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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought it might be a good idea to have a thread on Wet Weather Camping. One thing I can't stand is being confined to a tent during rainy weather, sure can spoil a trip.

Living and camping here in Colorado, we don't get a lot of it in the summer time, but we prepare for it just incase. When it does happen and your camping in the mountains, you get very little warning unless your are at the top of the mountain.

To prepare for it we have been using tarps to provide us dry space outside of the tent so we can still enjoy the outdoors. The tarps allow us to remain outside and stay dry while cooking, eating, playing cards or just chatting by the fire. And even if it doesn't rain the tarps will keep things from falling out of the trees or sky onto you or into your food, etc.

We have been doing the tarp thing for over 15 years now and I just don't understand why more people don't use them. Almost every tent camper I see brings one and then they stick it under their tent for a ground cover, then when it rains they have to stay in their tent and many of them still get soaked.

Anyway, here are a few pics of some of our rain setups.
 

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Great idea and one of those things you go duh of course! I have been worried about rain on our upcoming camping trip and now I may not have to. Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
r.oaster,

No problem, glad I could help.

Do a google on my handle and there will be links to show you how I get the ropes for the tarps up so high into the trees.
 

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Well, although I left the Flibitygiget behind, I took a tarp, lines and biners with me. I tried using the tarp for protection since it was raining steadily when I pitched my camp at Desert View in the Grand Canyon South Rim.
However, it's not so simple and easy as I thought. I got the lines all stretched from suitable trees and attached the tarp, etc. I guess I just did not set ip up right so the water pooled up in the tarp with the foreseeable issues... But that was not the real problem. The biggest issue was that the wind picked up at night and made the tarp slap and flap around all night long. What a PITA! I could not sleep because of it and I'm sure it bugged the crap out of every other camper around.

There have to be some techniques or tricks to using tarps to shelter campsites. I changed my camp next day and took down the tarp. It rained again and the wind blew, but I was dry and warm in my tent and it did not make any noise like the tarp did the night before.

It seems like a good idea, but in practice it was not so good....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
silverz51,

Sorry to hear that the wind created some problems for you on your trip, but that is one of the elements that we must contend with and make adjustments for.

For low to medium winds to reduce upward movement, you can use guy lines staked straight down from the tarp edges as needed. You may even use bungee cords as the guys to relieve stresses by allowing a little give in the wind. Use poles at strategic points to reduce the downward movement.
Keep in mind that the larger the tarp, the more preparations for wind need to be implemented.

In high winds, it is best to bring the windward edges of the tarp down to ground level so that the wind is not able to gain lift under the tarp.

Just remember as with anything, a little extra preparation will go a long way in providing acceptable results. There is hardly anything worse than having to spend an entire camp trip inside your tent because of rain unless it is having to do the same in a tent that leaks.

I will post some drawings and pics on our web site in the future, but as some know, we have been dealing with a tragedy in our family and it has been extremely difficult for me to concentrate on anything that requires the least bit of brain power.
 

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silverz51,

Sorry to hear that the wind created some problems for you on your trip, but that is one of the elements that we must contend with and make adjustments for.

For low to medium winds to reduce upward movement, you can use guy lines staked straight down from the tarp edges as needed. You may even use bungee cords as the guys to relieve stresses by allowing a little give in the wind. Use poles at strategic points to reduce the downward movement.
Keep in mind that the larger the tarp, the more preparations for wind need to be implemented.

In high winds, it is best to bring the windward edges of the tarp down to ground level so that the wind is not able to gain lift under the tarp.

Just remember as with anything, a little extra preparation will go a long way in providing acceptable results. There is hardly anything worse than having to spend an entire camp trip inside your tent because of rain unless it is having to do the same in a tent that leaks.

I will post some drawings and pics on our web site in the future, but as some know, we have been dealing with a tragedy in our family and it has been extremely difficult for me to concentrate on anything that requires the least bit of brain power.
Thank you very much for your response and I offer my condolences in your time of grief. I certainly understand a situation like you have. Please do not worry about my little misadventure. I will certainly look forward to learning more about these things from you or others as it is convenient.
 

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Use an airbed!

Once I've been camping when intense rainfall happened to take place. We were thoroughly prepared for that case, because we had airbeds with us. The water found its way into our tents but the airbed prevented our clothes from getting wet. There is one other thing you could do: Dig a drain around your tents - it will prevent the water from getting in (to a certain extend).
 

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Once I've been camping when intense rainfall happened to take place. We were thoroughly prepared for that case, because we had airbeds with us. The water found its way into our tents but the airbed prevented our clothes from getting wet. There is one other thing you could do: Dig a drain around your tents - it will prevent the water from getting in (to a certain extend).
There is no way to make a heavy rain not affect a camping experience. The airbeds would help to keep stuff like clothes out of the water, but I would probably end up kicking the stuff off the bed and get it all wet anyway. I don't want to sound negative, but the worst thing is that I really don't like the air mattresses that I have experienced. My self inflating pad would be enough to keep stuff off the water, but then there would be no room for me :shrug:.
Also the trench idea does work but it's not recommended because it damages the campsite... I ran into a big rain storm in Sonoma when I went there. I ended up in a motel.... I wished that I could have slept in my tent though. I would have been about as comfortable and saved myself $90+. Oh well....
 

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silverz51,
For low to medium winds to reduce upward movement, you can use guy lines staked straight down from the tarp edges as needed. You may even use bungee cords as the guys to relieve stresses by allowing a little give in the wind. Use poles at strategic points to reduce the downward movement.
Keep in mind that the larger the tarp, the more preparations for wind need to be implemented.

In high winds, it is best to bring the windward edges of the tarp down to ground level so that the wind is not able to gain lift under the tarp.
Great tips, Flibitygiget. I'll give a try on my next camping trip.
 

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Thought it might be a good idea to have a thread on Wet Weather Camping. One thing I can't stand is being confined to a tent during rainy weather, sure can spoil a trip.

Living and camping here in Colorado, we don't get a lot of it in the summer time, but we prepare for it just incase. When it does happen and your camping in the mountains, you get very little warning unless your are at the top of the mountain.

To prepare for it we have been using tarps to provide us dry space outside of the tent so we can still enjoy the outdoors. The tarps allow us to remain outside and stay dry while cooking, eating, playing cards or just chatting by the fire. And even if it doesn't rain the tarps will keep things from falling out of the trees or sky onto you or into your food, etc.

We have been doing the tarp thing for over 15 years now and I just don't understand why more people don't use them. Almost every tent camper I see brings one and then they stick it under their tent for a ground cover, then when it rains they have to stay in their tent and many of them still get soaked.

Anyway, here are a few pics of some of our rain setups.



That's a good looking camp I do the same with the tarps nothing worse that waking up wet
 

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I think I will practice at home before going on a trip north. Practice with the tarps. I carry at least three, car camping. I put one a little larger than the tent floor Inside the tent like a bathtub style, also use one under the tent. Serves a great purpose when have grandchildren roaming. And a big one for whatever.
I would like to have suggestions on Raincoat as will be upstate and near great lakes in September. NEVER bought rain gear in my life. What works? Annette
 

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I always use a tarp and rope, got stuck in a lake effect snow storm once and it held up even with that. Only issue was the snow was so heavy it didnt really slide down the slope so we had to keep knocking it off, and when you get 14 inches of snow in like 6 hours there's not a lot of places to put it!
 
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