How to Keep Tents Dry? Let’s Find Out!
Weather is unpredictable. The sunny sky can get covered in black clouds within an hour. Similarly, a gloomy day can alter into a bright summer day in few moments.
Just like nature time-lapse video.
While camping you definitely want to enjoy a bright and warm day. And the one thing you do not want is rain. Rain is fun. But when you have a limited space to keep yourself and all your camping gear dry and away from the rain, it can seem like a curse.
In medical terms, to solve a disease you should get to the root cause of it. Similarly, to prevent your tent from getting damp and soggy you should find the probable causes.
Oh, and by the way, a weatherproof tent can also become wet if the right prevention measures are not taken.
Main Reasons That Can Make Your Tent Wet:
- Water leakage: Not only rain even a heavy amount of dewdrops accumulated on your tent walls can make it damp. So any unchecked damage in the tent fabric and tent seam can lead to water leakage inside the tent.
- Wet Gear: If your camp clothes and shoes are drenched and you enter your tent wearing them, then you are making your tent’s gear wet.
- Tent Condensation: In summer your tent insides remain relatively cooler than the outside. So when the hot air comes in contact with the cold surface the water vapor condensates.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to keep your tents dry all the time.
How To Keep Tents Dry: The Solution
1. Choose a proper location to set up the tent
Setting up your tent in the proper location is vital, but how do you choose the right spot? Let’s look into that.
- Make sure your tent entrance is not facing the wind.
- Try to keep your tent away from a body of water.
- You might think that trees can save you from water but actually, the branches can get heavy and fall off causing a dangerous accident.
- Pitching your tent on higher ground will naturally drain the water downhill.
- Avoid setting up a camp at high grounds if it is lightning and thundering outside.
2. Secure your tent with a waterproof tarp
If you can create a barrier between your tent and water then you can save your tent from getting damp. Try to position it in a certain way that all the rain falls on the ground and then drains to the lower ground.
This will prevent the rain from accumulating on top of it. However, don’t put up your tent in the direction that it will push the water all the way up to the higher ground. Making the water directed to the point of flooding your tent.
At the time of choosing your tarp pick a size that is twice the size of your tent. So that you get enough space to roam around, cook, and keep your wet stuff separately.
You can use tent poles or tarp poles to set up your tarp. Another thing that you can do in case you are in shortage of tent poles is to hang your tarp from a nearby tree. A tree will also give your tarp a perfect slant.
Though, it sounds like a lot of effort but trusts that it is all worth it.
3. Buy a Waterproof Tent
Buying the right tent will do half the job for you. Now the first step towards choosing the right tent is to know the difference between a waterproof tent and a water-resistant tent.
Waterproof tents are made of fabric like polyester and remain dry even if it is pouring heavily. And generally, it comes with a rainfly. Rainfly is an extra tarp that comes along with the tent.
It creates an extra waterproof barrier between the raindrops and tent fabric also covers the entrance of your tent so that the water does not drip in if the tent door is open. And sometimes it is necessary to keep the tent door open for necessary ventilation.
Whereas water-resistant tents do not have any rainfly. And the fabric used in making them is capable of repelling splashes but not rain. Buying the right tent can do half the job for you. Here’s one waterproof tent from One Tigris that we recommend for you:
4. Use a groundsheet
Another useful way of handling rain and water is using groundsheets. Mainly, plastic ones give the most benefit. A groundsheet creates a blockade between the wet watery ground and tent floor. It is also termed as ground fly as its job is similar to a rainfly.
Now, how do choose a groundsheet or a ground fly?
Basically, you can choose any durable plastic tarp to keep your tents dry. One thing that you have to ensure is to keep the size of the groundsheet an inch smaller than the tent floor.
For instance, if the diameter of your tent floor is 9’ by 9’ then the perfect diameter for your groundsheet would be 8.11’ by 8.11’. Here’s one that can buy online:
If it extends beyond the perimeter of your tent bottom then the water drops that are falling on the tarp will bounce under your tent floor and flood your tent bottom.
Another way to use plastic groundsheets is to spread one on the inside of the tent. In this case, choose a tarp that is a couple of inches larger than your tent floor. This way your sleeping gears are protected from any water seepage.
5. Pitch your tent fast
If you have to pitch your tent when it has already started to rain then keeping yourself and the tent dry is challenging. So set it up as fast as you can. The more time you spend on pitching your tent, the more likely you are to wet your tent.
6. Make sure to fire up tent heater or stove
A tent heater or stoves can provide the right amount of heat to keep you dry and increase the drying rate of your fabrics. If you have secured yourself with a tarp then you can also set up a campfire.
In case of non-availability of firewoods use a tent stove for cooking. Fire can also be helpful in drying your wet gears.
7. Ventilation can speed up the drying process
If you have restricted the ventilation inside your tent it will lead to condensation. So allow the heat enough space to make its way out of the tent. Condensation formed in your shelter will delay the drying process if the tent has faced splashes.
Because the water trapped inside the tent won’t get any way out.
8. Reapply waterproof coating sealant
It’s completely fine if you’re are confident over the water-resisting capability of your tent but if that’s not the case, then it’s best to reapply a waterproof coating or sealant for extra assurance that it remains waterproof.
There are basically three different waterproofing sealants you can use for your tent: Seam Sealer, Fabric Sealer, and Water Repellent Spray.
Using a seam sealer, you can sew up the patches on your tent where water might be dripping.
Fabric sealers can be applied on the inside of your tent or on the floor. Basically, you will be re-applying a renewed urethane coating in the place of the worn-out one.
A more easier and modern solution is the water repellent spray. It sprays a durable water repellent or DWR on the exterior of your rainfly. This especially used to instigate the beading proposition on your tent.
9. Carry enough plastic bags
Rain is something you can almost never be fully prepared for, therefore you might need to keep plenty of sealable plastic bags at hand.
Though it’s not recommended that you carry too many temporary plastic bags since they are not really reliable and are prone to polluting the environment. Therefore, sealable plastic bags are a more practical alternative.
They also help in keeping your sensitive equipment dry and help preserve any food you wish to carry. You can separate your camping gear into their own categories by using their own individual plastic carry bags.
10. Keep yourself dry and warm
When you are out camping, you are almost always susceptible to the elements in the wilderness therefore it is imperative that you keep yourself well protected and dry at all-time.
Some of the things that can get you wet are;
Water Seepage: Despite the cause, may it be rain, flooding, or excessive morning dew, if your tent is not appropriately waterproofed then there may be leakage.
Condensation: This is a natural process of water condensing on the interior of your tent when hot, humid air comes in contact with the cold surface. The cool temperature makes the water droplets accumulate on the surface of the tent interior.
Wet Gear: While trekking or traveling, your equipment might get wet due to the availability of natural water in the air or in the surroundings. So before entering your tent dry them off.
11. Always have a wet to dry conversion zone
As mentioned above, your equipment, clothes, and camping gear are prone to get wet while you’re on your camp adventures, therefore it is crucial to establish a transition area. This a zone where you can open your shoes, outerwear, and gear in order to clean or dry them off before entering your tent.
Opt for tents that come with their own vestibule or even establish your own makeshift transition area by making a canopy using tarps, poles, and ropes.
Remember, that it’s important to keep the insides of your tent dry at all times since it can attract flies and insects while also drastically reducing the temperature.
We have covered all possible ways to keep your tent dry. Now you know how you can stay warm and dry while camping in the rain. Say no to activities that become the source of vapor. While pitching a tent remove any sharp rocks or fallen twigs if you find any underneath your tent.
The last thing you want while camping out in the rain is to deal with a tear in your tent.
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