January 10, 2020

Condensation is caused when warm air is combined with cold surfaces, this effect is most prevalent when the warm air inside a tent is conflicted with the outer outside cooler air.

This condensation causes water to then drip and pool in a tent or bivvy bag. Unfortunately, this condensation is just a process that occurs in all tents and bivy’s when the temperatures inside vs outside the tents are different.

Here are some useful tips to help minimise the likelihood of condensation:

Tent:

  1. Keep the tent ventilated so that the humid air can breathe and escape.
  2. Remove wet clothes or shoes from your tent at night. Dry them outside or put them inside a stuff sack to reduce night-time humidity.
  3. Avoid camping near streams, lakes, ponds, or in wet or marshy areas where the humidity is higher. Yes, it’s nice to camp next to a water source, but you’re asking for tent condensation when you do it.
  4. Avoid setting up your tent at a low point in the landscape where cold air pools at night. If the walls and fly of your tent are warmer, you’ll have less condensation.
  5. Invest in a groundsheet to create a barrier to the damp ground.
  6. Do not cook inside your tent.

Bivy:

  1. Breathing outside the bivy, rather than inside, will reduce the condensation. If it is too cold for this, unzipping one small hole near your head/face will allow the moisture from your breath to escape rather than collect inside.
  2. Wear fewer layers as it will decrease your likelihood of sweating and accordingly decrease the collection of condensation in your bivy.
  3. Set up your bivy on dry ground if possible, especially under trees if there are any around.