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Condensation in Yosemite
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Steven Scates MD
(scatesmd) - MLife
Condensation in Yosemite on 04/17/2006 09:22:30 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

I had not been able to get out over the last months, so we spent this weekend snowshoeing up Glacier Point Road.

The weather was awful, storming all night with rain, hail, and snow. Because of the the rain, there was not much accumulation of snow, maybe 3-6 inches at the most. The lowest temperature in the solo tent was 32 F.

The problem was condensation in the tent. This was actually the first time I used a tent; normally I use a bivy sack and a tarp, but I became afraid of the storm and thought a tent would be better. I recreated every problem Ray Jardine describes in his book-setting up in the rain got everything wet, no place to cook in the tent, condensation like mad, etc.

Overall, survived the weekend with beautiful hiking during the days, but had to cut the trip short when could not dry out everything during the day.

We had to camp on soft, wet snow, maybe 5 feet deep or more. I used an exped 9 which kept me warm and off the ground, but I had to wipe off the walls of the tent to keep the bag dry.

I'm new at winter camping. What shelter would heve been better? Would the tarp/bivy actually been better and kept me drier? Would a true winter tent have had less condensation than my 3 season?

I'm not sure what the best balance between shelter/protection and moisture management was, but I know I missed it a bit. Now, I need to learn!

Thanks, steve

Edited by scatesmd on 04/17/2006 09:23:35 MDT.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Condensation in Yosemite on 04/17/2006 15:36:06 MDT Print View

Sounds like an instructive scenario. What tent were you using?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
yosemite on 04/17/2006 17:33:38 MDT Print View

Yeah, to be honest, the tent could make a huge difference. Single wall or did it have a fly?

Steven Scates MD
(scatesmd) - MLife
Condensation in Yosemite on 04/18/2006 08:17:33 MDT Print View

I was using a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 1 tent ( 2 walled).

My partner was using a 2 man, 2 walled REI tent, don't know his model, but he had the same issue.

With the humidity at about 100%, I wonder if any tent would do well. I had chosen to avoid the wind, so the sheltering may have blocked enough of the breeze to prevent good circulation.


Edited by scatesmd on 04/18/2006 08:18:03 MDT.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Condensation in Yosemite on 04/18/2006 12:11:23 MDT Print View

I would have loved to have tried out the single wall EPIC fiber tent I have along side you guys to see how it compared. It is the only tent that I have never had condensation in...but I never camp in those conditions either. I venture to guess while it would probably not handle any snow load very would have been drier on the inside.