WRITTEN by CHRIS & ANNE ENSOLL
Being snug and warm inside your little tent when it is wet and cold outside can be a great feeling, but there’s no doubt that wild camping in poor weather is challenging. Keeping yourself and your kit dry is essential if you’re going to have a safe and fun expo – here are my top tips. (Check out the other posts in this series to find out about choosing and caring for waterproofs, boots, and walking in the rain).
We don’t have any photos of wild camping in wet weather - Chris is too busy keeping dry to take photos when he’s out on a wet expo - so we’ve used photos of lovely dry expos to inspire you.
Use waterproof dry bags to ensure that your sleeping bag and spare clothing always stay dry.
Pack your tent in a dry bag in your rucksack so when you take it down wet, the rest of your kit stays dry.
During the day keep your tent near top of your sack so you can air it when taking a break if the weather clears up.
Pack your sleeping back inside a lightweight bivi bag to keep it dry. I use a Rab survival zone. This also makes your bag warmer.
Think about what order to pack your kit in your rucksack – keep anything you need access to during the day near the top or in the pockets, so you’re not taking things out of the sack whilst you rummage for that piece of flapjack.
Some people like to use a rucksack cover in wet weather, but I’m not a fan of them in the high mountains – in windy weather they catch the wind and can make walking difficult.
Choose the right site
Choose a sheltered well-drained spot, and always avoid dips and depressions which can collect water.
Use natural features such as a rocky outcrop for protection from the weather.
Try before you buy – have a lie down before pitching your tent so you can choose a comfortable spot.
Use the right tent and pitch it well
If you can, choose a tent which can be pitched all together with the inner & outer joined, or one where the outer is pitched first. If the inner and outer are separate, keep the wet outer separate from the dry inner when pitching and packing up.
Using a tent with a porch gives you a bit more space for wet kit that you’re not trying to dry out (and your damp dog…).
Use all the guy ropes and make them taut so that there is a gap between the inner and the flysheet. This allows air to circulate, and prevents water seeping through, as it does when the fly touches the inner.
…. and a few miscellaneous tips
Carry a small towel or sponge so you can wipe over the inner if it is damp when you re-pitch it.
Dry out your socks with your water bottle - fill it with hot water and put it inside a sock.