What do you do when weather changes the plans?


We love nice sunny weather, with cooler temperatures, and a light breeze.  Yes, its the optimal weather for Art Fests.  And it is the optimal conditions for showcasing our work.  But weather does not always cooperate.  Rain comes, high winds arise, and god forbid, Lightening and thunder, hail, or the dreaded T word – Tornado!

Last weekend our adventure to Schedel Garden was another reminder of the need to be prepared with options when the weather changes suddenly.  With that said, i wanted to compile a list of things that should be traveling with us, whether or not we ever need them…. just good old “girl scout” preparedness.


  • Make sure the tent is waterproofed.  Yes this is something that should be done annually, and is a fairly cheap endeavor of purchasing 2 cans of spray waterproofing from the camping section of your favorite store.
  • Tent Pegs – Yes, if you can stake down the tent its a great option!!!!
  • Dog Tie Stakes – supplementary to the tent pegs.  We like dog tie out stakes because they spiral into the ground, and have at least a good foot depth, allowing us to tie the tent down to the stakes.
  • Cord or rope – for use with the dog tie stakes
  • Electrical cord (100 ft, outdoor grade)
  • 4 socket electrical extension cord
  • Weights for each leg of the tent.
  • Nylon Straps for securing the weights
  • Umbrellas

Personal Gear/Etc

  • Rain ponchos – just to cover up when the rain is coming in – prevents clothes from getting soaked to the bone.
  • Blankets
  • Extra Snacks/Drink – While we were at Schedel gardens we were thankful that the water crisis in Toledo did not extend to our area, but it was a reminder that some natural crisis could occur, and we should make sure we have some food and drink available if needed.
  • Extra change of clothes (in case what we have on gets soaked to the bone.
  • Change of socks – why is it that socks always get damp wet!
  • Warm jacket/hat – hoodies or sweatshirts are a great option when the temperature suddenly drops.

And safety is always the best to keep in focus.  If the event is threatened by weather it is our hope that the promotor or organizer will be aware, and responsive with direction on how the event will go.  We have seen the extremes, of very sensitive and responsive event organizers watching weather, keeping us all updated, and looking out for our best; and we have been at events where the promoter did nothing.  As the artist we always have our whits about us.  If there is danger of life and limb I would opt to shut down and tear down before considering riding out a bad storm in a tent.   Its a metal frame with lightweight nylon…. and could get quite dangerous.

Other tools:

  • Weather applications on our smart phone – essential.  I have one that roams with me, and will issue weather alerts based on my gps – idea.
  • Radar application on the smart phone – got to have the ability to see whats coming, or find out how long it will be occurring.
  • Charge cables for cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • First aid kit – the essentials – bandaids, triple antibiotic cream, alcohol pads, gauze.  We keep ours under the drivers seat of the car so its always there.
  • Fire extinguisher – while we dont consistently travel with it, i can understand the need should lightening strike and start a fire.

Personal Preparation:

  • Pack a good attitude – and be flexible to roll with the changing situations of weather – You cant control it, so why fight it!  And the impact of bad weather, loss of sales and income cannot be prevented.  So get your mind wrapped around trusting God for what is to be.  It will be ok!
  • Bring ibuprofen or aspirin if needed for pain, and stiffness.  I get very stiff when its damp, and so its nice to have anti-inflammatory available to help. (Follow your doctor’s recommendation for what is working for you though.)

So i bet you never thought it would take this much pre-planning to just set up a tent and sell art, Right?  Surprise.