October 13th, 2020

Condensation & Wall Tents: What It Is and How to Prevent It

Understanding How To Prevent Condensation

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Wall tents are designed to be set up for use for an extended period of time outdoors. Generally, wall tents made with army duck cotton canvas are more durable and therefore more suitable to camp out in for a longer time. That said, wall tents also require proper care to ensure they don’t get impacted by weather, mold or condensation.


Part of taking good care of your wall tent means taking the time to prevent moisture and condensation from gathering on the walls and ceiling. Condensation can affect not only the tent, but also your experience inside it.


In this post, we’ll take a look at what condensation is, what causes it and how to prevent it from damaging your tent and your experience.

Why does condensation occur?

Condensation is a very normal occurrence, and by itself, is not anything to be worried about. If you wake up in the morning and find that your tent is wet though, chances are that it’s because of condensation. And even though condensation may be fully natural, it can still have an adverse effect on your tent materials.


Condensation happens when water vapors change from a gas into a liquid. When it comes to wall tents, condensation happens when warm water vapor comes into contact with the cold fabric of the tent. The vapors lose their ability to hold water, and they turn into a liquid - leaving your tent wet.


You need to take action to prevent tent condensation because it can have an adverse effect on your tent, no matter how well made your wall tent may be. When condensation develops on your tent, it’s difficult to remove and can contribute to the formation of mold and mildew as well.


When mold and mildew form, it won’t just make your tent look bad, it will also damage the structural integrity of it. Wall tents are built to last but without meticulous care, damage from condensation, mold and mildew can negatively impact the lifespan of the canvas tent.

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What Can You Do to Prevent Tent Condensation?

Even though you may not be able to prevent all condensation from forming on your tent, at the very least, you can limit the amount of condensation that forms using some of the following methods:

 

Be Strategic About Your Campsite

First and foremost, you need to be very strategic about your campsite. It’s always a good idea to pitch on dry ground (so the moisture on the ground doesn’t evaporate into your tent) and choose a location that has natural breeze so the airflow will move the water vapors away.

 

Setting up on higher ground means warmer air, which also means less condensation. If you choose a relatively low point to set up your tent, you’re more likely to run into condensation on the canvas fabric.

 

Generally, campsites near running water like lakes, ponds, or waterfalls are more scenic and make for awesome locations to stop for the night but unfortunately, they also come with increased humidity, which can increase the condensation on your tent.

 

Allow Air Flow

When you allow air to flow into the tent, it will take the water vapors that form on the outside with it. Investing in a wall tent with mesh doors and windows gives you the option of tying back the canvas doors or windows while leaving the mesh down, which facilitates airflow without stressing about allowing bugs inside the tent.

 

If you use a fly sheet on your wall tent, it might also be a good idea to roll it back to allow humidity to escape.

 

All White Duck wall tents, for example, come with storm doors and windows that always have a mesh layer.

 

Use A Tent With Breathable Fabric

Always invest in a wall tent that comes with breathable fabric because breathable fabric prevents condensation from escaping. Cotton canvas fabric on wall tents has natural breathable qualities, which helps combat condensation on the tent.

 

Another advantage of canvas as the fabric of choice for wall tents is that the material means you will rarely get uncomfortable with the temperature inside the tent. The cotton canvas keeps you cool on warm days, and insulated on a colder, winter day.

 

White Duck tents also always have a PFC-free, breathable finish applied to them, which ensures condensation is not as much of an issue as it would be on other canvas wall tents.

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Invest in a Dehumidifier

As cliche as it may sound, investing in a tent dehumidifier can work wonders to help prevent the water vapor from turning into liquid on the tent as well. You can keep the dehumidifier on while you sleep at night.



Dry Your Clothes Outside

By drying your clothes outside, all the water and moisture that evaporates off of your clothes will not collect on the insides of the tent. All the same, don’t dry your sleeping bag inside the tent. As a bonus, drying clothes or your camping gear outside will help speed up the process under the sunlight.

 

If you do need to bring damp clothes or shoes into the tent at night, it’s a good idea to store them inside a bag or a sack to prevent condensation on the tent while you’re asleep.

 

Set Up Your Kitchen Outside

Condensation can easily gather on the inside of your tent walls from the steam and vapor that collects from cooking food or boiling water for your morning coffee. If you set up your camp kitchen outside your tent, you’re unlikely to experience increased humidity inside from the steam and vapor.

 

A canvas porch is a great way to extend your living space outside your wall tent, while creating a space for your kitchen materials. This also means you can enjoy a breeze while cooking, rather than being inside the walls of the tent.



Invest in a Wall Tent With Layered Fabric Around the Frames

All White Duck wall tents have a double layer of the cotton canvas fabric around where the frames are to help prevent condensation collecting and forming around the frames. When you’re in the market for a wall tent, check to see that the manufacturer has measures in place to prevent condensation so that your manual work to do this is minimized.

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Your Takeaways

While it isn’t always possible to completely prevent condensation from forming on the inside of your tent, it’s a good idea to keep in mind ways to reduce it. From choosing a strategic location to set up your tent to being sensible about how you spend your time using it, the measures outlined above will help keep your tent dry.



If you’re thinking about going camping or glamping with your wall tent, make it a rule to carry and use a dry rag to wipe some of the moisture away when you wake up each morning. This kind of care can go a long way towards prolonging the life of your canvas fabric and hence, your tent.

 

Before you store your wall tent away after a trip, it’s integral to see that the tent is dry. Any kind of dampness on the fabric increases the risk of condensation or mold forming on the tent.

 

Written by Emma Cuisance

Emma is a photographer and videographer with a background in journalism from McGill University in Canada. After graduation, she quickly began pursuing her interest in outdoor photography and is now an in-house writer and content creator for White Duck Outdoors.

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