What Causes Condensation in Tents?

Have you ever woke up in the morning realizing that the inside of your tent has a slim layer of water on it? It is easy to think that your tent is not waterproof, but this is condensation, not water from the outside.

Wikipedia defines condensation as “the change of the physical state of matter from gas phase into liquid phase, and is the reverse of vaporization.”

The people inside the tent breath, and their breath contains water vapor. This vapor is hotter than the air outside the tent on a cold night.   The air outside cools down the wall of the tent. When the vapor hits the wall of the tent from the inside, it cools down thanks to the cold wall of the tent. The vapor turns into liquid. Small drops of water will appear on the inside of the tent. This is annoying, but can be dealt wilth by making sure you choose the right waterproof tent.

How can you avoid condensation?

The best way to deal with condensation is to choose a waterproof tent that has a design that prevents condensation. You can wipe off condensation from the inside of the tent but it is better to prevent it in the first place.

Purchase a double wall tent. A double wall tent has a rainfly that covers the whole tent. This second layer seperates the cold air from the inner wall of the tent. When the vapor crashes with the inside wall, the wall will not be cold enough to turn the vapor into liquid.

Buy a tent with mesh windows and a big door. Leave these open whenever you can. Ventillation will clear the air full of vapor from the inside and substitue it with fresh air. If there is no vapor inside the tent, there is no condensation.

I have created the below infographic about condensation:

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