I tried pitching a tarp instead of a tent this weekend. In worked well, kept off the rain etc, except for the condensation. It was far worse than any condensation I've ever had in a tent. We had other tents nearby and they didn't experience the same issue. There were rivulets of water running down the inner underside of the tarp leading me to believe it was not just our breathe condensing. One of our sleeping bags was totally soaked. There was one rainy night and one dry night and both nights the condensation was horrible.
Is there a specific way of pitching a tarp setup to prevent this?
A quick google only has answer like "Well this can occur in any shelter", but while true, it was definitely MUCH worse in the tarp tent.
For reference (edited with more detail)
- We had our tarp pitched similar to the method in this, but with a much lower opening and pitch (to keep the rain out): http://www.joeldare.com/wiki/_media/backpacking:tarp_tent.jpg
- We got significantly more condensation than breathing alone could account for. Most condensation ran down the tarp to the ground and even then I could squeeze almost half a liter out of each of the sleeping bags.
- The tarp was pitched as above, but with only a 3' opening.
- The sides were staked down to prevent airplaning.
- The tarp was your classic blue poly tarp: example