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Army Navy Surplus Store
Serving San Diego

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Serving San Diego

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Wet Weather Camping: The Items You Need to Stay Safe

Wet Tent
Nature doesn't always cooperate with campers. Most people can't change their plans in an instant or even want to when they have all their gear ready. But a rainy forecast doesn't have to mean a ruined vacation. It can even add to thrill for survivalists, but only if they take the time to prepare for the elements.   

Lots of Socks

Trench foot is a real condition and it is not only soldiers in foxholes who are at risk. Anyone can suffer from trench foot if their feet undergo a period of constant exposure to wet weather. Permanent nerve damage, ulcers, and even amputations result from trench foot.
Another concern is hypothermia. It is possible to be at risk for hypothermia even when outside temperatures are in the 60s if you stay wet for too long. The blood vessels in the feet and hands help to control body cooling and warming. Keep your feet comfortable and warm to prevent losing body heat too quickly.

The Right Clothing

Dress properly in waterproof outer layers and boots, but remember to wear the right clothing underneath. The best three options are polypropylene, wool, and fleece. Polypropylene is the best choice because it is lightweight, fast-drying, and has moisture wicking qualities that keep moisture off the skin.
Wool is the second-best choice because it is warm and dries quickly. The drawbacks of wool are its tendency to be itchy and its odor and weight when wet. A good compromise is to add a layer of polypropylene beneath the wool, so it is more comfortable and warm and the skin stays dry.
Another suitable material is fleece. It is not as heavy as wool, packs easily and dries quickly. However, it does not keep people warm once it is wet. Choose fleece to wear around the camp while drying other clothing.   

A Reliable Tent

A wet weather shelter is a hole-free waterproof tent that is easy and quick to set up. Most backpackers want small tents due to their weight, but a tent that offers a second room for storing wet shoes or other items is better if the walk from the vehicle to the campsite is not too long.

A Footprint Groundsheet

Buy or make a footprint groundsheet to lay underneath the tent, even if there is already an attached groundsheet. A groundsheet is just a waterproof tarp the size of the bottom of the tent. It adds an extra layer of waterproofing and another barrier against the cold, wet ground.

Tarp and Paracord

Create a cover for the tent and camping area. It will be easier to move around outside without becoming drenched, and when built first, the cover will keep the tent dry (or drier) while it is set up. A roof over the campsite also makes it easier to light a fire and keep it burning.

Fire Starting Kit

A magnesium fire starter is easy to carry and not vulnerable to the elements. Waterproof lighters and matches give some protection but are not 100% reliable. Dry tinder may become impossible to find in a wet forest, so bring purchased or homemade tinder bundles. The small packets are easy to carry and save time.

A Waterproof Backpack

Campers don't benefit from excess socks or clothing if all the spare items become wet inside the pack.  A waterproof backpack is a necessity for all personal gear. A waterproof stuff sack offers even more protection when canoeing into the spot or hiking long distances in the rain.

Plastic Zippered Bags

Zippered food storage bags are light, cheap, and found anywhere. They also continue to be one of the best barriers to moisture. Use the bags for an even higher level of protection for cell phones, emergency food, and fire tinder.
Some of the most beautiful and remote camping areas and productive hunting grounds also have some of the highest rain totals in the country. All survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts should invest in the gear that keeps them safe and comfortable regardless of the weather. Stop by the Bargain Center and let us help you to find exactly what you need for every trip.