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  1. #1
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Soaking wet tents

    Just wondering what others do breaking camp after/during a rain storm. I usually just roll my tent back into its bag and put it up wet (I guess I should not do that). However, I ofter get water INSIDE of it when I do such that it is a PIA the following night.

    Any alternative suggestions??
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    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Fold it such that the inside is protected by the bathtub floor.

    I fold my tent so that the mesh is on the inside with the waterproof floor on the outside. Then I roll my fly up within that, taking care that none of the mesh tent body is exposed, only the floor. That way I have not gotten water on the inside of the tent.

    I hope that makes sense.
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    If the sun comes out, you can stop riding and spread your tent out out to dry. It's all a matter of priorities. I usually just wait to set up the tent again at the next campground. A sponge is useful for getting much of the water out of a compromised tent.

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    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Use a hammock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    If the sun comes out, you can stop riding and spread your tent out out to dry. It's all a matter of priorities. I usually just wait to set up the tent again at the next campground. A sponge is useful for getting much of the water out of a compromised tent.
    +1 And if it's warm enough and you are doing a long day, the tent might actually dry en route without having to pull it out to dry.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Usually lay it out to dry during the day, like during lunch. Toss the whole thing, plus sleeping bag, in a dryer if day is not condusive for drying.
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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cyclesafe
    If the sun comes out, you can stop riding and spread your tent out out to dry. It's all a matter of priorities. I usually just wait to set up the tent again at the next campground. A sponge is useful for getting much of the water out of a compromised tent.
    +2

    Try storing the rainfly separately in a plastic grocery bag-- then use the sponge or your towel to dry the wet spots in the tent when you pitch it the following night.

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    Use a tent that erects with the fly installed,fold it with the fly outside.

    Pack the fly by itself,dry it when you get a chance.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
    Fold it such that the inside is protected by the bathtub floor.

    I fold my tent so that the mesh is on the inside with the waterproof floor on the outside. Then I roll my fly up within that, taking care that none of the mesh tent body is exposed, only the floor. That way I have not gotten water on the inside of the tent.

    I hope that makes sense.
    Closed bag and a rolled tent that is wet on the outside? All put into a (mostly) waterproof bag? No part of the tent inside that bag is going to be dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    Use a hammock.
    And that helps how? Rain tends to fall from the sky

    I know you are thinking that the tent picks up water from the ground underneath it but most of the time the ground under my tent is dry following a rain storm. The water that gets folded into the bag is from the top of the tent...same as would happen with a hammock.

    Cyclesafe is right. Spread it out later. I usually do that at the next campsite.
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  10. #10
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Closed bag and a rolled tent that is wet on the outside? All put into a (mostly) waterproof bag? No part of the tent inside that bag is going to be dry.

    You're right. I didn't say it was going to be dry. As i read it the OP was asking how to keep the wetness from getting on the inside of the tent when it is rolled up and stuffed wet. Sometimes you just can't help packing a tent wet, and you might not get the chance to have some sun/dry conditions to dry it out during the day. In that case keeping the wetness on the outside so that the inside of the tent body is dry is my priority.
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  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a sheet of polyethelene under the floor of my tent,
    it rolls up with the rest of the tent.
    cheap moisture barrier , cost's way less than a "footprint"

    if you have a separate rain fly .. maybe the rest of the tent
    is not so wet.

  12. #12
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I have an old double layer tent that cannot be set up (or taken down) with rainfly on. I'm reasonably quick at folding it, but if it rains a couple of days in a row, my inner tent will be uncomfortably wet. I need a heat source to dry it. I've used large hot stones from an open fireplace, for example. I place them inside the tent in a Trangia pot while I'm by the fireplace, eating my dinner. A couple of hours later the stones will be lukewarm and the inner tent will be fairly dry.

    Regarding hammocks, at least Hennessy has the "snake skin" system that allows you to set the hammock up or take it down in rain. Snake skins will get wet, the rainfly will get wet, but the hammock itself stays dry. Works pretty well. After a couple rainy days the rainfly will be at least moist from the underside too (it's practically impossible to fold it without having any moisture transfer from the outer side to the side facing the hammock) but you can always dry that side with a cloth if needed.

    --J
    Last edited by Juha; 06-06-11 at 03:28 PM.
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    It helps to have a tent that has a fly that can be erected separately. I take down the inner and pack it up in a plastic bag first. It is mostly dry even in heavy rain.
    The fly is then packed in another plastic bag.

    At the next camp, the fly is erected and will still be wet but the inner is still dry and can be set up under the cover of the fly. If it has stopped raining, the fly will dry quickly. Packing the fly wet is not an issue unless you can't erect it within a day or so.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    And that helps how? Rain tends to fall from the sky

    I know you are thinking that the tent picks up water from the ground underneath it but most of the time the ground under my tent is dry following a rain storm. The water that gets folded into the bag is from the top of the tent...same as would happen with a hammock.
    I can't comment on what X-LinkedRider was thinking, but as for a hammock, it is very easy to put up and take down without it getting wet. If it is raining, I will hang my tarp first, then unroll my hammock while standing under the tarp. If it is raining when it is time to leave, then I take the hammock down first, roll it up and put in its bag while standing under the tarp. Then I will roll up the tarp.

    The sleeping area stays nice and dry
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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    If the sun comes out, you can stop riding and spread your tent out out to dry. It's all a matter of priorities. I usually just wait to set up the tent again at the next campground. A sponge is useful for getting much of the water out of a compromised tent.
    +3
    I use a washcloth instead of a sponge since I don't carry a sponge.

    BTW, if I expect rain I am likely to pitch the tent under a pavilion or pagoda roof if one is available. That is often an option, especially in the plains states.

  16. #16
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I find that an Absorber synthetic chamois for cars works very well in greatly reducing any water on the outside of a tent before packing. Except if it is still pouring rain while you are packing.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    I have an old double layer tent that cannot be set up (or taken down) with rainfly on. I'm reasonably quick at folding it, but if it rains a couple of days in a row, my inner tent will be uncomfortably wet. I need a heat source to dry it. I've used large hot stones from an open fireplace, for example. I place them inside the tent in a Trangia pot while I'm by the fireplace, eating my dinner. A couple of hours later the stones will be lukewarm and the inner tent will be fairly dry.

    Regarding hammocks, at least Hennessy has the "snake skin" system that allows you to set the hammock up or take it down in rain. Snake skins will get wet, the rainfly will get wet, but the hammock itself stays dry. Works pretty well. After a couple rainy days the rainfly will be at least moist from the underside too (it's practically impossible to fold it without having any moisture transfer from the outer side to the side facing the hammock) but you can always dry that side with a cloth if needed.

    --J
    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    I can't comment on what X-LinkedRider was thinking, but as for a hammock, it is very easy to put up and take down without it getting wet. If it is raining, I will hang my tarp first, then unroll my hammock while standing under the tarp. If it is raining when it is time to leave, then I take the hammock down first, roll it up and put in its bag while standing under the tarp. Then I will roll up the tarp.

    The sleeping area stays nice and dry
    Most tents have a rain fly that does exactly the same thing as a tarp and they could be stored separately like Steve000 suggests. That will take care of the bulk of any water issues . I don't bother with that and just let the tent air dry at the next campsite. If you wanted extra protection, you could carry a tarp too. That's a little to belt and suspenders for me.
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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Most tents have a rain fly that does exactly the same thing as a tarp and they could be stored separately like Steve000 suggests. That will take care of the bulk of any water issues . I don't bother with that and just let the tent air dry at the next campsite. If you wanted extra protection, you could carry a tarp too. That's a little to belt and suspenders for me.
    Not quite the same though. On my tents, I can put up the fly before the tent, but it is much more difficult and I usually don't put the tent up as well. It takes some fussing to get it taut. I also find it kind of cumbersome to do. It is very easy to put my tarp up first, then the hammock. I can do it in a relaxed careful manner. Once the tarp is up, my gear goes underneath it to stay dry as I prepare my hammock.

    I hang my tarp high so I can easily walk underneath it while I get everything else ready. Well, that is unless it is a strong blowing rain where I need the sides lower. But even then, I can set up the wind side low and the lee side high to make it more comfortable. Either way, my hammock and quilts don't get wet. They stay in their waterproof bags until under the tarp. They get put into their bags under the tarp when getting ready to leave. At no time are they exposed to the rain.

    The hammock/tarp system is much better than the tent/fly system for keeping things dry.
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  19. #19
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    And that helps how? Rain tends to fall from the sky

    I know you are thinking that the tent picks up water from the ground underneath it but most of the time the ground under my tent is dry following a rain storm. The water that gets folded into the bag is from the top of the tent...same as would happen with a hammock.
    But hammocks don't just float in the air by themselves. The trees used to attach the hammock to, almost always provide you with enough coverage to minimize water from above. Granted if you are going to be a real hammocker, most likely you will be using a hammock with a rain cover. (ie. Hennessy Hammock, ENO (Eagles Nest))
    There are plenty of areas that are wet enough just from the ground to saturates a tent whether it rains or not. Hammocks dry incredibly fast compared to a tent as it is hanging and there is only a certain amount of moisture that it can absorb to begin with. Some hammocks come in mesh bags which will let you dry as you ride. So there are plenty ways a hammock could/would help as long as he is camping alone.
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  20. #20
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    Not quite the same though. On my tents, I can put up the fly before the tent, but it is much more difficult and I usually don't put the tent up as well. It takes some fussing to get it taut. I also find it kind of cumbersome to do. It is very easy to put my tarp up first, then the hammock. I can do it in a relaxed careful manner. Once the tarp is up, my gear goes underneath it to stay dry as I prepare my hammock.

    I hang my tarp high so I can easily walk underneath it while I get everything else ready. Well, that is unless it is a strong blowing rain where I need the sides lower. But even then, I can set up the wind side low and the lee side high to make it more comfortable. Either way, my hammock and quilts don't get wet. They stay in their waterproof bags until under the tarp. They get put into their bags under the tarp when getting ready to leave. At no time are they exposed to the rain.

    The hammock/tarp system is much better than the tent/fly system for keeping things dry.
    My sleeping bag and pad stay inside their bags too and they stay dry but that has nothing to do with balindamood's question. The question isn't about set up but about taking down and packing following rain. Even your tarp and hammock system is going to have some kind of water on it following rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    But hammocks don't just float in the air by themselves.
    And therein lies a fatal flaw with hammocks. Try and find a place for a hammock in the picture below...dare ya



    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    The trees used to attach the hammock to, almost always provide you with enough coverage to minimize water from above. Granted if you are going to be a real hammocker, most likely you will be using a hammock with a rain cover. (ie. Hennessy Hammock, ENO (Eagles Nest))
    There are plenty of areas that are wet enough just from the ground to saturates a tent whether it rains or not. Hammocks dry incredibly fast compared to a tent as it is hanging and there is only a certain amount of moisture that it can absorb to begin with. Some hammocks come in mesh bags which will let you dry as you ride. So there are plenty ways a hammock could/would help as long as he is camping alone.
    The dryness under a tree is going to depend on the tree and the amount of rain. If there is enough rain, under the tree...actually under the two trees...is going to be a dripping soggy mess. And then you are going to be back to the same issue as a tent, i.e. packing a wet hammock.

    Let's also assume that someone in a tent is smart enough not to set it up in a bog, shall we? I, and I'm sure anyone who has stayed more than a few nights in a tent, look for areas that aren't swamps to place my tent in. I also don't set them up in creek beds, rivers or lakes. I even look for places where there is good drainage so that I don't end up in a river during a rainstorm.
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  21. #21
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    siltarp above tent in real soakers keeps tent drier, even a tent with a rainfly, and gives a person a dry zone around a tent. very nice, and siltarps are negligible in weight penalty for trad touring.

    shake tent while rolling up usually gets tent drier, even in a rainstorm.

    hang guyline above tent, move tent fly to guyline, shake and pack tent in dry zone under fly. shake and roll fly separate.

    have tent like suggested above that sets up independent of the rainfly and can be broken down underneath. setting up in a pavilion is always very, very civilized.

  22. #22
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    There's nothing you can do, but when you setup you can use a sponge to dry the tub. I always keep a sponge in my kayak but lately I've been eyeing one of these:

    http://www.paddling.net/store/showPr...ml?product=118

  23. #23
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Don't forget, tent material makes a big difference. Most tent nylons seem reasonably hydrophilic; water will cling to them reasonably well. Tyvek (and cuben fiber, I've heard) are more hydrophobic, and will dry well with a nice hard shake.

    Of course the phenomenon is small enough compared to other factors to be nearly trivial.

  24. #24
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    anyone ever try a SHAMWOW?
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    I keep an automotive style chamois when I camp. Use it to towel off the excess water before taking the tent down, then also the interior when you put it back up. Rainy days make me lazy,I usually don'T break camp until it quits raining.

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