It is a well known fact that the weather God’s here in Australia are a fickle bunch. Sometimes, just when you have headed off for that long awaited camping trip they decide to dump huge amounts of rain right on the spot that you are going to be camped at. How to survive camping in bad weather can be tricky but these tips should help.
POSITION POSITION POSITION
Have a look around the camp area before you set up. Try to aim for slightly higher ground if possible. Steer away from creek or river banks just in case of flash flooding. If you are already set up and it is possible to do so you might consider moving your camp (a big job I know). Many places don’t allow you to dig trenches to help direct water flow. But if you are able to, this will help direct water flow away from your tent or trailer. Of course always seek permission first and make sure you fill the trenches back in when you leave.
Pack up everything you can and store it back in your vehicle or trailer. If you use plastic tubs to transport your gear pack everything back into them to keep it dry. In weather like this a large silver tarp over everything will stop most of the water getting in. It can also be used to increase your ‘living space’.
If you can, get everything off the ground by using fridge stands or stacking your storage tubs on top of one another. If you know that your set up is pretty water proof take all your gear inside. It might be a bit cramped but better than being wet. Don’t forget to pack extra towels and clothes as well. Umbrellas, raincoats and gumboots come in handy for getting to the amenities.
ACTIVITIES TO KEEP THE KIDS AMUSED
The best thing about camping in the rain is playing in the rain. At this time of year it is generally still warm even when it is raining so the kids will love getting out and running around in it. Yes I know you will have lots of wet muddy washing when you get home but the kids will have had a ball.
If this is not an option for you go for a drive. This is a great way to explore an area that you aren’t familiar with and you never know what you will find. We have done this a few times and found awesome spots that we have put on our list to visit in better weather.
You can also just get back to basics and pack some good old-fashioned board games to keep the kids amused. Even the adults can join in and just enjoy relaxing with the kids and being a bit silly. Books and cross-word puzzles are also great entertainers.
KNOWING WHEN TO LEAVE
Of course if the weather looks like it is going to turn really nasty or you are advised by campground owners or national parks officers to leave then you should do so immediately. No camping trip is worth putting yourself or your family in danger. And of course ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’ Please don’t drive through flood waters.
Most importantly, when you get home you will need to make sure that you dry your tent or camper out THOROUGHLY or it will go mouldy. You do not want mould on your canvas as this causes it to rot. If you do end up with some mould growing because you couldn’t get everything dried out straight away my post on Cleaning Your Canvas will help you out.