INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUN IN THE RAIN
In the summer, we love to play in the water. So why do we dread rainy days? Since we have less control over the weather than we do over our state of mind, we might as well accept what Mother Nature throws at us with good humour. We're not talking about resignation here: rain can really be fun! Below are some tips on how to make the most out of liquid sunshine.
LET’S GO KIDS
It's raining, it's wet, and it's not just party time for fish and frogs! It's much easier to spend your energy in the rain than to try to control it by staying indoors. We can make paper boats and sail them in puddles, build sandcastles (with wet sand, it's easier), go for a hike in the forest, hunt for earthworms, go fishing and so much more.
If you have a mitten or boot dryer, keep it nearby even in the summer. It allows you to do crazy things on rainy days. Make room for spontaneity and do your own thing! When the evening comes, put your sneakers on the boot dryer and don’t think about them until the next day.
LET'S WALK IN THE WOODS
The flora, fauna, and landscape take on a different look when it rains. The forest adopts its aura of mystery, the sounds are more muffled, and the wet earth smells ever so good! We discover nature from another angle and it makes for great photos. And the rain is often less heavy when we walk under the trees.
Your clothes and boots need a little waterproofing treatment? Many outdoor stores sell user-friendly products for this very purpose. A waterproof bag is also a must to keep our spare clothes, lunch, and equipment dry. Another option is a waterproof cover for your backpack. Some packs come with them, but you can also find covers in outdoor stores.
Finally, nothing beats a good thermos of hot chocolate or chicken noodle soup to warm the body and the heart!
LET’S PLAY IN THE WATER
Have you ever tried swimming in a lake in the rain? Total symbiosis with nature guaranteed! Of course, you don't go for a dip if there are thunderstorms, but if it's just a few drops, it's a big yes! The same goes for a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard outing. The sound of rain on the water (or under the water) is simply magical.
When fishing, a lot of time is spent in the rowboat, without moving around a whole lot. So you’ll need well adapted clothes because it can be 5... or 30 degrees. Dampness or humidity can come with the rain: long live multi-layer and breathable fabrics! In such garb, you won't sweat if it's too hot and you won't freeze if the temperature plunges.
Here’s a hot tip: a good raincoat is worth its weight in gold. The materials used, the degree of waterproofing, and the weight are to be considered. It's best to invest in an efficient, comfortable, and durable raincoat. The same care is needed for boots: height, composition, and comfort are the keynotes. Don't hesitate to ask for advice in a specialized store; the specialists will be able to suggest the models that best meet your needs.
It’s raining during your fishing stay? Eureka! This is your chance to sleep in late. The fish stay active in the rain, especially if it's been falling for a while. So you don't have to be on the lake at dawn to cast your line. Also, light and water temperature - two factors that influence fishing activity - vary less as the day progresses.
When droplets are falling from the sky, the fish are usually in a holding pattern at a maximum depth of 10 feet. So surface lures are the way to go. And since the water is often turbulent, coloured lures (white, orange, yellow) are the best choice to attract a fish's attention more easily. For fly fishers: trout like to jump on the surface on rainy days. What an opportunity to catch some splendid specimens!
Falling asleep to the sound of rain is wonderfully soothing... as long as your tent doesn't leak. If yours is less waterproof than it used to be, give it a little waterproofing treatment. Outdoor stores sell user-friendly products for this very purpose. And if you have room in the car, trade in the sleeping mat for a camping cot; you'll feel even less damp that way.
Another useful piece of equipment is a kitchen shelter with closable canvas "walls." A shelter like this adds comfort by protecting not only from rain, but also from wind and mosquitoes. How very practical! Also bring along a tarp, maybe even two. One can be spread over the tent to set it up and take it down dry, while the other can be stretched across the picnic table. Here are some of the many uses of a tarp (video in French only):
Do you know about candle lanterns? What a great invention! Not only do they keep moisture out of the tent; they’re also safe and provide a soft glow. If it's not too windy, you can also place small lanterns on the picnic table. Zen atmosphere guaranteed!
When the weather is unsettled, meals are even more important for campers. Focus on comfort food that everyone will enjoy. And don't skimp on dessert: in a cast-iron skillet or foil pan, concoct your favorite sweet treats. For example, large cubes of angel food cake with seasonal berries and pieces of chocolate heated on the stove until the concoction starts to soften a bit. Yummy! Prefer to travel light? You can now find dehydrated apple crisp and cheesecake in outdoor stores. (Oh yeah, they’re delicious!)
And what about a campfire? As long as it's not raining, why not try to get one glowing? A campfire is warming and comforting for one and all. Keep some wood and newspaper dry; unfold your chairs under a tarp; and let the dancing flames and crackling logs mesmerize you.
When it comes to clothing, bring what you need to make fun of bad weather. Ideally, the complete set: boots, coat, and rain pants. Also, make sure you have a dry clothing kit at all times. Put on these special clothes for time spent in the tent or for supper under the shelter, then slip them into the bottom of your sleeping bag for the night. That way, they'll stay warm until the next morning. And for washing, use microfibre towels. They’re ultra-light, take up little space, and dry quickly.
Finally, don't forget that the rain provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the little pleasures in life, for which there is often no time: taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon, drawing, reading a good book while sipping a fragrant herbal tea… all this is blissful too. Not to mention playing cribbage, card games – including the renowned Uno – or your favourite YUM dice game… great classics on the picnic table!
As the saying goes: come visit us rain or shine. Don't hesitate to get wet while waiting for the clouds to head for the hills. Soon, they’ll make way for sunbeams and constellations.