Picture this: You're on a camping trip with some friends. You go for an epic hike and come back to camp exhausted. After a couple hours around a warm campfire, the clouds start to thicken and hide the starry sky. Just as you curl up in your cozy sleeping bag you hear the sound of raindrops on your tent. At this point you're either: 1) Elated that you'll get a great night's sleep because you love love love falling asleep to the sound of rain; or 2) Starting to sweat because you have a sinking feeling that you are going to wake up in a puddle. On a recent, rainy trip to the Mendocino coast, my 30 year old Eureka tent kept me nice and dry. Unfortunately, I awoke to see friends attempting to dry out sleeping pads and bags. Avoid getting wet with these 3 simple tips:
1. Use a tarp under your tent to put a barrier between you and the wet ground
2. Fold the tarp under at the edges.
This ensures that any water flow near your tent will go under the tarp, not over it.
3. Make sure the tarp is folded completely under the tent.
If you leave the tarp hanging out from under the tent, rain will pool on top of the tarp and collect underneath your cozy bed. Don't make this mistake.
And, voila! You have a nice, dry camping experience. If you have leaks in the tent, it might be time to treat it with some Nikwax.
After some rather wet camping trips, I think its about time to add a shade shelter to my list to Santa this year. Hey, if you are car camping, you might as well do it right.