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The OLPRO Rambling Blog — condensation

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Your guide to camping throughout the year

Your guide to camping throughout the year

For many, the end of Summer doesn’t mean the end of the camping season. As long as you prepare yourself with the right equipment then you can enjoy camping all year round. You’ll also be one of the lucky campers that get to experience waking up to a frost-covered field, or enjoying a mug of hot chocolate from the comfort of your own canvas - which brings us to our first obvious topic to cover:

Weather Conditions – Preparation really is key to overcoming any of the challenges posed by the trickier weather conditions. A tent and awning that is pitched properly should be able to stand up to most weather conditions, although this does not mean that they will withstand a storm, so make sure you keep an eye on weather forecasts when necessary.

What gear to take – Big woolly clothing and hot water bottles will definitely help to keep you safe from the chilly weather. A tent carpet will also help to protect you from the harsh cold ground. Taking waterproof clothing and footwear will save you from the trouble of having to sit in cold, wet clothing throughout the day.

Take plenty of lighting with you – Taking a strong torch and lantern with you will help to keep everything visible during the longer nights of winter. Some campsites will also provide you with an electrical power supply, so it’s worth considering your options before your travels. Don’t forget to take plenty of spare batteries with you just in case.

Pitch smartly – Make sure to pitch in the shelter of a building if possible, as this will help to protect you from the chilly winds. A well-placed windbreak will also help you to combat the wind and leave less of it crashing against the canvas of your tent bedroom. You should avoid pitching next to any open water as this may lead to condensation problems and avoid pitching at the bottom of any slopes to avoid the possibility of small flooding.

Factor in the nearby entertainment – The nights get darker a lot earlier during those Winter months, so it’s worth investigating whether your campsite has any nearby entertainment that you can rely upon during the long evenings. A nearby restaurant or pub can really help to warm you up for example, and gives you a perfect excuse to let someone else cook for you for a change. The nearer by these points of interest are, the better.

Take the right bedding with you - Make sure you purchase and pack your four-season sleeping bags and take any duvets and blankets from home. A sleeping bag with liner will help to improve the bag’s warmth significantly. Sleeping on a thick self-inflating mat will also help, as the air inside of an airbed is more likely to get cold more quickly. Also, don’t be tempted to have a hot drink before going to sleep, as you might have to wake up during the cold dead of night to go to the loo!

Build yourself a campfire – You can’t beat the feeling of sitting around a campfire with friends and family during a dark night, but of course this is only possible if it’s allowed within the rules of your campsite, so make sure you check first! The best way to build a strong campfire is to build it up gradually, adding larger logs in stages - but be careful not to build it too high, and be careful of wind direction as you may get smoke in your tent which will cause damage.
Best Advice for Cooking on the Campsite

Best Advice for Cooking on the Campsite

For some people, the best part of going camping is to cook a good meal while immersed in nature. In fact, when you’re on your camping holidays, you’ve got more time than ever to cook up that perfect meal.
 
So here’s some of our tips for cooking the perfect meal while you're out camping:
 
Shop locally – This is even more important when camping during a pandemic, but despite this, you will always find the freshest locally-grown ingredients at your nearby store. Equally, if you’re camping near the seaside, you’ll no doubt have access to some incredibly tasty local seafood. Not only can you enjoy the taste of the local produce, you can feel good about supporting the local economy surrounding your campsite by spending your money on the hard-working independent retailers, rather than your usual major supermarkets.
 
Double hob cookers – A double hob cooker is extremely useful, because you can be more creative and cook two separate ingredients at the same time (duh, obviously)! But it’s also useful when you’re trying to cook your morning breakfast and boil the kettle in time for a cup of tea that will set you up for the rest of the day. A butane gas, propane gas or electric cooking stove will get the job done nice and quickly for you, allowing you to spend more time on an extra-long walk in the sun.
 
Alternatively, buy one-pot recipe books – Sadly, we're not all blessed with tank-sized 4x4 vehicles, so you might not have the space to take and store all of your favourite kitchen pots, pans and cooking products. To get around this, you might want to invest in a ‘one-pot’ recipe book, where you’ll be able to cook professionally-crafted recipes designed for cooking in just one pot. A guaranteed great taste, with minimal washing up… that sounds perfect to us!
 
Cook and freeze – You can save yourself a headache by cooking and freezing some easy meals for the first night of your camping trip. Your food will defrost while your travelling to your campsite destination and will be ready for heating as soon as you unpack the camping stove. Then all you have to do is give it a good heating - easy peasy!
 
Don’t cook inside of your tent – As convenient as it may seem, you should avoid cooking inside of a tent. Cooking inside of a tent can excessively heat up your tent which can cause condensation problems, leaving puddles at the bottom of your tent. Of course, stoves also come with a fire risk and potential carbon monoxide risks, so be careful. You might want to purchase a windbreak to help to create a well-protected kitchen space that will allow you to cook outside.
 
High-quality storage boxes - We hate to say it, but you will only have a limited amount of space available for taking food with you, so finding the right size of storage boxes will be very important for keeping your food and drink as cool as possible. Make sure your storage box is durable as well, as it’ll have to survive the journeys to and from the campsite, and may even be subject to some interested wildlife when you’re out and about.
 
Invest in a strong table – If there are likely to be a few of you gathering around for food, then it’s best to invest in a strong table that will provide enough space for you all to eat from. Folding tables will help you to conserve space in your car boot, but you can help yourself by making sure you don’t overload your table with heavy items that you don’t really need. Keep your table nice and sturdy by pitching on level ground.
 
Take your best melamine with you – To keep you safe from any potential accidents, we would encourage you to take melamine with you, rather than porcelain crockery. Melamine is designed to take bumps without breaking and also comes with some pretty stylish designs that you won’t find on typical porcelain crockery. They're also really easy to clean!
 
Make washing up a lot easier for yourself – As always, you should make sure to keep your pitch clean and tidy by washing up everything you used during the cooking process. Dirty pots and pans will only attract the unwanted wildlife and leave your pitch space smelling. Make sure to use cleaning chemical when possible and try to keep a plastic bag bin handy with you at all times.
How to avoid condensation in your tent or awning

How to avoid condensation in your tent or awning

 

Anyone can suffer from condensation in tents and it's not uncommon.

On many occasions, people have woken up to see a pool of water in their tent thinking it’s a leak, but in fact it’s a pesky case of condensation. As OLPRO tents are made from high specification waterproof materials (the fabric is 5,000 H/H), condensation will often be the biggest battle in keeping your tent dry. So here’s a bit more information about why condensation happens, and how you can stop it from happening.

 

What causes condensation when camping?

Firstly it's key to remember that Condensation is increased by the presence of people - so the more people the more likely you are to encounter condensation. In fact, just one person will product up to one pint of condensation per night.

When the warm air inside of a tent hits the colder tent fabric, condensation is likely to occur. Warm air temperature inside of a tent can be caused by people, heaters and a lack of ventilation. Bigger tents with more people and additional heaters inside are likely to create a lot more condensation unless the tent is ventilated properly.

If you have a Breeze tent or awning, air circulates in the beams. If the outside air is much colder than inside your tent or awning then the cooling of the air in the beams is fast. The warm, humid, air inside your tent or awning will condensate onto the area of the beam. This moisture will appear as water droplets on the beams and can create pools of a water around the base of then. So, you have the warm air in the tent and cool air in the beams - creating condensation on the outside of the plastic beam that sits inside the sleeve. This will drip out of the bottom around the base of the beam.

If this happens make sure you don't have things around the bases of the beams. We have tested hundreds of tents and awnings where the customer believed it was leaking, and it was in fact down to condensation, so please look through the ways to avoid condensation below and you'll have a much drier camping trip.

On days where there is a substantial temperature drop, it can be challenging to prevent tent condensation forming. Rainy conditions can also increase the chances of condensation occurring, often leading to the appearance of a leaking tent. Rain water on the outside of the tent, or rain water evaporating off the out surface of the tent causes the temperature of the fabric to decrease, leading to more rapid condensation as the air inside the tent comes into contact with it.

 

So how can I ventilate my tent properly and avoid condensation?

- As a starting point, make sure that you’ve found all of the ventilation points on your tent in order to guarantee a good air circulation. If the weather is good enough, leave your doors and windows open whenever possible and make sure they aren’t being obstructed by sleeping bags, chairs or other furniture.

- When it starts raining be aware that by closing everything you are likely to cause condensation.

- Store your wet items outside when possible. Wet coats, towels, boots, swimming costumers will only add water to the air inside of your tent, so make sure wet items are given a proper chance to breathe... plus it'll help them to dry quicker. 

- Heating the air inside of your tent will only increase the humidity. So ideally, you should help to keep yourself warm by wearing the right clothing and packing high-quality sleeping bags. Cooking inside of tents will also add moisture into the air, so make sure that cooking is kept to a minimum inside of a well-ventilated tent.

- Make sure you pitch in the right place. You’ll save yourself a lot of problems by simply pitching in an area which receives a natural breeze. Make sure you pitch at a distance from any water as well, as rivers and lakes will also increase the humidity of the air within your tent.

 

Oh no, my tent is wet from condensation, what should I do?

The best thing you can do is to wipe the walls down with a towel or cloth to remove the condensation from the tent fabric. Make sure to remove all wet items from the tent so that they can be dried properly and so that moisture isn’t circulated back into the air. And again, make sure you ventilate your tent, it’s all about letting the good air in!

 

Still having issues? 

All OLPRO Tents and Awnings are 5,000 H/H so the fabric will never leak and every seam is heat sealed to stop water ingress through the points at which the tent is stitched.  If you are certain the water is not from condensation then please contact us and we can advise further.  Please note that all of our awnings and tents are now also supplied with a seam sealant kit which can you use if ever needed in the future.