Here’s how to stay dry during a wet summer in the UK

These expert tips will help you enjoy camping, whether it rains or shines

One thing nobody wants while they’re camping is terrible weather. But as many of us know, you can’t rely on British summer weather to be sunny. But rain doesn’t have to ruin your camping holiday; there are a few handy preparations you can make that will make camping in the rainy wet British summer time a breeze.

Andy Halliday, owner of The Expert Camper, shares his top tips on how to enjoy camping in rainy wet weather this summer.

Take A Tarp

One of the best ways to stay dry during a wet summer camping trip in the UK is to set up a tarp over your cooking and communal areas. A well-placed tarp provides a sheltered space where you can prepare meals, relax, and dry wet clothing without being exposed to the rain. 

“Make sure the tarp is securely fastened and angled to allow water to run off efficiently,” Andy advises. “There are many resources online, such as YouTube videos, that can show you the best ways to set up your tarp and advise you on the best tarp to buy. Practice setting it up in your garden or an open space inside your house before you go camping.” 

Additionally, pack a clothesline and some clips to hang under the tarp. This way, you can air-dry your clothes and gear, ensuring they are ready for the next day.

Bring A Book (Or A Game, Or Cards…)

Rainy days offer a unique opportunity to slow down and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of nature. Bring plenty of entertainment to keep you occupied when you can’t be outside. Pack books, board games, or a deck of cards to enjoy with your fellow campers. 

Embrace the cosy atmosphere by listening to the soothing sound of raindrops hitting the tent. Take this time to unwind, soak in the tranquil environment, and appreciate the beauty of nature from the comfort of your dry shelter.

Prepare For Rainy Cooking

Cooking in the rain can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it can also be an enjoyable part of your camping experience. Always bring waterproof matches or a reliable lighter to ensure you can start a fire or ignite your stove in wet conditions. Opt for a portable camping stove that is safe to use under a tarp, providing you with a dry area to cook your meals. 

Spread An Extra Groundsheet

“Keeping your tent dry starts with proper ground insulation,” Andy says. “Use an extra groundsheet underneath your tent to create a barrier between the damp ground and your tent floor. This additional layer of protection helps prevent moisture from seeping through, keeping the interior of your tent dry and comfortable.” 

Ensure the groundsheet is slightly smaller than your tent’s footprint to avoid water pooling around the edges. This simple step can significantly enhance your camping experience by keeping you warm and dry, even during heavy rains.

Keep Your Things Dry

Dry bags and plastic containers are your best allies when it comes to keeping your gear dry. These waterproof storage solutions protect your clothes, electronics, and other essentials from the rain. 

Pack your items in dry bags, which come in various sizes and can be easily organised within your backpack. For bulkier items or food supplies, use plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. This method not only prevents your belongings from getting soaked but also helps you organise your gear efficiently.

Choose The Right Tent

The right tent can make all the difference when camping in wet conditions. Choose a tent that features a high-quality rainfly, which covers the entire tent and extends well beyond the entrance to prevent water from entering. 

“Check the tent’s waterproof rating, measured in millimetres, to ensure it can withstand heavy rain; a rating of 1500mm or higher is recommended for the UK’s unpredictable weather,” Andy says. Seam-sealed construction and a bathtub-style floor are additional features that help keep water out. 

The Magic Of A Cosy Blanket

Extra blankets can be a lifesaver when it comes to staying warm and comfortable during a wet camping trip. If you have the space, pack a few additional blankets to enhance your sleeping setup. They provide extra insulation when layered over your sleeping bag, ensuring a warm night’s sleep even in damp conditions. 

During the day, blankets are perfect for wrapping yourself up and feeling cosy while you relax in your tent, read a book, or chat with fellow campers. This added comfort can turn a dreary, rainy day into a snug and pleasant experience.

Sleep In Comfort

“Sleeping directly on the ground can lead to a cold and uncomfortable night, especially when the ground is wet. An air mattress provides an effective barrier between you and the damp, chilly earth, offering both insulation and comfort. It raises you off the ground, helping to keep you warm and dry,” Andy says.

Additionally, air mattresses can be more comfortable than traditional sleeping pads, making your tent feel more like home. Ensure your air mattress is inflated correctly, and bring a repair kit just in case of any leaks.

Embrace The Rain

Don’t let the rain keep you confined to your tent; embrace the wet weather by exploring the outdoors. Rain can transform the landscape, making it lush and vibrant, and the fresh smell of rain-soaked earth can be invigorating. 

Wear your waterproof gear and go for a walk, take photographs, or simply enjoy the tranquillity that comes with fewer people on the footpaths. Nature has a unique charm when it rains, with misty forests and sparkling droplets on leaves creating a magical atmosphere you wouldn’t experience on a sunny day.

Warm Up Where You Can

Even the most adventurous campers need a break from the rain. Take advantage of any indoor facilities available at your campsite, such as common rooms, kitchens, or bathrooms, to warm up and dry off. 

If your campsite doesn’t have such amenities, look for nearby cafes or pubs that welcome campers. Enjoy a hot drink, a hearty meal, and the chance to dry out your gear while socialising with locals or fellow travellers. These breaks provide a much-needed respite from the elements and help maintain your morale during a prolonged wet spell.

Don’t Forget Your Boots And Socks!

Your feet are particularly vulnerable to the wet and cold, so investing in a good pair of waterproof boots is crucial. Waterproof boots keep your feet dry and provide the necessary support for hiking on muddy paths. 

Along with your boots, pack several pairs of extra socks. “Choose moisture-wicking and quick-drying materials like wool or synthetic blends,” Andy advises. “Change your socks regularly to keep your feet dry and comfortable, which helps prevent blisters and keeps you warm.”

Andy concludes, “Don’t let the UK’s unpredictable weather prevent you from enjoying the coming summer. Adopt these strategies and you’ll be much better equipped come rain or shine”. 

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