One cannot predict the weather, and every weekend may not be sunny and warm. Nevertheless, lots of campers come prepared and can enjoy a bit of rain.
How do other folks deal with bad weather and still enjoy camping? There are a few things you can do to make rain into just another one of those things that you experience and conquer when camping.
Stay DryFirst, I suggest you use a rain fly. This is a large tarp that is erected over the picnic table for shelter from rain (or sun). Avoid those with a pole in the center. That’s where you’ll want to put the table. Instead, get one with a ridgepole. Now, you will have a dry area for everyone to gather, play games, cook and eat.
Always securely stake down the rain fly to keep it stable in the wind. Even if it is calm when you set it up, wind has a habit of rising up in the middle of night during a thunderstorm. If you secured it right, you can avoid getting out of bed to check on it during the storm.
Also, remember that children get cold faster than adults. The key to comfortable camping is to dress them in several layers, which can be peeled off as they get warm and added on as they cool off.
Keep Your Tent Clean
Your tent will get muddy inside and out. Any mud on the tent makes folding up and storing it undesireable. But mud inside makes for miserable sleeping. So how do you keep it clean?
Put a plastic tarp on the ground under the tent. It should match the "footprint" of the tent so that it doesn't gather rainwater. This groundsheet protects the floor of your tent from stones, sticks, and general wear and tear. That will all help later when you fold up and go home.
Keep a whiskbroom in the tent for sweeping out dirt and leaves. Use an old towel or small piece of carpet as a door matt for wiping off feet before entering the tent. Remove your shoes before entering the tent. This helps keep the tent floor and sleeping bags clean.
Even new tents may leak. This may or may not be the tent's fault. Your new tent may have performed just as the manufacturer planned.
Did you seal the seams before using the tent? The seams on all nylon tents must be sealed before using the tent, and periodically thereafter. Seam sealer is sold in applicator bottles which you rub along the inside of all waterproof seams. It is always wise to set up a new tent at home before your first trip. This lets you check its condition, and learn how to set it up without the pressure of darkness or rain at camp. It is also the best time to seal all the seams.
Rain or shine, get out and have a good camping trip!