Staying dry inside a tarp
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Brian Pedersen
(brian.pedersen) - F
Staying dry inside a tarp on 05/10/2008 00:10:25 MDT Print View

I decided to do an overnight in my garden to test out what tarp shelters are like, before leaving my tent at home on a hike.

Besides the usual dew, it was a dry night without any rain.

I really enjoyed the experience, my only issue was moisture.

When I entered the tarp after sunset, the grass was all wet from dew, I rolled out the ground cloth and sleeping bag, and when I woke up in the morning there was quite a lot of condense on the inside of the tarp and my sleeping bag was wet on the ouside, as was the ground which was once again covered with dew.

The tarp and ground cloth used was cheap plastic tarps.
The tarp used for shelter is 8" x 12" pitched up in a diamond shape (one corner in the air, three on the ground), the tarp used for ground cloth is 4" x 8".

I pitched up the tarp in the afternoon, sunny weather temp. around 77F, I went to bed after sunset at this point the temp. was about 50F and the temp. continued to drop during the night to about 40F, when I woke up the temp. was around 55F.

On top of the ground cloth was a three part ground insulation made from my bag pack, a short evazote pad and a fleece shirt used as pillow.
The sleeping bag was a Marmot Hydrogen, no bivy bag was used.

I stayed perfectly warm all night and the water on my sleeping bag never got through the outer fabric.

My concearn is that I might need to spend a lot of time in the morning drying out all of my wet gear.
Usually I only need to wait for the fly on the tent to dry.

Can anyone help me out, how do I stay dry inside a tarp ?

Thanks ...
/Brian

Edited by brian.pedersen on 05/10/2008 00:14:32 MDT.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Staying dry inside a tarp on 05/10/2008 00:39:33 MDT Print View

Hi Brian

You may want to take a look at this previous thread, Soggy nights as I think you will find the information very pertinent to tarping in moist environments such as yours.

Tarping is a great experience and one I can recommend and after many years of hiking it is now my preferred camping technique.

Enjoy

Brian Pedersen
(brian.pedersen) - F
Staying dry inside a tarp on 05/10/2008 03:34:04 MDT Print View

So I am actually fighting two issues, nighttime temperatures dropping below the dew point and IR radiation.

Both issues are usually handled well by my double walled tent, as the outer layer captures the dew and the inside temperature is kept above the dew point.

Making sure the tarp are sheltered from the IR radiation of the open sky, should not be too difficult by camping underneath some trees.

Keeping the temperature above the dew point however, is much more difficult.

I could use a bivy bag, but it needs to be big enough to cover all of my gear, and breathable enough to avoid the heat from my body condensating inside it, or I could add an extra layer between the sleeping bag and bivy, to shelter the sleeping bag from the condensation ...

I am not sure I am getting this right ?

/Brian

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Staying dry inside a tarp on 05/10/2008 04:24:53 MDT Print View

> So I am actually fighting two issues, nighttime temperatures dropping below the dew point and IR radiation.
> Both issues are usually handled well by my double walled tent, as the outer layer captures the dew and the inside temperature is kept above the dew point.
> Keeping the temperature above the dew point however, is much more difficult.

I think the dewpoint problem is the big one, myself. I don't think the radiation will count for much. And you are right that it can be a problem.

In practice, what really does count is the amount of wind. If you can arrange for a nice gentle breeze to blow through the outer tent, while blocking it from entering the inner tent, you may be able to wake up to a nice dry tent - or at least one which is not too wet. But still cold damp nights - ah, they are a problem. No *complete* solution to that one.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Staying dry inside a tarp on 05/10/2008 04:43:03 MDT Print View

As RC said the dewpoint is the big issue and coastal camping is more prone to condensation in my view. As a consequence I have used a bivy, either eVent or Pertex Quantum.

The benefit to me is that I can still enjoy tarp camping with little or no dampness in the morning. The freedom of a tarp out weighs anything else in my view.