How To Prevent Tent Condesation
Picture this scenario. You had an exciting day hiking and you’ve found the perfect place to pitch your tent. It’s been a long, tiring day and you’re really looking forward to crawling into your sleeping bag and getting some much-needed shut-eye. Sometime during the night, you stretch out your arms and legs to change position and you hit a pool of water. You’re jolted out of your peaceful slumber looking for the source of water. It’s not raining and outside is dry. Your water bottle isn’t leaking and you’re shaking your head in confusion.
The most likely culprit of the puddle in your tent is condensation. We all know how the principles of condensation. Warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface and water droplets form. Almost all tents will experience some form of condensation and it makes camping a little difficult. With these top tips to prevent tent condensation, you can keep yourself and your belongings dry, even in damp conditions.
1. Set Up A Tent Fly
A tent fly is something every camper should have. It’s simply a shelter that you can set up over your tent using either poles or ropes or by tying the material, usually a tarp of some description, to trees around your campsite. Some tents even come with their own tent fly. Having a tent fly hung over your actual tent will prevent rain from directly coming into contact with your tent. A tent fly also means you can hang wet clothes or shoes outside of your actual tent, which will also help prevent condensation and, if it’s a sunny day, you get a little extra shade.
2. Make Sure Your Tent Has Ventilation
No matter how dry the inside of your tent is, the moisture from your breath can cause condensation to form. Having extra people in the tent with you will only exacerbate the problem. A tent with a mosquito net attached to the front is a big help, particularly in the summer when it’s hot but you definitely don’t want the entire tent entrance open when it’s cold so just make sure you get a tent with a couple of rain flies you can open for ventilation. That way much of the moist air can escape and minimize the condensation within.
3. Don’t Pitch Your Tent Too Close To Water
The best place to pitch a tent in terms of ambiance is near a river or a lake. The only trouble is, that with that gorgeous, relaxing sound of running water or waves is an increase in the humidity of the air around you. If it’s around you, it will also make its way inside your tent. Look for a nice sunny spot to pitch your tent and preferably, in a slightly elevated position with a nice breeze coming through. You don’t want a tide coming into your tent to add to the problem.
4. Don’t Cook Inside Your Tent
You shouldn’t really be cooking inside your tent anyway because cooking in such a tiny space is a health and safety hazard. The other major problem is the amount of steam that is produced during cooking. Even something as simple as boiling water for a cup of coffee is going to adversely affect the moisture in your tent. Do all of your cooking outside and keep the steam out there too.
5. Don’t Bring Your Wet Gear In
Whether you’re hiking and camping in the snow, or you’re camping by the beach, you’re bound to have some wet gear like your flip flops, hiking boots, walking sandals, jackets, hats or socks. You may even have wet beach towels or swimming trunks. Make sure you allow these items to dry completely before stashing them back in the tent. Wet gear needs to dry and you don’t want all that moisture evaporating inside your tent. It will make the condensation problem so much worse. Dry your gear outside. This is another good reason to have a tent fly set up. You can hang your wet gear on the ropes, including the ones under the actual fly. They can still dry, just not inside your tent.
6. Bring Extra Towels
Sometimes, in spite of all of your efforts to control the condensation problem, you’ll still end up with a pool of water inside your tent. Having extra towels can help. Wherever you notice the condensation problem is the worst, place a towel over that area. The extra towels are also great for wiping down any condensation on the walls of the tent. Give the interior a good wipe down and then hang the towels outside to dry. You can also line the inner edge of your tent with towels, if you’re really worried about condensation. It won’t stop condensation, but taking the towels outside to dry in the morning isn’t too difficult a task.
7. Give Your Tent Time To Dry
The best way to minimize or prevent tent condensation is to keep your tent as dry as possible. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially if it’s raining. The main purpose of your tent is to shelter you from the rain and elements. But if you’re not in a hurry to get moving the next morning and the rain has stopped, give your tent some time to dry. This is particularly important if you are moving on because packing a soggy tent will add a musty smell to the condensation problem. If you must pack a tent and move on, air it out as soon as you get to your next destination or back home.
8. Shop For A Better Tent
If your tent has seen better days, then it may simply be time to get a new one. Newer tents are made from more advanced materials that are water repellent and breathable. Most new tents are also double layered to keep the inner layer as dry as possible. This means that even in the rain, the outer layer of the tent will repel much of the water, while the inner layer will allow the vapor from the breathing occupants to escape. It’s just a matter of finding a tent that has been made using these materials.