canvas & swags

Submitted: Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 09:51
ThreadID: 13068 Views:6361 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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When canvas is wet from rain, should the underside, or inside in the case of a swag be damp or even wet. I am trying out a new swag before going away and any where I touched the inside of the swag (A frame style) moisture appeared eventually wetting sleeping bag etc..
I have read the previous posts,I do not think this is condensation there is to much moisture.(By the way both ends were open and the swag is of a high quality).
Any suggestions ?

Thanks Terry

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Reply By: Leroy - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:39

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:39
It probably is condensation. It can get pretty wet in there even if it is not raining!

AnswerID: 59671

Reply By: The Banjo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:08

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:08
Faras I know, canvas is supposed to get wet and clammy on the inside when wet....that's to be expected....been in wet tents for days, on a couple of occasions. What it shouldn't do is is allow water to form drops and run. If you touch the inside of a wet tent in the rain, that can induce a drip and run situation. Canvas is not a waterproof shield like the space age fabrics - but it breathes and that's why it is still so popular. "It's very old technology, is canvas".
AnswerID: 59681

Reply By: Aandy(WA) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:17

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 13:17
Terryfied, Canvas will typically let water pass through when touched so avoid touching it when it's wet outside. The qualty of the canvas will have some effect. I have a caravan annex made from top quality canvas which doesn't seem to leak even where the frame touches the canvas. Lesser quality canvas will let water penetrate in heavy rain and become moist to the touch on the inside. If it's a good quality canvas there should be very little condensation on the inside as canvas will breathe. Tent materials are given a water proof rating now so check what yours is. (I'm not sure of the correct terms). The figure given is in Millimetres. I have a hike tent with a 2,000mm rating. Some cheap tents are as low as 800mm. The test involves something like covering the end of a cylinder with the material and measuring the height of water which will be retained by the material for a specified time. If you're worried about the swag letting water in it's quite easy to use a cheap poly tarp over the lot with plenty of clearance. That way your swag will always be dry for packing.
AnswerID: 59683

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 18:25

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 18:25
Yeah......... I'm still battling with a solution myself.

I read on the net that the human body can lose up to 600 ml of water during sleep through respiration and perspiration.

Even if your swag is open both ends, unless you have a breeze, it will still stay moist.

I have had a different hood set up made for my swag, which should allow me to sleep in rain, but still allow the swag to breathe. If it works, I'll upload a photo for the crew to look at & copy.
AnswerID: 59709

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 20:37

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 20:37
I'd go along with Anndy's suggestion of the cheap poly tarp over the top, In pic 1 of "my rig"the swag is actualy set up under that polytarp cause it was..bucketing down. Also put a bit of shadecloth under your swag, I don't know if it helps with the condensation issue but it does make it a little drier and cleaner when packing up.
AnswerID: 59720

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 21:06

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 21:06
Hi Gajm,

I must say you did well to park directly under the tarp in Pic 1...well done! : )

PS. My initials are Gam, so I hope that your second name isn't Andrew as well
FollowupID: 321326

Follow Up By: Gajm (VIC) - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 21:24

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 21:24
Hi fellow Glenn, also with 2 N's

It was some skilfull driving I have to admit. Actualy it was bucketing rain, and dark, and I had my mate who is 6'4 and thankfully a bit thin, standing on my shoulders tying the ropes to the tree as high as he could get them.

Since then I've made a couple of brackets that are bolted onto the ends of the roofrack, and simply? slide in a couple of rods at each end in these \ / shapes. Put a centre pole between, throw tarp over it, and clip to the sides of the roofrack with some cheapo spring clips. Is easier than it sounds, and faster than it took to type. But great in terrible weather.... I'm sure you wanted to know all that.

As for initials, no, mine second name isn't as decent as Andrew, as should be obvious from the fact my parents were cruel enough to give me 2 middle names!

FollowupID: 321330

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 10:18

Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 10:18
Great idea Glenn. might use the same idea if I am ever travelling alone. Funny how there are three Glenn's on this sight, all spelt the same way...very rare.

FollowupID: 321362

Reply By: jolls - Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 09:44

Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 09:44

I have spent many years sleeping in a swag in the Army, usually without the benefir of a tarp or similar; however, if I know it is going to rain I set up a simple lean to, to keep a reasonable dry spot to keep my gear dry and for me to get squared away in the morning. I started out on the light side of the military; therefore used to use a gortex bivvy bag for weight and because it also breathes. Combined with a self inflating 3/4 mattress it was almost as good as a swag. The key to keeping dry in a fully canvas swag is to pick ground that will not allow the water to pool underneath you, otherwise the water will definitely seep through. A lot of swags now have a vinyl bottom for that specific reason. If I haven't read the weather well, or if it is already raining when we pull up in the carrier, I chose a piece of ground with a natural slope, place my head to the top and zip myself up completely. It only gets a little damp and the outside of the sleeping bag usually feels cold to the touch. I have always stayed dry even in torrential rain. I treat mine with canvas treatment when I return, I'm in the US at the moment and don't remember the name but you camping or outdoor shop should be able to flog you a good canvas treatment. A cheap hootchie from a disposal store and a couple of occie straps does the whole lot for me and it rolls up into a 6" x 6" x 1" bundle and it weighs nothing. If you have a double swag these contraptions clip together. Ask any AJ you can find and he should be able to show you how to set them up in a jiffy. Beware of some, just some of the reservists, I have seen some ugly hootchie setups that tend to catch water and pout it in on them. No shot at reservists, they do an excellent job; however, in a lot of cases it is not even one weekend a month and two weeks per year. Keeps me amused when I see it though, I'm sure they learn from the experience very quickly. Nothing worse than being wet in the weeds and not being able to get dry. I think a dry fart sack is essential to morale, in any outdoor situatiuon. If you follow these couple of pointers yopu should be able to be dry all the time. My recommendation, buy the hootchies and put them up as a matter of course.

If you need any plans to set up a small sleeping area give me a yell. More than happy to help out. Please, if you are a reservist out there, not insult intended, I'm sure you've seen it as well. Keep up the good work!


AnswerID: 59764

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