Before you Camp:
Inspect your tent and repair any holes that may have been made on your last camping trip.
Tape your seams with water proofing tape. Even tiny holes can leak water into your tent!
If your tent isn’t water tight, spray it with a water proofing spray. Many waterproofing sprays work well on different materials such as leather, canvas and synthetics, so one product may work for your tent as well as boots and clothing. *Some sprays can cause a change in color on certain fabrics. Read all labels before use.*
- Select a spot that is not at the bottom of a hill. If it rains, water can run off the hill and into your campsite.
When choosing a campsite near a water source (creek, river, lake, etc.) be sure to look for any high water marks on trees or rocks nearby. Set up camp well outside of these areas.
If you notice any rain water trickling towards your tent, dig a trench around your tent with a camp shovel or sharpened tree branch to divert the water out of your site.
If your tent doesn’t come with a ground cloth for underneath the tent, use a tarp or a large piece of plastic sheeting such as a painter’s drop cloth to keep the bottom dry.
Always use the rain-fly that comes with your tent. It’s called a rain- fly for a reason!
Tarps can be used as a lean-to over your tent by lashing it to near by trees or by propping with tent poles. You could also drape the tarp over your tent and hold it down with a bit of cordage to your tent stakes.
Don’t be afraid to use your campfire to dry clothes and equipment after a rain. Just be sure you don’t put your gear too close to the fire where it could burn. A clothesline set between 2 trees near the fire pit is a great place to hang wet gear. I have also used rocks around the fire pit to dry damp socks.
BONUS TIP: Always check the weather before heading out on a camping trip. This way you will have an idea of what may come your way. Know Before You Go!
There are many ways to keep your tent and gear, as well as yourself dry during a camping trip. Remember that after any camping trip, especially a wet one, make sure to pull out your gear and hang it up to dry. If it is not raining, it’s ideal to hang it out in the sun where it will catch a breeze. I commonly hang really wet gear in my shower or in the basement.
Read the tags on your tent and other gear before you decide to put it in your dryer. Many synthetic fabrics can NOT take the heat, but you may be able to change the settings so it tosses them with no heat. Always read the tags first!
Properly drying your gear will help prevent mold and mildew which can cause serious damage to your equipment.