By now we've all resigned ourselves to the fact that winter has well and truly got its foot in the door, and a lot of the time in the UK (and elsewhere) that means rain, rain and probably some more rain. Heading off on a camping trip only to become a prisoner in your tent for the entire duration because it's tipping it down is nobody's idea of fun, but we believe in never letting a little thing like the weather stopping you from getting outside. So check out our top tips for camping and outdoor cooking when the weather's glum - and get out there and dance in the rain!
1. Make sure you have the right gear! So long as you’ve all got waterproofs , wellies, dry socks and lots of blankets back at camp, there’s no need to let a bit of drizzle (or even a torrential downpour) rain on your camping parade. Stock up on dry seasoned wood for your stove, and embrace the wet weather! Cosy up in your tent or caravan with lots of blankets and pillows and get creative.
2. First of all: TEA. If you’ve got a water heater for your stove, fill it up and pop it on to heat. If you’re going to be spending a rainy day indoors (or in tents), a lovely steaming cuppa is a must.
3. Set up a tarp so you’ve got more space if when it’s raining. There’s nothing worse than being cooped up in a tent all day long, and rigging up a tarp is a great way around this. If your site has a picnic table, or you’ve brought one along, set the tarp up over the top of it so you can still eat or play board games with loads of space.
4. Get cooking! The best way to keep warm and dry when it’s raining is gathering around your stove and making some great food. It’ll keep everyone’s minds off the fact that you’re stuck inside, and everyone loves eating! Make something special – you’ve got time on your hands – like one of our lovely recipes crafted specially for cooking on our stoves.
5. If you want something a bit quicker, you can’t go wrong with s’mores. All you need is marshmallows, chocolate, and biscuits – in the US they traditionally use graham crackers but digestives work just as well (we like to use chocolate ones because there’s no such thing as too much chocolate). Get fancy and jazz yours up with whatever you’ve got lying around – peanut butter, Nutella, fruit. Go wild!
6. Make up a special rainy day kit and bring it with you whenever you go camping. This works really well if you’re camping with the kids, but you can do them for grown-ups as well! For kids, include colouring books and pencils, a fun card game, puzzle books, and magazines. You could also try the story bag – fill a bag up with lots of small toys, plastic animals and little dolls and take it in turns pulling out an object. The first person starts off a story using their object and then they pass the bag along. Keeps kids and grown-ups busy for ages and great for a bit of a giggle.
7. You can’t go wrong with board games. Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble or even chess are great ways to pass the time in your tent while you wait for better weather.
8. Just get wet! Get your waterproofs on or even better, forget the waterproofs and go out barefoot. Dance, sing, do yoga or jump in some puddles. This is where having a lovely warm camping stove turns into the BEST decision you’ve ever made – get out of your wet clothes into some nice dry ones and get some hot chocolate on the go, and snuggle up listening to the sound of the rain.
What are your tips for rainy camping? Do you dance in the rain or would you rather be at home? Let us know!