- Jul 8, 2019 at 5:36 pm #3601142Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Companion forum thread to: Podcast 013 | SKILLS SHORT – Tent-bound in a Storm
In this episode, Ryan offers some practical guidelines for managing wet gear, condensation, and camp chores if you have to be holed up in a tent during a prolonged period of inclement weather.Jul 8, 2019 at 11:51 pm #3601177James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
A good review of wet weather camping. Thanks!Jul 10, 2019 at 7:56 am #3601379Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Great overview, I learned a few things.
A few more tips especially for single-wall tents:
- Avoid contact with wet tent walls to keep you and your gear dry. You might need a shelter with more headroom and interior space, walls that don’t impede movement, and doors designed to reduce contact getting in and out. Or even a double-walled tent.
- Think of your tent as a clean sanctuary, and avoid bringing any mud inside. It spreads rapidly and makes life much less pleasant.
- Keep a pair of warm, dry, clean sleeping socks as dry and clean as possible. You’ll be much happier.
- Pitch your tent to promote wind flowing through – aim your biggest vents into the wind.
- Wipe condensation off the inner walls of single-wall tents with a sponge or microfiber pack towel. Be sure to squeeze excess water completely outside the tent.
- Wet gear in a vestibule still adds moisture inside many tents.
- Avoid steaming food or drink inside the tent. Cook, eat, and drink hot liquids elsewhere if possible, like under another shelter or tree. Consider a group cooking/hangout tarp.
- Don’t freak out about condensation on your down sleeping bag, quilt, or puffy. Most modern, high-quality down gear is very water-resistant. It’s still better to keep stuff as dry as possible.
- If you hear or see a “slow” leak – don’t roll over and go back to sleep, deal with it now! Slow leaks all night long can create big puddles and problems.
- Before you pack up, wipe moisture off your gear with a sponge or pack towel. Packing wet gear only makes it wetter by forcing water into previously dry places.
- Learn weather patterns, and time your tent setup and breakdown for breaks in the rain. On one trip, everyone else put up tents in the rain as soon as we got to camp. I knew the rain would stop for a while just before sunset, so I waited.
— RexJul 10, 2019 at 9:44 am #3601386john hansfordBPL Member
1. Yes it’s interesting how much water gets onto a tent. Some years ago I walked the HRP from Atlantic to Med using a sil nylon Trailstar. One night at altitude I ended up in cloud/mist , and the tent was drenched outside and inside, although there was no actual rain.
In the morning I wiped all services in and out with a sponge, and squeezed it out into my Evernew pot which has ml markings. In all I collected 600 ml / 21 oz of water, more than the weight of the tent. It was still not completely dry, and presumably the material had absorbed some moisture too, so the total weight of water was even more.
I think Ryan forgot to mention wiping down with a sponge, because I first got the tip from him. Thanks Ryan!
2. Regarding walking around outside the tent, if you are liable to cut your feet, then surely the stuff sacks on your feet are going to get damaged too. Better to put your shoes on over the top, or just carry light bread bags to wear in your shoes. I then pack my tent in the bags.
3. I seem to be in the minority regarding sleep socks mentioned here. Even thin ones make my feet too hot, so that’s a few ozs less to carry. That’s also one reason I changed to a quilt – so I can more easily cool my feet.
You can see that mist:Aug 13, 2019 at 6:31 am #3605857Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Avoid steaming food or drink inside the tent. Cook, eat, and drink hot liquids elsewhere if possible, like under another shelter or tree. Consider a group cooking/hangout tarp.
Could be difficult in a howling storm, couldn’t it?
My wife and I always cook and eat and wash up inside the tent. It is always amusing to watch the steam head out of the downwind vent or window.
What to do in a howling storm in the snow when you need to go to the loo? Many is the time when venturing outside the tent in our dry clothing in Alpine conditions was simply not a realistic option. As I did mention in ‘When Things Go Wrong’, I just dug a deep hole in the snow inside the vestibule, and then filled it in. There was no smell at all.
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