After at least 2 months of glorious British sunshine, hot summer days and warm evenings, it was too optimistic to think that we could get away with a long weekend of camping, enjoying the same weather.
Arriving early on a Friday morning, we set up camp in the dry, but no sooner had we sat down around the campfire, the sky darkened and tiny drops appeared on my glasses. RAIN!
The dreaded rain whilst camping scenario kicked in, but we survived. In fact, we thrived. We were prepared and we had a wet, but fun time.
Our successful trip was all down to planning and preparation so I thought I'd share a few tips:
Make the most of the breaks in the cloud
Although our weekend was 80% plagued by precipitation, there were moments of sunshine and at times, it lasted long enough to get out and enjoy it. I'd recommend packing for all eventualities, just in case, and discard the wellies and don the flip flops whenever you can. As soon as the sun comes out, unpack the picnic blanket, relax and soak up a few rays. It will make a huge difference to your reflective perception of your trip if you can remember moments in the sun.
Pack plenty of entertainment
If you find yourself stranded in the middle of a field with little more than a tent and a pair of wellies, time is going to drag. Make sure you pack a good book, download a good playlist or, if you're travelling with kids, ensure they have some of their favourite toys. Whilst it was raining, I read a book for the first time in months and it was a really simple pleasure. I totally chilled out and enjoyed it.
Wellies, raincoats and umbrellas
It might sound obvious, but make sure you pack these essentials. Without them, it will be miserable. With them, you can carry on and enjoy your camping trip, and although it might not be exactly how you'd hoped it would be, it is manageable. Also, make sure your take plenty of layers with you including T-shirts, jumpers and hoodies. Personally, I live in warm hoodies when I'm camping and a rainy weekend is no exception. By layering, you can easily peel off a layer if you do get soaked.
Having shelter in your camp is life-changing! Until recently, we didn't have any and we just accepted that we would have to get wet to cook and socialise. Then we invested in a shelter over our cooking area and an awning directly off our OZTENT RV-5 tent. Straight away, we were able to do the essentials and stay dry. We can now cook dinner, open a beer and sit and enjoy being away from it all in the great outdoors.
Dry it out
If you can, and I appreciate that it's not always possible, try to pack everything away dry. If you put it away wet or even damp, it can cause mould, bad smells and damage. Although our OZTENT RV-5 got soaked the evening before, we were lucky that the morning we were packing up, it stayed dry. The tent was therefore drying out and we just used a dry cloth to wipe it down before folding it up and bagging it. To ensure the sleeping bags and other bedding are completely dry, I open them out and hang them up when I get home.