Joel M. lives in Williams, Arizona, which is not exactly a place you would expect to get a lot of rain.
One weekend, Joel went on a camping trip with a group of friends. But the group didn’t get to enjoy their trip.
They were camping in Supai Canyon when in the middle of the night they were alerted to flooding.
Around 1 am, Joel woke up with his friends who said water was coming towards their camp.
A nearby river had risen about five feet so Joel and his group decided to find higher ground.
According to Joel…
“There were tons of people screaming. There were people that were caught on the other side of the river,” he said. “When the river rose that much, it was a rushing torrent. There was no way they were going to get across. Normally the river is (about) 15 feet wide where we camped that night. It had risen to 30 to 40 feet across.”
The group started hiking away from the rising water. They were joined by a constant trail of hikers trying to escape.
At one point, they reached higher ground they believed was safe. But within minutes a park ranger advised the campers that they needed to keep moving and get higher.
The group finally reached Supai Village where they waited to be evacuated by helicopter.
According to reports, 170 people had to be evacuated from the village and a total of nine different rescue agencies assisted in the evacuation of campers.
Camping in the rain can be a nice refresher when it’s hot…
But, when it rains for days on end, or dumps inches in a short period, it can become a problem.
And when you are bugging out, rain can throw a wrench into your plans, it can make your gear wet and heavy.
Considering this, here are a few things you can do when bugging out in the rain.
Pick the right tent:
When you buy a tent make sure it’s an all-season tent. This should ensure that the tent is designed for rain.
Also, choose a tent that has groundsheet fabric extending about six inches up the sides of the tent.
In other words, the material that the bottom of the tent is made from should go up the sides of the tent, which will help keep ground moisture out.
In addition, look for a tent that has a rain fly that extends well over the tent itself.
This is especially important over the door and windows. The farther the rain fly extends the better.
The rain fly and roofs of some tents can pool up with water. To avoid this, tie a rope to a tree and to the tent rain fly to keep it tight. This will help water drain off the top.
Where to make camp:
When most people set up a tent, they try to find a flat area. But, sometimes setting up a tent on a slope is a better idea in case it rains.
The problem is, the level area that you want to set up your tent is likely going to be the area that pools up with water. So, choose an elevated position with a slight slope.
When you set up your tent have the door face towards the morning sun. This way it will dry out if it rains overnight.
Also, you want the back of the tent to face the direction that the rain is coming from.
This way the heaviest rain will hit the side of the tent with no windows or door. This will help minimize the amount of water that could get inside the tent.
If you are unsure about the area, you can always dig a small trench around the tent to divert water where you want it to go.
But remember, this will only work if the trench is big enough to handle the amount of water.
Rain gear should be a part of your bug-out supplies no matter where you live.
When it’s raining and cold, layers of clothing are your best friend…
The top layer should be a waterproof jacket that includes a brim around the neck to prevent water from getting inside.
Keep your sleeve cuffs tight so that water doesn’t get down to your arms.
Unless you are trying to hide, wear bright colors in the rain so that others can see you. This will help keep your group together when moving.
When you make camp for the night don’t let any of your gear touch the sides of the tent so your clothes don’t get wet if moisture comes through the tent.
Keep your clothes for the next day in your sleeping bag with you.
The last thing you want is for all your clothes to be wet when you wake up. If your clothes are in your sleeping bag you will know if they start to get wet.
Chances are that at some point you will get caught camping or even bugging out in the rain.
Being soaking wet isn’t fun. It can hurt your morale and make the trip a lot more uncomfortable.
These tips can keep you dry when the rain comes. It’s just a matter of time before it happens.