While camping, you are exposing yourself to all the elements while enjoying the great outdoors. That also means you are subject to Mother Nature’s temper tantrums. In addition to rainy weather, you may face rising rivers, kids falling in the water “unexpectedly” and a slew of other wet events. Being prepared for soggy days can make the difference between being washed out or enjoying yourself. Here are 5 tips to making sure your camping trip is waterproof and prepared for fun.
1) Zip-lock Baggies Are Your New Best Friend
Zip-lock bags are an excellent way to keep everything safe and dry. Put your wallet, keys, money and any other travel necessities. Keeping matches in a bag are a way to make sure they stay dry for when the rain stops and you are ready to use them. When you are packing for the big event, make sure you put things in bags before you leave as to not trap humidity in the bags. Also, take extra bags along.
2) Under The Big Top
Portable canopies are a necessity for any camping trip. Canopies allow people to gather in dry, shady places without being stuck in a tent for hours while storms pass. You can find canopies ranging from 8′ squares all the way up to deluxe enclosed banquet-size rooms. Camp stoves and grills can be used under canopies that have good ventilation. If you get the chance, bring thin rope with you and while the canopy is up, you can string rope inside it. It will give you a sheltered place to hang wet items to dry during the day. You can also hang lights from it to help see when the sun sets and nature’s night-lights are in the sky.
3) Extra! Extra!
Making sure you have extra clothing and bedding in a safe, dry place will be an absolute lifesaver. You should store a complete set of clothes, a few extra pairs of socks and underwear and an extra blanket per person. Rain can get into tents easily through leaks or being tracked in by occupants. Place clothes and blankets in clean garbage bags that can be securely tied. Keep them in a dry place until you need them.
4) Boredom Beaters
Thunderstorms may be cool to watch when you’re home, but what do you do when you are out in the elements? You stay in your tent or under a canopy until it passes. Bring some things along to pass the time. Cards, board games, especially magnetic ones, coloring books and crayons for the younger crowd and battery operated radios help to keep the moods up and pass time. Make sure you pack the boredom beaters in bags ahead of time so they’re dry and ready when you need them. Don’t forget the snacks. When people gather in groups they like to have things to munch on. Also, when kids get bored, they love to eat. Have ready some finger foods, easy grab items that don’t require cooking and are relatively mess-free and you’ll have the best time no matter what the weather brings. An added tip is to make up soggy-day-bags ahead of time. Place stuff in bags that members of your crew can grab and play or eat. They’ll get a kick out of your fore-planning.
5) Rainy Day Meals
Not every day will be picture perfect. This means you may not have access to the campfire or other means to cook food due to weather. Plan ahead to have at least a full day of meals without the use of cooking apparatuses. Sandwiches and chips are a great meal to always have on hand when camping. Another tip for meal ideas are tortillas. Just about anything hot or cold can go into a tortilla. Individual cereal boxes are a wonderful idea, too. The box can be slit and becomes its own bowl. Just add milk and a spoon and you have a self-contained meal. Should you come into bad weather, you’ll be grateful for the planning you did ahead of time.
Mother Nature can be temperamental. Even with the best of planning, storms can pop up unexpectedly at any time. Being prepared ahead of time for any thunderstorms, rain or creek-risings will make a huge difference for your camping experience.