Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Picnics are a wonderful way to make the most of the summer and spend quality time with loved ones. However, sometimes the weather can play spoilsport. Dark clouds, wind, moisture, and heavy rain can disrupt your picnic plans. But fear not! With our tips, you’ll discover that picnics in the rain can still be a lot of fun if you know how to stay dry. So, let’s get started with some innovative ideas for rainy day picnics.

Embrace the Rain

Your reaction to the first drops of rain can make or break your picnic experience. If you adopt the right attitude, you can learn to love a little rain and end up having the best time with your friends and family. Accept, adapt, and enjoy your time. Who knows, maybe the rain will go away in just 10 minutes, and the sun will come out again.

Look for a Dry Area

The first thing you should do is inspect your surroundings and search for a dry spot. If you find one, great! Pack up your gear, move to the dry area, and wait until the rain subsides. If there’s no dry spot, don’t worry. You can always improvise a temporary rain shelter with the right gear.

Use Tarps to Improvise a Rain Shelter

picnic rain shelter tarp
Image source: Parkside Mansion

Waterproof tarps, commonly used by backpackers, hikers, and camping enthusiasts, can be a lifesaver in the rain. They provide a large, cozy, and dry area for your picnic. Tarps are affordable, compact, lightweight, and practical. Setting up a tarp shelter is easy, and it will keep you completely dry. We recommend the Aqua Quest Guide Tarp, which is 100% waterproof and weighs only 0.9 lbs. Plus, you don’t even need trees to set it up.

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Stay Dry with a Waterproof Jacket / Rain Suit / Poncho

wet weather picnic ideas
Image source: Parkside Mansion

Remember, staying dry is easier than drying out after you get wet. You can opt for a budget-friendly lightweight poncho or even improvise a raincoat using trash bags. If you’re willing to spend a little more, a high-quality, lightweight, and breathable waterproof jacket like the “Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket” will keep you dry and cozy.

Layer Up

If it gets chilly, start layering up with tights, hats, long-sleeved shirts, socks, and get cozy. Avoid 100% cotton clothes as they absorb water, including your sweat. Opt for breathable clothing made from wicking materials like nylon, polyester, or merino wool.

Power Food: Hot Cocoa & Snacks

15 Tips for Picnics in the Rain: How to Stay Dry & Comfortable
Image source: Parkside Mansion

Nothing beats hot tea or cocoa and delicious snacks on a rainy day! Enjoy the beautiful view with a hot beverage and tasty treats like granola bars, nuts, and dark chocolate. Don’t forget to bring your thermos!

Keep Your Picnic Gear Dry

Cover your picnic basket and all your exposed picnic items with plastic or trash bags. These covers will protect your gear and keep them dry in wet weather.

Trash Bags

Believe it or not, garbage bags are actually quite handy on rainy days. You can make ponchos out of them to keep yourself dry. They can also be used to waterproof your bags, clothes, food, and any other vulnerable gear.

Backpack Rain Cover

15 Tips for Picnics in the Rain: How to Stay Dry & Comfortable
Image source: Parkside Mansion

If your backpack isn’t waterproof, it’s a smart move to pack a rain cover. These covers are inexpensive, portable, and helpful to include in your picnic gear list.

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Zip-Lock Bags

To protect your precious belongings from the rain, place your keys, smartphones, wallets, cameras, and other sensitive items in zip-lock plastic bags. This simple trick will keep them safe and dry.

Hand Warmers

15 Tips for Picnics in the Rain: How to Stay Dry & Comfortable
Image source: Parkside Mansion

Keep your hands warm in cold rainy weather by using hand warmers. The HotHands hand warmers provide safe, natural heat and are activated simply by shaking them.


After hours of research, we’ve discovered a picnic umbrella that we absolutely love. It’s more than just an umbrella—it’s a tiny shelter! The Sport-Brella is compact, easy to set up, and will protect you from rain, wind, and even the sun (with SPF 50+). It provides an excellent rain shelter in a matter of minutes.

Waterproof Sacks

15 Tips for Picnics in the Rain: How to Stay Dry & Comfortable
Image source: Parkside Mansion

Another great way to keep your valuables completely dry is to toss them into a waterproof dry bag. These bags, commonly used for kayaking, the beach, rafting, hiking, or fishing, are designed to keep your items dry and safe.

Waterproof Blanket

Make sure the dampness of the ground doesn’t seep through your blanket. If you didn’t bring a blanket with waterproof backing, don’t worry. You can still improvise by placing plastic or trash bags underneath your blanket. This simple hack will protect you from the damp grass. Alternatively, you can invest in a waterproof picnic blanket like the MIU waterproof picnic blanket, which is comfortable, large, easy to fold, easy to clean, and, most importantly, will keep you completely dry.

Plastic Cooler

The best way to protect your food and snacks from the rain is by storing them in a securely insulated plastic cooler. Yeti coolers are reliable and one of the most popular options on the market. For picnics, we recommend the Yeti Tundra Haul model, which is rotomolded, has big wheels for easy transportation, and is virtually indestructible.

Now that you have these tips up your sleeve, don’t let a little rain dampen your picnic plans. Embrace the rain, stay dry, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Happy picnicking!

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