The Go Wild Go West blog

Camping in the Rain: Top tips on what to do in bad weather

We all know the feeling… The sun was shining when you booked the campsite… Now you’ve arrived for your camping trip, the clouds have rolled in and the forecast is torrential!

Camping in the rain

Don’t be disheartened – camping in the rain can still be great fun! I asked some camping pros about their top hacks for family camping in bad weather….

camping in bad weather
camping in the rain

What to pack for camping in the rain

If the forecast is looking a bit iffy, there are certain things you can pack to make wet-weather camping a little more fun.

  • Take waterproofs and wellies for the kids AND adults! We have a terrible habit of packing everything for the kids and forgetting about ourselves… I don’t want to get drenched!

  • Pack a tarpaulin with bungees, rope, or string and you can create a makeshift shelter if needs be.

  • Make sure your tent is waterproof!! We camped with some friends who’s tent leaked substantially. We’ve always used Vango tents which have always kept us warm and cosy through some wild and wet weather!

  • Bring something to hang wet clothes on… there’s nothing worse than a stinky pile of damp clothes festering in the tent corner.

  • Pack your Dry Robe or a big waterproof coat. If the rain is light, you can still sit round the campfire and stay warm and dry

  • Pack games. Cards, board games, toys… something that will entertain you all for a while if you’re tent-bound.

  • Wine and sweets – essential in wet weather.

See our camping kit list for more tips on what to pack for camping

what to do camping in rain
Rugged up in the rain

(if you can’t beat it, join it….)

  • Adventure in the rain

Sometimes walking in the rain can be exhilarating and hilarious (the wetter you get, the better!) Grab your waterproofs and head out for a soggy adventure.

If you’re near the coast, go to the beach to watch the waves. Check the rock pools which are often more active in wet weather. Can you catch a crab or see a star fish?
Check the map for some local woods – the trees will provide more shelter. Can you build a den that will keep the rain off?

  • Swim!

Swimming in the rain is a fantastic feeling! It often feels warmer somehow….

Dive into the sea or a nearby river and wallow in the glorious wetness! Most campsites have hot showers so you can always warm up afterwards

  • Pub

After your wet adventure and swim, find a pub to snuggle down in. A warm fire to cosy up to whilst enjoying a pint and a game of cards is ideal.

3. It’s still raining!
What can we do in the tent?

We’ve camped in the rain so often that we have a few favourite games to play…

  • Tent Olympics

This is no time to be precious about tidiness….. your tent is now a mighty Olympic arena!

Set up an assault course using sleeping bags, suitcase, food boxes, chairs, balls… anything you can find. Now limber up and get ready to compete! Time each person as they do laps of the course and find who is your Tent-Olympics champion.

  • Sleeping bag roly-poly

Created by my (then 4 year old) son, this game is a firm favourite. Partner up with someone and both squeeze into a sleeping bag. Now try to roly-poly from one side of the tent to the other. If there’s another pair, race them and see who wins. It’s carnage… but hilarious.

  • Story stones and torch-light tales

On your wet adventure, find some large stones. Bring them back to the tent and once they’re dry, draw on them to create a series of story stones. Each person must create their own story using the stones. Perhaps you could imagine your future adventures when it’s not so wet……

When it gets dark, shine a torch up on to your face and tell a spooky story (maybe not spooky if it’s nearly bed time….). Each person tells their own story, or try doing a paragraph each…. Where will the story go!?

  • Family Quiz

Ever fancied yourself as a quiz host? Now’s your time! Set up a family quiz…. Prizes (sweets) for the winner.

camping with children
Tent Olympics

Camping doesn’t need to be about good weather. Most of the fun is in being away from home, and spending time together. That said, as my good friend Marita told me ‘if the weather’s really shite, dump the camping and go home!’

Going Camping?

Make sure you pack your Go Wild Go West Outdoor Adventure Guides: filled with awesome outdoor activities for all the family, perfect for any camping holiday adventures!

Check out our tips, guides and recommendations for all things camping;