Tips for Camping in High Winds

December 5, 2023

Severe weather often brings some additional challenges for camping. Even more than a rainstorm, windy weather can make staying outdoors more difficult. You might struggle to set up camp, and the wind can cause your valuable supplies to blow away when they are not secured.

Despite the difficulties of camping in windy weather, you can still have an enjoyable time. You just need to prepare for the weather. Learn more about camping in windy conditions in a tent or RV with these expert tips.

Tips for Tent Camping in Strong Winds

Tents offer the least protection in windy weather, so you will need some extra preparation to ensure your tent remains stable and you stay protected. Here are a few pointers to guide you.

Get a Wind-Resistant Tent

Tents have varying levels of wind resistance. If you camp often or plan to camp in inclement weather, invest in a wind-resistant option. For tents you already own, research their wind resistance to determine whether they will hold up to the expected conditions.

Upgrade supplementary gear like pegs and guy ropes for better quality. A tent might come with cheaper and flimsier options, but you can switch these out for more durable components to increase your safety. This tip especially helps on sides facing the wind.

Camp Smaller

While your large, multiroom tent may be more comfortable, it has a bigger surface exposed to the wind. This surface makes it easier for the tent to blow away. Instead of one large tent, consider bringing several smaller tents. Keep your tent surface smaller by leaving the rain fly off unless it is actively raining.

Prepare for Repairs

A stray branch or other debris may cause tears in your tent fabric during high winds. Come prepared with a tent repair kit. These kits often include repair patches, seam sealers, thread and other supplies. A trusty roll of duct tape is a helpful alternative in a pinch. Before you leave, learn a few repair tips so you can act quickly when damage happens. You will know whether to pull out the needle and thread or a tent patch.

Pitch It Properly

When setting up your tent in a windy area, follow best practices like facing the smallest side toward the wind to reduce the surface area — and the chances it will blow away. Turn the main door of the tent away from the wind to keep it from whipping around when you open it. Use a 45-degree angle away from the tent when placing tent stakes and pound the stakes into the ground with a hammer or blunt object.

A towable RV at a back-in RV site with a nice firepit.

Tips for RV Camping in High Winds

An RV has a more robust structure than a tent, meaning it is unlikely to blow away. Still, it could rock around or sustain damage from flying debris. Here are a few RV camping tips for high wind.

Position It Correctly

When parking your RV, keep the front facing toward the wind to reduce the area the wind can hit. Parking it this way will keep it more stable in high winds, allowing you to avoid rocking and swaying.

Decrease Surface Area

Beyond parking it a certain way, reduce your RV’s surface area by retracting your awning. Anything you usually keep under the canopy — like patio chairs — should be stored away. In especially gusty weather, bring in your slide-outs to reduce jostling.

Keep It Hitched

Adding weight to your camper can make it more stable. Keep it hitched to your tow vehicle for added stability. Also, stabilize your RV by keeping the jacks down and filling up your fresh water tank if you have one.

Drive With Caution

High winds are often more dangerous for RVs on the road than at the campground. Reduce your danger by pulling over if the winds top 40 miles per hour.

Other Tips for Camping in the Wind

Whether you stay in a tent, RV or cabin, a few general tips can keep you safer and more comfortable when camping in the wind.

Check the Forecast

Before you leave on your trip, check the weather, and think about more than just rain. Try to find the wind speed and direction at your destination. Depending on the weather forecast, you can arrive and depart at certain times to avoid the worst weather. If the winds are over 25 miles per hour, think about delaying your trip, as this speed can break off large branches and send them flying.

Be Careful With Fire

High winds increase the danger of fires spreading. When cooking or starting a campfire, use fire safety practices. In extremely high winds, avoid starting a fire at all.

Consider bringing a cookstove with wind protection to reduce the chances of a fire spreading. Once you are done cooking, extinguish the fire and eat inside. Never cook inside, however. Your tent could ignite, or the fumes could endanger your health.

Find a Sheltered Site

Regardless of what you are camping in, a sheltered area will stop the worst gusts. Avoid hills, beaches and cliffs. Stick close to buildings, RVs or other tents to block wind when camping. You can even use your car to stop the wind. When positioning your tent or RV, avoid trees or check the branches for dead or loose limbs. Limit the chances of damage by dumping your trash and stowing any lightweight or valuable objects when not using them.

Stay Inside

While you may have plans to explore the local area, wait until the wind dies down for a better experience. By sticking close to your site, you can watch your belongings to ensure nothing blows away. While inside your tent or RV, use cross ventilation to let air pass through rather than blowing around.

Keep yourself entertained while stuck inside by planning indoor games to play. Bring a deck of cards or your favorite board games. Try trivia or camping bingo to mix up your indoor play. You can also bring a book if you expect bad weather.

Camp at Kampgrounds of America

Whether you are camping near the Windy City of Chicago or another blustery area throughout North America, there are plenty of ways to stay safe when the wind blows. Practice these wind safety tips with a reservation at a KOA location. Over 500 campgrounds across North America give every camper an option near their desired vacation destination.

About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

Enjoy a Greater Slice of the Great Outdoors

Discover even more room to enjoy outdoor living with a KOA Patio Site®. These spacious sites offer your very own patio equipped with outdoor furniture and the perfect place for a fire. Wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee with the sunrise and spend an evening relaxing with family and friends.

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