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The Single Most Annoying Thing When Camping

There’s not much worse than when the weather doesn’t cooperate when you’re camping. Sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t care about the exciting weekend full of adventures you have planned.

Rain can turn a group of happy campers into a bunch of grumps. However, don’t go canceling your camping reservation just because there happens to be rain in the forecast.

Today, we’re sharing some things you can do to make the most of a camping trip when it rains all day. You can be the hero and turn a wet weekend into a fun and memorable camping trip.

Let’s get started!

How Do You Prepare for a Rainy Camping Trip?

When preparing for a rainy camping trip, you first want to check the weather. Getting an idea of when and how much rain to expect is important. You may be able to adjust your schedule to get any outdoor activities done before the rain starts or between rain showers. A weather app on your phone can make it easy to check for updates throughout your trip.

Setting up your campsite will be essential if there is rain in the forecast. If you are camping in a tent, you’ll want to set it up so that it’s at a slight angle. You don’t want it to be so extreme that you’re uncomfortable. However, you want it to be enough that the water flows on by and doesn’t pool around your tent.

When setting up camp, using tarps can be incredibly helpful. A tarp or other waterproof material can provide a layer between your tent and the wet ground. Even a tiny amount of water that runs under your tent can find its way in and soak the interior of your tent.

Rain can make it nearly impossible to create a fire for preparing food. Make sure you have plenty of food that doesn’t require fire for cooking and store it in waterproof containers. If not, you better hope there are restaurants or fast food options near your campground.

Should You Put a Tarp Under Your Tent?

Because Mother Nature can be unpredictable, you should always put a tarp under your tent. This helps create an extra layer between the floor of your tent and the ground. It can be extremely helpful in keeping rain from getting into your tent.

You’ll want a tarp that’s large enough to cover the entire footprint of your tent. Don’t leave any excess bits of the tap laying out. Fold any excess tarp under the tarp and tent. If you fold the tarp, it will act as a pool and collect water. You might end up being the only campsite in the campground with a tent that has a private pool.

Is It Safe in a Tent in a Thunderstorm?

If you are camping in a tent when a thunderstorm appears, it’s not a good spot to ride it out. Tents with metal poles are like lightning rods and can easily attract dangerous lightning strikes. This is especially true when camping in an open or flat field. However, lightning isn’t the only danger in a thunderstorm.

Thunderstorms can also produce intense winds. Wind gusts can cause trees and branches to come crashing to the ground. You can be severely injured or even killed if you are unlucky enough to have placed your tent under them.

If the weather intensifies, seek shelter in a vehicle or a campground facility. Many campgrounds will send staff around to warn campers when severe weather is approaching. Take these warnings seriously and gather any items that may get wet or blow away. 

FYI – Can Wind Blow Over Your RV?

What to Do When It Rains While Camping

The rain may get everything wet, but it doesn’t have to dampen your camping trip. Here are some ideas for things you can do when you have to adjust your plans because of rain.

Play Games

Bring some games you’ve always wanted to play but never had the time. If the rain sends you inside while camping, you’ll have nothing but time. Card games are great because they’re compact and lightweight. There’s also an endless possibility of games you can play with them.

This can be an excellent opportunity to teach children or others unfamiliar games. Board games can be a decent option but typically require more storage room and playing space.

However, all types of games can provide hours of entertainment.

Bring a chess board if you have a high IQ!

white and black chess board
Photo by Mateusz Dach on

Binge-Watch Shows

Are you behind on your favorite show or keep hearing from friends and co-workers about a show you just have to watch? If you have internet service, you may be able to stream shows and other content to keep you and your fellow campers entertained.

Make sure you are mindful of your data usage if you don’t have an unlimited data plan on your devices. You can burn through a tremendous amount of data while streaming.



There’s something special about the simplicity of drawing and coloring. It’s an activity that can provide entertainment for both young and old. You can engage in conversations and sing songs with each other while you create masterpieces with crayons or colored pencils.

It might be worth keeping a few adult and children’s coloring books in your camping supplies so they’re readily available. This can be an entertaining activity no matter the weather.

Listen to Music

The rain may have you singing the blues, but you can listen to any type of music to keep a positive attitude. If you subscribe to streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, download your favorite playlists so you don’t need data. You may find yourself camping in an area that doesn’t have good cell service. 

Read a Book

A rainy day is the best time to catch up on your reading. It’s something that many people enjoy but never can seem to find enough time to do. It may be worth stopping by your local library or browsing your favorite digital book store to grab a book or two before your camping trip.

Better Still…Listen to a book.

Write Stories/Journaling

While the rain may make it difficult to ignite a campfire, it may just be the perfect atmosphere to ignite your creativity. \Take advantage of the rainy day by grabbing a notebook and writing stories or journaling. You can write a fictional story about camping adventures or journal your camping experiences to reflect on later. All you need is a pen and paper to get started.

Plan Future Adventures

Sometimes life gets so fast-paced and out of control that we don’t have time to slow down and dream. Waiting out the rain can be the perfect opportunity to brainstorm future adventures. There are no bad ideas when brainstorming, so make sure everyone has the opportunity to share ideas.

Whether you want to make a list of national parks to visit or different activities you’d like to do in the future, creating an adventure bucket list can be a fun way to pass the time.

Don’t Let Rain Ruin Your Camping Trip

It can be tempting to cancel your plans or pack up camp early when it starts to rain. A rainy camping trip doesn’t have to be painful and can be a fun memory that you look back on years later. Camping in the rain requires a bit more effort and teamwork but can still be an enjoyable experience. Spend time preparing for your trip, and you can still make priceless memories with your loved ones.

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