Most campers are no longer afraid of a downpour of rain at the campsite. It often creates pleasant situations. Play a game together in the awning and listen to the rain falling on the tent when you fall asleep. If the rain persists, it is always useful to take measures to be sure to stay dry in your tent. Curious about how to keep your tent dry Inside? We share our advice with you.
How to Keep Your Tent Dry Inside: 11 Useful Tips
It is essential to follow some simple guidelines to keep the tent dry and to have peace of mind that our tent will be in perfect condition during heavy rain.
1. Choosing the right tent:
The choice of the tent is a crucial element according to the need of each. The main criteria taken into account are:
The number of people to the house: It seems natural to choose a two-person tent when traveling with 2, or 4 people when traveling with four, etc. In practice, it is not so obvious, and you can quickly feel cramped.
So, what you need to do is get a 6-person tent for 4-5 people.
Because, inside the tent, an air mattress will occupy the entire floor. It will then be impossible to bring our bags into it. The mattress, alone, will already deform the interior fabric. And on a rainy day, the room will end up touching the flysheet, which causes a flood!
What we do know: we count 70cm x 240cm per person (200cm of mattress + 40cm of bags). This way, we ensure a minimum of dry living space even on a rainy day.
The climatic conditions to which you will be exposed: Wind, rain, heat, and humidity are all uncontrollable elements that can spoil your tent’s interior. A solution against the wind: place the entrance of your tent back to the wind and push your sardines well into the ground! Against heat and humidity, remember to open the vents properly! And when it comes to rain, consider checking the waterproofing of your tent!
The waterproofing of a tent is measured in Schmerbers or mm. This corresponds to the height of a column of water from which the fabric, placed under this column, lets water pass. For a tent roof:
– 500 mm is sufficient for light and fine rain,
– 1200 mm is optimal for a downpour,
– 3000 mm protects from heavy rain, even with massive drops,
– 5,000 mm can withstand heavy rain,
– 10,000 mm supports all types of rain and humidity.
A fabric is said to be waterproof from 1500 mm. But knowing that this value will tend to decrease over time, it seems prudent to leave on a flysheet with a higher seal than that sought. Be aware that the more waterproof your tent, the less it will be breathable and the more you will be bothered by condensation! Which will eventually wet the inside of the tent?
The tent floor is even more exposed to moisture than its roof. Contact sealing is the most difficult to obtain! Besides, it is highly subject to wear. So keeping its original seal over time is a pious dream. Do not hesitate to count a minimum of 5000 mm or even 8000 mm during your purchase!
Finally, pay attention to the seams: Opt for more resistant heat seals and, therefore, more effective in terms of efficiency. If necessary, you can also apply a waterproofing paste based on silicone and Teflon.
2. Choosing the right carpet
The lightning of the tents often goes hand in hand with a reduction in the Grammage of the floor mats. Therefore they tend to wear off and make it hard to keep the floor dry! One solution: add a floor mat.
It can be a survival blanket, a garbage bag taped with Duct Tape, a blue tarp.
A more “specialized” solution would be to use a Tyvek tarpaulin. Tyvek is a material:
- Very Resistant To Tearing,
- Light (Different Grammages Exist, Choose The Lightest),
- Waterproof (take it with coating, one side as soft as cotton, the other as covered with varnish),
- Which does not deform during use: it does not “mold” the crevices.
Do not be surprised by its rigidity, and it will soften with use. If you are in a hurry, you can pass it several times in the machine with a delicate program. Similarly, the first time that you unfold it, it makes a noise of craft paper. It’s healthy, it will disappear quickly too.
And be careful, whatever you choose, the floor mat should never protrude from your tent. You can either cut it to the right dimensions or fold its sides when you install it. The goal is that the water flowing along the tent is not retained by this tarpaulin. Otherwise, it could be redirected between the tarpaulin and the ground of your tent, and create a flood.
3. Choosing the right tarp
As we told you in choosing a good tent, choosing a tent depends on many parameters that change throughout a lifetime. So we are not in favor of buying a tent for the next 20 years. In 20 years, our needs/desires will have evolved. And incidentally technologies too! So basically, we are not for the disposable, except in this particular case.
So people invest in a tarp, the most waterproof we have found.
A tarp is a large waterproof cover that we place above our tent. The significant advantages are that this tarpaulin can be placed above almost any tent and that the double roof + tarp seals accumulate. It makes our tent very waterproof, without, however, making it less breathable.
4. Make sure the floor mat does not protrude under the tent.
Many campers use a tent mat. The most significant advantage is that the dirty ground does not dirty the tent. It is essential that the floor mat does not protrude, but that it is ideally placed under your tent. If the ground carpet protrudes, water can settle there during a rain shower. The water can enter your tent via the ground carpet. Your belongings are likely to get wet, and chances are water will enter your tent, especially if you have a portable bowl floor mat.
5. Ventilate well
During a rain shower, it sometimes seems that, in PVC and polyester tents, water leaks inside. This happens as follows: during a downpour, it is often much warmer outside than inside the tent. The tent canvas cools from the outside, but the heat inside cannot escape, because the PVC and polyester tents do not breathe. Hot air condenses inside the fabric and can sometimes cause small puddles. It is, therefore, essential to ventilate the PVC and polyester tents during a rain shower so that the hot air inside can escape.
6. Avoid water pockets thanks to the anti–pocket bars.
You may have already seen it at the campsite during a big downpour of rain: an awning where the water does not flow at all, but a roof on which the water remains and pockets of water form. For large awnings, in particular, we recommend installing two new anti-pocket bars in addition to the standard roof bars. Even in the event of heavy rain, water does not remain on the roof but flows.
7. Do not place any object against the tent.
If you place your camping gear against the tent, there is a good chance for water to flow through the tent. Creating a pressure point in a particular place on the tent canvas will solve this problem. By this, in a short time, the water accumulates more here than compared to other places on the canvas. This increases the risk of leakage. Always leave a space between your camping gear/furniture and the tent. Prevention is better than cure!
8. Avoid the pits and holes under your tent.
Before setting up the tent, always check that there are no pits or holes in the ground. Water can flow easily during a downpour. With a movable bowl floor mat, for example, water can quickly get into it.
9. Always carry a repair kit and sealant.
Your tent has a small tear, or water has leaked through the seams? It is always handy to have a repair kit and sealant with you. You can solve the problem on-site at the campsite, and your tent can withstand the next rain shower without any problem.
10. Keeping the tent interior dry: The Key to Success is Installation
– If it is raining or it has rained recently, locate where the water flows, and where it stagnates. Choose your location opposite! In anticipation of a downpour, avoid areas promising you a mattress of green herbs or moss in the middle of summer: there is water! Instead, choose the highest area of your land, or failing that, pebble areas (removing the sharpest ones). It will filter the water or even tree-lined areas (but beware of the risk of thunderstorms).
– Even in the pouring rain, take the time to remove the thorny plants and other sharp objects before setting up the tent. Avoid as much as those plants as pierce the floor covering of your tent (or even your inflatable mattresses).
– Set up your camp. If it is raining, start by installing the tarp above your pitch so that the rain does not transform your tent into a bathtub before you can finish putting it up. Then place your floor mat. Finally, pitch your tent, starting if possible with the waterproof flysheet (sometimes this is not possible. Do not panic; your tent will not be soaked under the tarp anyway, at most splashed!
– Finally, install your equipment inside your tent. Make sure that the air mattresses, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. do not touch the tent’s walls. This will help to keep the inside of the tent dry during heavy rain.
– Put on dry clothes, eat hot, and go to bed. We always found it very pleasant to fall asleep warm, dry, hearing the plaice fall. Don’t you?
11. The Question of the Drainage Channel
Digging a drainage channel around the tent to ensure that the excess water, brought by heavy rain, goes into the channel rather than in the tent is a subject of controversy. Although it is a widespread practice in the case of rain, some campers are opposed to it.
First of all, because the new tent floors do not allow water to penetrate, even if the tent is placed on a large puddle. Then, by digging the ground, you severely deteriorate the ground, which is not very helpful for the other campers.
- Put the clothes for the next day in a waterproof bin (or a waterproof bag).
- Do not leave all your clothes in the suitcases in the tent because if the water comes in, all your clothes will be wet.
- Remember to reassemble the equipment when you get home so that everything dries up properly.
- Bring ultra-absorbent towels to wipe off the water inside the tent.
- Bring an umbrella or raincoat, to go back and forth between the tent and the car if it rains.
Finally, Take Care
Remember that the storm will pass and you will have a great story to tell when you return! And rather than moping over your bad luck, try to make the most of the situation!
The rest is up to you. I hope my advice will help to keep your tent dry inside and if you don’t have the sun, you will spend pleasant days camping in the rain for the happiness of the whole family! Do not hesitate to share with us your apocalyptic experience.
Neela is an editor of Outdoorfunmag and a true nature enthusiast who loves to explore the outdoors with her cat. She loves to travel around the world and write about everything nature has to offer. She has traveled around 20 countries so far. Her other interests include photography, cooking, and music.