a raining day.

Take time to draw, write stories, color, play tic-tac-toe, or even charades.

Your imagination is the limit!

4. A Book To Read & Read Aloud

If it is raining during your camping trip, it is now the perfect time to catch up on your reading.

We also encourage you to read a book aloud to your other campers if appropriate – it will help entertain everyone.

5. Enjoy The Sounds

It can be quite relaxing to simply slow down, relax, and enjoy the sound of the rain as it comes down outdoors.

Enjoy these quiet, peaceful moments.

You may find that it is perfect for a good nap or meditative moment.

Additional Tips For Rain Camping

  • Leave Wet Gear Outside – Gear left outside is sure to become wet. Take all of your gear inside with you while it is raining. Unless, of course, your gear is already soaking wet, in which case you should leave it outside.
  • Don’t Forget About The Bottom Of Your Tent – We always recommend putting down a tarp whenever possible to ensure that the bottom of your tent does not become wet. Additionally, make sure you camp on higher ground because otherwise, you could be camping in a bog.
  • Never Cook Inside Your Tent – This is a very important one. Never, ever, under any circumstances, cook inside of your tent if you do not have a tent with a stove.
  • Wear Shorts – Wet shorts are much easier to dry than wet pants.
  • Keep Dry Clothes In The Tent – If you need to go outside that is okay, it is important to always have a set of dry clothing in the tent for you to return to.
  • Make Sure The Inside Of Your Tent Is Dry – The outer portion of most tents can handle a bit of rain. However, if the inside of your tent gets wet, you are going to have a bad time. Do whatever you can to keep the inside of your tent dry.

What Should I Do About Cooking When It Rains?

The important thing is that you never cook inside your tent unless you have a high-quality tent that can handle the cooking.

Stick to staple foods and snacks until it gets dry enough out.

Make sure you pack plenty of these foods in case it rains for the entirety of your trip.


There you have it! Our complete camping in the rain checklist.

We hope you have thoroughly enjoyed this article, and we hope you have a fantastic time camping in the great outdoors.

As you can now see, a little rain is no big deal!