The Pedalshift Project 083: Tips for Dealing with a Wet Tent

The Pedalshift Project 083: Tips for Dealing with a Wet Tent

On this week’s pod, tips for dealing with a wet tent on bicycle tour… from how to pack a wet tent to drying the tent out, and more.

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Gear Talk: Wet Tent Edition


If you camp, you probably camp in the rain at some point. But how do you deal with a wet tent on tour? I have tips, many tips… English tips. (late 80s movie reference)
– Make sure the tent is properly waterproofed to begin with. Seam seal that tent and tarp if it’s older than a few seasons. Some do it every year.
– Choose where you pitch if you can. Under trees seems like a good idea at first, but a rain shower that ends overnight continues to drip on you under trees. Ditto if the spot you’re in will have a foggy morning!
– Scenario 1 – it’s not raining in the morning and you’re in no rush. Shake off as much wetness as you can. If you have a camp towel (you should! they’re great!) wipe down the surfaces. Take the tarp off and angle the tent under as much sun and wind as you can get. Put it on its side if necessary. Dry it totally and throughly. If you can’t, roll it up with the wet side out and bungee to the rack so it can dry as you pedal. Pack it up when you get a break and the tent is dry.
– Scenario 2 – It’s raining still. Hard to shake off that much wet, but do what you can. Segregate the wet tent from other things as much as possible. It’s best not to pack a wet tent in a waterproof bag, even in the rain. Exception: If the inside of the tent is still dry and there’s steady rain that would make it wetter if carried outside. Roll the tent up so the dry side touches the dry and the wet touches wet. Keep the dry on the outside if going in a bag, on the inside if there’s dry weather coming that day and you have a shot of airing it out as you ride.
Hammock person? You probably have it easier… pack up under the fly and keep it dry. Worry about the tarp after you shake it out.

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