Soggy Camping: How to Cope with British Summer Weather

The Rain Cometh By Ollie HarridgeCamping at its best can be a delight for sunshine, lush greenery and al fresco feasts. But the greenery would not be quite so green were it not for all the rain we enjoy in the UK. Never fear, your camping holiday does not need to turn into a dreary rain-soaked ordeal the second the heavens open. Here are some tips to help you cope with wet weather while camping:

Before You Go:

There are some things that will make it a lot easier to cope with a soggy camp.

  • If you are tent camping, consider investing in a second groundsheet to place beneath your tent. This will protect your tent's fixed groundsheet from stones and jagged edges and prolong the life of your tent. It will also make it less likely that you will get damp seeping up from beneath.
  • If you have not yet bought your tent, consider one with a separate porch area. These make it much, much easier to keep bedding dry as you can leave everything wet there and avoid contaminating sleeping areas.
  • Check your equipment, tent, motorhome or caravan over thoroughly before you set off and do not put up with any tiny leaks. Even the tiniest of drips could be a nightmare on a fractious rainy afternoon.
  • Invest in good wet weather gear. Many say that there is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes. A good anorak is far more useful in a campsite than an umbrella, which is difficult to use when you are grappling with tent doors or trying to unlock your vehicle.
  • Bring plenty of towels. Whether or not you get the rain, towels are very handy. You can use them to dry off after a shower (natural or otherwise) or to lie on for sunbathing, so whatever the weather, make sure you bring enough towels for everyone.
  • Bring a good camping lantern (perhaps a wind up one so you don't need to worry about batteries going flat). On dark, rainy afternoons in the tent lighting is essential to maintaining a cheerful mood.
  • Bring some bin bags. Bin bags can be used to gather rubbish, of course, but they can also be used to contain wet or dirty clothes, or you can sit on them or spread them on wet ground so you can place your belongings on them without everything getting saturated.
  • If you are going on a holiday with children and expect rain, be sure to bring some rainy day activities with you. Also, bring chocolate – nothing lifts a gloom faster.

At Camp:

  • Try to camp on higher ground and not right beside a river or lake if rain is expected. If you must camp on a slope then make sure your doors open on the downhill side so your tent does not fill up with water.
  • Especially if you are camping with small children, don't pitch or park too far from the toilets and shower block.
  • Remember to ventilate as you will suffer with condensation if you are stuck inside too long and things will get wet anyway. Remember in a tent to make sure nothing is touching the sides or water will start to seep through.
  • Entertainment: re-learn the art of conversation! Tell stories, laugh, joke. See it as an opportunity and take the time to reconnect.

Finally remember, it is just a bit of rain, so don't sit and be glum, just get on out there and enjoy your holiday!