Rainy Day Camping Activities for Adults

Don’t let the rain ruin your camping trip. Here are the best rainy day camping activities for RVing adults.

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again some other day,

We want to go outside and play,

Come again some other day,

Even as an adult, that nursery rhyme always pops into my head whenever it rains. Especially when we are camping and all we want to do is go outside and recreate!

But with over 25 years of enjoying the RV Lifestyle and lots of rainy (and a few snowy) days, we’ve learned how to keep ourselves entertained on days when the weather is not cooperating with our original itinerary.

I’m going to offer numerous ideas on how to spend a rainy day while camping plus some links to help you make the most of these ideas.

I’ll start easy but don’t expect all of these activities to be lounging activities—they’re not! Sure, rainy days are a great day to relax but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely inactive.

Savannah is the setting for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Read a good camping book (not just any book)

Now I know you may think this isn’t original advice but reading a book is a go-to rainy-day camping activity for good reason. There’s something about the pitter-patter of rain that helps you immerse yourself in the pages of a good book.

I will point out, too, that I said you should read a good camping book. Not just any book! 

A good camping book will transport you to another world while keeping you connected to your current travel experience. It will help inspire and motivate you to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as soon as the rain lets up. That’s why I highly suggest you keep at least one of these great books to read while camping at the ready on every road trip.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer
  • Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Watch a good camping movie (again, not just any movie)

That’s right, not just any movie—a good camping movie. As I said about books, you should choose a movie that keeps you immersed in your travel experience. That way, you still get a taste of adventure even if confined to your RV. 

To make it easy for you, I’ve made a list of 10 Iconic Road Trip Movies. This list includes a WIDE RANGE of movies bout life on the road. I researched the history of road trip cinema and chose 10 of the most iconic films in which people drive across the U.S.

Speaking of movies, I have posted articles on film-making in various regions of America. Here’s a quick sampling:

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Invite camping neighbors over

No matter the size of your RV, you could always invite fellow campers over. Whether you squeeze inside or tuck under your awning, it’s always nice to gather together on a rainy day.

Plenty of campers will agree that one of the best rainy-day camping activities is playing games. So, invite some people over and have a game night! Or, rather, a game rainy day!

This brings me to my next rainy day suggestion…

4. Host a championship game day

Forget game NIGHT. Host a championship game day! Whether you invite your camping neighbors over or play at your travel party, games are always fun on a rainy day.

But don’t get stuck playing the same game for hours. Instead, organize an impromptu championship series where you play various games to determine an ultimate winner.

Since every person has different strong suits, this style of game day levels the playing field. Each player can pick a game and then the person who wins the most games is the champion.

You can pick standard board games or card games or you can get creative with different challenges. 

There should definitely be a prize for the champion, whether it’s a silly homemade trophy or an inexpensive gift for RVers.

Truth BBQ, Brenham, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Cook up some comfort food

Comfort food and rainy days go hand in hand! Whether you’re curling up to a good book or movie, doing crafts, or playing games, comfort food is the perfect complement to all the activities on this list.

6. Camping puzzles and adult lego

What can be more relaxing than working on a puzzle while listening to raindrops hit your RV roof? If you think it’s not practical to do puzzles in a bumpy RV that you move from campground to campground, you’d be (happily) wrong!

You can use a roll-up puzzle mat to preserve your progress until you finish!

And I’m a big fan of crossward puzzles. As well as a rainy day activity, it helps to keep ones brain active as we age.

And on that same note, what about 3-D puzzles? Yep, I’m talking about Lego! Lego aren’t just for kids anymore.

Like the puzzle mat, you can use an organizer box to stay tidy. As an RVer, you might consider the following:

  • Lego Volkswagen Camper Van
  • Lego Wildflower Bouquet
  • Lego Birds Model
Journaling © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Journaling and scrapbooking

Another great rainy day camping activity is journaling and scrapbooking. It’s the perfect time to sit down and catch up on your recent experiences on the road.

If you want to be prepared for such a rainy day, you can check out my Guide to Journaling.

Some of the journals have prompts, while others give you plenty of space to write freely. 

8. Unique crafts and related activities

Doing arts and crafts is one of the best ways to keep yourself busy while being stuck inside on a rainy day. You can draw, paint, knit, quilt, leatherwork, carve, or even color. You can also enjoy many different activity books from crossword puzzles, sudoku, and miscellaneous games.

Okefenokee, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Plan your next RV road trip

There’s no time like the present to plan your next RV trip especially if rain is keeping you from enjoying your current one. If you’re stuck inside, you might as well make good use of your time and start planning your next adventure whether it’s reworking your current itinerary or starting a new one.

I have lots of articles about planning a great trip but I recommend starting with The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Cross-Country Road Trip.

Or, you can take the opportunity to review some of my tried-and-proven road trip guides. That way you only have to decide where to go next rather than plan the whole trip yourself.

Bernheim Forest, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Go out in the rain

Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! It doesn’t mean you can’t hit the trail or enjoy what you had planned for the day regardless. (As long as there’s no thunder storm, of course.)

Rain is just water, after all. You’re not going to melt. Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. 

So, whip out your camping poncho, put on your Tilleys hiking hat, and slip on your waterproof shoes. Get out there and see how the world looks different under its cover.

Jump in puddles if you will, turn your face up to the sky, and enjoy the rain!

Worth Pondering…

The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so.

—Ray Bradbury

20 Tips for Making Friends While Camping

Don’t make the mistake of getting out there in the camping world only to hide away in your RV. Here’s how to make friends while camping with some practical icebreakers.

Going to a new campground can feel like going to summer camp as a kid. You’re excited about all of the things to do but might be really nervous about the social aspect. 

Are the other kids going to like you? Are you going to make friends? Or are you going to write home to mama to pick you up asap?!

Hopefully, your summer camp experience is a happy memory, but no matter what, your next camping experience can be!

Here are some great tips on how to make friends while camping.

Camping at Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why you need to put yourself out there

One of the main reasons people join the RV lifestyle is to see the world. They want to visit all kinds of places and see new things. But don’t forget that people can truly take your experience to the next level.

What’s so great about RVing is you get to visit one place but can learn about so many places through the people you meet. Best of all, you can see how people from all over the country and even the world share a lot in common with you. 

Getting to know some locals will give you more insight than any travel guide could give you, too. A quick chat with your campground host or grocery bagger can teach you things about the area you’d never know otherwise. Gaining a glimpse into local life is interesting in its own right.  

And that’s the mindset you need to adopt. A friendship when camping is probably fleeting. In most cases, you’ll never see or hear from them again. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. You may, in fact, meet lifelong friends but even small friendly interactions can make a huge difference! Getting to share stories, relate to strangers, and lowering your guard can teach you a lot about the world and even yourself.

Not to mention, many studies have shown that social interaction improves your mental and physical health.

Camping at the Lakes Golf & RV Resort, Chowchilla, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s easier to make friends while camping

Making new friends can be nerve-wracking but you actually have two big advantages when camping. Embracing these two advantages can make the whole idea of meeting new people easier for you.

Advantage #1

The first advantage is you never have to see these people again. I bet you didn’t expect that! But that thought is actually very freeing. You don’t have to worry much about whether they like you or you like them because, if not, well, you move on. 

Some people can be nervous about meeting the neighbors at their brick-and-mortar house because they’d be stuck with them if they didn’t like them. But, don’t have that fear with their campground neighbors. The worst that could happen is an awkward conversation. 

The opposite is true, too. You may be more nervous that they won’t like you. Guess what?! Even if they don’t, they’re not stuck with you either! So, embrace the short-term stakes.

Camping at Harvest Moon RV Park. Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Advantage #2

The second advantage is you’re among your people! There’s a very good chance they like doing the same thing as you because they are doing the same thing as you. 

Plus, campers tend to be friendly people. They know how to sit back and relax and enjoy the moment. They’re curious about new places and things, and that usually includes you!

Many will even take the first step and strike up a conversation with you. So, you just need to be prepared to not shy away from it. Return their greeting or question and see where it goes from there.

Camping at Terre Haute Campground, Terre Haute, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to make friends while camping: 14 tips and icebreakers

Saying you want to make friends and knowing how to make friends are two very different things. So, here are some tips and icebreakers to help you along your way.

1. Look for long-term campers that have been there or are staying more than a few days. Weekenders and larger groups tend to just want to focus on their fun and their families since they’re limited on time.

2. Smile and wave at everyone. Some will take it from there for you! They’ll strike up a conversation and you just have to participate.

3. Let your dog be your wingman. Take your dog for a walk around the campground or park him beside you in your outdoor area. People will come to your dog and then to you. 

4. Let your kids be your wingman. Kids usually don’t have the same reserves we do about meeting new people so let them loose (within reason)! Let them play with other kids and then you can meet their parents.

5. Let your travel companion be your wingman. Chances are, one of you is more sociable than the other. Don’t hold them back! Don’t say, “You shouldn’t bother them or maybe they don’t want you to…” Let them do their thing and if it works out, great! If it doesn’t, that’s on them!

Camping at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Limit your first conversation to 5-10 minutes. Campers are very friendly people and often over-polite. They may be in the middle of something or on the way somewhere but they don’t want to interrupt you. So, try to keep the first conversation short and then swing back by or invite them over another time.

7. Set up extra chairs around your fire pit. You can invite people over, offer s’mores to passers-by, or even put a sign up that says “free campfire stories” or “campfire songs“.

8. Get involved in activities. A lot of campgrounds host group activities like card games, sports matches, or meet-and-greets. Join in!

9. Place your chairs at the front of your campsite facing passers-by. Smile and say hi to everyone and see where that goes.

10. Set up a snack station. Have a portable table for coffee or snacks and invite people to stop by. 

Camping at Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Ask them about their RV. RVers love to talk about their rigs! 

12. Offer help. If you see them lugging gear or setting up, offer to help. Some may decline but others will appreciate it.

13. Ask for help. Whether you need to borrow a tool or need help backing up, asking for help is a great way to break the ice.

14. Host a game night. Walk around the campground and let people know you’re having a game night and anyone’s welcome to join. Camping games and board games are a great way to interact without having to rely on conversation.

15. Listen more than you talk. When you’re talking to someone new, it’s important to listen more than you talk. Not only will this make the other person feel valued but it also means you’ll learn more about them and what they’re interested in.

Camping at Sea Wind RV Resort, Riviera Beach, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

16. Make an effort. To make friends while camping you must put in the effort. This means being the one to initiate conversations, inviting people to do things together, etc. It can be scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s well worth it!

17. Ask questions. When you’re talking to someone new, ask them lots of questions. This will show that you’re interested in them and make it more likely that they’ll want to be friends with you.

18. Walk around. Taking a stroll through the campground will provide you with a great opportunity to meet new people. Start by introducing yourself and your family members. Compliment something you like about their campsite.

19. Be yourself. It’s important to be genuine and authentic when making new camping friends. Jjust be yourself and the right people will take notice.

20. Take an interest in your fellow campers by asking them questions about themselves. People love talking about themselves so this is a surefire way to make a friend.

Camping at Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Share your tips

We’d love to hear your tips and advice on how to make friends while camping. Please share your advice and experiences on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.

Worth Pondering…

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

―Marie Curie (1867-1934), physicist and chemist