Just because the warm summer weather is over, doesn’t mean that you still can’t enjoy the wonders of camping! Western Washington is known for its rain which may deter would be campers away, however with the right gear, and a little prep work, the state’s famous downpours won’t ruin your camping vacation!

Camping is a great way to see all the natural beauty Washington has to offer but staying in the outdoors isn’t for everyone. Which is why several state parks offer cabins, yurts, and vacation homes – that allow campers to still experience the beauty, while also keeping you warm and cozy for this kind of weather.  Staying in an RV is another option that campers have been using for decades, however not everyone has the space to store such a large vehicle.  However, if both suggestions still don’t sound interesting to you and you’d like to get closer to nature, then tent camping might be the best option for you!

For people interested in tent camping, the Washington State Parks Department published some helpful tips for the adventurous readers. “Staying dry is the ultimate goal,” says Meryl Lassen, who is the Communications Consultant for the Washington State Parks Department. “Even if your car is 10 feet away, you can still get hypothermic, or at least cold and miserable.” Another tip that was suggested is that campers should open the vents of their tent to prevent condensation. Pitching your tent on a flat or rounded spot is also a good idea.  Having you tent on a divot or concaved area could end badly, and you’ll probably end up sleeping a in puddle. Finding out if the camp group you are staying at has kitchen shelters, and whether those shelters have fireplaces is also a good idea incase it is too wet to make your own. Lassen also stressed that “If you do end up making a fire, make sure to put overheard tarps or canopies at least seven to eight feet about the fire pit.  Not only will this prevent smoke from becoming trapped, but it also prevents your tents and tarps catching fire.”

Bringing the right gear when tent camping is also very important, not having the correct equipment could spell disaster for rain filled weather. Rolls of trash bags are one item that can have a lot of impact on your camping adventure. The bags will prevent your items from getting soaked in rain and are easy to store.  Speaking of getting soaked, clothing is another important essential for camping in the rain.  Lassen suggest bringing “multiple sets of layered non-cotton clothing, waterproof rain jackets and pants. Synthetic sleeping bags, extra socks, mittens and shoes are also a must.”  Campers should make sure that their clothes are not made of cotton and down, even though they can be warm when dry, they will also be completely soaked when wet. Another helpful tip for starting campfires is to bring duct tape and dryer lint soaked in Vaseline, which are two all-weather fire starters. Since it gets dark earlier now, campers will also want to bring activities that can do in the dark, especially if they have children. These include headlamp/flashlights, extra batteries, games, books, and downloaded entertainment.

Western Washington is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the whole country. Some notable camping parks the WSPD recommends are Grayland Beach, Bogachiel, Ike-Kinswa, and Millersylvania. These parks offer different varieties of camping, which will suit anyone’s needs. Of course, there are plenty of other beautiful parks in the state, which the WSPD encourages campers to go out and seek. “You may suffer a little bit while camping in the rain, but it is honestly worth it and so much fun!” said Lassen. Camping may not be for everyone, but with the options and information listed above, hopefully some curious readers will go out and try something new!