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SimonDawes

Joined:

Sep 09

Posts: 5

SimonDawes says:

How to stop moisture in your tent

Hi Folks.  Some wisdom required please.

Having spent last night out wild camping at a reasonable height, an already chilly night (-4) was made a bit more uncomfortable by so much moisture building up that my sleeping bag ended up really damp.  I think this was mainly from condensation dripping from the roof of the tent.  The tent definately didn't leak and it was a dry night anyway - and it's a good tent a Mountain Equipment Tundra 2. There were two of us in the tent - not sure if that makes a difference?

Can anyone tell me:

1. Why did tent get so damp - was it to do with temperature differential between inside and out?

2. What's the best way to stop this happening?

Thanks

S

 
twiglegs

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 4358

twiglegs says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

I'd say it was down to your breath mostly condensing onto the inner, it's a problem we all have especially with extremes of temperature, when it's hot ventilation isn't a problem but getting enough air flow through the tent isn't always easy and that's the problem, when it's cold we tend not to encourage much air flow for obvious reasons.

All tents suffer from it and there's no cure, it's just down to our climate.

If you find a practical answer you'll become a rich man overnight.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

"Technically, Everest was quite easy, in comparison with something like Grindslow knoll, for example". - Sir Edmund Percival Hillary
sparkymark

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 97

sparkymark says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

The other answer could be to try a sleeping bag cover or bivvy bag - it won't stop moisture from building up in your tent but it should stop your sleeping bag from getting damp.

Regards Mark

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

pwarr41@hotmail.co.uk

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 146

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

I found a easy way to help this is by coating the inner tent with a water repellant spray, make sure it's' suitable for breahtable material. This shouldl help any condensation to run down the inner tent and not seep through. Other problem is whether you have your sleeping bag in contact with the inner tent, this can cause water to pass through the material. Lets us know if you find a cure, i use a gas lamp and as such i get rather bad condensation.

Andy Say

Joined:

Mar 08

Posts: 1532

Andy Say says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

SimonDawes said:

Hi Folks.  Some wisdom required please.

Having spent last night out wild camping at a reasonable height, an already chilly night (-4) was made a bit more uncomfortable by so much moisture building up that my sleeping bag ended up really damp.  I think this was mainly from condensation dripping from the roof of the tent.  The tent definately didn't leak and it was a dry night anyway - and it's a good tent a Mountain Equipment Tundra 2. There were two of us in the tent - not sure if that makes a difference?

Can anyone tell me:

1. Why did tent get so damp - was it to do with temperature differential between inside and out?

2. What's the best way to stop this happening?

Thanks

S


------ End Quote ------

1.  I'd guess that two of you pumping out moisture in a tent with a high temperature gradient added a lot to the dampness..  It can even be the situation that any sleeping bag in a really cold envirnment can feel cold and damp on the outside as moisture coming through the bag condenses on the outer surface.

2.  You could leave inner doors partially open.   And leave the upper portions of outer doors open as well - but that does depend upon the weather outside!!!

 

Sleeping bag covers/bivvi bags might help - but can simply trap the condensation within the sleeping bag.

 

Mountain Training - you know we talk sense :-)
Mountain Dan

Joined:

Mar 08

Posts: 297

Mountain Dan says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

I'd agree with Andy's recomendation to leave the outer doors open a little if it's not raining.  The weather in the UK (being an island) tends to be quite damp  anyway, so increasing airflow through the tent will improve things significantly.

It might make the tent a little cooler, but you just need to use a slightly warmer sleeping bag or wear more layers.

Cloudwalker
Jordanesq

Joined:

Nov 08

Posts: 1294

Jordanesq says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

Yeah, as others have said vent the tent. Condensation will still occur but it will help.

Stay away from that trap door......cause there's something down there!
SimonDawes

Joined:

Sep 09

Posts: 5

SimonDawes says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

Thanks folks.  Open door it is next time then.  Might lay my goretex over the sleeping bag if that doesn't work.  I reckon a cooler tent would FEEL warmer if I was nice and dry.

Andy Say

Joined:

Mar 08

Posts: 1532

Andy Say says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

SimonDawes said:

Thanks folks.  Open door it is next time then.  Might lay my goretex over the sleeping bag if that doesn't work.  

------ End Quote ------

Could actually be counter-productive, Simon.  You could well get a build up of condensation inside a chilled jacket which will just wet the outside of your bag - better to let it breathe and get the moisture away from you and out of the tent via ventilation.

 

Mountain Training - you know we talk sense :-)
karlkunert

Joined:

Sep 09

Posts: 9

karlkunert says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

shame, thought the magic answer was about to unfold, condensation it is then.

Ventureout

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 34

Ventureout says:

Re: How to stop moisture in your tent

Hi Simon

 

I do a lot of wild camping year round.  Unless it's forecast dry weather, I use a breathable bivi bag.  Gore-tex is good but expensive, I can also recommend the lighter and cheaper one I have, made by Rab.  I keep my sleeping bag inside the bivi bag, even when I stuff them in the compression sac to store it. This saves it from getting wet by touching the inner and floor when I unpack it.  This is particularly useful for when I do multi night trips because even if the inner was dry when I took the tent down, it will be wet when I unpack it that evening.  In dry conditions I dispense with the bivi bag but the down bag still has a water reppellant fabric and spray on finish to stop the feet getting damp from pressing the inner against the outer. 

The average human releases a litre of water every night via breath and sweat.  Add the vapour created by cooking in your tent alcove.  Little of this can escape if the outer is wet or frozen.  Proofing treatments can help a little by stopping fabrics absorbing the vapour but you can't stop producing it so a bivi bag is the better way to go to stop your bag getting wet and you getting cold.

Kevin@venture-out.co.uk www.venture-out.co.uk

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