Ep9 – Dealing With Tent Condensation

Listen to the full episode here:

While there are so many great things about winter camping,

waking up to condensation dripping on your head inside your tent is not one of them!

In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, Ben and Lauren give you their best advice on how to deal with condensation on your next cold weather camping trip.


00:00 – Intro

01:58 – Waterhead ratings

03:36 – Difference between a water leak and condensation

04:19 – Single skin tents vs dual skin tents

05:15 – Physics of condensation 

06:43 – Why ventilation is essential 

10:24 – Keeping your tent dry 

11:06 – Tension your fly properly

11:37 – Set up your tent using all guy ropes & pegs

13:00 – Add a fly to a single skin tent 

13:38 – Ben’s Oztent RV tent condensation test

15:50 – Keep a microfibre cloth handy

16:42 – Breathability – canvas vs synthetic

18:22 – Don’t rest your gear against your tent walls 

19:10 – Keep your wet gear out of your tent 

Mentioned in this Episode:


Microfibre towels

Fly for tent 

Oztent RV Fly

Camping tarps 

Shelters and gazebos


What are Waterhead Ratings on Tents? – By Ben Collaton

How can you tell if it’s a leak, or condensation?

For those new to camping, when you camp in the cold and experience condensation for the first time, it’s easy to think your tent is leaking.

If there is a sheet of moisture that has coated the inside of your fly, it is probably just condensation. But if it’s the seams or a specific point where there is water coming in, it’s more likely to be a leak.

The Science

Condensation will build up on surfaces where warm and cold temperatures meet. The warm air and moisture that you breathe out will meet the cold shell of your tent, which will eventually condense into water droplets.

The average person can breathe out from 250ml up to 2L of water per day. So unfortunately, you can’t avoid it… but there are things you can do to reduce the effect it has on condensation levels.

Ventilation is Key!

The best way to get rid of the moisture you breathe out is to ventilate your shelter as much as you can. This might seem counterintuitive, but opening a vent or cracking open a window will keep your environment drier and more comfortable.

Set Up Your Inner Taut

You want to have as much space between your inner and fly so that they don’t touch and cause a point where moisture will pool. Ensure that you peg out your inner tent taut, and tension your fly so that water/condensation can run off.

Setting up your tent properly will help prevent condensation. Image: Thermarest

Tension Your Fly

A properly tensioned fly will allow water/condensation to run off and will also create space between your inner and outer tent.

Add a Flysheet to a Single Skin Tent

If you own a single skin tent, then consider getting a fly for cold weather use. Some brands like Oztent make a separate fly for their RV range, or you can just set up a tarp over the top. This way, the condensation will build up on the fly instead of inside your tent.

Have a Microfibre Cloth Handy

Have a microfibre cloth on hand to wipe condensation up in the morning and before you pack it away. Ensure it’s fully dry before transporting so that it doesn’t get mouldy in storage. Or, set it up again once you’re home so it has time to properly dry before being packed away. 


Canvas tents are naturally breathable, so they will dry out a lot quicker compared to synthetic fabrics if they get wet. Take a little extra care with your synthetic tent to wipe it down and air it out, so that it stays in good condition over time.

Keep Gear Away From the Walls

It is tempting to maximise the space inside your shelter by resting your camp furniture against the walls, but that’s not something we recommend. This will create pressure points where water will be more likely to pool or seep inside.

Store Wet Gear Out of the Tent

If you’ve got wet clothes and shoes, try to store them outside of your shelter in a vestibule or under cover. This is because as your gear dries out, it will add more moisture to the environment which is not ideal.

Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.

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Catch you out there!