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Camping in the rain

The summer may have been a bit of a soggy affair, but there’s no reason why a spot of rain should deter you from getting out camping. Former SAS soldier and author Andy McNab reckons it’s andy mcnabpossible to have a successful camping trip in spite of the typical wet British weather. In fact he thinks “wamping” – as absolutely no-one is calling it – is “good fun”… and who are we to argue?

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Andy, author of bestselling titles like Bravo Two Zero, said: “I think it's a fantastic experience. Just avoid being wet, cold and hungry. Never bring the wet stuff into the tent. Get that wet gear off, and sit there listening to the rain at night. It's all part of the fun."

We totally agree. You can choose to be wet and miserable or you can accept that the rain is just a part of camping in this country and make the most of it.

BUT… you have to make sure you do it right to avoid turning your camping trip into a washout. So here’s some tips to staying warm and dry on site.


Pitching your tent

Choosing a pitch on higher ground means you’re less likely find a small lake in your tent. If you have to pitch at the bottom of a hill try and face the door away from the slope. Pitch near the toilet block to avoid lengthy trips to the loo in the rain.


Stating the obvious, but wear a waterproof jacket when you’re out in the rain. You don’t have to spend fortunes - Craghoppers Kiwi (£90) is a classic waterproof walking jacket. Wellies are an essential when camping but leave them at the door when you return to the tent. Have a pair of flip-flops or Crocs ready just inside the door to avoid mud and water getting into the tent. Trying to dry wet clothes overnight in your tent is not only unlikely to succeed but will create condensation inside.


camping bedroom
Your inner tent bedroom floor may leak so it’s important to air and dry your bedding every morning. Laundrettes are not just for washing clothes; those tumble dryers can soon sort out wet sleeping bags and clothes

Spares and repairs: 

Broken zips, snapped poles, rips and tears can all let the elements into tents. Pull together a simple repair kit to tackle the obvious problems with a few spares for good measure.

In your tent:

flooded site
Keep your stuff away from the sides of the tent. Water will drip through in spots where there is something making contact with the walls. Take extra care when entering or leaving your tent in the rain - try not to jam the zip.

isle of wightCarrier Bags:

Bring loads. These can be used to store wet clothes or footwear or even to stick on your head to keep the rain off on a quick dash across the site.


Keep your clothes in the car to stop them from getting damp.

Passing the time:

There’s nothing better than lying in bed with a book as the rain pitter-patters on the canvas above. Boredom is your enemy on long rainy days, so bring a portable DVD player or a laptop to keep the kids occupied. Or go for the traditional option of board games.


proofing your tent
Tents can take a lot of punishment and eventually some areas may leak due to wear and tear. You can reproof these sections with a spray. But don't mistake condensation for rain leakage through fabric or seams. Avoid detergents or washing up liquid to clean the flysheet as they'll affect the waterproofing of the fabric. Use plain soap or a tent cleaner instead.

Read more Camping how to guides and handy camping tips by clicking here.

Back to "Practical Advice" Category

02/11/2012 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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