How To Dry Out A Tent – Top Tips For Drying Your Tent Quickly

Ever been on a rainy camping trip and wondered how to dry out your tent? I go camping all year round and I’ve camped out through my fair share of rainstorms. That said, I always make sure that I dry out my tent as soon as possible. I’ve learnt my lesson after spending the day cleaning a moldy tent – never pack away your tent until it’s dry. 

Whether the sun is shining or it’s wet and overcast, find out the best ways to dry out a tent and my top tips for storing your tent. Here’s all you need to know. 


Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

10 Camping Essentials – Camping Gear & Accessories

Camping essentials so you have fun camping so you go camping more!

  1. Matches, lighter or flint to get your campfire started so you are always prepared.
  2. Reusable water jerry can with tap. I love that this one is foldable yet still super strong. 
  3. Comfortable camping chair. This one has a cooler bag and cup holder to ensure you have a cool drink within arms reach so you can sit back and relax.
  4. Portable gas camp stove to cook or reheat your favorite camping meals and stay nourished.
  5.  Axe or tomahawk to cut wood for your camp fire. 
  6. Jaffle iron to make delicious pie’s, panini’s, toasted cheese sandwiches and more around your campfire
  7. Heavy-duty gloves for handling items on your BBQ, grill or firepit safely.
  8. A long-handled shovel has so many uses from digging your car out of it gets bogged to moving coals around in your camp fire.
  9. Waterproof, quick-pitch tent with plenty of space for your gear and to protect you from the rain.
  10. Dirty gear bag that fits over your spare wheel so you can take all your rubbish with you.

Why You Need To Dry Out Your Tent

If your tent gets wet while you’re out camping – either from the morning dew or from a rainstorm, you’ll ideally want to make sure that it is fully dried out before packing it away. Otherwise, you’ll need to dry out your tent at home before storing it away.

Storing a wet tent will result in mold and mildew growth. This can create unsightly black stains that remain on your tent, even after you have spent the day cleaning it to remove the mold. Mold spores from a damp tent can linger in the air and cause difficulty breathing or even allergic reactions, so you’ll definitely want to avoid packing away your tent without drying it out first or you’ll need to learn how to clean a moldy tent.

How To Dry Out Your Tent While Camping

The best way to dry out your tent is to do so while you’re camping. Here’s my advice for getting your tent quickly dry while you’re still pitched at your campsite.

Use A Camp Towel

A surefire way to speed up the drying process is to remove excess moisture from your tent with your camp towel. Made from fast-drying microfiber, camp towels are specially designed to mop up large amounts of water. 

I personally love my Wise Owl Outfitters Camp Towel. I use it to give my tent a quick wipe over before packing up. Even if the weather’s been good, I’ll still give the inside of my tent a quick wipe to ensure that any traces of condensation are completely removed, especially if I’m leaving early in the morning. 

Improve Ventilation

Open up your tent to improve ventilation. The increased airflow will help to dry your tent much more quickly. Open any vents, your tent doors and windows for a faster drying time.

Remove The Rain Fly

If it was raining overnight, chances are your rain fly will be wet. Remove it from your tent and hang it up on a boulder or tree branch to dry. This will allow your tent to better air out and help any internal condensation to better dissipate.

Hang Up Your Tent

This tent drying tip is especially useful if you’ve pitched your tent in a shaded spot. Hang your tent over a branch or on a bush to better dry it out. This also has the advantage of getting rid of condensation which may have accumulated under your tent’s floor. 

How To Dry Out A Tent In Winter

In all likelihood, your tent will take longer to dry out in winter. If there’s a bit of sun and a breeze, you may manage to dry out your tent in situ. However, on overcast, humid days, you may find it near impossible to dry out your tent completely before it’s time to pack it away. 

camping in the rain
If possible, try not to pack up straight away. If there is a break in the rain, allow the sunshine to dry out your wet tent.

How To Dry Out A Tent In The Rain

Obviously, you won’t be able to dry out your tent at your campsite in wet weather. However, if there are any shelters nearby, you could hang it up inside to dry, after wiping it down with a camp towel. 

Otherwise, if you are heading off for the day hiking and the forecast is rain, you could consider covering your tent with a tarp before setting off. This will help to keep your tent dry and ready for your next night’s sleep.  

How To Dry Out Your Tent at Home

Sometimes, you just can’t dry your tent off while camping. It could be due to time constraints or the weather. Even if you think that your tent is completely dry when you pack up camp, you’ll still want to unpack it at home to double-check that it really is bone dry. 

I recommend always air drying your tent out at home for at least a day before packing it away. This will ensure that you don’t end up sleeping in a moldy tent the next time you go camping. 

Dry Out Your Tent In Your Garden

If the weather’s good and you have a garden, you can easily dry your tent out at home. Pitch your tent in your garden and hang up the rain fly separately. 

Before packing your tent away, double-check the seams and zippers are completely dry, as well as under the floor as water tends to accumulate in these areas, so you may need to hang your tent out for an extra hour or so to make sure that there is absolutely no moisture remaining. 

Dry Out Your Tent In Your Garage

If the weather’s bad and you have a garage, you can dry your tent inside. Expect it to take a couple of days. I currently have our tent hanging in our garage drying out from our weekend camping trip where we got caught in the rain.

If you’re short on space inside your garage and don’t want to pitch your tent, consider setting up a clothes line and draping your tent over it. Turn it over from time to time to ensure that it dries out completely on both sides. 

how to dry out a tent inside your garage

How To Dry Out Your Tent Inside Your Home

Whether you live in an apartment or the weather is wet, it’s fairly easy to dry out your tent indoors. It will just probably take a little longer. Make sure that you wipe your tent down to remove excess moisture first. 

Then, your best bet is going to be to hang it in your bathroom, or over your banister if you have stairs. Remember to remove your tent when you shower, otherwise it will end up getting damp again. 

To speed up the indoor drying process, use your AC, a dehumidifier, or a fan to improve air circulation. You may also want to place the different components of your tent, the rain fly, tent body, and footprint in different rooms, if possible. 

Depending on the conditions, your tent may take between one to three days to fully dry out inside your home. 

Best Practices for Drying Out Your Tent

When drying out your tent, keep the following points in mind.


  • Remove the rain fly and dry separately 
  • Wipe your tent dry to remove excess moisture 
  • Leave your tent pitched for a faster drying time
  • Increase airflow by opening doors and windows


  • Use heat (eg. radiators, heaters, a hair dryer) – this could damage your tent’s fabric and waterproofing
  • Use a dryer
  • Pack your tent away wet

How to Store Your Tent After Drying

After your tent is completely dry, you can pack it away until the next time you are going camping. I recommend using a breathable stuff sack to prevent any moisture build-up, just in case there was some dampness in the seams or zippers. 

My top tip to make sure that you do not end up with a moldy tent is to add a couple of silica gel packs inside your tent’s stuff sack. This will ensure that any slight traces of moisture are absorbed and that your tent stays dry and mold-free. 

use silica gel packs to store your tent to prevent mold

How to Dry Out a Tent FAQs

How long can you leave a tent wet?

Ideally, avoid leaving your wet tent packed away for more than a day. Mold can form quickly, especially if your tent is folded up and placed in a plastic stuff sack. Make sure that you dry out your tent fully as soon as you get home. If this is likely to take longer than 24 hours, try to air your tent out. For example, you could wipe it dry and place it loosely folded in your car trunk, turning and refolding it as and when you can. 

How long does it take for a tent to dry out?

It all depends on how wet your tent is and the conditions where you are drying it out. If you dry your tent with a camp towel and leave it to dry in a sunny spot with a breeze, it could take as little as one or two hours. If you are drying your tent in your bathroom at home, it could take a couple of days. 

How do you dry a wet tent fast?

To dry a wet tent fast, first remove the rain fly, then wipe off any moisture. Leave your tent to dry fully pitched in the sunshine with the doors, windows, and vents open. If it’s raining, take your tent home or to a shelter and remove the rain fly. Wipe dry and hang to dry. Use a fan to speed up the process at home. 

Can I put my tent in the dryer?

No! Under no circumstances should you put your tent in your dryer. The high temperature and tumbling motion can severely damage your tent’s fabric. This could cause shrinking, and deterioration, and remove your tent’s waterproofing. 

Final Thoughts on How to Dry Out a Tent

Now that you know how to dry out a tent, there are no more excuses for dealing with moldy, smelly tents the next time that you want to go camping. 

While drying off your tent can be difficult when the weather is wet or in winter, it is important to fully dry out your tent before storing it. Simply follow my top tent drying tips above. 

Related posts

For more camping articles check out this page.

Scroll to Top