Don’t Let the Rain Stop You

I have been on my share of wet camping trips. The first one was early on in my camping adventures. It just pouring buckets when we got to the site. We got the huge tarp up overhead but everything was muddy anyway and setting up the tents was a pain. The boys lit out and returned a couple of hours later with firewood, and we’d just got it roaring in a respectable manner when it stopped raining, the sun came out and we had beautiful weather the rest of the weekend.

The Next Time It Rained:

It had the decency to wait until the big tarp was up over the main part of the campsite and we had plenty of firewood, but after a few hours we were bored silly. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We basically napped the afternoon away for lack of anything better to do. It made me realize I was not prepared for all camping eventualities.

The following are a few suggestions to battle rainy days that you might want to try out if you camp regularly:

Always take a deck of cards and a couple of travel games.

They don’t take up much room–in fact they can be stuffed in those little spaces nothing else will fit in–and it’s kind of neat to be playing gin rummy or crib or magnetic snakes n’ ladders out in the woods when it’s raining.

Have a cooking contest.

A cooking contest is fabulous when it’s raining; if you are with foodies the choices are endless. If there are a lot of you, pit cooking with two or three teams and the same ingredients is great fun. “Top Chef Camping” is hard to resist. A chili challenge, A food-on-a-stick challenge, the variety of themes is endless, whiles away the day and you have great food to finish the wet day with.

You don’t always need bulky  recreational equipment.

I keep some pens and notepads in the glove compartment of my car, and these come in handy if you decide to play something like charades, which can be screamingly funny for some reason when you’re camping. Some of us take the time throughout the previous month to memorize a great poem; this has become a regular practice since a family friend recited the whole of “The Cremation of Dan McGee” (by Robert Service). The words to the song “Camp Granada (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah)” is a very funny song to sing at any time, but especially if some in your group have never heard the words before.

You cannot over-plan when it comes to kids.

They have short attention spans, so make sure you make up a big list of things they can do. Click here for an edible playdough recipe you can make at the campsite.

One last suggestion.

When all else fails, have a nap.

Your getaway is supposed to be restful. If all else fails, have a nap. Snuggling down in your sleeping bag for an hour or so in the afternoon while the rain pours down on the surrounding woodland is just as relaxing as lounging on a lawn-chair at the beach. Maybe more so, even.

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