What causes condensation in a tent?

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Condensation is the build-up of moisture inside your tent due to differences between the inside and outside temperatures.

There are many variables that determine whether – and how much – condensation will occur. There are three primary variables:

  • Weather Conditions: High humidity, low temperatures, and rainy conditions create the most condensation.
  • People: Humans produce about 1 – 2 pints of moisture per night through breathing and skin evaporation.
  • Wet Environment: Wet ground or wet gear stored inside the tent.

While no tent design can eliminate condensation, the key to reducing it is ventilation. Cooler, drier air has to flow into your tent and warm, moist air must escape.

Tent manufacturers use a variety of ways to reduce condensation.

The tent body and ceilings are usually made of breathable fabrics or mesh material. This allows moisture to escape the interior of the tent.

However, it must also be able to escape the waterproof fly.

Single-walled shelters are notorious for collecting condensation on the inside of the walls.

Make sure to leave at least two vents open if possible, allowing any breeze to provide cross-flow ventilation for maximum circulation. Guying out your rainfly will also increase ventilation in hot or humid conditions.

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