Preparing for a camping trip can be challenging as there are so many things to consider. One of the most important things to do first when preparing for your trip is to check the weather forecast. If wet weather is forecast for the weekend, consider postponing the trip until the weather improves.
Even if the weather forecast does not predict rain for the next period, you should prepare as if you are expecting a rainy trip. This is because the weather can be very unpredictable and can take a turn for the worse in a matter of hours. So before you go on a camping vacation, make sure you’re prepared for anything!
Considering how you’re going to set up camp when it rains, that would be fine. Setting up a tent in the rain can be troublesome, so I want to help you by telling you a few things you should never forget. If you want to learn more about the topic, I recommend you keep reading the rest of the guide!
How to pitch a tent in the rain? – 16 tips and tricks
Before traveling outdoors, pack your tent and rain gear that you can use to keep your tent dry in the event of rain. There are a few things you need to do before you leave your house, so I’ll start with that and work my way up to telling you how to pitch your tent in the rain. Let’s jump right into the list and learn more about it:
1. Test your tent before you travel
Whether you have a new tent or one you’ve been using for a while, it’s a good idea to try it out before you travel. Even the best outdoor gear can wear out sometimes, so you’ll need to check your tent for cracks.
If there are cracks in the walls of the tent, you will need to take care of them so that rainwater does not seep into the interior of the tent.
2. Practice pitching the tent at home
If it’s raining outside, you’ll need to set up your tent and tarp real quick if you don’t want everything to get soaked. So I recommend that you practice setting up your tent before you travel.
Practice everything from pitching the flysheet to adding the floor to pitching your tent while keeping your gear dry elsewhere. Trust me, it will be worth it!
3. Provide suitable waterproof covers
You won’t stay dry on a rainy trip if you don’t have proper waterproof covers. It would be better if you also make sure that the covers are the right size for your tent. There are some things to consider.
The double top or canvas must be at least twice the size of the tent, while the bottom must be larger than the tent. You can also get a waterproof biffy that will come in handy during trips in the rain.
4. Wait for the rain to stop
If you find that it is raining at your campsite when you arrive, wait for the rain to stop or abate before you begin settling in. If you are backpacking, try to find a dry place to leave your things. It could be under a tree or a cliff, so keep an eye out for those places.
If you are car camping, it is more convenient to stay in your car and wait for the rain to stop. Once this is done, you can pack your things and start looking for the best place to set up camp.
5. Find a suitable place for your store
If you expect rain or see it raining for a while, it will be more difficult to find a place to pitch your tent. The ground is likely to be soaked, so inspect it before pitching your tent.
Look for trees with a larger canopy that may have kept the ground dry. You can also look for a cliff or a dense forest under which the ground doesn’t get as soggy. Don’t forget to have trees nearby if you want to put up a flysheet or tarp.
6. Provide good soil drainage
The location you choose for your tent needs good soil drainage, so you don’t have to deal with wet soil for hours after a downpour. The way to check that the soil is well drained is to try inserting tent pegs.
If you can easily insert the tent stake into the ground, the ground should have good drainage. So make sure to check the type of ground before setting up the tent and tarp.
7. Create a raised tent site
Wherever you put your tent, make sure it is at least a few inches above the rest of the ground. You can either push some dirt under or use larger rocks. Next, lay out the ground and place the tent on it.
Doing all of this will not soak the shop floor. You don’t want rainwater to get under your tent and sit there for hours. This is likely to happen if there is a low point under the tent.
8. Make a makeshift shelter
If it’s raining heavily and you need to protect yourself and your gear, I recommend building a makeshift shelter out of your raincoat or tarp. It’s easy to loop the guy rope around and attach to trees.
The setup doesn’t have to be perfect at this point; It should be good enough to keep you dry until the rain abates. When it stops raining, you can put the tarp back up and put the tent under it.
9. Put a floor first
To pitch the tent in the rain, you must first pitch the ground. The tarps are waterproof, so placing them on the soaked ground will prevent water from entering the tent.
Some double wall tents are waterproof and don’t need a tarp underneath, but just to be safe, I still recommend using one.
10. Try pitching the tent during the day
If possible, pitch the tent in daylight. It’s much harder to set it up at night, rain or shine. If you suspect it’s going to rain late at night, make sure the installation doesn’t interfere by doing it during the day. Also put on the rain cover and keep it over your tent as long as you need.
11. Provide a rain cover for the inside of the tent
Consider adding an inner mesh tent if you suspect rain may get into your tent. Most double wall tents have good water resistance and do not allow water to enter the tent. Still, you can add a lightweight tarp inside to prevent a water disaster.
12. Clean all the water from the walls of the store
It is smart to install the tent tarp, but sometimes you may not have enough time to install the tent tarp. If you start pitching the tent in the rain and see the walls getting wet while pitching, take a towel or similar and wipe the water off the walls. Otherwise, water may enter the tent.
13. Keep the store closed during the rain
If it rains and you try to pitch your tent, make sure you don’t open any doors or windows. This allows water to enter the tent, soaking it. So keep the tent tightly closed while you pitch it and when it rains. Try not to put on wet clothes and do not enter the store if you are wearing wet clothes. Keep wet things outside and dry bags inside.
14. Use a waterproof bivy bag
You can use a waterproof bivouac bag or bivouac with single wall tents to protect them from rain. This bag is packed small. It is lightweight yet durable, waterproof and provides excellent insulation. I recommend getting one if you usually camp with single wall tents.
15. Protect yourself and the store from lightning
To protect yourself and your entire team from thunder and lightning, I recommend going deep into a forest or standing under a cliff. It would be best if you didn’t stand under a single tree, as lightning is likely to strike those trees. Take all your belongings with you and keep them in a safe place.
16. Get good waterproof shoes
Good gear and waterproof shoes are always a great investment, as they can help keep you protected on rainy trips. Don’t put off buying that gear, do it as soon as possible and you’ll be able to camp even if it rains, without worrying about getting soaked.
How to cover a tent for the rain?
To make sure your outdoor trip is a success, you need to know how to pitch the tent and install a rain cover. You can set up the tent in a few minutes when the weather is nice, but you should also spend a few extra minutes setting up the tarp when it rains. It’s better to be prepared than grab the tarp when it starts to rain!
When looking for a tarp on the market, keep in mind that it must be larger than the tent. You can be up to twice the size as the larger size helps you protect your tent under the tarp. Also make sure that the tarp is waterproof and durable enough to withstand even heavy rain.
Once you have your tarp, I recommend that you take it with you on all your outdoor trips. To put the tarp over the tent, you will need a piece of guy rope and some trees to tie the rope to. Therefore, when you choose a place for your tent, also make sure that there are trees nearby that you can use to set up the tarp.
There should be small gaps at all four ends of the tarp. Thread the guy rope through those ends and around the sail. Then tie knots to make sure the tarp doesn’t move once you’ve installed it.
Once you have all of this set up, you can grab the guy ropes and attach them to a nearby tree. Make sure the tarp is stretched so the water can run off it. As a final note, I recommend placing one end of the tarp higher than the other so that the water can immediately slide off.
That is all for the tarp installation . Once you have that, you can put the tent under it. The best thing is that you place it in the middle of the canvas so that the rain does not reach it. You can also protect chairs, gear or backpacks under the tarp, thanks to the extra space it gives you!
Thank you for following this detailed guide on the best way to pitch a tent in the rain. I hope you have learned a lot of valuable information that you can use in all your next trips. Always carry your rain cover and waterproof covers with you when preparing for a trip outdoors.
Do you know of any other cool ways to pitch tents in the rain? Or do you know of other outdoor gear that might come in handy when camping in the rain? I’d love to read anything you want to share with me on this topic, so feel free to share your feedback in the section below!