10 Tips for Camping in the Rain

Recognize the Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia, the sudden and extreme lowering of your body's core temperature, isn't a condition that's confined to snow-covered landscapes and remote, icy tundra. In fact, simply staying wet from the rain can put you at risk of getting hypothermia.

If your body's temperature dips below 95-degrees you're in serious trouble. Usually other symptoms such as slurred speech, impaired judgment, frostbite, shivers and pale or purple-tinged skin will also be present.

Ideally, someone with hypothermia should be rushed to a hospital. In the meantime, or if the hospital isn't a realistic option, remove all the wet clothing and cover the person in dry clothes, blankets and sleeping bags. Keep them warm and calm and continue to monitor their temperature. If you think you might be camping in the rain, and choose to go anyway, be sure to locate a near-by medical center, just in case.

More: Tips for Camping in the Cold

Collect the Water

Camping in the rain doesn't have ot be all bad; if it rains, seize the opportunity to collect some of it for drinking water. Put your open water bottle out to catch the drops, or setup a stretched tarp to funnel water into your bottle or cooking pot.

You want to collect water directly as it falls; don't use any water that has slid down a tree, dripped from branches or touched rocks. It's never a bad idea to filter your water before you drink it, even rain water.

More: How to Purify Water in the Outdoors

Take the Tarp Inside

Tent ground tarps, as the name implies, are placed directly on the dirt and beneath your tent. They're an extra sheet of protection and barrier against water and morning dew. They come in all sorts of plastic and nylon styles and are usually cheap. In fact, the classic woven polyurethane style tarps from a hardware store work just fine and generally run about $30.

Place a ground tarp inside your tent rather than outside; you'll find it provides a much better water barrier this way.

More: 10 Tips for Clean Camping

Keep the Coals Hot

It's easy to focus on the storm, but keep in mind it will soon pass and you'll be back to some of the basics of camping—making a fire, cooking food and relaxing. Be sure you store some firewood in a spot where it's protected from the rain so getting back to normal camp life is stress-free.

More: Campfire Starters That Never Fail

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About the Author

John Andrew Pendery

John Andrew Pendery is a writer and editor living in New York City.

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