Podcast Episode June 8, 2023

Episode 83 | Shelter Condensation



In today’s episode of the Backpacking Light podcast we’re going to talk about managing condensation in shelters.
a picture of a tent in the middle of a field

In this Episode:

What’s New at Backpacking Light?

Shelter Condensation

  • Introduction to condensation – is it really an issue, or is it overblow?
  • Predicting vapor pressure differential
  • Climate factors that increase condensation accumulation – high humidity, low temperature, and weather conditions (especially wind)
  • Personal factors – your breath, and wet clothes and gear
  • Tent design – pros and cons to single wall versus double wall shelters
  • Campsite Selection – wind exposure, proximity to water, elevation, and terrain considerations
  • Techniques to minimize condensation – ventilation techniques for your shelter, shelter management, sleep system management, and clothing management
  • Managing unavoidable condensation – cold weather camping, and camping in rainy and humid conditions


What temperature and humidity range do you decide to layer quilts vs just bringing a winter bag?

– JP Balisteri, via Instagram

What do you recommend to do for a pyramid shelter in pouring rain most of the night?

– Natenelson84, via Instagram

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  • Backpacking Light - Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan - Director and Host
  • Chase Jordan - Producer
  • Look for Me in the Mountains - Music


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Home Forums Episode 83 | Shelter Condensation

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #3782961
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 83 | Shelter Condesation

    In episode 83 of the Backpacking Light podcast we’re going to talk about managing condensation in shelters.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    What are your strategies for managing condensation in shelters?

    BPL Member


    Locale: N NY

    Pitch high if weather allows. Rain or snow back side to wind low, door side high. Umbrella can b handy  wind rain blocker. Hexamid pocket tarp user. Have had issues w splash bivy sacks and condensation. Not a fan . East coast mostly.
    thanks thom

    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    Use a double wall.

    In some situations there simply will be condensation. Happily I try to hike in good weather so this isn’t a big deal. I dry out the tent in sun in the morning before taking off. If it’s still damp when I want to start hiking, it will dry out after set up in the afternoon.

    All the tricks about increasing ventilation have their limits if one wants to be in a tent at night. I do what I can and then live with a bit of condensation. Again, in a double wall, this isn’t much of an issue where I hike on the west coast (sierra mostly).

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