Fun Games For Camping In The Rain

The camping experience is all about fun outdoor activities, and that includes rainy days too. Packing some games for the whole family to enjoy can make great memories out of bad weather. And suiting up in a rain jacket and boots will bring a smile to every puddle splashing adventurer.

Whether you’re stuck inside or you want to get out into the rain, there are many games and activities for you to still have fun despite the weather. You can play card and board games, sing-a-long songs, or even take a turn down nature’s slip and slide.

We’ve all been kept indoors by the weather at some point, and it’s easy to let boredom take over. Fortunately there are many different activities and games that will let you take that rainy day and turn it into a good time.

Campers In rain
ID 113821788 © Mirko Vitali |

What to Bring Camping If Rain Is In The Forecast

While umbrellas are great for going from place to place, you’re going to need both hands to get set up and do most things around your campsite. You’ll thank yourself later for at least packing a rain jacket, and if you’re like me and hate getting your socks wet I’d recommend boots as well.

You definitely don’t want to forget the rain fly if you’re tenting it, and plastic bags are going to be your best friend. You can use them to insulate your pack, electronics, or even your wet clothes and shoes if you don’t want them getting anything else wet. 

Newspaper is great at absorbing moisture, and will help dry your shoes out once you get back inside. It’s also much better than wet kindling for starting a fire, trust me.

Now that you have the essentials, don’t forget to bring your games and other time-passers. A deck of cards is easy to tuck in a backpack pocket, and there are hundreds of games you can play to keep you occupied. 

You can also bring a couple of your favorite board games, and a notebook for hangman and other games. If you’re musically inclined, feel free to bring your ukulele, harmonica, or other small instrument.

Tarp Tent
ID 163489574 © James Mahan |

Indoor Activities For Camping In The Rain

I know it’s tough to see all of your plans go out the window when the storm clouds appear, but there are still many ways to have a great time indoors if you find yourself camping in the rain. Space may be limited in a tent but you can still bust out a pack of cards on your bedroll, sing songs and tell stories, and if you have cell reception you can get games on your phone as well.

In a gazebo or clubhouse you can play card and board games as well as more active ones like Twister, and if you have a decent-sized group of people you can play relay-style games using items you’ll already have with you. Check out these activities that are fun things to do when the weather keeps you in.

Playing cards in tent
ID 142733952 © Igor Mojzes |

Card Games

There are more card games available than you could probably ever play. Rummy is always a big hit that many people already know how to play, or you can channel your inner high-schooler and go for a rousing game of slaps, or as we called it ERS. 

Or bring a new game that the whole family will enjoy, One that the kids won’t roll their eyes at and will keep them engaged and forgetting about the weather.

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You can also gather acorns, pebbles, or any other chip substitute and play some poker. Texas Hold’em tournaments tend to last a while, and there are more poker games out there than people realize from the ever-recognizable five card draw to the more obscure 44 Fug. Whatever your preference, there is a card games the whole family will enjoy.

The Settlers of Catan

While you can pick just about any board game you like, the strategy game Catan has the unique advantage that it takes a long time to play. It’s not quite as long as Monopoly, but unlike monopoly you stay invested until the very end.

Every game of Catan takes at least an hour and more often two to complete which is good for riding out the rain, but be warned – friendships have been lost over this game (think Sorry), so keep that in mind if you have to share a tent afterwards. Catan comes in many different versions including the crowd favorite Game Of Thrones Catan.

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There are many other great board game options including Risk, Scattergories, Spontaneous, Sequence, Yahtzee, Taboo, and all of your regular Hasbro classics. 

Songs And Stories

Take turns making up ridiculous stories, or swap real-life ones whether they be dramatic, funny, or a little too scary to go right to sleep after. If you want to add a bit of silliness, you can grab your flashlight and make shadow puppets to act out your stories as you tell them. 

Everybody loves a singalong, and if you’ve got someone with an instrument to play the melody it gets even better. You can sing all of your old favorites or experiment with new songs, but if you really want to get everybody going then challenge people to sing the lyrics of one song to the melody of another.

Indoor Relay

One family-friendly game you can do is to take a small trash can and get some tape, a rope or string, and some round object like a baseball or an orange or even a balled-up shirt. 

Make a belt out of the rope that will go around your waist and under the lip of the garbage can to hold it in front of you, and cut off a separate 18in section of rope. Tape one end of the rope to the lip of the garbage can that’s away from you, and the other end to the round object.

The goal is now to get the object into the trash can – without using your hands. Once you succeed pass it on to the next player, and watch everyone you like and love put their hips to work.

Cell Phone Games

It’s hard to remember what we did before cell phones. From social media to apps and games, they have become a dominant part of our lives. Fortunately they can also be a large part of your rainy day, as there are many apps that allow you to pass the time from solo games like Sudoku to group games like Heads Up.

Heads Up is a digital form of Taboo, where someone places the phone faceup on their forehead with a word on it that everyone else has to make them guess. The goal is to get as many words in a two minute period as possible, then pass the phone, choose your next category, and let the fun continue.

Outdoor Activities For Camping In The Rain

If you’re not afraid to get a little wet (or if you have rain gear packed), you can always use the rain to your advantage. Some outdoor activities are just so much better in the rain, and some are impossible without it.

There are many fun things to do in the rain from making artwork to channeling your inner architect, so when the gray clouds roll in don’t hide out in the tent or clubhouse – put on those rain boots and go have some fun!

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Mud Art

Grab a couple sticks, Picasso. You’re about to make some art. If you want to get super fancy with it you can get a twig for the fine details and a larger stick for the bolder strokes, or you can just grab one for everything and get to work scratching out your next masterpiece. The best part is if you don’t like it, you can easily make it go away.

If you have a vinyl tablecloth around, you have the opportunity to make it your canvas and try your hand (literally) at mud painting. There’s something just so satisfying about mud squishing through your fingers, and the vinyl will let the rain wash it all right off.

ID 70300696 © 8213profoto |

Build a Dam

In order to have a dam you have to have a river, or any source of flowing water really. Once you’ve located that, channel your inner beaver and get to work stopping it up. 

You’ll be amazed at how quickly a large pool of water will form behind your dam, but be careful if you try this on any large scale as even the little creek winding behind your site can back up and overflow in minutes. Your neighbors won’t like you very much if their sites go from waterfront to under water.

Slip And Slide

Kids and adults alike are drawn to slip and slides, and a nice rainstorm is the perfect time to get your body surfing on. All you need is a grassy hill, and a little bit of dish soap if you really want to fly. 

If you want to go down feet first you certainly can, but those who dare to Superman it will probably go the farthest. Throw on a little dish soap and you’ll really beat out the others, just make sure there aren’t any trees too close to the bottom.

ID 27207941 © Sergey Kubyshin |


If there’s a nice river or stream nearby this might be a great time to kayak. Rain makes rivers rise which will make them flow faster, and you’ll get in an extra workout as you navigate the bends and forks. 

Having said that, please don’t kayak down a river that you aren’t familiar with or one that has a flash flood warning. If you aren’t comfortable with rapids, you’re really not going to be comfortable with them when the water is up. Always wear a helmet and life jacket, and make sure you have a whistle attached somewhere. 

Super Soaker Battle

This has got to be one of the most fun games to play in the rain. Fill up your squirt guns, and either break up into teams or play every-man-for-themself. If you’re in a wooded area, it gets even better as you can turn squirt gun battles into a high-stakes game of manhunt.

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Want to kick it up another notch? Recruit your neighbors and start up a game of capture the flag or Humans vs Zombies. You’ll never be more afraid of a stream of water in your life, and you’ll never have so much fun on a rainy day.

Fun Times For All 

No one wants to have their camping plans put on hold by gray skies, but a rainy day doesn’t have to be a bad day. If you prepare ahead of time and have a couple of games in the back of your mind, you’ll be able to enjoy the day whether it’s indoors playing cards or outside creating a muddy work of art.

Rain or shine, camp preparation is the key to making the most of your adventure. For more great ways to make sure you’re prepared, check out our guide for What To Bring Camping In A Tent.


Beau is an electrical engineer with a knack for DIY repair and construction. When he's not tinkering with his projects he's on the road travelling and enjoying an exciting lifestyle with his young family.

Recent Posts

Camping in the rain can be fun. There are many games during summer rainy days inside your tent that are fun for kids and the whole family.  There are many fun and funny activities you can do outside in the rain and enjoy getting wet. Staying dry is better for some but wetter can be better! Come prepared and pack right if rain is in the forecast. Cards and tarps are a few ideas to stay dry and have fun.Camping in the rain can be fun. There are many games during summer rainy days inside your tent that are fun for kids and the whole family. With so many fun and funny activities you can do outside in the rain you can enjoy getting wet. Staying dry is better for some but wetter can be better! Come prepared and pack right if rain is in the forecast. Cards and tarps are a few ideas to stay dry and have fun.