If you have woken up being fully drenched in the middle of the night while camping, you have experienced condensation. But before getting to know what causes condensation and how you can prevent condensation in your tent, first, you need to know what condensation is.
Condensation is basically a natural phenomenon, where vapors/gas changes into the liquid state. And this change happens when there is a difference between the temperatures, when warmer air hits the cool surface, it changes from vapors to the liquid state.
For example, when we breathe in a tent, the same thing happens because of a significant difference between the temperature inside and outside of the tent. In this article, you will learn all about tent condensation from what causes it to how you can cope up with it in your sleeping bag.
What Causes Condensation in a Tent?
The warmer temperature is the primal cause of condensation if I say so. Air gets warm and humid in the tent, from breathing, heater and last but not the least, lack of ventilation.
When warmer trapped air hits the cool fabric of the walls and roof of the tent and finds no escape, then the humid condenses into liquid form. The fabric is cool because the air outside the tent is cooler. And condensation mostly happens throughout the night.
When the temperature outside is low and inside is comparatively high since campers breathe, leave damped clothes inside, and cook food as well. The created moist loses its capacity when it doesn’t find a way to go out and turns into liquid water and at this point, the droplets may begin to seep down onto you and your sleeping bag.
How to Prevent Condensation in Your Tent?
Condensation is a natural phenomenon, and there is no way out, but using a few tips you can prevent condensation in your tent.
1. Choose the right campsite
First things first, you need to use the right campsite. And the right site is a higher site which will be warmer as well as drier. If your walls outside will be dry, less condensation will occur. So doing so, avoid setting your camp up in the lower sites. Because raised grounds have warmer air that helps in ventilation.
With that, also avoid choosing a campsite near water due to the higher humidity level.
Moreover, camp under trees, because the air will be slightly warmer under trees than open fields. And this will help in preventing your rainfly from getting moist.
2. Put the damped clothes outside
Minimize humidity inside your tent. The more moisture inside the tent, the more condensation will occur. So avoiding moisture is necessary, to do so, you have to keep your wet towels, socks, swimming trunks, damped clothes, and boots outside the tent. Because having wet items increases the moisture level.
3. Stop cooking or eating inside your tent
Avoid cooking or eating inside the tent: Steam from cooking and eating hot food also increases the moisture level inside the tent and with that, eating food also increases your body temperature, which will consequently make you sweat.
4. Let your dog sleep outside
If you can, make your dog sleep outside the tent because dogs inhale and exhale just like humans, they also sweat to get rid of excess heat. They will induce more heat, which means more condensation. And don’t worry, your dog will be fine outside in the open air. But if you want to keep your dog with your pack in a bigger tent with great ventilation then.
5. Turn the heaters off
Turn your heater off because warming the air will cause more moisture. The warmer the tent, the more moisture will be released through evaporation and perspiration. Instead of heating, you should wear the right clothes to warm yourself up to avoid condensation.
6. Avoid moving the sides of the tent
Don’t touch your tent walls, otherwise, the water will seep down and real rain will start off. So to keep your bags and other gear dry, be very keen and mindful, and don’t shake your tent too much.
7. Use a towel to wipe the droplets
Either you are dealing with a cool night or humid weather, despite all your efforts, condensation will happen and a small microfibre towel or piece of cloth will be needed to wipe all the droplets up from your tent inner walls.
8. Ventilate and more and often
And lastly, the most effective way to prevent condensation is to ventilate your tent as much as you can. Ventilation is needed to reduce the humidity inside of your tent and to have good airflow.
Keep your tent’s venting doors open to let the moisture dry out. And if the weather is pleasant, leave those sections open and meshed walls on to have good ventilation and also bugs out.
How to Cope with Condensation in Your Sleeping Bag?
Waking up being damped in a sleeping bag can totally ruin your sleeping experience and you can end up being sick or cold. So to avoid condensation the next time, you have to follow a few points.
Do not exhale into your sleeping bag. I know it feels so good to put your head inside your sleeping bag on winter nights, but exhaling moisture into your bag can be up to one liter’s worth of water and it will also affect your bag insulation. Have a water-repellent sleeping bag to avoid getting damped by the tent walls.
Condensation is natural, and no matter how much you try, you really cannot get rid of it. But by following a few techniques you can reduce the level of condensation in your tent.
By understanding the true cause of it, you can prevent it by keeping the wet items outside, having good ventilation, avoiding cooking, and having a tent with breathable fabric.
To avoid condensation in your sleeping bag, you need to keep your head out and far from the tent walls.
Condensation is unavoidable but you can reduce its level.