How to Set Up a Tent in Rain: Tips For Camping in Bad Weather

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We all know that camping is not an easy task. But it can be quite unfortunate if the rain catches you and you are not well prepared. The water loosens the stakes, floods your tent, and even taking it downhill. You will get mad wondering how to set up a tent in the rain, how to do it in wind, and more.

But camping in the rain doesn’t have to be a traumatic or unpleasant experience! If you plan to go camping in the rain, knowing some tricks will ease your work.

Read our piece on camping carefully in wet or wet conditions to maximize your outing chances.

How to Set up a Tent in Rain and Wind Storms 

  • Choose a suitable site

When choosing where to set up your tent, keep in mind the direction of the wind and the strength of your winds (from the tent). Locate the narrowest part of the tent facing the wind. Make this part coincide with the inclination of the surface. If your tent is on its side against the wind, the surface against it will be more excellent.  It will attack your tent like a sail.

  • Organize your team

Before unpacking your tent, have your backpack and other bulky items on hand. They will be ready to be used as a weight in the tent layers that can be easily blown up. Once the tent is assembled, leave these heavy objects inside to firm the base of the tent.

  • Prepare the rods

Before anything else, remove the rods from the tent and leave them armed immediately. As soon as you take the tent out of your bag, you will need something to firm them up. This is a piece of beneficial advice, you will see for yourself. Another tip: put the stakes in your pocket to always have them at hand.

  • Put the stakes

With two stakes in hand, take the tent’s inner body from the side that will be facing the wind and lift it with both hands. Without the wind blowing away the tent, let it fly like a flag. This will determine the direction in which it will be best to set up the tent. Lower the tent and nail the stakes that you had arranged.

  • To put the rods

Take the rods from the tent and place them on it, to make weight. Start with the tent’s end that you nailed to the ground with the stakes, inserting the rods calmly. Then do the same on the other side and finally nail the stakes that you had left without burying.

  • The roof cover

Take out the roof cover, stand on the side facing the wind, and again let the wind stretch the cover, as in point 4. If the wind has kept its direction, it will fit perfectly with the tent’s inside body. This can be the most frustrating step if you set up the tent on your own, as the wind can move the canopy a lot.

  • Tense the tent and adjust the winds

The tent must be taut and firm; this will not only minimize the tent walls’ movement but will also strengthen the entire structure. A tarp that is damaged, or with flimsy rods, is more likely to break when it is not firmly assembled.

6 Tips for Setting Up a Tent in Rain

Setting up a tent while it is raining is one of the worst things that can happen in a camp. But being without a tent during the rain can be even worse. So, since we need to assemble, here are some tips on what to do:

  1. If you choose to camp under trees, carefully investigate the existence of branches or trees that may fall with the rain. It can damage the tent and injure the campers;
  2. If you choose to camp in the open, do not set up your tent under a lonely tree. It can act as a lightning rod;
  3. Do not choose places where water can accumulate and form puddles. A slight slope, just enough for the water to drain, is desirable;
  4. Set up your tent away from animal trails, like cows. They form rainwater paths, and no one wants to sleep with their backs in a “stream”;
  5. Before setting up the tent, place a tarp over you. This way you avoid having a pool inside the tent before you even start camping;
  6. Some tents allow the roof to be assembled before the tent (also called a bedroom). It allows the tent and whoever assembles it to be dry.

In addition to these assembly tips, knowing the types of tents and the necessary care can also help a lot. Please keep these tips in mind when you set up a tent in rain.

10 Useful Tips for Camping in the Rain

  • Bring a second canvas with you

If you are not very keen on camping in the rain, take a second tent to hang up under your own. This will further protect you from cold and damp soil.

  • Opt for a tent with ventilation windows

When choosing your tent, this can turn out to be a more informed idea. It is better than opting for a model with integrated vents in the tent fabric. This will allow the air to circulate well within it. It will prevent condensation from coming to accumulate in too large a quantity in the room. When the tent’s sides are wet, do not touch them: this gesture could facilitate the infiltration of water inwards!

  • Apply the appropriate cleaning products to your tent

A waterproofing spray will allow you to restore the water-repellent properties of its canvas while maintaining optimal breathability. In the case of new tents, spraying a suitable maintenance product will help you minimize the fouling of its canvas. This could considerably reduce the waterproofing of your equipment.

  • Take an awning / a small arbor with you.

An awning or an arbor can be handy to protect your tent and your equipment during the setting up of your camp in the rain. It will also provide you with a pleasant little space where you can take refuge. This will allow you to take advantage of the outside air, without yourself getting completely soaked.

  • Use logic in the way you store

Separate your dry clothes well from your wet clothes. Always try to keep a dry outfit that you can put on once you are installed in your tent. Storing your foodstuffs and clothes in airtight bags will allow you to keep dry what is not (yet) wet.

  • Take a microfiber towel with you.

Microfiber towels are very compact. They dry quickly and are also very absorbent. That’s why they are perfect for helping you dry yourself after a day in the rain.

  • Don’t forget your waterproof clothes and shoes.

A waterproof jacket and pants and rain boots will keep you dry when camping in the rain. When you are not wearing them, store them well separate from the rest of your belongings.

  • Pitch your tent on the part of the ground rather upstream of the rest

Look for a higher ground on which you are going to pitch your tent. The rain will tend to hurtle towards the areas located further down.

As the humidity in the air increases, the temperatures felt will drop. So if you think you may find yourself camping in the rain, plan to take a sleeping bag sheet with you. It will position itself inside the sleeping bag. Also, the sheet can help you maintain the temperature a few degrees above what it would be in the absence of this sheet. These sheets will also keep your sleeping bag clean. This is useful in rainy weather, where you are generally more likely to bring mud with you inside the tent.

  • Keep the kids busy

When the weather warns of possible precipitation, the kids need to stay inside the tent. It may be a good idea to take a few toys, board games, or books to keep the kids busy.

  • Games

Small, portable games are always a good option for camping with rain: cards, dominoes, one left, sea battles, etc. Besides, it is worth taking crosswords and, of course, a good and companion book! How many times in your daily life do you have time to stop and read a book? At the camping when it is raining, you will have time!

Camping in rainy weather is not necessarily a problem. As you can see from the article on how to set up a tent in the rain, it’s not a disaster. With a little organization, you will still be able to enjoy your excursion despite the rainy weather conditions.

Read more:

Best 6 person tents for rain (Reviews)

Best extreme cold weather tents (Reviews)

Best family tents for bad weather (Reviews)