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Condensation Management

Posted on April 16th, 2012

Condensation occurs in all tents. The amount of condensation will vary depending on the prevailing conditions, from water only apparent on touching the inside of the tent to droplets extending over the whole upper canopy.

Single skin tents and bivi bags will suffer more from condensation than conventional tents. Tents fitted with snow valances are also likely to suffer more due to reduced air flow. A person can produce more than one litre of perspiration in a single night, so maximising ventilation is the key to reducing condensation.

On still, dry nights, leave the flysheet doors open as much as possible. In more adverse conditions, create a small tunnel vent at the top of the door by unzipping the flysheet doors approximately 15cm. The pole sleeves are designed to aid air flow between the tent inner and flysheet. On windy, dry nights, it should be possible to have no condensation at all if the tent is well ventilated, as the action of the wind on the flysheet pumps out the damp air. In freezing conditions condensation can form as hoarfrost inside the tent. Again, prevention by maximum ventilation is the answer.

Generally, the best method of dealing with heavy condensation, assuming dry conditions in the morning, is to remove the flysheet, shake off condensation and replace it. If the condensation is slight and conditions are windy, simply venting the tent will soon dry out the flysheet.

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