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Daniel Dabbs

How to Prep for a Camping Trip in Any Weather

How to Prep for a Camping Trip in Any Weather

The weather doesn’t have to spoil your next camping trip, as long as you’re prepared with the proper gear and skills.

You can’t control the weather, but you can certainly adapt to it. Take these tips to stay prepared for camping in every type of weather.

1. Never trust a weatherman. Even if the forecast looks great, pack for the worst. Most campers know that showers can pop up at any minute -- especially as we approach spring and summer. And the heat or cold can feel worse depending on your elevation. Don’t get caught off guard.

2. Don’t underestimate a plastic bag. They take up virtually no room in your pack and cost you nothing. Bring a trash bag to cover your pack at night, and even consider storing dry firewood this way. Sealable sandwich bags can protect smaller valuables like cash or a phone.

3. Be aware of your surroundings. Look out for the “calm before the storm” and take note if animals (especially your trusty pooch) start acting strange

4. Place a ground tarp inside your tent rather than outside. This simple trick will provide a much better water barrier and can help insulate your tent

5. Always have a dry storage of tinder and firewood. Remember, once a storm rolls through, you’ll have to be prepared to get back to camping. Be sure you store some firewood in a spot where it's protected from the rain so getting back to normal camp life is simple.

6. Be prepared for strong winds. Contrary to what you might expect, camping offers little to no protection against high winds. As you reach higher elevations, trees are likely to have shallow roots -- meaning even more danger for your trip. If you find yourself in a high wind situation, seek shelter in a heavy, solid structure -- a rock formation or a cave works best.

7. When it comes to lightning, never assume you’re safe. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 30/30 rule. If you see a flash and thunder reaches you in 30 seconds or less, seek shelter immediately. Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning and thunder before returning.

8. Cold weather camping doesn’t have to be freezing. As long as you’re not heading north of the Arctic Circle, you don’t have to overdo it. Pack some long sleeve shirts, long pants, a warm hooded sweatshirt, parka, warm socks, gloves, and a beanie. Layering will be your best friend. Cotton materials trap moisture close to your body, so go for wool instead.

9. Beat the heat. Camping in the heat can be just as dangerous as camping in any other harsh weather conditions. Remember, your body cools off through sweating, so be sure to include light colored fabrics that reflect the sun’s rays and can vent easily. Go for polyester and nylon, plus a hat to keep your head from overheating. When you sweat, you’re losing water, so always carry lots of fluids. That means limit your beer intake (at least until you’ve hydrated).

What’s your craziest weather camping story? We love hearing how the BattlBox crew stays safe (and dry!) in even the craziest of storms.

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