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Thread: Condensation

  1. #1
    Certain's Avatar
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    Condensation

    Seeing all of this talk about condensation/fog, etc. Do ground dwellers deal w/these issues as well? I thought last time I was out, the people in the tent were wiping drops off the inside of their tent, and I was actually dry in my hammock. Just wondering if this is a unique problem to hammocks or just to anyone who is living in the outdoors. Happy New Year everyone!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    You definitely have condensation problems in tents, especially when you've got everything closed off for cold weather. Any time there's a water resistant barrier between you and the surrounding air, you run the risk of building up condensation.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  3. #3
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    I am always reading about people on WB who have this problem in single walled tents or bivy's. I don't own or plan to use either unless I have to, so I can't speak from experience.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
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    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    if you have good ventilation you normally don't have condensation problems. I was out this past weekend and it rained all night. I had the beak on my Squall tarptent (single wall) closed. I didn't have any condensation at all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    Michele, we ground-dwellers have condensation issues sometimes. IME, the smaller the enclosure, the worse the issues. Since hammock enclosures are always somewhat small, I can see you guys would have the issues.

    I'm working on an uncoated nylon tent to go under a tarp - perhaps some uncoated 1.1 nylon would work over a hammock to maintain warmth without having condensation build up and allow you to place the tarp high enough to ventilate better?

  6. #6
    Certain's Avatar
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    Ok..that is what I was thinking, it's all about having some air movement, which explains why those tenters, who were all zipped up all night, had raindrops falling on their heads inside of their tent, while I didn't, because my tarp was pitched out a little, allowing for some air movement.

    I did have some condensation build up the last 2 times I went out, when it got into the 30's. I know it was my breath causing it, but it wasn't anything too horrible. I suppose if this happens on the AT, I'll just wait for a sunny dry day and air everything out. Not more you can do I suppose.
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  7. #7
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    stop breathing... lol.

    isn't the "survive in the snow" mantra- keep your face out of your sleeping bag?

    TH
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  8. #8
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    I have never had condensation under my tarp in my hammock. I have, however, experienced condensation under a tarp when sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the ground under one. In both cases, there was plenty of airflow, but I wonder if being so close to the ground sleeping under a tarp, the air had more moisture in it to begin with. Same as how you quickly get trapped condensation under a tarp or tent when you put it on the ground for a few minutes.

    Maybe someone with years of tarp camping could chime in - I only have a limited number of nights under one.

    I have also had condensation inside a tent, but I know that is from moisture coming from my body from insensible perspiration and breathing. It was trapped by the closed tent. Yuck, by the way.

  9. #9
    Doctari's Avatar
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    I had a fair amount of condensation last night:
    Temps in low 30s (at least cold enough to freeze water) 9x9 "Neo tarp" in diamond config, 2nd tarp draped over my ridgeline. The condensation was on the 2nd tarp, BUT I have had condensation even with ample ventilation on the wide set tarp. I suspect it is how much water vapor you put out at night in addition to ventilation or lack there of.
    In support of this theroy: I have had condensation; dry night, mid to upper 40s on temp, plelnty of ventilation, tarp/hammock.

    I'm cursed I know.

    I have heard of 2 people, simaler tarp to mine, similar set up (same ventilation) on the ground, sub freezing temps, but NO condensation.

    I accept that the inside of my shelter, no matter what shelter I use, is going to get wet. YMMV


    Doctari the damp.

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