We’ve all been there. Waking up in the morning, or even in the middle of the night, to find the inside of our tent covered in condensation. Too many restless nights lead us developing a system to reduce tent condensation. A few simple steps to increase tent circulation, shelter placement, and tent design can all be used to keep your tent dry.
WHY CONDENSATION OCCURS
Condensation on the inside of your tent occurs through a process called phase change; the same process that produces beads of water on the outside of your glass of ice water. Liquid forms on a surface that is cooler than the air. As the temperature drops at night cooling the walls of your tent, the body heat on the inside of the tent creates an ideal environment for condensation to form.
HOW TO “PREVENT” IT
Sadly, there is no way to prevent condensation completely from forming on the walls of your tent, but there are several ways to dramatically reduce it: Airflow, placement, and tent design.
Having a nice breeze running through your tent allows excess body heat to escape and reduces the amount of trapped heat. Open as many vents as the weather will allow.
The conditions that most would consider “ideal” for camping are the same conditions that often form dew; water droplets forming when the temperature reaches the dew point and water vapor condenses faster than it can evaporate. To prevent ample tent moisture, avoid low-lying areas with tall vegetation. Opt for a spot with a light breeze and higher ground.
Tent design and wall structure are also major considerations if you want to reduce condensation. We suggest a robust, waterproof rainfly with a highly breathable tent with mesh walls. The rainfly allows you to separate the wall from the rainfly where most of the condensation will occur.
Although you can’t completely prevent tent condensation, you can come prepared. We always pack along a microfiber towel for general use around camp, and it works perfectly for quickly removing water droplets. If you wake up in the middle of the night from water droplets hitting you in the face, a microfiber towel will become your best friend.