The Best Camping Gear for the Rainy Season
All of the Outdoor Gear You Need to Stay Dry on a Spring Camping Trip
The warmer weather and longer days that come with the arrival of spring makes it one of the best times of the year to go camping. Immersing in nature as the trees are growing new leaves and the wildflowers are blooming can be a rejuvenating experience after a long winter. Best of all, the campgrounds tend to be quieter and less crowded before the busy summer season.
But early spring can also bring plenty of rain, which puts a damper on any camping trip. If equipped with the proper outdoor gear, a little wet weather won’t keep you from enjoying some time outdoors. If you’re planning a spring outing, this is the best gear to handle rainy conditions.
Columbia OutDry Ex II Reversible Rain Jacket
Versatility is the name of the game with the Columbia OutDry EX II Rain Jacket. This coat offers outstanding rain protection while remaining surprisingly breathable. That means it keeps exterior moisture at bay while allowing heat and perspiration to escape, keeping you warmer and drier as a result.
The jacket—which is available for men and women—is reversible too. This gives it the ability to convert from a weatherproof shell to a soft fleece by turning it inside out. In a sense, it’s like having two jackets in one.
Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pants
Worn on their own or as an extra layer over a pair of hiking trousers, Marmot’s PreCip Eco Rain Pants offer outstanding protection from the elements. The pants include zippered front and rear pockets and an elastic drawcord along the waist. Zippers on the ankles make it easy to pull these pants on and off as the weather conditions dictate. Best of all, they are made from completely recycled material and are available for men and women.
Keen Targhee II WP Hiking Shoes
Comfortable, durable, and lightweight, the Keen Targhee II WP is a hiking shoe designed to take on challenging conditions. The shoe features an aggressive outsole that provides outstanding traction, even in wet and muddy conditions. It also includes a breathable waterproof membrane that repels rain and keeps your feet dry when crossing shallow streams. A soft footbed and rugged leather upper ensure that hikers will enjoy wearing these boots while hiking for miles at a time. The Targhee II is available in styles for men and women.
Leki Shield 3D Gore-Tex Gloves
Waterproof gloves provide warmth and comfort on the trail and in camp. Leki’s Shield 3D Gore-Tex Gloves will keep your hands warm and dry even in a heavy downpour. These snug—yet comfortable—mitts use a hybrid goatskin-silicone fabric on the palm to provide a solid grip, even in wet, slippery conditions. Use them while hiking, skiing, camping, or for any other outdoor activity.
Grabber Hand and Feet Warmers
Spring does bring warmer weather, but when the rain starts to fall it can still bring a chill. If you need a little extra warmth, pack a few Grabber Hand and Feet warmers. These air-activated heat packs begin to warm up as soon as they are removed from their packaging. Just slide them inside your pockets, gloves, or boots and enjoy up to seven hours of comfort. And since they are fully biodegradable, you can simply throw them away when you’re done.
Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp
A good headlamp is a must-have item for any camper, and Black Diamond’s Storm 400 is one of the best on the market. The Storm 400 is dust and waterproof and it produces up to 400 lumens of light on its brightest setting. The light can alternate from a broad disbursement to a tight beam, which can be helpful depending on where and how you’re using it. The headlamp provides up to 150 hours of use before you need to replace the batteries, making it a good option for evening hikes or illuminating the campground.
Coleman OneSource 1000 Rechargeable Lantern
For a brighter light source in and out of your RV or camper van, the Coleman OneSource 1000 Rechargeable Lantern is a good choice. This light source has a brightness of up to 1,000 lumens on its highest setting, which is enough to illuminate a large campsite. The lantern uses LED lights that never need replacing and comes with a large rechargeable battery that can keep it powered for up to 100 hours. The unit includes built-in USB ports for recharging other devices and it’s water-resistant for use in the rain.
The North Face Borealis Backpack
The waterproof North Face Borealis Backpack is great for travel, hiking, daily commuting, or hauling essential gear in and out of an RV. The pack features a large main compartment, several organizational pockets, a laptop sleeve, and two external water bottle holders. It also comes with comfortable shoulder straps, a padded back panel, and built-in bungee cords for hauling extra gear. The bag is available in a variety of colors and even comes in a women’s-specific model.
Eureka Suma 2 Tent
Lightweight and easy to set up, the Eureka Suma 2 is a spacious two-person dome tent that’s easy on the wallet. The camp shelter offers over 30 square feet of space and comes with a rainfly to keep inclement weather from reaching the interior. While it won’t be as warm and dry as a cozy RV, the Suma 2 is an excellent three-season tent for use on backcountry excursions or if you need extra sleeping space when hosting guests at an RV park.
Stansport Waterproof Vinyl Tarp
A waterproof Stansport Vinyl Tarp is a very handy item to have with you on a wet-weather camping trip. The tarp is useful for covering important items like a generator, firewood, or anything else you want to protect from the rain. It can also be spread out on the ground under a tent to serve as a barrier against moisture or it can be suspended to create a makeshift shelter. For the price, a waterproof tarp is one of the most versatile and valuable products for camping during rainy season.
Big Agnes Torchlight 35 Sleeping Bag
While spring days can be warm, the nights can still get chilly. Thankfully, the Big Agnes Torchlight 35 Sleeping Bag is rated for temperatures as low as 35 ℉. The outer shell is made from a water-repellant fabric and its synthetic insulation performs well even in wet conditions. This mummy-style bag is warm, spacious, and comfortable, making it a good option for use in a tent or additional warmth inside an RV. Big Agnes even offers a women’s version of the Torchlight 35.
Therma-A-Rest Trail Lite Sleeping Pad
Using a sleeping pad while tent camping provides additional support and comfort and keeps your sleeping bag warmer and drier. The Therm-A-Rest Trail Lite is a self-inflating pad that is compact and lightweight enough to go anywhere. At 1.5 inches thick, it serves as a shield against the cold, damp ground and will help you get a good night’s sleep even during the rainy season. A good sleeping pad can even serve as an extra mattress inside a camper van if the need arises.
Board Games and Puzzles
Unexpected rain showers can leave you stranded in your RV or tent for the day, so be sure to pack some things to do. Loading up your phone or tablet with Netflix shows can keep you entertained for a while and a good book is a great way to pass the time while you wait for better weather. But by bringing a board game or puzzle along, you can get your entire crew playing together. The National Park editions of Yahtzee, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Jenga make for hours of fun.
Spring rains can make any camping trip a challenge, but having the proper gear makes all the difference. If you come prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way, a rainy season outing can still be a fun and rewarding experience.