Here are our 7 best tips for camping in rainy weather with children in tow! We have learnt that rain is not cause for cancelling a much deserved break in nature. It can be utilised as a brilliant family experience for making cherished memories.
Growing up in London I know the rain well (this was part of the reason we moved to Mexico). After 5 years here this 2023 winter-spring period has been the rainiest of Baja weather I’ve experienced so far.
Camping in rainy weather can be a drag, and tricky with muddy little shoes going in and out of the tent, but it need not be stressful.
Camping in forecasted rain need not put an end to your family camp trip so long as you have a spacious and reliable tent , enough instant snacks for children (these are my children’s favourites for trips and I love that the ingredients is pure (see list here). The mega mega upside of this company is that they’re an outdoorsy kids snack company!).
Fun can still be found, and copious amounts of it. Building memories should be your aim in this situation, and there’s plenty of positivity that can be taken from a rainy weekend in nature. To make it extra fun bring along a little gift basket for the kids to share, filled with snacks, a kid safe camera (it’s so much fun to see what they record), waterproofs, foldable umbrella, crayons, and a nature themed colouring book.
1. Make sure you pack waterproof clothing for all the family and bring extra socks
Bring raincoats for all of the family, wellies, thermal clothing, enough changes of clothes and enough thick socks to keep you all dry and warm.
Children slip and slide in rainy weather which can be great fun if we don’t limit their chance to explore or put them off with our parenting freak outs about being careful, staying dry, and not getting wet. Plan for wet clothes and mud when camping in rainy weather with children .
2. Bring umbrellas
Umbrellas are fun for kids. They love to have their own umbrellas when stomping about in the rain, watching the raindrops hit the umbrella and spill off the sides. They love to spin and twirl the umbrellas in the rain and it can make for great entertainment. Of course, umbrellas are functional and a great asset to have on a wet camp trip.
3. Bring towels to put down at the door of the tent
Bring some old towels that you don’t mind getting muddy and wet when camping in rainy weather with children. Pop them down inside the door of the tent. Also have a dry one that can be sat on so children can take off and put on their shoes comfortably.
Bring bin liners and plastic bags to sit on and use when you need to store the wet items at the end of your trip.
4. Set up the tent when it’s not pouring with rain
Ideally wait for the hard rains to pass as the last thing you want is your tent getting drenched and you too! Despite, seeing people set up tents in the rain- it is not an ideal scenario. For a super fast and easy tent to set up check out UST Gear (colourful, plus has color coordinated poles to make it extra quick and easy).
5. Bring snacks and food that don’t need cooking
If it’s pouring and you have hungry children you are not going to want to light a stove and cook in the rain. Instead bring a loaf of bread, cheese, tinned tuna, some salad vegetables and make sandwiches. You can boil water easily for warm foods like instant noodles and teas. My favourite for the car journey and for moments when preparing food isn’t an option or tricky in the rain are these pouches and sugar free waffle snacks (with vegetables or fruit).
6. Bring enough light
Camping in the rain can be gloomy so the extra light can add a feeling of warmth to a potentially miserable situation. Our favourite for all the family are these squidgy Spright rechargeable lamps that fold up small, but still pack a lot of light for their buck.
It can also help calm children who may feel a little scared outdoors in dark weather, especially in the evening. A little extra light always improved a potentially gloomy situation!
7. Sing songs and tell stories
This is a lovely way to create memories. Yes, it was raining during the trip but you can sing rain songs, do a rain dance together, tell fun nature inspired stories and include your children’s names in them.
Camping in rainy weather with children should be an adventure, not a big deal. If you’re staying in a tent and it starts raining, remember that jumping around in the mud is fun, too. The best part is getting to see your children’s faces light up at the words yes, you can run and jump in the rain!