Chlorophyll camping in the rain at Green Point…

Summertime camping in a rainforest on the coast of the Canadian Pacific Northwest sounds exactly what it is – simply delightful – but what this old PlaidCamper really didn’t think about when reserving the campground many months ago, was the rain part of rainforest. Green Point campground, situated beautifully on a steep rise overlooking the Pacific, is also nestled in the fringes of a lush green forest – rainforest! 

It’s a rainforest!  

In recent years, most of our summertime camping has been in the deserts of SW USA, and our spring and fall camping at sites on the eastern side of the Rockies in Alberta. Generally, these locations are dry, often hot, and in the case of the Rockies, only an hour or two from home if heavy rain threatens to wash away the tent. (We did once abandon the campground at Lake Louise in early September, when the promised light rain showers became hours and hours of torrential deluge – small rivers were flowing past the tent, and if the grizzlies are paddling two by two, you know it’s time to go home). 

Don’t go home…

When we were approaching Green Point and the first few drops spattered the windshield, we weren’t too concerned. Our stay in the area had been dry and warm up to that point, and a little drizzle wasn’t going to be a problem…(we should have paid attention to the information at the botanical gardens, something along the lines of “autumn is wet, winter very wet, springtime it rains, and summers aren’t dry.” Annually, Tofino gets over three meters of rain! On some measures, two meters annually qualifies for rainforest, so Clayoquot has a super rainforest!) 


We weren’t really that unprepared for camping in the rain, it’s just usually rain is a cue for us to not go camping. So the rain that started as we put up the tent, continued as we rigged up a tarp shelter, and did not stop that afternoon when we hiked along the beach, was outside our usual comfort zone. Still, with the tarp, decent waterproof gear in the backpack and a natty new toque, we managed just fine. Although wet, being summer it was not too cold, especially when hiking. 

Overlooking the Pacific (honest)

The trees collect the mist that drifts over from the beach, and all the moisture slowly drips and drops to the forest floor. Your camping soundtrack of rain pattering on the tarp and tent roof is soothing – and it sounds far wetter than it really is, with the dripping continuing long after any actual rainfall. Stepping out from under the tarp, we were surprised again and again by it not raining – or barely raining – when we thought it was! 


All the moisture contributes to the creation of absolutely beautiful forests. The shades of green are numerous, and even the humid air seems to have a greenish tint. The air tastes and smells a verdant green, if that doesn’t sound too strange. Chlorophyll! Moss cloaks and hangs from the trees, and lichens cling to trunks. Small bushes, broad leaved plants and fern fronds crowd the forest floor, which itself is a rich decaying mulch, satisfyingly springy underfoot. Water, water, water, and growth, growth, growth in a delicate and unique ecosystem. 

Delicate and intricate

I’ve had to rethink my general dislike of rain, at least in settings as spectacular as the Clayoquot biosphere. At the information level of thinking, it is easy to understand that rain is important, but experiencing the natural wonder, by camping in a rainforest for a few days, has made me appreciate this precious resource in a far more vivid and tangible way. Knowing something is not the same as experiencing and then knowing it a little better. Funny how I sometimes forget the obvious from the comfort and distance of my modern life. Maybe we should all have a rainforest experience – go so far as to insist it is a mandatory part of a child’s education – then serious and real conservation efforts might be mainstream rather than marginal…Enough of that, school’s out and I’m on vacation.

Did I already say “green”?

It didn’t rain the entire time we were camping, and in fact our final day was a beauty – blue skies and an empty beach to wander along just a few minutes from the tent. 

Overlooking the Pacific!

I probably still wouldn’t go camping locally if the forecast calls for rain, but I would certainly camp in a NW rainforest again! 

Rainforest cooled…

Are you a happy camper in the rain – or would it take a rainforest to entice you?! Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment or share a story, and keep your guy ropes secure.

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

20 thoughts on “Chlorophyll camping in the rain at Green Point…”

  1. You’re not all wet with this inspiring rainforest account. Without something similar in my own soul bank, I haven’t yet fully lived. Ah yes, if we could only make it mandatory for schoolkids to have a similar experience… but later. Meanwhile, enjoy your camping freedoms!


    1. It is a wonderful place to simply sit and think – under the shelter of a tree! Outdoor education is part of the curriculum in Canada, and I try to get students outside as often as possible, but more would be better…
      Enjoy your day!


    1. Good beer from Tofino brewing! Highly recommend the area as a place to visit and enjoy being outdoors. You’d appreciate the canoeing/sea kayaking opportunities.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy your day!


  2. Sounds like Green Point is aptly named, pc. And I’m impressed with your gentle and accepting attitude. Living in a drought time in Calif., I can say the rain is precious, the emerald greens are brilliant; but I still wouldn’t be all that thrilled with constant rain while camping. lol. lovely post.


    1. You are right about how much time you can take the rain when camping – we were running out of dry clothes! It was a wonderful few days…
      I hope California receives some relieving rainfall soon – it must be worrying.
      Thanks for your kind words, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lush and lovely. You really captured it! As for camping in the rain? For us it depends on how much and what the outdoor temperature is. Generally, it’s wonderful to sleep in a tent drifting off to the sound of the drops pinging on the tent. Our patience runs out when we get waterlogged in the day.


    1. You are right about the whole how wet will you get part of rainy camping! We were fortunate that the rain wasn’t too heavy or prolonged, and our final day was warm and sunny, so we dried out a little. Our tent is still drying on the balcony…
      Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy your day!


  4. I’ve just returned home from camping in the rain, I live in Ireland so it’s generally expected to be wet. We had two rainy and one sunny day. Loved every minute of it, some of the best photos were taken in the misty afternoons.


    1. You’re absolutely right – interesting weather makes for interesting pictures! Ireland has so much beautiful scenery, well worth a little rain to get out there and enjoy.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment here, I appreciate it!
      Enjoy your day.


    1. I think you’d like it there – test your camp fire skills in a very damp environment! There is a fire ban at the moment due to wildfires, effects of a winter drought, and overall hot and dry conditions on the island (seemed strange to have a ban in the rainforest with rain coming down – a campfire would have been pleasant!)
      Enjoy your weekend!


      1. Damp environments can definitely test a woodsman’s patience when building a fire. But at least with a ban, you wouldn’t have to beat yourself up too much if you couldn’t get it burning!

        Again, great post, my friend!


  5. Lovely photos. I am a happy walker in the rain, but will not be a happy camper in the rain. Rain is beautiful. There are so many metaphors for the rain. There are many poems and songs about the rain. I appreciate the blue skies and sunshine even more after the rain! Green is my favourite colour…. forest green.


    1. Thanks Wayne – really look forward to that!
      Just seen your latest set, and nobody takes them like you do, just wonderful photographs once again. We are missing being there already…
      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I, myself, am a bit like you. If the forecast calls for rain I try to avoid camping out. If it rains while I’m there than so be it. I’m undecided how I feel about it. I have yet to master the skills of creating a good tarp covering and my tent will flood. I love the rain, but alas it makes for questionable camping conditions sometimes.


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