Can You Cheat Mother Nature? Last Minute Changes to Beat the Rain!

We changed our camping plans for better weather and less rain recently.  It wasn't all sunny skies, but I still feel like we came out a winner at MS River State Park in AR.

I have learned that March may be ideal timing for camping, but it is not ideal camping weather.  March is tends to have unpredictable weather.  In Mississippi, the weather is warm enough to camp but still cool.  However, we also fluctuate between lots of sun and lots of rain.  I feel like we are living in a monsoon right now.  If you have plans for camping that call for non stop rain, can you cheat mother nature by changing your plans?

Maybe, but I think unless you really stretch those wings rain could follow you.  However, you could dodge a soaker and have less rain.  It comes down to how much you are willing and able to change at the last minute.

If you are trip planner, you already know that booking a trip months in advance mean that you are taking a risk of whatever weather may come your way.  You are rolling the dice when you book a trip six months to a year in advance.  Before you book, be willing to take risks.  I don't sit around anticipating bad weather.  If I did, I'd never book another camping trip.

A campfire is one fo my favorite things about camping, but you can't enjoy that if its raining the whole time!

For our spring break trip to the MS Gulf Coast, the original weather forecast called for severe storms on our first night.  We had learned from a trip two years ago that was a bad plan.  We decided to stay home and burn a day.  The closer we got to our trip, the weather forecast changed and went from severe on the first day to simple rain with severe storms on the second day.  Further weather reports revealed rain predictions for the rest of the time. 

Eventually we realized, that the weather was going to be rainy more than 50% of the time.  The travel time wasn't worth it to be trapped in the rain.  We wouldn't be able to go to the beach.  With nearby New Orleans, the zoo would also be covered in rain.  It just all felt like a bad idea with few options for fun.

The forecast in Bay St. Louis was just one that we were not willing to brave.  The storms were unpredictable and fluxuating between bad and worse on different days.

Our alternate location in Arkansas had a much better forecast, and we had better weather on that trip.

I scrambled and started looking for something with the same or less driving time and better weather.  I managed to find MS River State Park that was north of us in Arkansas.  The weather looked to be better.  It was a similar driving distance.  And the reviews of the campground were good.  Did our plan work to beat the rain and have better weather?

Yes and no.  We had mostly better weather.  But we woke up to rain both mornings of our trip.  It was a gentle rain that was gone by mid morning on both days.  The rest of our trip was dry and beautiful.  We still felt like it was worth the drive, and it was and wonderful experieince.  While lost some money on our deposit on our original spot.  I felt like it was worth the $30 or so that we lost to go somewhere that we could enjoy the majority of our camping trip.

What do you do if it looks like your trip is going to be a bust?
  1. You could simply cancel and make the most of your time at home.  Have a backyard cookout and make smores at home.   These things happen.
  2. Get creative and find an alternative location to camp in a nearby campsite.  Determine how far you are willing to travel to get there.  For us, we were only willing to go as far as our original travel plans.  
  3. Make the most of the rain.  Look for indoor activities at the place where you are going to be camping.  Maybe there is an indoor activity center that offers go carts and other actitivites for fun.  Go see a movie.  Play games together inside your camper.  And cross your fingers.  Maybe the rain forecast won't be as bad as predicted.
Unless the weather is dangerous, rain isn't the worst thing that can happen on a trip.  We made the most of it.  We have a new awning that extends further.  I was able to cook waffles under our awning even though it was raining and stay dry.  And since it wasn't a torrential flood, I enjoyed cooking outdoors and watching the rain on the water in front of our site.  Everyone was cozy inside while we ate.  We slept in late and just took it easy. 

If you have planned an epic road trip, you may be very limited on changes and alteraltions to your travel plans.  I know that changes to a camping trip are going to vary from one situation to the next.  But, be flexible and willing to change if you need to.  After all, you are in charge of where you tow your rig!

We took advantage of lazy mornings and watched a movie indoors.

You may not can cheat Mother Nature, but you can make the most of whatever she throws your way.  This may lead you to new places to explore.  It may force you to slow down and take a slower pace on your trip.  Sometimes, these are just these things that you need.  And that isn't so bad after all.

Until next time...

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