Condensation is a common problem when camping in a tent. Condensation occurs when water vapor condenses onto a surface such as the walls of your tent. Having the walls of your tent drip with water can be an uncomfortable nuisance. Condensation can make your tent not feel like much of a shelter at all and make camping a miserable experience. Once packed up, a wet tent will also weigh more.
Preventing tent condensation completely isn’t really possible, but there are a number of things we can do to significantly reduce it. Here are our tips:
Environmental humidity is one of the biggest contributors to the condensation on the inside of your tent. Here are some things to avoid when selecting where to pitch your tent:
- Avoid camping next to a river, stream, lake or pond.
- Avoid camping on marshy wet ground.
- Avoid camping in low points and gullies as cool air will pool there
Try to camp on higher ground. Camping under trees can lead to less humidity. Grass will collect dew, so setting up camp on dry earth is preferable. Consider how much sunlight your location will get in the evening or morning, as it will help dry the tent out.
The water on any wet items will evaporate onto the walls of your tent. If possible dry off your gear. If not storing any wet gear outside your tent in a dry-bag will go a long way.
If you can, leave your tent open. If insects are a problem you can leave the mesh closed. Orientate your tent so the prevailing breeze blows through it.
Cooking inside your tent will create steam as will bringing in hot food. Try to cook and eat by an opening or if possible outside.
Respiration and perspiration
The more people in one tent, the more vapor there will be from each person’s breath and sweat. Consider separate tents.
Desiccants and other items
Silica gel, charcoal and uncooked rice all soak up moisture. The impact of any of these on your tents condensation may be negligible. They are however useful for helping to dry wet gear, particularly when its all packed up. You can also purchase small battery powered dehumidifiers. Battery powered fans can also help produce air-flow.
Remember, condensation can’t be completely avoided. There are unpreventable factors like rain and climate that contribute to tent condensation, that we just have to deal with. Following the above steps should help you significantly, particularly location selection, removing wet gear and ventilation.