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Easy tips you need to know for camping in the rain with kids

camping in the rain

When the rain sets in, your perfectly planned camping trip can turn into a disaster in a matter of moments. But cloudy days and wet weather can’t completely ruin your holiday if you plan for such drawbacks and learn to accept the unpredictability of the weather. Plus, surprisingly, you can have fun in the rain!

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Here are 10 tips for rainy day success when you get caught camping in the rain.

#1 – Pack rain gear

When packing for camping, it’s best to plan for a bit of rain. Ponchos are great and if it’s cold, make sure to bring something warm and waterproof. Even a rubbish bag will work as a poncho! That way, you can still go outside and not be drenched. If it’s raining on and off or anything besides a downpour, you can still do heaps – it’s just water!

#2 – Bring shelter

We have a rooftop tent, so hiding in there while it rains isn’t an option. Pack a second tent large enough for play only, or use an awning or gazebo to shelter under. Camper trailers and caravans are made for rain. Camping always requires disaster planning to a certain degree so be sure and come prepared.

An awning tent makes a great shelter on rainy days © Jessica Palmer

#3 – Pull out the iPad

Electronic devices will save your bacon when you get stuck camping in the rain. I don’t like to let my kids play on them if it’s sunny out but when it’s pouring, sometimes you don’t have any other option.

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#4 – Hit the toy bag

I make my kids pack a toy bag on each trip with Lego, board games, a deck of cards, colouring books, crafts, water guns and other toys they enjoy playing with. I make it their responsibility. It’s the first thing they do when I tell them we’re going camping!

#5 – Old-fashioned fun

Old-fashioned games like Charades, I Spy, Hide and Seek, Chinese Whispers, Duck, Duck Goose and talent shows are fun to play when the rain puts a damper on your camping trip. They’re great games to get the family together and spend quality time having fun.

#6 – Dancing in the rain

Opt for rainy day craziness and put on your togs. My kids love to run around in the rain and splash in puddles. If it’s warm enough, let them go nuts. Turn your tarp into a slippery slide!

© Jessica Palmer

#7 – Run for the hills

If it’s set in and going to rain for days, sometimes it’s better to just give up on camping. Check the local weather and don’t be afraid to move your camp elsewhere. If you’re in the middle of a storm on the beach, it may well be confined to the coast and the hinterland will still be sunny. Feel free to go exploring.

#8 – Storytime

My kids love a good yarn. Books on tape (via Audible) are not only awesome for driving time but can be used when it’s wet as well. Books are awesome too. Hit up the local library and see what you can discover there to pass the time.

#9 – Go 4WDing

Water makes tracks heaps more interesting! There are more puddles to splash through, mud on the tyres, and partial visibility…what more could you want? It goes without saying that we’re not advocating tearing up tracks here though. Always tread lightly!

camping in the rain
4WDing in the mud © Jessica Palmer

#10 – Make friends

Chances are if you’re trying to figure out what to do while you’re stuck camping in the rain, so are your neighbours. Get together and form a rainy day tribe. Your kids will be entertained by the other kids and it’s always good to have adults to commiserate with.

Words by Christina Wiles Rogers

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