what to do with a wet tent after a heavy rain.

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by pghchico, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. redwing51

    redwing51 Been here awhile

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    Stop along the way and throw it into a laundromat dryer on low, checking it periodically so that you don't fry it. If your tent is wet, there are probably other things that are wet as well. I just pack it up wet into its waterproof stuff sack until I find a dryer. Or until the sun comes out and I find somewhere to dry it out while I make a cup of coffee or eat lunch.
    I generally won't set up camp if it is raining or threatening to rain. That would be my cheap motel or cabin night if I am still close to civilization. If not, I just make do. I have slept under the picnic pavilions in campgrounds as well even though one is not supposed too. If its raining, no one is usually heartless enough to kick you out, especially if you keep a low profile.
    #41
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  2. small_e_900

    small_e_900 Amanda carried it

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    About a decade ago, I was in Maryland for a few weeks of work related training.

    Weekends with no "homework" and no kids = Camping weekends. Yeah!!

    One monday morning I awoke to a lot of rain. It was my plan to ride the few hours from the campsite to the training center but I hadn't counted on everything being wet.

    There wouldn't have been enough space in my hotel room to set the tent up to dry.

    I asked for, and received permission to set my tent up in the back of the training room for the day so that it could dry.
    #42
  3. ZooberP

    ZooberP awesome possum

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    Don't mean to rehash an oldie but I stumbled on this topic as I just got finished camping in Newfoundland. In the morning we woke up to a drizzle that got progressively worse. There was nothing to do but pack the tent wet. However, I was surprised how quick it dried once pitched the next day and had zero problems because of it. No mildew either. What I would have done differently was dryit out at a lunch break as we often had ample resting time. Morning dew also may as well be a downpour as the tent still gets soaked. Packing the tent outside of the dry bag helped too but it would often dry just one side so rotating it on breaks was necessary.
    #43
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I'm in the UK so used to rain.
    I never pack the (well shaken) tent with other stuff. It gets rolled up and put in its own little stuff sack. In my case it is used as the passenger's backrest.

    I don't ride until dusk, it's unlikely I'll be riding past teatime. Pitching a wet tent takes a bit of care to keep the moisture out of the inner tent and off yourself.
    The tent is silicone proofed, and sheds water very quickly, a shake and most water is gone. The inner, although a cotton like fabric, also dries very fast - and after 30 years, had no mildew stains.
    My normal biking tent is a ridge tent - I can completely open each end and any breeze will air out the inner and any moisture on the inside face of the fly. My tent also has adjustable peg loops, so I can increase the air gap. Speeds drying and makes the tent much cooler in sun and heat.

    Persistent rain will likely be a prompt to move to a different region.

    Always, even if it has not rained at all, I hang out the fly and inner separately give them a wipe and make sure they are thoroughly aired before packing away.
    #44
  5. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    I've camped with frequent rains. Somebody mentioned a cheap Dollar Store drop cloth for inside. Rain has to end someday and with the tent pitched every night, I never had a problem with mildew. When I got home from even a damp trip, I used to pitch the tent in the yard to dry. Have even done it inside house. Now I use a hammock and pack the tarp separate. So far it only rains for some of the time each day during a trip.

    Bob
    #45
  6. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Didn't read the entire 3 pages of this thread so sorry if already mentioned. For wet gear stowage I carry a med size zippered mesh duffle. Don't roll/fold your wet gear just stuff it in like dirty laundry, strap it on the bike. The airflow will get rid of most of the water. Works good for stowing stinky laundry too..
    #46
  7. redwing51

    redwing51 Been here awhile

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    On an extended trip, I have been known to stop at a laundromat and throw the tent into a dryer on low heat. I usually dry out my tent when I get home after a trip this way as well. I don't know if it is recommended, but I've had no problems resulting from this approach.
    #47
  8. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    Yep,
    I always pack the tent and fly separate. I keep the tent in a protected part of my pack and the fly just covered in my top bag.
    #48
  9. firemanonabike

    firemanonabike Been here awhile

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    When backpacking, we would shake a bush and then lay the tent and fly over the bush. If the tent was still wet when it was time to make camp, we would use a pair of socks to mop up the water inside the tent.

    I have eyebolts in the garage ceiling. I start a fire in the stove. Ropes are tied to the tent and the tent is hoisted up and allowed to dry. The wall tent takes more time because of the size. It may take several days. Small nylon tents and flies dry quickly. The plastic tarps that cover the wall tent get hung up last. A couple of fans keep the air moving. A step ladder keeps the wall tent off the floor.
    #49
  10. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    This year on the Best of Montana ride, we had rain on several evenings. Inmate Bobzilla was carrying a Rab Siltarp 2. https://rab.equipment/us/accessories-equipment/shelters-tents-bivis/guides-siltarp2 It's pretty darn expen$ive for a tarp but I'm one of those who prefers to cry once when buying camping equipment. I have used tyvek in the past and it was okay just not as convenient.
    After spending a couple evenings protected beneath it while BS'ing (a prime reason for group camping is draining excess stories so the wife doesn't have to hear them), I was a convert and bought one. I envision using the tarp to pack up underneath when breaking camp in the rain. Weighs less than a pound and packs up to about the size of a softball.
    #50
  11. Retired and lovin it

    Retired and lovin it Been here awhile

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    Camping alone gives you some flexibility and I can change according to the rain clouds.
    #51
  12. gsweasel

    gsweasel Just wanna see what's around that next bend...

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    I've often put tents away wet on the last day with additional multiple wet days once I've gotten home (therefore not allowing me to dry it out right away). I've never had a problem with mildew on any of my tents after just a few days packed away wet. I wouldn't worry about it too much - just don't forget completely about a packed wet tent in the basement!
    #52
  13. monkey wrench

    monkey wrench Been here awhile

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    Pack it wet. Pull it out to dry when you fuel up or eat.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #53
  14. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

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    The tent itself should be dry if the rain fly is doing its job.

    I'd just pack the tent an usual, but keep the rain fly apart and strap it down so that it will air dry as I ride.
    #54
  15. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    I've always wrung my tent out as much as I could, and aired it out as much as possible on the front or back end of striking/setting up camp. Most paid, public campgrounds have laundromats and I have dried my tent (gently, cool temps, little, or no heat) in a dryer a few times, too. If you are wild camping or there's no Laundromat, stop in a town along the way and use a dryer there.
    #55
  16. Bigtroutcatcher

    Bigtroutcatcher Adventurer

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    I just shake it out, pack it up and dry it out the next night or at home. I completed the Colorado Trail a couple years ago backpacking. I was on a tight schedule and couldn't wait for stuff to dry. (I had to average 15 miles a day for 32 days.) The tent was never packed for more than 12 hours, and never mildewed even though it was wet for a couple 3 day periods.
    #56