If it rains when sleeping in a tent, and you touch the material, the water can leak through. This means that if your equipment touches the tent wall, it can be soaked when you wake up.

What methods to people have to avoid this happening - can you waterproof your equipment or are there ways to prevent the water leaking through.

If there are, it would be useful, as a large amount of space can be lost when keeping baggage away from the tent wall.

  • 1
    Buy a bigger tent?! Or take less stuff?! :)
    – user2766
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 9:20
  • Isn't this only an issue with single walled tents, which are anyway only used for expedition style undertakings? I never got my inner tent to touch the outer by packs, even when I put them at my feet when the tent is on a decline towards my feet...
    – imsodin
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 9:24
  • @imsodin I have a 2 walled section of it - but keep my equipment outside of that because it is a small section - really only large enough to sleep in.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 9:25
  • 2
    Ah right, my bad never thought about the awning :P I do not think there is anything to do, but I never have this problem. I just was in Norway under heavy rain and wind. Both the inner and outer tent touched due to the wind as well as baggage and outer tent - neither became wet. So the question might be: Is it really the case that touching the material makes it leak i.e. for which materials. I know for old tents made of more cloth-like outer materials this actually was an issue. Maybe for modern synthetics it is not anymore?
    – imsodin
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 9:32
  • @imsodin that's interesting... Hmm I shall research that a little
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 10:55

2 Answers 2


The best solution will depend a lot on your particular tent and general set-up but here are a few pointers.

Try and keep kit in your tent neat and to a minimum. If you are trekking you probably won't have too much kit anyway. If you are car camping try and keep as much stuff in you car as possible (its nice and dry in there).

Keeping your kit tidy and backed away is generally good practise (I'm terrible at this). In particular, I find if you have a big pile of stuff it is easy to just push to one side/into a corner where it will touch the walls and get wet. If you have one or two bags they are easier to place somewhere sensible.

Generally, I keep most of my kit in the inner tent where I sleep. I have a small two man so if it is just me I will lay my bag next to me, and try and keep it off the walls. For larger tents you can also put your bag at your feet. I've also seen people use their bag as a pillow which seems quite good, especially if space is tight.

Most larger tents will have a sort of porch area and even small tents tend to have some extra space at the door. You can leave your kit here. If it is a relatively small space lean your kit into the inner so as to avoid the outer. Also if this area doesn't have an groundsheet you kit may get wet from the ground.

Finally, as Liam pointed out dry bags are good. If its raining you'll probably get a lot of damp kit anyway so they can help keep your dry stuff separate.


I think my slightly tongue in cheek comment is relevant. Maybe you need a bigger tent:

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Or to follow the fast and light principles and just take less stuff.

Baring that If you tent has something inside it to suspend a clothes line then maybe you could rig up some kind of netting (suspended form the poles at either end of the tent like a hammock) to hold your kit off the ground. It's not going to be comfortable but it sounds like your pretty cramped anyway.

Another option is to take some dry bags and just keep your equipment outside your tent in those.

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