Access Special Features, Register Now!

Stay Comfortable in Any Weather: Rain

In the wettest conditions, learn to create and maintain a personal bubble of dry space.

On the Trail | In Camp | Key Gear


Keep your inner tent dry. Pre-pitch it in a sheltered area without staking it, drape the fly over, then move it as needed. Or use your kitchen tarp as set-up shelter, then move the tent. In extremely wet conditions, pitch the tarp over the front of your tent to create an extended vestibule for changing clothes and stowing soaked boots, shells, and gear. (Turn the page for tips on tent site selection.)

Pre-rig your fly. At home, rig your fly’s guy loops with 15-foot lengths of nylon cord. Use an adjustable trucker’s hitch so you can easily retighten guylines on a sagging fly. (Or use an Editors’ Choice Award-winning Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener; $9,

Keep the tent’s interior dry. Spread the footprint inside the tent to protect your sleeping pad and bag from ground-level moisture, which can accumulate from condensation, doorway drips, and leaky floors. Use an absorbent camp towel to soak up excess moisture.

Pack tent clothes. Store dry socks and an extra set of baselayers (top and bottom) in a waterproof stuffsack or zip-top bag. Never let these items get wet.

Keep your feet dry. Wet skin is more prone to blisters. If you must walk around camp in soaked boots, protect dry socks by slipping plastic bags over them, then putting on boots. Sprinkle talcum powder on your feet before bed. Remove wet insoles and dry them on your quads while in your sleeping bag.

Wear a baselayer dry. Too wet for a fire? Keep a damp (not soaked) shirt on under your insulation while you perform camp duties.

Stow a wet tent in stages. Detach the rainfly, but leave the tent covered while you disassemble poles and (quickly!) stuff the tent. Shake the fly as dry as you can and store it in a separate waterproof stuffsack or garbage bag.

Page 2 of 3123

Leave a Reply