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  1. #1
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    Default Minimizing condensation inside shelter?

    From good ventilation to making your groundsheet/footprint as close to the size of the base of your shelter. What are your tips to preventing condensation and or dew or just plain humidity from developing inside of your shelter and into your gear?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by petedelisio View Post
    From good ventilation to making your groundsheet/footprint as close to the size of the base of your shelter. What are your tips to preventing condensation and or dew or just plain humidity from developing inside of your shelter and into your gear?
    I had a eureka solitaire for years that was bad about condensation, but the design allowed me to crack the zipper on the entry just a few inches and that helped tremendously. I have gotten away with some version of this in various tents over the years

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavy View Post
    I had a eureka solitaire for years that was bad about condensation, but the design allowed me to crack the zipper on the entry just a few inches and that helped tremendously. I have gotten away with some version of this in various tents over the years
    Was the zipper cracked up high or low?

  4. #4
    Garlic
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    Site selection is huge. If you camp where dew forms, you'll get condensation everywhere, not just inside. Stay away from water and low-lying fields. A breezy ridge will guarantee a dry morning.

    Even sleeping under a tree vs out in the open will make a difference.

    Also take every chance to dry things out during the day. There'll be less moisture in your shelter to begin with.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by petedelisio View Post
    Was the zipper cracked up high or low?
    Seems like up high would work better in theory, but I was always a down low guy. Iíll second garlic on site selection, valleys get damp. Iím fussy about my shelter and Iím the driest under a tarp.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Site selection is huge. ...
    This can't be over emphasized. Those pretty sites down near the brook are very different from the sites just a bit up the next hill. You don't really notice it when you set up, but you sure see the difference when packing up in the morning.
    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

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  7. #7
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Don't breathe.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Don't breathe.
    • Snuggle down into your sleeping bag or down jacket (keep the water here instead of on the shelter)
    • Acquire a gas mask with an extension hose. Put open end outside of the tent.
    • Use desiccant packets.
    • Since warm air holds more water, activate hand warmers or put hot water bottles in tent. (Do not use stove or tent heater!!)
    • Sleep in a vapor barrier bag or sauna suit. Bonus: Your sleeping bag stays clean and dry. Other hikers will avoid you.
    • Night hike. Sleep during the day
    • Bring larger tent.
    • Set tent up in the best possible place. Put gear in tent. Sleep in shelter.
    • Leave tent in pack. Sleep in shelter.
    • Leave tent at home. Use tarp or shelter.
    • Slackpack. Stay in town. (nothing against slackpacking or day hiking. IMO this option has the least direct impact on the trail and supports the local communities)

  9. #9

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    May have been addressed already but I skimmed with no reference....Garlic mentioned site selection, I think in terms more on elevation. I would like to add "ground coverage selection". Grass/ dirt will allow for more condensation than a pine needle or leaf covered ground in my experiences. Ventilation is the biggest for me, always keeping the tent as open as weather will allow!
    Trail Miles: 4,980.5
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    Pinhoti Trail: Complete 2023-2024
    Foothills Trail: 47.9
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  10. #10

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    Used cautiously, a tea light candle may help a bit also.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Grass/ dirt will allow for more condensation than a pine needle or leaf covered ground in my experiences.
    Haven't thought about that before. I guess it acts as an insulation layer from the cold ground like a soda can cozy. Although a weight penalty, I would think putting an insulated pad on top of the entire bottom inside of your tent would help. Used loosely an inside ground cloth might also give some insulation. If used snug against the floor, the water should condense on the ground cloth/pad instead of your tent floor keeping at least the tent floor dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Ventilation is the biggest for me, always keeping the tent as open as weather will allow!
    100% agree.


    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Used cautiously, a tea light candle may help a bit also.
    Yep, although is does produce some water vapor.

  12. #12
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    I have found that using a "floor sheet" inside the tent (as opposed to a ground sheet, which is outside underneath the tent) can be very helpful. I tend to do my hiking/camping in the shoulder seasons, and very often when setting up on cold ground, the inside of the tent will immediately start to feel damp. A floor sheet (which I guess is technically a vapor barrier) helps keep that in check. I use one of those emergency mylar blankets -- weighs nearly nothing, and can serve another purpose if necessary.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  13. #13
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    Default Build a backpacking dehumidifier

    One could provide a specific place for water to condense inside the tent under certain conditions. Set a water container that is frozen or filled with a snow/water mixture or cold spring water in a cooking pot preferably with a pot cozy. Water condenses on the cold container and runs into the pot instead of condensing inside the tent. You might possibly hang a platypus for more surface area.

    I just googled "build a backpacking dehumidifier". Try it.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Don't breathe.
    Come on, nobody breathes in tents nowadays.

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