Camping in the Rain Hacks: How to Stay Clean and Dry

Tent camping doesn’t have to be dirty and wet, even during the heaviest downpour. Learn how to tent camp while staying dry and clean. A few simple Camping in the rain hacks is all you need to be ready to tackle Mother Nature.

camping in the rain hacks cover

Those that are unprepared for tent camping often find it challenging should the weather be uncooperative. But, a rainy night or two is nothing to be afraid of on a tent camping trip. Pack a few extra camping supplies and follow some tent camping rules to keep the tent clean and dry.

Camping in the Rain Hacks

Camping Supplies for Tent Housekeeping

Doormats are key to prevent dirt from entering the tent. A large doormat placed outside of the tent door can be used to hold shoes while campers are in the tent. A doormat inside the tent, near the door, will keep dirt from being tracked in on bare feet.

Many tents come equipped with awnings over the entrance. The canopy helps keep the immediate campsite area in front of the tent door dry and free from mud. If the tent doesn’t have an awning, it’s a good idea to fashion a canopy out of a waterproof tarp. Securely fasten the tarp to trees or poles, so it is suspended over the tent.

leaves floating in a rain puddle

An air mattress or a bedroll will keep the sleeping area in a tent clean and comfortable. If there are moisture and dirt in the tent, it’s helpful to be off the floor on an air mattress. Air mattresses also provide a more comfortable sleeping surface than the hard ground.

Always pack extra towels. No matter how careful the planning, it is possible it will rain while tent camping. Heavy downpours can result in pools of water inside the tent. Extra towels are invaluable for cleaning up the mess.

rain drops splashing on a wet surface

Camping Habits for a Clean, Dry Tent

An important tent camping rule is not to let anything touch the tent fabric on the inside. Sleeping bags, backpacks, and other things kept on the tent fabric will invite moisture into the tent during a rainstorm.

Despite best efforts, dirt often finds its way into a tent. Sweeping with a small broom and dustpan each day will keep the sleeping area tidy and comfortable.

single wet leave floating on water

Avoid eating and drinking in the tent. Not only does food create a messier tent, but it also creates a camping safety hazard. Bears, insects, and other wildlife may be attracted to the smell of food and will approach a tent looking for a snack.

Planning is one of the keys to a good camping experience, but sometimes, things go astray, such as when an unexpected rain keeps you and/or your camping partners in the tent for an extended period of time. This is why you need to also plan for some things to do should this happen. Below are some ideas.

The most obvious and easiest thing to do is play cards; well, on second thought, maybe not for some people. If you’re an adult, for example, and alone with your significant other, something else might be the first thing to cross your mind, and yes, certainly having some long, slow, intimate “we-time” in your tent while it rains outside can be a truly memorable experience; but then, so can getting naked, exiting the tent and going animal out in the middle of a wild thunderstorm. It’s all in what you like.

But of course, like the rest of life, “we-time” during a rainstorm while camping isn’t always an option, so something else you might try is talking, that lost art of true communication. People have been known to sit or lie back on a sleeping bag and just talk, sometimes for hours on end. It’s one of the nice things about camping.

You don’t have to be anywhere or do anything; there are no deadlines or anxiety; it’s the perfect environment for bonding with the family or just the kids or with friends or whoever you have there in your tent with you.

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Board games are also another option, or as some might call them, “bored” games. Of course, you have to remember to bring one or two of them along, and you should probably make sure that most of the people involved actually enjoy playing the games you pick. Also, it’s usually best to choose a game that doesn’t take forever to conclude because you will want to get back outside if the rain stops.

Also, you might want to use your time in the tent to work on a project or hobby. For some people, it might be knitting; for others, wood carving. Whatever it is, it’s good to have something that is easy to pick up and get to do when the rain starts and easy to stop and leave when it stops. Such hobbies are also usually pretty good things to do while talking as well, so in these cases, you might get a two for one.

And finally, if being social isn’t your thing, or you’re alone, you can always pick up a book or magazine and read; but only as a last resort, because it sort of takes you away from the camping experience which you could achieve by just packing up and going home if you’re that bored, tired or miserable.

Tent camping can be an enjoyable experience, as long as the interior of the tent stays clean and dry. Pack a few necessary camping supplies to keep moisture and dirt out is easy with our Camping in the rain hack tips. Practice smart tent camping habits that will make the camping trip more fun than frustrating.

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Choosing The Right Camping Equipment for Camping Comfortably

An enjoyable camping holiday depends on a good and comfortable night’s sleep. Choosing the right camping equipment like the perfect tent, sleeping bag, and mattress to ensure a terrific camping trip.

Choosing The Right Camping Equipment for Camping Comfortably

The quality of any holiday is mostly down to the comfort of the accommodation, and camping is no exception. Using the right combination of tent, sleeping bag, and mattress will guarantee a restful vacation.

Choosing The Right Camping Equipment for Camping Comfortably

The three items don’t necessarily need to be purchased at once but should be thought of as a combination. Before buying anything, assess what matters among these. When and where will the equipment be needed? Have a look at the options, preferably in context at an exhibition or large showroom.

Showrooms and exhibitions will be filled with a standard type of four-person tent which is multi-purpose and practical, but perhaps not perfect for any individual purpose. The following models are more personalized to different users, which might make them a better fit.

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Family Tents

For those driving to a campsite with the family, there is no longer any need to accept anything but the best. Separate bedrooms and indoor cooking areas big enough to fit a folding table give these tents all the comforts of home, allowing families to enjoy long vacations with ease.

The size and functionality of a family tent make it similar to staying in a RV or holiday cottage but at a fraction of the cost. It is easy to see how choosing the right camping equipment can make a difference.

These palatial tents can be furnished with style. The best type of mattress, since space and weight allow it, is an inflatable air mattress. These should be six inches or deeper and must be bought with an electric pump to inflate them. Any sense of luxury or comfort would be wholly out-weighed by the hours of hard work it takes to inflate them by hand. Air mattresses can be bought in double or single widths, to suit the needs of the family.

To make up these comfortable mattresses, a nice warm sleeping bag is a must. Rectangular bags are perfectly suitable, as these are often thought more comfortable than mummy bags. One of the advantages of the rectangular bags is the ability in many makes to zip two bags together to make a double sleeping bag.

All this luxury can weight a great deal, so the pitch mustn’t be far from the car park. It is also advisable to arrive several hours before dark, as the act of assembling can take quite some time. Once assembled, though, this equipment will provide a family with a comfortable stay for as many nights as desired.

Choosing The Right Camping Equipment for Camping Comfortably

Hiking and Backpacking Tents

At the far end of the spectrum from the family tents are the hiking tent. These lightweight pieces of equipment are designed specifically for backpacking or remote camping and need to be as comfortable to carry as they are to sleep in.

For the tent itself, it is essential to decide exactly how much space is needed, as any unused space is unnecessary weight. Think about how many people will typically use it.

Think about how much gear is normally carried. Many one-person tents are too small to share with an 80-liter hiking pack. Some of the modern designs account for this by putting vestibule space for storing equipment outside the main tent.

Once every gram of the tent’s weight has been accounted for, the sleeping bag and mattress should be kept as light as possible. Single season synthetic sleeping bags are very lightweight and can be made warmer through the use of a silk or fleece liner. A heavier bag will only be needed at the very end of the season.

The other way to keep warm is to keep off the ground, so don’t just forego the mattress to save weight in a hiking pack. Therm-a-rests are thin inflatable mattresses that roll down to a small size. These lightweight air mattresses are sold in a variety of sizes to suit individual needs.

A three-quarter-length mattress can be an excellent way to keep weight down but still keep the core body temperature up at night, and adds a bit more comfort to a rough tent pitch.

Quick Pitch Festival Tents

Anyone who’s ever stood in the rain struggling with tent poles knows that assembly time is an essential factor in choosing a tent, primarily if it will mainly be used for short camping trips where space and weight are not as important.

The best option for this is the Quick Pitch, which transforms from an oversized frisbee to a fully erected tent in the blink of an eye. They are slightly more work to pack away again, but that is only relative to the ease of their assembly.

To keep the set-up snappy, foam mattresses are a very quick and comfortable option. Any sleeping bag will do, making the whole assembly very low cost. This makes it ideal for first-time campers or festival-goers who may not want to spend too much time or effort on setting up camp.

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How to Pick 6-Person Family Camping Tents

When purchasing family camping tents (6-person or more massive), everyone will have different requirements. With so many options in size, weight, quality, and style, what should be considered before a final decision is made?

How to Pick 6-Person Family Camping Tents

As with any purchase, there are often compromises to be made, and this guide aims to make those choices a little clearer.

What should be considered when comparing 6-person family tents or more substantial, for camping?

Finding the right kind of tent for the next backpacking or camping trip is crucial. A tent is an essential piece of backpacking gear, as it can provide a stable shelter during inclement weather. There are several kinds of tents and many designs, so finding the right one can be a crucial decision.

What Makes a Tent?

A tent is comprised of several items that all the users to set it up properly.

  • The tent body: Usually made of nylon, the tent body includes the floor, sides, roof, and windows all sewn into one component.
  • The rain fly: A separate piece of nylon that fits snugly over the tent body to protect it from the rain and elements.
  • Tent poles: Made of carbon fiber, these are used to keep the tent erect and give it shape.
  • Stuff sack: For packing the tent up and protecting it when not in use.
  • Nylon cord: Often provided by the manufacturer for making guy lines, which provide extra support to the tent in windy conditions

How Big Are Tents?

Tents can be classified into several categories. They include:

  • One-person tents: These are designed to accommodate only one person, and can be very lightweight for those hiking by themselves.
  • Two-person tents: Can accommodate two persons comfortably.
  • Three-person tents: These tents are larger and heavier. They are meant for large group expeditions.
  • Four-person+ tents: Large and very heavy, these tents are more appropriate for car-camping or family camping. These make great family camping tents.

Remember, the larger the size of the tent, the more it will weigh.

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What Seasons Are Appropriate for Tents?

A tent is rated for a particular season or group of seasons. These are the times when the shelter provides enough adequate protection from the elements and temperature.

Many tents are three-season tents, which means that they can be used in Spring, Summer, and Fall. A four-season tent can be used all-year-round, including winter.

What Kinds of Features Do Tents Have?

That depends on the manufacturer and brands. Some standard features that tents may have include:

  • A vestibule: This is part of the rain-fly that reaches out beyond the tent to create a dry, covered spot just in front of the door. This is a spot to place a pack of hiking boots.
  • Tent mesh pockets: These are sewn inside the tent along the wall and allow the user to stash small items such as a notebook, flashlight, etc.
  • A footprint: A footprint is a ground cloth that is cut to fit the exterior bottom of the tent. It protects the tent from punctures from rocks, sticks, pine needles, and water.
  • A ring or hook inside the tent for hanging a flashlight or headlamp.
  • Two doors, one for each tent-mate, with one on each side.

Knowing All the Factors For A Tent

By knowing all the different technical factors in a tent, including size, appropriate season, and features, one make an informed choice when buying a tent.

Family Camping Tent Price and Quality

The price of family tents (6-man tents and above) can vary widely, and the old adage, “You get what you pay for” usually applies.

Higher-priced tents will typically be of superior quality in terms of manufacturing and material. On occasion, the difference might be more subtle, such as a light tent or an easier method of pitching.

The ‘quality’ of a tent is often judged on the stitching, materials, and attention to detail. Mesh and modesty panels on doors, sewn-in fly-sheets, and double zippers will all be present at the higher end of the family tent market. Top specification tents will also have been designed to improve ventilation, include safe ways to allow electricity supplies in and keep the living areas cool.

Tents are given a ‘season’ rating, dependant on what sort of weather conditions they have been designed to withstand. A 1-season rating is the lowest and implies a summer tent, best suited to mainly dry weather with little wind, a 4-seasons rating (the highest) suggests the tent can be used in potentially snowy, high wind environments – often suited to mountaineering or similar pursuits. The 2- or 3-season ratings fall between the two.

Camping Equipment Waterproof Rating – Hydrostatic Head Measurement

Hydrostatic head rating is a method for comparing how ‘waterproof’ one tent is, with another. The score denotes the amount of pressure required before water penetrates the fabric. The higher the rating, the more waterproof a tent should be.

The British Ministry of Defence deems anything with a grade of 800 mm or higher as waterproof. For family camping, a score of 1,500 mm to 2,000 mm is a more desirable minimum.

The weight of family camping tents is one area where a certain level of compromise might be required. Much of the weight of a tent comes from the poles used to erect it.

Steel poles are much heavier than fiber poles, and also more expensive, but they are stronger, and typically easier to use. If weight and price are not a primary consideration, steel poles should be favored. Higher quality tents will tend to use more steel poles.

Other Considerations for 6-Person Family Tents and Up

Manufacturer sleeping berth figures are primarily very optimistic, particularly where families are concerned. The room will be needed for all sorts of kit (all the stuff you pack to bring with you), in addition to any sleeping areas. The size of a tent will have a direct correlation to weight, so those wishing to travel light may need to sacrifice space.

The shape or style of a family tent will often dictate the amount of space, and certainly the amount of headroom or the useable ‘standing’ area. Tunnel tents provide the most room in terms of being able to stand upright, but dome tents with additional room compartments may offer a greater floor area.

tent at campground

Over time, a family will need their tent to change along with their own needs. Children may grow too big to share a room, for example.

Some tents lend themselves very well to these changes and offer ‘dividers’ in places that can split one room into two smaller ones. This additional flexibility could prove very valuable when looking at camping for the family long term.

Keeping the stress of tent pitching to a minimum can be invaluable. Tents are often sold with a pitch time estimate or a score of how easy they are to put up. The ease of pitching will be more important to those families with younger children who can not lend a hand or need supervision.

If possible, check the pitching instructions and note the number of people required to pitch the tent – two adults may not be enough for some of the more complicated pitch methods.

Tents often include some level of storage, either by way of hanging dividers or sewn-in pockets. These can prove very handy for keeping essential equipment off the floor.

Color is also more than just an aesthetic choice, as darker tents will tend to get hotter during the day. More adventurous families may want a brightly colored tent in case of an emergency where they need to be spotted from the air.

family camping tents

A substantial porch is also something that can easily be overlooked. In bad weather, a well-designed porch can offer a sheltered place for cooking, avoiding the obvious danger of cooking inside a tent, which is too dangerous.

Some tents are designed with a specific porch area, rather than the standard door held open with poles.

The plethora of different options within the family tent market illustrates the diverse and individual needs of campers generally and families specifically. Every family will need to think about their own needs and requirements before settling on a tent to purchase.

Reviews are always helpful, but more than anything, an effort should be made to view the tent pitched. The ability to walk into a family tent and judge the size, quality, and layout is priceless.

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