Hiking in the rain is one thing, but camping in the rain is taking things a step further. Not only do you need to keep yourself dry as you walk throughout the day, you also need to find ways to stay comfortable when you lie down to rest at night. Our essential tips for camping in the rain will prove valuable to you if the weather forecast is looking gloomy on the days you’ve set aside for your future trip.
A waterproof tarp can provide you with some much-needed cover whenever you stop to set up camp anywhere along your journey. Tarps can also shelter your belongings from getting soaked when you set them down. They don’t need to be limited just to these roles either. String up a large tarp over your tent to provide extra protection from the elements. It can act as a buffer space for when you open up the entrance to get in and out if you extend past the opening, as well as make up for a tent that isn’t completely waterproof. Before you set out, remember that you’ll also need some rope or cord to keep your tarps from blowing away.
A bivy sack, or bivouac sack, is a waterproof bag that is designed to cover a sleeping bag. Some people use it in place of a tent, as it was originally made just for that purpose when climbers needed a minimal, easy-to-carry form of shelter. It’s probably not going to be comfortable to lie out in the rain with nothing but a bivy sack, but it can function as an added layer of protection inside your tent. The bivy sack will stop wind and water that might still get in the tent as you’re sleeping. It will also help to keep you warmer and more insulated from the cold ground beneath your tent than a sleeping bag alone.
When you are on the move from one spot to another, you’ll need to be sure you waterproof yourself as well as your stuff and your shelter. Put on a waterproof jacket, pants, and boots so that you stay dry from head to foot. If you can, find outer layers that are breathable in addition to being water impermeable so that you don’t get damp inside your clothing.
Part of waterproofing yourself is also being prepared for unexpected circumstances. With this in mind, pack a poncho that rolls up to provide extra protection. Bring plenty of base layer clothes like shirts and socks. In the event that these do get wet somehow, you’ll have more to change into that are nice and dry.
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