This Website Will Reimburse You if Your Camping Trip Gets Rained Out

RVing News Camping
by Suzie Dundas Jun 28, 2024

There’s a saying in the outdoor world that “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear.” But even if that’s true, being sheltered inside a tent instead of hiking because of a non-stop downpour of rain isn’t exactly a fun way to spend a weekend.

Unfortunately, with how hard it can be to get campground reservations, you’ll probably have to make plans for your camping trip way before you have any idea what the weather will be. But popular campground booking website Hipcamp just introduced a new optional feature that could help travelers feel better about making camping plans months in advance: a “weather guarantee.

The Hipcamp weather guarantee was announced in June 2024 and is an optional add-on to bookings. Interestingly, if you add on the Hipcamp weather guarantee, you’ll be automatically reimbursed for the cost of your trip if shows rain in your destination, even if you still go on the trip. So it doesn’t cancel your trip, meaning you’ll get reimbursed if you go. uses NOAA forecasting on a day-by-day basis, so you only get reimbursed for the days it actually rains. Unlike with a cancellation, the money returned to bookers comes from Hipcamp, not the campground hosts. So property owners don’t get penalized with the new policy.


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The exact amount travelers will be reimbursed for rain guarantees varies based on the cost and length of the stay, as does the actual cost to buy the policy. The cost and details will be shown during the booking process, at which point campers can choose to add the weather guarantee to their bookings, or continue without it.

An appealing aspect for travelers may be that there’s absolutely no paperwork required to activate the policy. “The Weather Guarantee is an optional purchase during online booking that proactively reimburses up to 100% of the total trip cost if rain is forecast during their stay,” reads the announcement. “Reimbursements are made automatically, with no claims required.”

The rain camping guarantee is only available if you book via Hipcamp

hipcamp weather guarantee - glamping tent

Hipcamp represents stays on private land only, not state or federally owned campgrounds. Photo: AnikonaAnn/Shutterstock

Hipcamp is an online platform akin to an Airbnb for camping, allowing campers to discover and book unique campsites on private land. This means you can find glamping sites, RV spaces, cabins, tiny houses, domes, and yurts, alongside traditional tent campsites, all offered by individual landowners. Like Airbnb, Hipcamp listings have real-time availability and user reviews to streamline your trip planning.

Some campgrounds are available on Hipcamp as well as other booking sites, but you won’t find state or national park campgrounds listed on the website. So if you’re concerned about rain, you may have to choose between staying at your favorite public campground, or finding a private option nearby via Hipcamp.

How to make camping in the rain more fun

One of the more interesting parts of the weather guarantee is that you don’t have to cancel your trip. Even if you go, you get reimbursed. But camping in the rain can be miserable if you end up cold and wet instead of dry and cozy. As the saying goes, the best way to prepare for camping in the rain is to have the right gear.

Have a weather-ready tent

woman rain camping in tent - hipcamp weather guarantee


If you’re camping in the rain, you may want to skip the ultralight summer tent and bring a heavier four-season tent made for snow and wind. You’ll want to make sure that tent has good ventilation, as warm bodies inside combined with cold and moisture outside can lead to condensation (a.k.a. water) inside your tent if you don’t have plenty of airflow. If you use a tent that has a separate rainfly, make sure the tent vestibule has a bathtub-style bottom so no rain comes in through the sides. Using a tent footprint or tarp under the tent can also protect the bottom of the tent from potential leakage and mud.

A good option is the Abisko Dome tent from Fjällräven, a brand that makes gear for camping in northern Sweden (where it’s cold and wet). Smartly, the Abisko Dome tent has the fly/tent cover attached to the actual tent, so the inside doesn’t get soaked if you have to set it up in the rain. But it’s pricey, at $900 for a two-person. A more budget-friendly pick is the Nemo Aurora Highrise, which has an extra-tall vestibule (helpful if you’re spending more time inside the tent than planned) and an internal hanging pocket that turns your headlamp into an overhead light. It’s priced around $399.

You can also look at gear websites like REI’s Used Gear page (for REI Coop members only) or GearTrade to pick up a used waterproof tent at a lower price.

Pack more clothing

This may not work for backpackers, but car campers should pack extra clothing if there’s a chance of rain in the forecast. Hiking a few miles in the rain with wet socks and a soaked t-shirt isn’t as much of a problem if you know you have dry replacements waiting for you back at camp. You may also want to bring a towel to help your soaked clothes dry quicker. Just lay the towel out, lay your wet clothing on top of it, and roll your wet clothing up in the towel like a burrito. Then, twist the towel/clothing tube as much as you can to wring out excess water. If you don’t have anywhere to hang your clothing after that, you can put it over the headrest of your car seats and leave a window cracked to encourage airflow.

An extra pair of hiking shoes may also be a good idea, even if you have waterproof hiking boots.

Have a back-up hiking plan

rain camping - hiking jacket from behind

Photo: Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock

Even if your rain jacket is keeping you dry, hiking in the rain is usually not as fun as hiking in good weather. So rather than doing one long hike, consider piecing together a few shorter hikes so you can get back to your campsite quicker in case of rain. You could also swap hiking for other outdoor activities that don’t involve going quite the same distance, like practicing outdoor photography, painting or drawing in nature, plant and flower identification, or practicing backcountry camping skills. Of course, camping in the rain doesn’t mean you have to stay outside all day, and you can always find an indoor activity to fill your time instead.

AllTrails can be a great resource for finding alternate nearby trails, and phone apps like PlantSnap, Merlin Bird ID, and Rock Identifier can help create fun on the trails without having to stray too far.

Hang out in a sheltered area away from camp

Most campground areas have shared facilities, which means you don’t need to stay in your assigned tent area. If you’re at a campground with trees or other protected areas, carry a lightweight camping chair, bring a poncho, and set up shop in a sheltered area while the rain pours. A book or e-reader won’t add much bulk to your bag, and relaxing with a good book as the rain falls around you can be peaceful and romantic — at least for an hour or so.

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