Camping in the rain is less than ideal, but not impossible.

What You Need To Know

  • July has been a wetter-than-average month for Upstate New York

  • Rain doesn't have to ruin a camping trip

  • Always check the forecast before a camping trip to know what to bring

So, you booked this awesome camping trip months in advance, and with just a few days to go before your epic adventure... the forecast is calling for rain. The whole weekend isn't a washout, but one day is looking particularly bad.

You're weighing the disappointment of canceling over the aggravation of dealing with potentially heavy rain for at least a day.

This was the dilemma I faced this past weekend: one really wet day and night, followed by mostly dry weather for the next couple. 

New York State Mesonet

July as a whole has been an awful month for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and boating. With spots in the state having already seen over a foot of rain this month, I definitely wasn't alone with my tough decision.

My setup to stay dry.

While dealing with rain on a camping trip can sound worse than a root canal, it doesn't have to be if you're properly prepared. Keeping our tent dry became my badge of honor.

What to pack

  • Plastic tarps
  • Paracord
  • Waterproof matches
  • Waterproof timber
  • Rain jacket & rain pants
  • Dry sack
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Extra dry clothing
  • Waterproof boots
  • Extra towels
  • Camp stove

Setting up

  • Lay down a tarp where you plan on setting up your tent
  • Set your ground tarp and tent up on high ground, preferably near trees overhead. Trees not only provide cover, but you can use them to set up your overhead tarp shelter
  • Tie paracord to two trees to create a line to dry out wet clothes
  • Find a spot where you can keep your firewood dry

Things to do

It may not be for everyone, but sometimes embracing the rain can be fun. As long as there's not a thunderstorm in the vicinity, a hike in the rain can actually be quite peaceful.

With all the rain we've seen recently, the woods are full of colorful mushrooms.

Different mushrooms from our hike

Waterfalls are raging as well right now, so we embraced the gross weather and went to check out Kaaterskill Falls. 

Kaaterskill Falls from above

If hiking in the rain isn't your thing, escape the campsite to check out what the surrounding area offers. If you're set on staying at the site, card games, board games and a good book always seem to make time fly.

Monday evening's sunset overlooking North-South Lake

I'd like to think that after suffering through a very wet first day, this beautiful smoke-filled sunset was Mother Nature rewarding us for sticking it out.

Hopefully, she blesses us with drier weather the rest of the summer into the fall!