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How to prepare for a Rainy Camping Trip with Kids
Published: July 15, 2021
If you’re planning to camp with your kids in the summer and are not sure if it will rain, it is better to bring the right equipment, so you will be protected in such events. It is just an advantage for you and the kids to be protected from getting wet. If you stay dry, you won’t get sick as easily, and you can keep yourself and your kids warm while staying inside the tent.
When you prepare for a camping trip, you should pack or wear a waterproof outfit and shoes. We recommend installing a high camping tarp on top of your tent to make sure your tent stays dry. You can also pack some cards and board games, or just watch some movies on your gadgets.
Those are a few of the tips we will discuss below. We still have several topics to talk about, such as the best clothes and shoes for camping, entertainment ideas, and how to stay dry when camping in the rain.
Best clothes & shoes for camping in the rain
When camping in an area where rain is to be expected, it is recommended that you and your kids wear waterproof clothes, boots, and layered outfits. Let your child wear boots if the rain is continuous at the camping site; bring extra socks and clothes for changing purposes if you get wet; and pack some clothes exclusively for tent use.
- Waterproof clothes
Obviously, you’ll need to wear something that could protect you from being wet since it’s raining. And in this case, the only things that you can wear are waterproof clothes. These types of clothes are made of rubber, polyvinyl chloride, and polyurethane.
The best example of these are raincoats, but there are also other types of waterproof garments that are available on the market. It is essential to put these on as your and your kids’ external layers. Don’t let them go outside the tent without getting covered. We don’t want them to get wet and sick after your camping activity.
- Pajamas or trousers
For kids, the best choice is to let them wear pajamas inside the tent. Don’t use shorts or anything that won’t cover their legs properly. You should focus on how to keep them warm. Change their pants from your backpacking activity to pajamas and trousers. It can make them comfortable and hamper the cold temperatures.
- Extra socks
Both you and your kids are already wearing socks before you proceed to camp. However, don’t be complacent that these socks can withstand the pouring rain. It will always end up being wet after the day or even in the midst of your travel.
Always bring extra socks, especially for the kids since they are very vulnerable to be damped in this situation. Don’t just pack one pair or two, if possible, bring at least three pairs. But this also applies to camping for more than a day. In the end, it is still better to be prepared.
- Bring clothes for the tent
We advise you to pack separate clothes that are solely for tent use. Apart from the fact that it can prevent your regular clothes from getting wet, you can ensure a dry and warm ambiance inside the tent. Being wet can make the temperature feel even colder because of the water. Therefore, bring some extra clothes and keep warm together with your kids while staying inside the tent.
If you already know that the rain is dominant in the camping place, let your kids wear some boots. It’s a great way to protect their feet from the water. Shoes can get wet and water can enter them if exposed to it for a long period.
However, there is also a disadvantage if you just let them wear boots and the rain stops. They will be having a hard time engaging in physical activities compared to when they’re wearing shoes. In these instances, we suggest you double-check the weather before heading out.
- Waterproof shoes
So, if you already have waterproof clothes, you can also arm your kids with waterproof shoes. There are lots of impressive waterproof shoes for kids on the market. You can check them and consult your child. They should be comfortable when wearing those.
- Layer your clothes
Aside from bringing extra clothes, you should also layer them. There are a lot of tips on how to layer your clothes. Some prefer three to four layers, while others add even more depending on their body resistance against cold temperatures.
Either way, prioritize the kids, as they are more sensitive than adults. If you think that you can withstand the weather because you are used to wet weather, we still suggest you to use layers. After all, you are outdoors, and if you get wet and a wind starts to blow, it could get cold.
- Extra clothes
You already have your layers, clothes for tent use, and socks, but you will also need another set of clothing to change. The kids like to explore things, so they may get wet easily while backpacking. Therefore, bring several extra garments for them, so that they’re ensured to stay dry. However, also be attentive to your backpack.
Try to be meticulous and bring important things that both you and your child need. Sometimes, people overpack because they bring useless stuff.
Entertainment ideas while camping in the rain
You can entertain yourselves while camping by playing games, doing some art activities, and story-telling. Aside from those, you can also watch movies with your gadgets, write in a journal, or just spend your time conversing with those travelling with you. Or, you can also just play in the rain with your kids.
- Play games
The rain will make you decide to stay inside your tent, which is kind of boring if you and your kids are just waiting for the rain to stop. So, the first thing that you can do to entertain yourselves is to play games. And if you don’t want to get wet, you can play games inside your tent.
There are several games that you can play while you sit and wait. Some of the notable ones are shadow puppetry, charades, among many others. Let yourself and your kids enjoy your time together. It’s a great way to strengthen your bond too.
Kids are amazed and interested in stories, especially those that can expand their imagination. If you have a storybook or just a stocked knowledge about stories for kids, you can definitely amuse them while staying inside the tent.
Go ahead and try story-telling activities for entertainment. You can also make it more fascinating if you make it interactive. Or, you can take turns in telling stories, so that it can improve their minds too. It will be fun and enjoyable for both the kids and adults inside the tent.
- Card games
Of course, card games for kids; not solitaire. Anyway, story-telling can be very fun but playing with them is more entertaining. Pack some card games, like UNO, Go Fish!, or Old Maid. You can also use standard card decks, but play them differently, just like Rummy, Crazy Eights, etc.
Don’t start playing card games if they are confused about the rules. Instead, take it slowly and teach them first. We suggest to make it exciting if you tease that you are actually competing hard against them. It will make your game fun and interesting!
- Board games
There are portable board games that you can pack inside your backpack. We do not recommend to bring a full-size chess board for this activity because that’s a hassle. But, there are many fun board games that you can play on the go, together with your kids.
For instance, you can play checkers, Snakes and Ladders, and several new board games that you can try and explore. Another interesting idea is to bring some prizes. This can be applied to all of the games that you want to play.
For example, bringing some candies can be a good treat for them. Try to not get bored and enjoy your time while camping in the rain.
- Art activities
Drawing, or even painting, is good entertainment as well. That is if you can bring some paper or paint. Indeed, painting can be difficult as it can be spilled or scattered on the surface of the tent’s fabric, so you just need to be careful.
You can let the kids draw, then tell them that the best output will have a prize. It can motivate them to be the best artist they can be. Although “art activities” sounds so vague to be practiced during camping, the kids can expand their ideas and thoughts by engaging in this sort of stuff.
- Watch movies or improvise a theatre play
If you are looking for complete entertainment, then watching movies is one of the best options. Kids will totally dig watching movies while eating some snacks. When the weather is cold and rainy, it’s a good combination. However, you will be needing some gadgets to do this.
If you already know that it will be rainy, you can pack power banks to charge your smartphones or laptops. You can also choose camping sites with established electricity, so that you will be able to use those without being anxious about the batteries.
- Just spend time together
Some families spend their time without the use of any instruments or games. Now, what kind of activity is this? Simple, have a conversation. Talking about numerous topics is also a great way to spend your time together with your family. This is a great option, especially for parents who are always busy with their jobs and unable to give much attention to their children.
Camping is the best moment to check out on them. Tell them about your funny experiences and ask them for their stories too. A kid likes attention and care, so it’s good to converse with them while waiting for the rain to stop.
- Write in a journal or diary
You can all write in a journal, whether on a certain topic or just about the things that you did on a specific day. However, this activity may not be suitable for kids of all ages, since not all of them know how to write yet. This is creative if you are with children who are currently going to school. Plus, it can expand their vocabulary and imagination.
If you plan to add this to the list of your activities, tell your kids to pack the necessary materials to use during the camping trip. Also, think of the fun ways to do it, so that they won’t get bored while writing.
- Just go out and play in the rain
If you don’t have anything to do and your child wants to play in the rain, you could consider to let them play in the rain, although it’s recommended to wear waterproof equipment, like raincoats and boots. You can play several games outside, just make sure that no one gets hurt. Also, avoid them from getting sick as temperatures may drop.
Tips for staying dry
The first thing you should do is cover your tent properly with a wide and high tarp. Reserve a dry spot for cooking purposes, and spare some wood ahead. After the rain, you can use these dry woods for a campfire. If your clothes, socks, and shoes get wet, dry them using paper to absorb the water.
- Install a high camping tarp
Rainfly can cover the top area of your tent, but from experience, we know that it is still deficient if the rain is heavily pouring. What we can advise you is to install a camping tarp a bit higher than the top of your tent. Covering only the top part won’t defend you from water entering your tent, however. This method can completely protect you from the rain.
- Not only high, expand it
Yes, you already have a camping tarp, but a wide cover is really an advantage. This tip will consume many tarps and gears. That is if you indeed wanted to stay absolutely dry. Bring extra tree straps and carabiner hooks to install them on top of your tent. This will serve as a roof for your tent. If there still are spaces that shelter by the tarp, you can use them to hang your wet clothes or socks.
- Reserve a dry spot
It’s good to have extra space for cooking purposes or anything that you can use if needed. So, if you are going to widen your camping tarp, ensure that reserved space. It will also give you a bit of freedom to go outside your tent even if it’s raining. Just don’t be careless and guarantee that you and your kids can be covered properly.
- Spare some wood
This is for cooking and campfire purposes. It is undoubtedly difficult to light up wet wood, so to prevent this from happening, store some before the rain pours. You can also start collecting wood while traveling on your way to the camping site. That will help you avoid cramming when it rains. Be prepared, because your camping spot may not provide much wood for your usage.
- Campfire after the rain
Heat is needed when it is wet and cold. After the rain, lit up some wood to build a campfire for you and the kids. That will keep you warm after the rain. You can also cook on the campfire to minimize the use of dry wood.
- Change your wet clothes and socks
Don’t let your body absorb the wetness from your clothes. It can give you colds, especially the kids. As we discussed on the first topic of this article, it’s recommended that you bring extra clothes and socks. With such, if you get wet, you can change into something warm and dry.
- Use paper
Paper can help you dry your socks or clothes. Insert paper towels or tissues inside your shoes to absorb the water inside. You can also use those on your clothes. In some situations, you will need to dry up your outfits as fast as possible. Packing some newspapers can assist you in such cases.
- Place your things in a dry bag
Dry bags are made of waterproof materials, and you can use them to protect your things from the rain. Carry this kind of equipment, so that you won’t have to shield your gadgets when it’s raining. Gadgets can be easily damaged when wet, so don’t leave them behind, and just be satisfied that they are inside your backpack or tent.
Camping under the rain with kids is indeed difficult and risky. You should prepare and pack a lot of equipment to protect yourselves. We can’t really predict the weather we will find in a certain place, but if you already know that this location experiences constant rainfall, we recommend to prepare for that situation.
If you go camping to places where it is less likely to rain, you and your kids will have the freedom to play outside and enjoy the sceneries. But if you prefer a place that you know experiences frequent rainfall, we recommend to observe the tips we provided. You can also ask friends or other people who found themselves in such situations what it’s like to camp under the rain.