Monday, April 28, 2014

What Difference Does a Tent Make?

Sometimes when I camp I place a small thermometer outside the tent.  I was camping this past weekend in tall, thin trees on a ridge at 2,500 feet.  When I turned in for the night it was raining and somewhat windy. I placed a thermometer on the ground outside the tent but under the rainfly.  Around 9:45 PM It read 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rain moved out, the sky cleared, the breeze died down, and the temperature dropped overnight. After waking up near 5:30 AM I unzipped the tent’s door, reached out, and brought in the thermometer.  I read 38 degrees Fahrenheit. As I was reading the thermometer the mercury started rising until it topped out at 45 degrees.  I repeated the procedure a few minutes later with the same result, a difference of seven degrees between in the tent and outside the tent.

I was using my new sleeping system, solo, in an eight year old Kelty Quartz, a 2 person, four season tent, on top of a footprint, rainfly securely staked down, with all the doors and vents closed but no other heat source other than body.  I speculate that if another person had been in the tent with me that the temperature difference might have been greater.  I also speculate that if I had been using my Sierra Designs Ultra Flash 2 person, lightweight, three season tent, which has netting all around it with no way to close it off that there would not have been as much, if any, temperature difference

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