If you want to go camping, of course, it is impossible not to prepare the necessary equipment. A complete list of valuable items can make your camping trip even more perfect.
However, being too prepared can also make you tired when carrying it. Determining an item to or should not carry can take a lot of your time.
You should decide via many issues, from user needs to the place and time. And rainfly is one of those tools that makes you think a lot.
So, when to pack a rainfly and not? You only need to bring a rainfly in the summer months when it often rains.
If you set up camp in dry areas or during a less rainy time of the year, bringing a rainfly is unnecessary, even more troublesome.
The article summarizes in detail the issues related to the rainfly topic.
Let’s find out now!
What Is Rainfly?
The rainfly is a visor usually mounted on the roof of a tent. You can also use this mesh to completely cover the tent’s outside. As a result, you can keep your shelter out of the water, even in showers or snow, windy or stormy weather.
Currently, there are quite a few different types. You can find shields sold individually that can be attached to the tent with a zipper or rope.
Some manufacturers re-design tents that include dragonfly, and you can open or close the vents at any time.
Do You Need A Tent Rainfly?
Before determining the necessity of rainfly, you need to know an advantage as well as a disadvantage of today’s tent design.
Manufacturers often create a mesh at the top of the tent with the main task for ventilation. However, this design accidentally makes you and your belongings wet in unfavorable weather conditions such as rain and snow.
Rainfly will be an excellent tool for you to repair holes in the tent.
With just a simple cover, you can prevent rain or snow from getting through the mesh ceiling. Some types of rainfly can even wholly cover your tent, giving you almost complete protection from the rain.
Some types of the visor can only cover part of the tent, and water can still seep through the rest, causing you some trouble.
Therefore, rainfly designs like the one above probably won’t be necessary if you want an option that offers the best protection. In this case, you should choose products that can cover completely.
When To Pack A Rainfly And Not?
Rainfly’s leak-proof performance may make you want to take this tool with you on your trips. Yet, there are times when you should or shouldn’t bring a rainfly.
Weather conditions are critical factors in determining whether or not you should seal your vents.
The rainfly only works when the weather conditions are prone to heavy rain, snowfall, or any other phenomenon that can cause your tent to leak.
Of course, no one wants to go camping in less than ideal weather.
If it is a long trip, no one knows for sure how the weather can change. And keeping track of the weather reports will give you the basics, so you can determine what gear to bring on the journey.
If the weather forecast indicates that the next few days or weeks may rain, carrying a dragonfly in your luggage is essential.
Conversely, when the area you choose to camp in is experiencing a hot, dry period with little rain of the year, you probably won’t be able to use the rainfly during your journey.
Sealing the ventilation holes of the tent with dragonfly in hot, dry weather conditions can be one of the reasons your camping trip becomes incomplete.
Demand is also one of the points to keep in mind when deciding on the amount and type of luggage to bring when camping. And rainfly is no exception.
First, does your tent need a screen to keep water out? Some of the latest tents no longer use the traditional design with ventilation holes on the top. Instead, moist air can escape from below.
Besides, carrying a product depends on the number of people as well as your means of transportation.
If you are camping alone with limited mobility, minimizing the things you need to bring is essential. And in case you take a close look at the weather before you start your journey, chances are you’ll never need a dragonfly.
But if you are traveling with a large group and carrying bulky luggage is not an issue, preparing some extra rain gear like a dragonfly is entirely worth considering.
What If You Don’t Use Rainfly In These Conditions?
You may find that using or not using rainfly in some of the above cases does not bring about too serious consequences.
Yet, using it at the wrong time can also bring you an unpleasant experience.
With not using dragonfly in bad weather conditions such as dew, rain, snow, the most direct consequence is that water will seep into the inside of the tent.
Sheltering in a wet tent is not your intention at the start of your journey.
Rainwater penetrates the tent not only makes you wet, damaging your health, but also can extinguish the fire, wet the food and the furniture you bring.
Meanwhile, when using the dragonfly in dry weather, you will inadvertently block all the ventilation holes of the tent.
When the air exchange in the tent and the outside environment is hindered, you can quickly feel the difference, such as a feeling of suffocation or a higher temperature. All in all, all of the above changes are not very pleasant.
In case you brought your dragonfly with you but didn’t have a chance to use it, your only annoyance would probably be that you wasted storage space and transportation effort on a tool with little to no use.
How To Properly Use A Rainfly
To use dragonfly effectively, you only need to pay attention to two main principles: comprehensive protection and maximum breathability.
To meet the requirement of all-around protection, you need to stretch the product as much as possible to cover a large area. Besides, pushing the dragonfly creates a flat surface that helps rain and snow flow quickly and easily.
In terms of breathability, as mentioned many times, dragonflies will somewhat limit airflow into the tent.
However, you can completely overcome this drawback with a few tips.
You align the installation so that the tent body and dragonfly have a certain distance. With just a slight change, you can allow air to move freely between the tent and the screen, which is very beneficial for the air inside.
For more ways to set up, check out this video below!
Maintenance And Repair Work
Like with any device, frequency, time and usage will cause rainfly to no longer work as well as it did in the beginning. Some of the problems you may encounter include a punctured barrier or corroded waterproofing.
While it can be challenging to restore a product to perfect, like-new condition, solutions are available to help you maintain and repair your dragonfly.
Each dragonfly problem will require different solutions and tools.
- For example, to fix the most severe problem of losing the waterproof coating, you need the help of a waterproof spray.
It would help if you also prepared a clean towel, cleaning solution to treat the surface before applying a new layer of chemicals.
- Whereas with small punctures, you will need glue as well as a cleaning solution such as alcohol to fix.
To apply a new waterproof layer, you can follow these straightforward steps:
- First, you need to clean the rainfly with alcohol or a cleaning solution.
- Next, dry the sides of the shield with a soft cloth.
- Finally, use a specialized waterproof spray directly on the dragonfly.
If you want to repair small holes or cuts on a dragonfly, use special tape, glue, and some other tools according to the instructions below:
- Similar to the first workaround, you need to clean the surface first. Alcohol solutions can effectively clean but can destroy your waterproof coating. Therefore you need to be careful when rubbing.
- Next, seal the holes on both sides with special adhesive tape. When doing this, you should stretch the tape to make sure there are no air bubbles between the two sides of the tape.
- Then apply glue along the edges. A good piece of advice for you at this step: the minimum thickness of the glue line should be half an inch on both sides.
- Finally, when the glue has dried, you need to apply non-stick again on the surface of the tape.
After re-coating the paint, patching the holes, you need to check the waterproofness of the product. Yet, it is necessary to wait at least 12 hours for the adhesive as well as the waterproofing layer to work before starting any test.
Testing should also take place regularly throughout the future use of the product. In addition to detecting leaks, you can also see mold early – factors that negatively affect your rainfly experience.
Alternative Method When The Problem With Rainfly Cannot Be Fixed
If the above instructions do not restore your dragonfly’s water resistance, it may be time to look for alternatives.
- Tent manufacturers will provide you with a wide selection of accessories that are compatible with each product type, including dragonfly. All you need to do is choose a product from the same brand of tent you are using.
- Besides, you also have many dragonfly options from many different brands. However, you need to pay attention to the size and compatibility of the product with your current tent.
This article covers all you need to know about rainfly and when to pack a rainfly and not. Indeed with the above information, you have a detailed answer.
We hope you have the best experience when camping and can handle all problems well with the things you bring along the journey.
If you have any other related questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below to receive a suitable response from us.
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