tent under tarp

How to successfully camp in the rain

Is the forecast looking a little rainy for your upcoming camping trip?

Don’t let it bring you down! Some of the best memories happen on the rainiest days.

All you need are a few tips and tricks to ensure you’re prepared for inclement weather. Keep these tips in mind even if the forecast calls for sunny skies!

Stay dry in your tent

If you’re sleeping in a tent, there are a few things you can do to stay dry. You’ll need a tent with a fly, which covers any openings on the tent and keeps water away.

person putting tent up

Made of waterproof material, it’s important to have a fly that completely covers your tent’s windows and doors. Rain can easily find its way into your tent if not covered properly.

When setting up your tent, peg the fly’s guy lines away from the shelter. Ensure your fly is nice and taut so water can easily flow off.

Group sets up tent in the rain.

Weather is unpredictable, so remember to set up the fly even if rain isn’t in the forecast.

When looking for a spot to set up your tent, choose an area that is high and level. The last thing you want is to set your tent up in a potential puddle!

Inside the tent, keep all of your gear away from the sides. This will help keep everything dry.

Check the forecast, then check it again

Always check the weather conditions for your camping location and pack accordingly.

Keep an eye on the forecast for any sudden changes. Avoid camping during severe thunderstorms and don’t be afraid to reschedule your trip if needed.

Tarps, tarps, and more tarps!

Tarping your site will help keep you dry in case of rain.

Plan to bring at least two tarps, one to cover your picnic table/eating area and the other to add extra protection above your tent.


Tie your tarp as tight as possible to avoid flapping in the wind and always set up a sloped roof to allow water to run off.

A tarp over your picnic table will allow you to easily cook and enjoy a meal in a dry space. It’s also the perfect spot to hunker down and stay dry.

Get your campsite rain-ready

Now that you have your tent and tarp all set up, there are few more things to keep in mind throughout your camping trip.

equipment in trunk

There are a few ways to keep your equipment dry and durable during your stay. Keep all of your personal items in a waterproof bag or in your vehicle. Store wet items in bags or bins to keep them from getting the rest of your gear soaked.

Make sure you cover your firewood and kindling with a tarp when the rain starts.

When getting ready to head home, dry your tent and other equipment before packing up to prevent mold. If you have to pack up in the rain, leave your gear out to air dry when you get home.

Bring a rainy day backpack

The best way to get through a rainy day while camping is to avoid being bored. Brainstorm with your family and friends about good rainy day activities, and come prepared!

playing cards in tent

Some of our favourite rainy day activities are:

  • board games
  • a deck of cards
  • arts and crafts
  • books
  • puzzles

Other rainy day essentials

Make some room, we have a few more essentials to bring along!

A raincoat or poncho is a must to keep you dry. The temperature can feel chillier when it’s raining, so pack an extra layer to go underneath as well.

Bring along waterproof shoes or rubber boots, and lots of extra clothing, especially socks. You’ll be surprised how many clothing items you can go through during a rainy weekend!

people hiking

Pack a toque and few extra blankets for those cool, damp rain days and add some extra beach towels to dry off when you venture out into the rain.

Rainy days can get surprisingly dark. Ensure you have lots of light sources, like flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps.

Don’t forget some extra batteries!

Hiking in the rain

Don’t let a little rain stop you from a day of hiking!

person hiking on wet boardwalk

Hiking in the rain can still be enjoyable as long as you’re prepared. Make sure you have the appropriate gear, including waterproof hiking boots and a rain jacket.

Avoid hiking if there are weather warnings like strong winds, floods, or thunder and lighting. Stay on the trail and be mindful of slippery trail conditions.

Don’t forget that positive attitude!

family sitting around campfire

Camping is the perfect opportunity to appreciate what nature has to offer, rain or shine! Don’t let the rain stop you from having a good time.

Ask any Ontario Parks staff, they’ll tell you that amazing memories can be made while camping in the rain.