How To: Tips & Tricks for Alleviating Condensation in Your Tent

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Gossamer Gear | Oct 10, 2019

Condensation on the interior of any shelter is an unavoidable fact of tent camping. It occurs in a wide range of scenarios, can require substantial effort to mitigate, and is impossible to eliminate completely. Tent condensation is especially apparent in single wall shelters, where there is no mesh separating you from those cold dew droplets.

Despite the pros of single wall shelters like Gossamer Gear's The One and The Two, such as lighter weight, smaller volume, and the ability to use trekking poles as tent poles, the con of directly dealing with tent condensation leaves some campers hesitant. In this article, we will explore the two main factors that contribute to tent condensation, how to best set up your Gossamer Gear shelter, and a list of recommendations to alleviate condensation issues.

tent condensation

The Two Main Factors Affecting Tent Condensation

At the end of the day, tent condensation occurs for two reasons.

#1: The temperature inside your tent vs. the temperature outside your tent (AKA: the controllable factor). Basically, if the interior of your shelter becomes warmer or more humid than the exterior, condensation will occur.

#2: Dew point (AKA: the uncontrollable factor).

Dew point is the temperature to which the air needs to cool down to in order to become completely saturated, or reach 100 percent relative humidity. When temperatures cool at night and approach the dew point, water vapor in the air will condense on every surface available (grass, moss, trees, your tent/gear, your CBD oil, etc.). The relative humidity will go up at night when the air temperature approaches the dew point. It will go down as the air temperature warms farther and farther away from the dew point during the day.

tent condensation

Recommendations for Alleviating Tent Condensation

Since we can't control anything about the dew point process, we are going to focus on what we can control. Below is a list of recommendations to combat the interior temperature and humidity of your shelter:

  1. First, take a look at how to optimally set up your Gossamer Gear shelter with our founder Glen Van Peski.
  2. Ventilate your tent by leaving one or both vestibule doors open so humid air and moist exhalations from your breath can escape (you can exhale up to a liter of water every night).
  3. Remove wet clothes or shoes from your tent at night, or move them into a stuff sack to dry out the next day.
  4. Cook and boil water outside your tent/vestibule to avoid increasing the interior humidity level.
  5. Steer clear of campsites near streams, lakes, ponds, or wet areas where the humidity is higher.
  6. Avoid setting up your tent at a low point in the landscape where cold air pools at night. If your tent's walls and fly are warmer, you'll have less condensation.
  7. If bug pressure is low, keep the zipper door slightly unzipped to increase ventilation.
  8. Make sure your tent pitch is tight and high with 125cm poles to increase air movement near the bottom of the tent.
  9. And, ultimately, keep a small pack towel to wipe down the walls when needed, and dry out your shelter/sleeping bag during a lunch break when possible.

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