Rain, rain, go away! Nobody likes the wet stuff when camping. But if the weather forecast is looking a little bleak for your upcoming holiday, there’s no need to take a rain check.
We asked camping expert Peggy Kelly, Park Manager of Reflections Holiday Parks North Haven, her top tips for wet weather camping.
“It really depends on whether you’re in a tent, caravan or cabin. If you’re in a caravan or cabin, you just need to bring more things to do. But if you’re in a tent it’s a whole different story,” said Peggy.
Tip 1: Protect your tent
If rain invites itself along to your camping holiday, you need to have adequate protection for your tent. But don’t just pitch your tent on a plastic tarp.
“We don’t allow plastic tarps on the ground; they kill the grass and are a serious slip hazard,” said Peggy.
“We tell our visitors to always bring an open weave camping mat. The water, sand and dirt fall right through, so they’re non-slip and don’t kill the grass.”
It’s also important your tent has adequate protection from above.
Check your tent has a top-quality rainfly and pitch it as taut as possible. A plastic tarp hung above the tent (but not touching the fly) is another line of defence against the elements.
Tip 2: Set up in the right spot
Nobody wants to wake up in a waterbed.
“If wet weather is on the cards we’ll provide advice on the best spot to set up camp. We want to make sure you don’t end up in a giant mud puddle,” said Peggy.
“We’re also very cautious of overhead trees, especially if the forecast is for heavy rain and storms.”
Tip 3: Protect yourself from the elements
Be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes, including wet weather gear like rain jackets and umbrellas. And don’t forget proper shoes and extra socks!
“A lot of people cruise around in thongs when the weather is wet, but they can get quite slippery and become a safety hazard,” said Peggy.
Tip 4: Pack plenty of things to do
Board games, craft activities, books and of course all the usual electronica …. they’ll all get a workout when it’s wet outside.
Tip 5: Spread your wings undercover
Make the most of the park’s sheltered areas, such as camp kitchens and TV rooms.
“We often offer school holiday activities in these areas, such as face painting and craft mornings. This stops the kids from feeling cooped-up,” said Peggy.
Campfires are generally out of the question when it’s raining. Either prepare your meals in the camp kitchen or venture to nearby restaurants and enjoy some local fare.
Tip 6: Chase the indoor fun
Escape the wet weather at nearby towns and villages.
“Port Macquarie is an easy drive from North Haven and has indoor activities such as shopping, cinemas, play centres and museums,” said Peggy.
“It’s a lovely day trip and a great opportunity to explore the wider region.”
Tip 7: Look on the bright side
Yes, it’s raining. And things might not be exactly as you’d hoped. But there’s still plenty of reasons to smile. You’re on holiday. With some of your favourite people. And with a completely legitimate excuse to kick back and relax.
So no sunshine? No worries! Follow our tips for wet weather camping and you’ll be right as rain.