Last Updated: Oct. 11, 2013
Nothing beats a night spent with the family sleeping under the stars, followed by pancakes cooked over a fire pit the next morning. However, nature may have different plans. Are you prepared in case those stars are obscured by clouds and the morning campfire is a no-go because of an early downpour?
Checking the weather forecast for the weekend ahead is an excellent start, but that’s not a guarantee. What’s more important for your camping experience is planning for unexpected variances to the forecast. It is not unusual for remote regions frequented by campers and hikers to experience both very warm and extreme cold in a single day. Remember, you will probably not have access to television or the internet to check on weather updates during the trip.
Many camping areas at higher elevations can get cold quickly at night, even in summer. Even if the weather forecast calls for pleasant climate, be prepared for colder nights this time of year. If you are car camping, you will thank yourself for packing the extra rain gear, blankets, and warm clothing should the weather change.
Make sure your tent is sufficiently waterproofed to keep you and your gear dry during rainstorms. Remember that the tent walls can become damp once they are touched by tent occupants or gear. Bring tarps and other materials to keep firewood and other gear dry during the rain.
If you’re camping in September, pack for July and November weather. Think extra layers of clothing, and don’t leave behind your swim gear, sunscreen, and warm weather shorts. There’s a high probability that the sun will be shining for most of the time you are camping.