10 Ways to Enjoy Camping in Bad Weather | Camping Tips

September 19, 2023

So you’ve checked the forecast, and stormy weather is predicted during your camping trip. If you stick to your camping plans, bring the gear and positive attitude you’ll need to enjoy your time. Think about what you’ll need to pack to stay safe, dry, and entertained when it’s gloomy outside. The following are some ideas to help you enjoy your camping trip even when the weather gets bad.

10 Tips for Camping in Bad Weather

1. Wear Waterproof Clothing

You don’t want to get caught in the rain without a waterproof rain jacket. Wearing wet clothes feels uncomfortable and can lead to hypothermia or other health risks. You’ll also want to protect your feet by wearing waterproof rain boots and clothing layers to insulate your body incrementally.

2. Change of Comfy Loungewear

Pack a nice warm change of clothes to wear inside your camp lodging. Think soft fleece or flannel loungewear to snuggle up inside your sleeping bag. Keep your feet happy, too, with padded socks or slippers.

3. Use Waterproof Tarps

Tarps are multifunctional and are especially useful in a downpour when tent camping. Spread a tarp under your tent as a barrier between the tent and wet ground. Fix a tarp over the top of your tent to keep rain or light snow from penetrating it. If the top tarp is long enough, you can attach the ends to nearby trees to create a “porch.” Use this extended camping area to air out wet clothes and gather with friends and family.

4. Change Lodging

If sustained rain, snow, or wind is expected during your camping trip, staying comfortable inside a tent will be difficult. Consider switching to another camping mode, like inside a sturdy KOA cabin. Or decide to camp in an RV and rent or borrow one for the trip.

5. Mood Lighting

The right lighting can help create a cozy camping environment inside any lodging. String up warm golden lights and turn on a few candle-like flickering lanterns. They’ll set the perfect ambiance for listening to the light rain falling outside.

6. KOA Recreation Room

When the weather’s too unpleasant for outdoor exploring, many KOA locations have fun indoor spaces where campers can take shelter from the storm. Campground recreation rooms or game rooms have spots for lounging and socializing. Get to know fellow campers and challenge them to a game of wits or chance. Find a mix of board games and interactive games stocked and ready for play.

7. Local Indoor Attractions

If the roads are safe to drive, hop in your car and discover what indoor entertainment nearby towns offer. Visit local museums to learn about the area’s history or get the details on a specialty subject like pinball machines. Other things you can do indoors include shopping or seeing the latest blockbuster movie. If you’re close to a National Park, stop by the visitor’s center to learn about the park and all the fun things to do once the weather clears.

8. Cook Comfort Food

If you’re not getting outside any time soon, then there’s plenty of time to cook something delish. Perfect complicated recipes in your RV or cabin. Outdoor cooking can be challenging during bad weather. Many KOA locations have Kamping Kitchens with sheltered cooking stations, making it easier for tent campers to cook. Make something yummy—comfort dishes and desserts—to keep your tummy happy through the storm.

9. Catch Up on Solitary Activities

While waiting for the rain to clear, catch up on the solitary activities you enjoy. Read a good book or do some reflective journal writing. Listen to music or play your favorite video game. Camping at KOA comes with electric outlets, so plug in and play!

10. Fun Group Activities

Use the time stuck inside to connect with your partner, friends, and family. Sure, you can flip on the TV and watch a movie, but you can also tell a scary story or sing fun camp songs. Find an indoor group activity everyone will enjoy and get ready for big smiles and laughter. This is what camping’s all about, right?

Eva Barrows

Eva Barrows is an accomplished San Francisco Peninsula freelance writer and book editor. She writes for regional magazines like PUNCH and Edible Silicon Valley and was editor-in-chief of Live&ThriveCA magazine. She founded the online literary journal Imitation Fruit in 2007 and has enjoyed promoting fellow writers and artists ever since. Read more of her travel writing at




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