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Who wants to go camping in the rain ?
We all know that camping in perfect weather is always the best kind of camping. Sunny days in a canoe on the lake, or hiking in the woods, or on the beach just plain relaxing… but what about camping when it's raining?
Well… Camping in the rain can be fun and safe if you pack right to keep dry and have fun rainy day games.
First off, I'll start with how to pack and prepare for the rain. Hypothermia can set in quickly when someone is wet. Turning a wet situation into a sticky situation.
1) Bring a rain jacket and pants. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2) Tent- make sure your tent has a large fly that covers the entire tent. Make sure that the seams are sealed with tent sealer.
3) Do not set up your tent at the lower end of the campsite or in a dip. This dip will later become a puddle, and you’ll be floating in it.
4) Bring a tarp that you can sit under. This tarp can also be used to create shade on your eating area.
5) Waterproof your sleeping bag and clothing. This can be done by putting your clothes and sleeping bag in either a dry bag (like those made by seal line), or a waterproof spider sack / compression sack (which I like the best), or make your own compression sack waterproof by lining the inside with a garbage bag.
If anyone in your group is getting chilled from camping in the rain (for example while paddling when canoe camping), make sure that you get them warm. Wrap them in an emergency blanket (from your first aid kit), and set up camp so that you can get into a tent and start warming up your camper. Once the tent is up, have them change into their warm set of clothes and then have them get into their sleeping bag. Or, even better, attach two sleeping bags, and have two people with clothes get into the same large bag to share heat. The tent will help keep in the warmth inside. Have another person heat up something warm to eat- perhaps eat soup, to give the person energy and warmth from the inside. Stay at this new site until the rain subsides. If the rain is going to continue, and there are no more spare dry clothes, you will need to re-route to come out early.
1) My favourite: Charades! If you’re camping with a group- ie. 6 or more, pick themes such as movies, books, food item, famous people etc, and then have each team pick something from each theme, and then get the other team to act this out. This game can be ABSOLUTELY entertaining for everyone!
2) Cards: A pack of cards doesn’t take up too much space, but everyone has a favourite card game… so bring the cards for a rainy game. Some card games could be: Go fish (particularly for younger campers), Crazy Eights, Rummy and more…
3) For smaller groups of campers, or if you’re camping with just one other person, a small chess set can be quite handy and fun. Many of the small chess sets also come with checkers pieces so you can play both.
4) If you are doing drive-in camping, a rainy day is a good day to check out the local visitor centre and museum and see what displays the campground has made for your enjoyment and education.
5) Also, many drive in campgrounds have activities, and they may have a picknick shelter and activities going on. Check these out and maybe meet other campers!
6) Go swimming in the rain! (maybe you’re wet anyway!)
Now, if ALL of your clothes are Wet, and you are cold and they are predicting more of the same weather for the rest of your trip (with high probability of rain). This is not fun camping. Count your losses and try another time.
Or go to a local cabin and rent that for a day or two.
I do not recommend staying camping for no reason except to get wet. This is not fun, and camping is an activity that is meant to be enjoyed, and not tolerated.
Make sure that if anyone is getting cold from being wet, that you need to keep that person warm. Set up camp (if you’re paddling to a site, or hiking to a site) and warm them with sleeping bags and some warm food.