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Camping is a fun & relaxing experience, no doubt! But encountering a wet bed while going to sleep can ruin your mood in a jiff.

I know what it feels like. Been there, felt that.

The main culprit behind your wet bed when camping is ‘condensation’.

Condensation causes the moisture in the air to turn into water droplets. These droplets drop over, and all the things inside the tent get wet, even your bedding & sleeping bags.

So, how to keep bedding dry when camping?

You’ll need to minimize moisture inside your tent to keep your bedding dry. Less moisture inside your tent will reduce the condensation rate.

As a result, your tent will remain dry from the inside, preventing your bed or sleeping bag from getting wet.

I know what you’re thinking.

I’ll answer all these questions in this post, helping you have a good night’s sleep under the stars.

Why Does My Bedding Get Wet When Camping?

Condensation

As I said, condensation is the main reason your bed gets wet inside the tent.

All the air around us is filled with water in its gaseous form. Hot air can hold more water vapor as compared to cold air.

The amount of water vapor in the air is called moisture. The percentage of moisture in the air is called humidity.

When this water vapor comes in contact with cool air, it transforms into liquid water. This process is known as condensation.

Too much moisture inside a tent causes more condensation, resulting in a wet tent. As a result, your bedding will get wet.

Here are a few reasons why the humidity can increase inside your tent:

So, many factors can contribute to increased humidity in your surroundings when camping. There is no way you can avoid it altogether.

Moisture is inseparable from the air.

Although, you can take some precautions to minimize moisture. It’ll prevent your bedding from getting wet.

I’ve laid out several tips in the following section. These will help you lower the moisture levels inside your tent.

How To Keep Bedding Dry?

Avoiding high moisture levels is the best way to keep your bedding dry while camping.

Follow these tips when you’re out camping to keep moisture low inside your tent.

1.    Choose The Right Location

Choosing the right location when camping is crucial for many reasons. This includes saving yourself from condensation.

Always ensure that the location has as less moisture as possible.

Keep these points in mind while choosing your camping location:

2.    Moisture-Proof Your Tent

Once you find a suitable place to camp, it’s time to pitch your tent. You’ll need to protect your tent well so that moisture can’t get inside.

Here are a few ways to moisture-proof your tent.

Use A Waterproof Groundsheet

Moisture from wet grass or damp ground can get inside your tent if you don’t have any waterproof protection.

Keep a waterproof groundsheet handy with you while camping. They prevent moisture from seeping inside your tent from the ground beneath.

Place the sheet on the ground and then pitch your tent above it. You can also use a tarp or plastic sheet if you don’t have a waterproof groundsheet.

Most premium tents come with one already. But if your tent doesn’t have one, or the quality is not up to the mark, consider buying a new one.

Read reviews about the product from people who have tried it already.

You can also visit websites like Reddit, StackExchange or camping forums and ask about the best groundsheet in your price range.

Use A Proper Rainfly

Rainfly not only protects you and your tent from rain but also from moisture.

Place the rainfly above your tent and stretch it strongly on all sides. It’ll catch the outside moisture, keeping your tent dry.

Most tents already come equipped with a rainfly. If it’s not that good, you can buy a new one. There are many affordable & quality rain fly options out there.

Start A Campfire

Start a campfire

Everybody loves building a campfire while camping. Reducing moisture is one more reason to do so.

Build a campfire near your tent, which will keep some moisture away. But remember to not get too close to the tent as it can be dangerous.

Never start an open fire inside the tent. Always ensure that there’s proper airflow around the fire.

However, you’ll need to ditch this idea if there’s heavy rain, storm or snow. In such weather, a fire will instead increase the moisture levels.

Don’t Overcrowd The Tent

More people inside a tent means high moisture levels. The moisture from everybody will fill the tent fast.

Things can get pretty messy if you are a large group of campers camping in one tent. And if it’s a small tent, kiss goodbye to sound sleep or a positive camping experience.

You can get a large tent if you always camp in groups. Make sure the tent still has ample space after everyone gets inside.

You can also use more than one tent if there are too many people. This will keep your tent decluttered as you can distribute all the gear & stuff between different tents.

Keep All The Wet Clothes & Gear Outside

There are many instances where your clothes or some gear can get wet while camping. In that case, remember to not bring them inside your tent.

Wet clothes soak up a lot of water. The water will evaporate and increase moisture drastically. So, it’s best to keep them outside the tent.

Put up a cloth liner outside your tent using ropes and keep all your wet clothes on it.

Keep them in a dry waterproof bag if you can’t hang them outside. A garbage bag would also work as long as it doesn’t leak moisture.

Don’t cook inside the tent

As I said earlier, cooking inside the tent is a surefire way to increase moisture.

When you cook anything, the temperature inside the tent will rise, resulting in more humidity.

On top of that, the steam from the cooking will also increase the moisture inside the tent. So, it’s best to perform your cooking tasks outside the tent.

3.    Maintain Airflow Inside The Tent

It’s common knowledge that moisture is inseparable from the air around us. But we can minimize its presence using the power of flowing air.

It would be best to have constant airflow inside the tent before sleeping.

When the air blows through your tent, it removes the moist air, replacing it with dry air. This, in turn, keeps your bedding dry when you’re ready to sleep.

Let’s check out some ways to keep up the airflow inside a tent.

Pitch Your Tent In The Right Place & Direction

First of all, select a windy spot to put your tent. Areas with little airflow will have high humidity, causing your tent to get wet from the inside.

When pitching your tent, determine the direction of the wind. Place the tent so that its entrance faces the direction of the wind.

Doing this will let the wind flow inside your tent directly. As a result, you’ll have less moisture inside the tent.

Keep The Fly & Vents Open

A few hours before you sleep, open the rainfly doors and all the vents & windows inside your tent. This will drive away the moist air and any condensation, keeping your tent dry.

Moist air is lighter than dry air and rises to the top. If your tent has a vent at the top, make sure to keep it open.

You can keep the rainfly door closed if the weather is not good. But keep all the vents & windows open for as long as possible.

Once you are ready to sleep, close all the windows & doors. Keep the vents slightly open to maintain the airflow.

Remember to not remove any mesh/net so insects don’t crawl inside.

Use A Portable Camp Fan

If your camping location has no airflow, you can use a camping fan to drive the moisture out of your tent.

A portable camping fan is a good choice to provide airflow. They are rechargeable and come with decent power backup.

A fully charged 4400mA fan can run anywhere between 5-20 hours, depending upon the speed settings. You can recharge the battery with any device having a USB outlet.

Place the fan in front of a vent in your tent or at the entrance. Open all the vents to have cross-ventilation. If possible, keep the fan running overnight at a low speed.

The moist air will slowly flow out of your tent, keeping your bed & other gear safe.

4.    Prepare Your Bedding Carefully

After you’ve taken care of all the aspects to reduce moisture inside the tent, it’s time to prepare your bedding.

Since your bed is the main thing you’re trying to protect, you’ll need to follow some precautions.

Keep these points in mind about preparing your bed to protect it from getting wet.

Don’t Unpack Your Bedding Too Soon

Many campers unpack everything as soon as they pitch their tent. This isn’t a good practice if you’re trying to prevent your bed from getting wet.

Your bedding will start absorbing moisture from the moment you unpack it. By the time you prepare to sleep, it’ll become wet.

Only unpack your bed when you’re ready to sleep. In this case, your bedding will be fresh & dry, giving you a good night’s sleep.

Using A Closed Cell Foam Sleeping Pad

Instead of using a simple sleeping pad or a blanket, use closed-cell foam pads. Lay out the pad before putting in your mattress or sleeping bag.

They act as an insulator between you and the ground, preventing moisture from passing through them. They are waterproof too.

You can buy one at a nearby camping supplies shop or from an online shop. You’ll also have several options to choose from if you buy it online.

Using A Sleeping Bag Liner

When you sleep inside a sleeping bag, it becomes hot, and you’ll sweat a lot. This makes them soggy & dirty from the inside. The lifespan also decreases a lot.

To prevent this, you can use a sleeping bag liner. These are waterproof sheets that you can use to cover your sleeping bag from the inside. This creates a barrier between you and the bag.

They’ll absorb all the sweat, oils, and moisture from your body, keeping your sleeping bag dry & safe.

If you don’t prefer using sleeping bags, you can still use a liner. Cover your mattress using the liner, and it’ll protect your bedding.

5.    Using A Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier

You can purchase a dehumidifier if nothing works for you from the above methods.

You can place these small devices in enclosed spaces with high humidity. They suck in the damp air from the surroundings and remove moisture from them, blowing out dry air.

It’s a great option to reduce moisture. However, you’ll need an electric connection to use a dehumidifier.

If you are camping in a car or RV, you can easily use it. It won’t be a feasible option if you are inside a tent. In that case, you can place a few silica gel packs around your tent. They also act as good dehumidifiers.

6.    Minimize The Moisture From Your Body

As I said, our body also releases a lot of moisture throughout the night.

The last thing you can do is minimize the moisture from your body. This can help you to keep your bedding dry.

Follow these simple tips:

Conclusion

Sleeping under the stars is the best feeling while camping. But it’s a nightmare if your bed gets wet while sleeping. No one wants to wake up soaked up in water and sweat.

But how to keep bedding dry when camping?

For this, you’ll need to minimize the moisture inside your tent.

Here’s why:

Moisture causes condensation due to temperature differences, making your bed wet.

To keep your bedding dry when camping, follow these tips:

  1. Choose your campsite carefully.
  2. Use a waterproof groundsheet and a good quality rainfly and place them right.
  3. Start a campfire near your tent entrance.
  4. Don’t cook inside the tent.
  5. Keep your wet clothes either outside or packed in a waterproof bag.
  6. Pitch your tent in the airflow direction and open the fly door and vents.
  7. Use a portable camping fan.
  8. Unpack your bed only when ready to sleep. Use a closed-cell foam sleeping pad and a sleeping bag liner.
  9. Use an electric dehumidifier or silica gel packets inside the tent.
  10. Minimize the moisture from your body by covering your nose & mouth and sleeping cold.

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