How To Keep Dew Out Of Tent – The gentle hum of your rain fly can be a soothing natural sound as you sleep in your tent at night. If drops start to appear
Your tent, however, becomes a very uncomfortable resting place. And under the right conditions, the culprit – condensation – can infiltrate even the best-designed shelter.
How To Keep Dew Out Of Tent
When warm air touches a cold surface, condensation can occur. You will see this effect in a cold pint of beer on a hot day. The same thing can happen inside a tent: the warm air inside moves into the rain bar, which is cooler because the air outside is cooler. The result is condensation on the bottom of your rain fly. Water can then saturate the fabric of your tent or drip through the mesh windows.
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Trees are your friend because the air under the trees is warmer (compared to, say, an open field), so your rain fly will be warmer too. Plus, the condensation happens on their leaves, not your tent.
Once you’ve chosen a place to set up your tent, the humidity level is set. And, even though you’ll be breathing in moisture all night, not breathing is not an option. But you can control whether you store wet clothes or hang them in the tent. If the goal is to control condensation, dry things during the day (and don’t let wet dogs sleep in your tent).
The air in the tent is always more humid than the surrounding air, so you want to replace the air in the tent with dry outside air. Ventilation strategies include:
It’s rare for your rain fly to be dry in the morning, but if you follow these tips, most of the moisture should stay out — where it belongs.
Reducing Condensation In Your Tent
Editor Emeritus Ken Knapp became a member in 1977 and has served the cooperative for more than 36 years. Father of daughters (successful) and guinea pig watcher (threatened), Ken is also a big fan of sustainability and ball sharing. This site helps you improve your backpacking knowledge and skills so you can have a safe backpacking trip.
If you spend enough time camping in the countryside, at some point you will wake up with a tent full of condensation. However, the good news is that it is possible to avoid condensation in your tent while backpacking.
Now, even if you strictly follow all of these steps, sometimes certain environmental factors (such as humidity) can cause moisture to build up in your tent no matter what you do. However, by following these steps you can have the best chance of keeping the humidity in your tent to a minimum so that you can enjoy your backpacking trip as much as possible. Now let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.
It might sound a little strange, but where you decide to camp that night actually affects how much condensation you’ll experience in your tent in the morning. Some places are more conducive to condensation than others.
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In particular, setting up a tent under a tree or in the woods tends to result in less condensation than setting up shop in the middle of an open field. This is mainly due to the fact that condensation is more likely to occur during cooler weather at night.
Warm air usually likes to collect in the forest because the trees act as insulation from the sky above. Therefore, camping in wooded areas means higher temperatures and less chance of condensation at night.
On the other hand, camping in open plains or alpine areas means that your campsite is subject to large changes in temperature at night. These temperature fluctuations are bad news for condensation, so you can expect a wet tent in the morning.
You should also avoid camping near rivers, lakes and ponds. It seems like a great place to spend the night, however, the humidity level will be high, causing more condensation inside your tent.
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It is also important to set up your tent properly if you want to avoid condensation at night. While a properly pitched tent is not guaranteed to be condensation free, it will certainly help.
Well, a well pitched tent has a tension batten that allows enough space between the batten and the mesh body of the tent. Meanwhile, poorly pitched tents often have rain flies that curl up and rest directly on top of the mesh canopy. As a result, these poorly pitched tents provide little ventilation or airflow through the mesh canopy of your tent.
Moreover, if it starts to rain, the tent is more likely to collect water in a swinging tent at night. Although rain and condensation are not the same thing, they both result in the same problem: wet gear. So a properly pitched tent can do wonders for you when it comes to preventing condensation and keeping you dry in the rain.
Even with the right pitch, the air inside your tent will always be more humid than the air outside, which is why good airflow is essential if you want to avoid excessive condensation each morning. So how can you improve airflow in your tent?
How To Prevent Condensation In A Roof Top Tent
Well, every tent model is a little different, however, your shelter is equipped with some type of built-in ventilation system. For most tents, this system consists of a roof vent built into the rain gutter and a low vent around the perimeter of the shelter. So make sure all vents are open to promote good air flow.
Sometimes the humidity in the air can be so high that these openings alone are not enough. If this happens, you can always roll up the vestibule door of your tent to encourage extra airflow. If it starts to rain, you can easily reach out and zip up your tent door to get out of the storm.
So here we see that it is crucial to make ventilation a priority when you are outside. Even if you expect cold temperatures at night, it’s important to allow airflow through your shelter to prevent condensation. So, unless rain is in the forecast, keep those vents open and, if possible, keep the lobby door closed to ensure adequate ventilation at all times.
We’ve talked a bit about how you can keep the temperatures cool in the mountains by choosing to camp in the wilderness, but what about the humidity?
How To Reduce Condensation In A Tent
There’s not much you can do about moisture in the form of rain, but you can do to limit the amount of moisture you want to bring into your tent at night. What are you doing? The answer is to always keep wet gear outside your tent.
This includes any wet clothing, footwear or any wet equipment. Carrying all your tools with you at night may seem convenient, however, it won’t help you avoid condensation forming in the morning.
Hopefully by leaving your wet gear outside you’ll dry things out before morning and allow the moisture from your gear to evaporate into the air around you instead of being trapped in your tent overnight, eventually turning into condensation.
If you can’t store wet gear outside due to weather conditions, consider putting your gear in a stuff sack to reduce possible condensation problems.
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More often than not, backpackers tend to pitch their tents—rainbow and all—fully up for every night of their camping trip, even when the skies are the clearest possible.
However, unless it’s actively raining or it’s very windy outside, a rain fly in your tent won’t do you any good. In fact, the only thing your tent rainfly does in this situation is cause condensation at night.
So when clear skies are in the forecast, consider getting the rainfly out of your tent. You should always be prepared to have your rain fly ready the moment it starts to rain, while sleeping in a tent without a rain fly is the best way to limit condensation at night.
That’s because, as breathable as it is, your rain fly does a great job of trapping moisture and restricting airflow. Therefore, by removing rain flies, condensation can be minimized.
How To Keep A Tent Cool
As mentioned earlier, you can do everything you can to prevent condensation from building up inside your tent, however, sometimes certain environmental conditions allow moisture to build up. What are you doing?
Well, when you wake up with a tent full of condensation, your first step is to vacuum the inside of your tent. Then find a sunny spot and place the rain batten with the tent body in place. This will give both the tent body and the rain fly a chance to dry out in the morning.
If you’re like me and like to hit the trail as early as possible in the morning, you can store the tent in the front outer pocket of the backpack, and when you stop for lunch, you can pull it out to dry.
By doing so, you will avoid
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