Can You Sleep in a Tent When It’s Raining?

It is possible to sleep in a tent when it’s raining. But you may get wet.  Make sure your tent is well-sealed and waterproof to keep yourself dry. You may also want to consider using a tarp to help keep the rain off of your tent.

This could be a relief during summer time when the sun is too hot and you are exhausted. Some precautions you need to take if you are in a remote area where rain water cannot go out from the place.  

Camping in the Rain Issues to Think About

Tent must not have any leakage on any side. A little rain may not bother you but for sufficient rainfall, water can get into the tent and wake you up. 

The tent should be made of good fabrics so that water cannot get into the tent through the tiny holes. 

Also the tent must be ditched all around to direct the rain water away from the tent floor and a storm tarp over the roof guides rain water away too.

Taking Care of the Tent Wall

There are some tents that have moisture barriers. Dig a shallow run-off trench around the lowest edge of the tent to avoid pooling underneath. 

Keep the sleeping bag away from the tent walls as it will wick moisture at that point. You can also hang clothing inside on a bungee cord. All-weather tents are effective.

Relation of Rain with Sleeping

Having the sound of the rain sends people to sleep. The best good night  sleep will be after knowing that you have a good quality waterproof tent that has been pitched correctly using all of the ropes and pegs. Don’t pitch a tent in a hollow or under a tree. 

Try to have a little bit of ventilation coming into the tent. Leave a window or door slightly open to let some air in. If you purchase a cheap and cheerful tent, you are properly going to get damp.

How Strong the Tent Should be

Think about rain before buying a new tent. A heavy tent will give you protection against heavy rain and wind. Being waterproof is a must priority option. 

A good quality tent will give wind resistance too for about 40km/hr. It is sufficient for the usual environment for those who like adventures. The tent should be easily foldable and transportable too.

Personal Belongings to Have

A raincoat is always welcomed at the time of rain. You can wear those during the rain. 

If you think that rain may ruin your sleep, consider having one at the time of sleeping. A plastic coat may also do when it rains heavily. 

Improving the Base Area

Buy or borrow a tarp and learn how to rig it up over your sleeping space.

The terrain and season make a difference here, as does the style of camping. 

Have your camp tent in a suitable place where you won’t be affected by rain that much. 

Use the Advantage of Trees

If there are trees available, wrap cord around. Avoid tying things to dead trees. If there are no trees or no suitable trees, then you can use hiking poles, and improvise with other items. 

Or carry a dedicated pole for pitching a tarp. Woven plastic tarps are not waterproof but they do a decent job directing most of the rain away and they are super cheap.

Having a Tarp

Purchasing a fancy tent would be instead to just get a tarp. Take a lightweight tarp if there is a chance of having rain. They are great for giving yourself room in the wet or for emergencies. 

Camping in the rain is far more pleasant with a tarp though. Not only can you set up under it but it is great for cooking, hanging out and drying off under. 

How to Set Up Tarp: 

How exactly to rig it depends on the size and shape of the structure you’re covering and the tarp, the expected weather, the amount of time you’re willing to spend. 

Ideally, you would have the spots at your head & feet hung the highest, and then anchor the corners either to the ground or lower down on other attachment points. 

For very wet and very windy weather, keep your tarp fairly low and tight to keep it from blowing around and to keep water from blowing in.

Avoiding Wet Floor

If you are in a place likely to get really wet, water seeping up from the ground is just as much a concern. A tarp or ground sheet will help, but not much. 

A sleeping mat wide enough to keep your bedding dry can help a lot. A hammock is often the best thing for camping on very wet ground.

Using Special Kinds of Tents

Use tents that are double walled. Swedish tents are generally the best tents for setting up in the rain. When you set the tent up the inner tent is never exposed to the elements and it keeps that much dryer. 

The other option is a tent that comes or is available with a groundsheet. A ground sheet made for a specific tent allows you to set the poles and fly up first then build the tent inside of the fly. 

Again this keeps the interior of the tent and your gear out of the rain.

Problem Arises in Proper Mismanagement

A properly set up tent will keep you dry for one night. If you move camp every day and the rain never stops, the problems accumulate. The fly never dries out. You are setting the tent up in the rain. 

So the canopy gets wet. The groundsheet is wet and the garments that you have to keep in the tent without getting your sleeping bag is wet. In the high humidity, everything feels damp. 

Conclusion

I think that comfort is the primary reason for sleeping in a tent. It will also keep you warmer and provide some privacy. Keeping you dry is also important for having a tent. 

If you are sleeping in a tent and it starts to rain, then that will likely awaken you. But you will be able to go back to sleep once you check to see that there are no leaks.

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Justin M. Neal
Justin M. Neal

Justin is a freelance writer specializing in adventure, camping, hiking, home improvement, pet and technology. He is an avid animal lover since he was a little boy. He lives with his wife Malina, son Oliver, and their purrfect angel cat, Fifi.

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