rain tentYou can’t exactly control when rain or snow will head your way; all you can do is plan for it. Furthermore, there are some regions of the world where wet conditions are an everyday thing, which means there’s no getting around it. What do you do when your trip takes you to areas of perpetually damp or wet conditions, though? Keep reading to learn the answer.

Rain flies and water repellent clothing are great, but one item people constantly fail to bring, despite its compact size, is a tarp. I know when most people think “tarp,” they imagine the giant, blue sheets that take a year to fold, but there are several different sizes and weights of tarp available today. Bring an extra one for shelter when you’re cooking or stopping for a break on the trail.

To keep your gear dry, use waterproof stuff sacks, which can be found anywhere outdoor products are sold. Also, it’s smart to line the interior of your backpack with a garbage bag or waterproof liner, which can help keep your carrying gear dry.

When it comes to pitching your tent, try to do so on the highest area in your campsite, if possible. Avoid holes or slight depressions where water has a chance to collect. Also, steer clear of areas where debris has gathered. This could mean that the area is in a floodplain.

The interior of your tent can get wet, as well, so it’s important to take measures to prevent, or fix, unexpected water incidents. Bring towels—preferably quick-drying towels—to clean any wet spots quickly. It’s also smart to designate a certain area of the tent/campsite for damp clothing and gear. Lastly, I’d make sure to string a cord or rope through your tent’s loops on which to hang wet clothes.

Staying dry is a key element to maintaining a safe, enjoyable setting on the trail, but sometimes you find yourself in regions where rainy or wet forests are the norm. You don’t have to suffer in such conditions, though, if you take a few moments to prepare beforehand and take note of your surroundings when it comes time to make camp. 

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