7 essential tips for wet-weather camping

Person in yellow rain poncho sits on log in front of orange and blue tents.

Rain doesn’t have to spoil your camping adventure.

Rain. We know it does wonderful things and is essential to our survival, but sometimes it feels like the relative that you had to invite to your wedding. It’s unwelcome, makes for an awkward situation, and kills the mood.

One instance where rain can have a negative impact is when you’re camping. But instead of letting a downpour deter you from exploring this incredible country of ours; simply take time to prepare yourself for wet-weather camping. This way, you can eliminate any issues that arise when rain drops by to say hello.

To help you out, we’ve put together a series of great tips for camping in wet weather.

 

1. Be well-equipped for rainy camping

If it does rain when you’re camping, it’s important to have the right equipment to minimise the weather’s impact.

Some items that you’ll need to pack are obvious: warm clothing, including raincoats, gumboots, beanies, and gloves. In addition, pack a spare set of clothes in a waterproof bag to insure against a worst-case scenario. Rain ponchos may well be your best friend, and old towels are great for mopping up any water.

Take several tarpaulins, as the trusty tarp not only protects against the rain but also shields wind (and the sun if you manage to catch a glimpse of it).

Be armed with loads of plastic bags and ziplock bags – you’ll always find a use for these when it rains. As a bonus, they are cheap, take up minimal room, and are extremely lightweight.

Some backup food options are also essential if the weather ruins your plans to cook a hearty winter meal.

Girl in gumboots, winter coat and beanie stands in puddle of snow in bare forest.

Make sure you are warmly dressed when camping in winter.

2. Is your tent really waterproof?

Another item you’ll absolutely require is a waterproof tent, complete with a rain fly. But it’s no good realising after the fact that your tent isn’t waterproof. Test it out before you head away – this may mean simply setting it up in the backyard and giving it a quick spray with the garden hose. This small task will you save you plenty of grief if it turns out your tent is damaged.

3. Think about the best place for your tent when it's raining

When you get to your BIG4 campsite, take a look at the surrounds and consider where best to place your tent. Are there any puddles of water around? Is the tent placed on the flattest part of the ground? Will the ground ably support your tent pegs? Be sure to put a waterproof tarp underneath the tent as well as over it.

Having ventilation in your tent is important for avoiding condensation, so placing a tarp over the tent should help to prevent rain sneaking in through the tent ‘windows’.

If there is a downpour, keep your bedding and other items away from the tent walls, as this will avoid water leaking inside. There is a science behind this tip, but all you really need to know is that this simple action could avoid putting a huge dampener on your camping trip. Literally.

Yellow and grey tent viewed through rain-speckled camera lens.

Your tent's location and condition are critical when camping in the wet.

4. Plan indoor activities when it's raining

If you are at a wet campsite, it’s important that you and the family are kept entertained. Books, magazines, a pack of cards, and board games are great items to have with you for wet-weather camping. There are many rainy day activities that you can enjoy, from taking advantage of BIG4 parks with indoor or heated pools, or stepping out to explore museums, art galleries, or caves. You just need to use your imagination!

5. Laugh it off

Don’t let a rainy campsite get the better of your mood. If the rain arrives, be in a positive frame of mind and embrace the challenges it presents. After all, it is only rain. Sure, it’s a nuisance, but so was Uncle Ken when he decided to make an impromptu speech at your wedding. And if you survived that experience, you can survive a few drops of water.

What's more, you'll likely find that camping in the rain will make for great stories and brilliant memories, even if you don't appreciate it at the time.

6. Be safe when it's raining

However, if Mother Nature is releasing a fury of epic proportions, don’t be afraid to call it quits. There are no prizes for attempting to withstand the harshest of elements, other than a potential trip to hospital for hypothermia or something equally drastic. You don’t necessarily have to head home early – the many BIG4 parks around Australia have a great range of cabin accommodation that includes resort rooms, apartments, cottages, chalets, villas, and more.

Inside of well-lit cabin with two double beds with white and gold linen and a desk.

If the weather is horrid, swap a tent for a cabin. 

7. Dry out camping equipment if it's wet

Once home, be sure to dry out your tent and any other damp equipment. This will avoid these items becoming smelly or damaged and should ensure they are ready to use the next time you take a camping trip.

 

We hope these tips for camping in the rain can help you make the most of your next BIG4 holiday. If you have any additional tips for wet-weather camping or other advice for campers, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Isn’t it time you went on a camping adventure? Book your next break now.

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