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Wet Tent

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Wet Tent

Postby Iamjbird04 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:31 pm

On each trip i go on with friends we usually split the weight of a 3-4 person tent. However, whenever i sleep i roll alot and always end up hitting the side of the tent which is always very wet and very cold. This is on nights when there is no rain. Does anybody else have this problem and know how to solve it?



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Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:40 pm

The wetness on the inside of your tent comes from condensation. As you breath out, part of your breath contains moisture ( think "seeing your breath" on a cold day). This moisture condenses on the cold wall of your tent.
Some possible solutions:
1. Use a double wall tent ( inside wall will be insulated somewhat)
2. Increase the ventalation so that the moisture escapes to the outside.
3. Don't exhale :eek:
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Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:50 pm

As noted by the Other Tom, what's going on is condensation. Condensation problems tend to be a function of the weather and the specific design of the tent. Obviously if the air is moist outside you might end up with condensation in the tent even if your tent otherwise ventilates well.

To illustrate the influence of the choice of tent, I recall going on a trip in 1993 with my wife and using a very lightweight (4lb min weight) Kelty 2 person tent on a 7 day backpacking trip. The condensation (and this was with the fly off) was so bad it was as if it were raining inside. That particular model did not have very much mesh area, nor is it placed to get good air flow through the tent. Following that trip we bought a Sierra Designs Clip 3 CD (4lbs 14 oz min weight) and the results were like night and day. Granted the Clip 3 is bigger (alleged 3 person but I wouldn't recommend actually sleeping 3), but the key is the generous use of mesh, including on the top. Even with the fly on this tent ventilates well (after numerous death marches spanning 14 years, this is still my tent of choice). In the "old days" I believe many tents did not ventilate too well even with the maximum exposed mesh area. Many modern day tents ventilate well and condensation problems do not appear to be anywhere near as bad with them.
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Postby Iamjbird04 » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:48 am

Hmm, alright thanks a lot for your replies. The tent I have is pretty much all mesh on top, but the fly does cover all the mesh. Next trip i will have to try not using the rainfly. Thanks again.
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wet tent

Postby cherron » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:44 am

The only other suggestion I could make would be a change in your sleeping equipment.

I use a Big Agnes system. The sleeping pad slips into the base and the insulation is all on top. The bags are big enough to turn around and around in, but the pad stays on the bottom. You don't slip off your pad and end up in tight spaces in the corners of a tent. They are a little too roomy for winter trips, but for 3-season hiking, I really love it.

I concur with the others, however, that ventilation is key. You might find that you have not been staking the fly out as taughtly as possible. In the night, sometimes the fly sags and then comes in close contact with the tent wall, bringing on more condensation.

Goog luck!
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Postby Trekker » Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:43 am

Take another tent. You have too many people in one tent if you are sleeping 3 or more. 3 people's condensation is probably too much for most tents to handle. Also, if you don't have mesh doors, try to unzip the bottom part of the door so that you have high-low ventilation; it will make for a more efficient transfer of warm, moist air to the outside.
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