Tent erection tips and keeping dry!

GEAR | by DI WESTAWAY | 01 Jun '18

Depending on the operator you choose for your Wild Weekend, you may or may not have to erect a tent. Even if your guide does this for you, there are some handy hints that can make you more comfortable and most importantly, dry!

How to stay dry inside your tent:

· Set the tent up to perfection. This means putting every peg in the peg hole, tying up every loop, velcroing every tab and attaching every single bit that’s provided. All guy ropes must be tight and the fly must not be touching the tent anywhere.

· If you don’t know what a tab is for, ask your coach/guide/gear supplier to show you. In fine weather, none of this matters, but in rain and wind or snow, these small features can make a big difference to your comfort and safety.

· When you tuck in at night, open the ventilation holes and unzip your tent chamber windows to allow the moisture from your breath to escape. This is extremely important (See below)

· Keep the rainfly well zipped up and ensure that it is pulled tight so that water does not pool anywhere. Also, make sure the rainfly is well-guyed away from the tent walls – if the fly sags onto the tent proper, the resulting evaporative cooling makes condensation worse.

· If you use tarps underneath your tent to protect the floor, ensure they are not water proof or that there is a way for the water to escape. You do not want water pooling under your tent because in time, this can leak in from the bottom.

How do I get wet from INSIDE my tent if it’s not raining???

Tent condensation is an eternal bugbear, a simple, unavoidable fact of physics: Tent occupants exhale warm, moist air. Overnight, you produce several litres of water vapour with your breath. When this moist air hits a cool surface—i.e., the tent fly—any moisture condenses, leaving water on the fabric surface. Tents are actually designed to allow for this. The idea is that the moist air filters easily through the tent’s non-waterproof inner canopy, condenses on the rainfly, then flows down and drips harmlessly to the ground.

Ventilation is the key, as you want to get that moist air out of there as quickly as possible. So leave as many vents and doors open as you can— especially those high on the tent—and try to point the tent so prevailing breezes can blow through it. Of course, the tradeoff is whether you’ll be comfortable temperature-wise. Use a warm sleeping bag and you’ll be fine.

When it is raining and wet outside if you touch the inside of the tent wall you can cause water to wick through the tent wall essentially creating a leak. The temptation to zip up the tent good and snug is hard to overcome. The result might well be a cold, wet night due to the little rainstorm the campers are creating inside the tent. The problem is aggravated if the campers bring wet gear into the tent.


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