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Camping is one of our favorite outdoor activities. With changing seasons across the country, other adventurers are busy preparing their gear for the season as well. Temperatures are rising and with the warm spring weather comes a lot of rain and mud. But camping in the rain can be a lot of fun if you bring the right gear, get set up right, and keep a positive attitude. So here are a few quick tips to make your outdoor adventure great.

First, check to see if your waterproof gear is still waterproof. If it isn’t, then use a can of silicone waterproofing spray to bring back it’s waterproof condition. You wouldn’t want an unwelcome surprise like your tent dripping water on you in the middle of the night (I’ve had it happen).

Second, take a tarp (or two) with you. It can be strung up above your tent as a precaution or used to create a dry area in a pinch. Keep in mind, the bigger the tarp, the more dry space you’ll have.

Rain suits, ponchos, and waterproof footwear are also essential items in wet weather conditions. I prefer rain suits to ponchos because ponchos keep your top half dry and allows water to soak your bottom half.

One of my favorite wet weather gear items for getting dry when you do get wet is the ShamWow. They are super small, soak up a lot of water, and will dry out quickly.

Don’t wait for it to rain before you pull out your wet weather gear. If it looks like it’s going to rain, then it’s probably going to. Be prepared before it comes. You can always put the gear away if it doesn’t but you’ll be soaked if you didn’t get the gear ready before hand. You wouldn’t want to spend the night cold and wet, huddled together for warmth when you could have been dry and warm the entire time. A little preparation to keep something from going wrong in the first place is better than having to do a lot of work to overcome it once it does happen.

It can be difficult and downright frustrating trying to start a fire or keep one going when it’s raining. Dry kindling can be elusive when everything is wet. If you know where to find it, always pack some lighter knot (aka Fatwood). It’s an excellent way to get things heated and dried enough to burn. If you don’t have any, then be prepared with a plan B. We like to take some meals that are ready to eat in case fire just isn’t happening. MREs and other prepackaged foods might not be as satisfying as a nice hot meal but it will fill your stomach. 

A lot of great campsites are located next to creeks and streams. Flowing water is a tranquil pleasure on a sunny day, but when it’s raining, a small waterway can swell and flood the surrounding area. To avoid a flooded campsite, set up on a hill or away from low lying areas like gullies, washes, or moist bottoms. If these can’t be avoided, know when to cut your losses, pack up, and head home.

It’s easy to get bummed out when your outdoor plans get rained on. Keep a book or a deck of cards with your gear so you can keep your spirits up while waiting for the inclement weather to pass. Reading or playing cards may not be how you want to spend your time outdoors but it’ll do when everything you planned is on hold until the storm passes.

Often when we think of camping, we focus on where we are going to be and what we are going to do there. But it’s important to check weather conditions and have the proper gear before you leave home. And remember, it’s more than a destination you’ll visit, it’s a wilderness you’ll experience. Happy Camping!

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