You found the perfect spot, set up the 4X4CO tent, and you’re drifting off to sleep under the stars. It’s all smooth sailing from here — but then you awaken in a slightly damp sleeping bag or blanket.
You’re protected from the elements outside, but you still have to worry about the moisture build-up inside.
Sometimes no matter what you do, condensation still forms and you wake up with unwanted water inside your tent, bummer. Here’s how to mitigate condensation collecting inside your RTT.
What is Condensation and How Does it Form?
Condensation is the moisture inside your tent and sleeping bag when you wake up in a warm tent after a cold night. Condensation happens when moisture in the air hits the cold walls and the water vapor turns to liquid as it cools. The air inside your tent can fill with moisture from several sources:
Wet clothes or gear inside the tent
Natural humidity in the air
Over the course of the night, depending on the number of bodies in your tent and other factors, this moisture can build up pretty significantly.
Below we suggest some ways to minimize condensation in your 4X4CO tent.
How to Prevent Condensation in Your 4X4CO tent
The best way to prevent condensation is by leaving your windows (the higher the better) slightly unzipped to encourage airflow.
Consider camping with your tent facing into the wind.
Consider purchasing a rechargeable fan to help.
Don’t bring wet clothes or gear into the tent.
If you like sleeping with your pet inside the tent, consider training them to sleep inside your car.
Avoid camping near streams or other wet areas which will increase the humidity in the air.
More Tips for Keeping Your Tent Dry
Have a small towel on hand so you can wipe down the tent walls, ceiling, and floor to get as much moisture out of your tent as possible.
Ensure you dry out your tent after use before hitting the road, and avoid storing wet or damp clothes or gear in your tent.
If you’re unable to dry it because of time or weather, make sure that you dry out the tent within 36 hours – you never want to leave a wet tent closed for long. Doing so will result in mold and mildew growth which is difficult to clean once present.
If you live in a humid place like the Pacific Northwest, use a product like Miracle Mist Long Term Protectant. This will prevent any mold and mildew from growing inside your tent in cases where you’re not able to dry your 4X4CO tent for several days.
If you do get mold or mildew growth on your tent, you can use a VERY light bleach solution and a bit of scrubbing to remove the stains.
If you prefer a natural alternative to bleach, white vinegar or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution will also work.
Did you know that condensation can occur when your tent is not in use?
Major temperature swings, such as freeze and thaw cycles, can cause condensation in a closed tent.
If your tent is not opened to allow the moisture to dry, mold and mildew will occur. We recommend airing your tent out every 1-2 weeks, even when your tent is not in use. Humid climates may require airing out your tent more regularly.
You will want to open your tent regularly, especially during the winter months, to make sure moisture does not accumulate.