When it comes to having a grow tent, a big part of that process is keeping the whole operation low-key. I live in Canada, and although it’s completely legal to grow a few plants here, it’s still not something you want to advertise. A lot of people are still out to steal your crop, your landlord might catch a whiff and give you grief about it – who knows. The main point is, we need to keep a stealth grow tent.
There are a few things that we can all do which will ensure the safety and security of our cash crop. There’s nothing worse than setting everything up, and getting your crops going really nice, only to have the operation cut short. Stealth grow tent solutions are easy to create if you follow a few simple steps.
Stealth Grow Tent Key #1: Sounds
Sounds are probably the biggest cause of giving away the location of an otherwise stealth grow tent. Even if you do all the other things in this article to a tee, a constant jet engine sound in the other room will eventually arouse suspicions. For this reason, we must muffle the sounds of the inline blower fan. Even if you have a relatively quiet one, it’s never too quiet. To achieve ultimate stealth status, it must be quiet as a whisper.
So, how do we accomplish this? Well, sounds are essentially vibrations travelling though the air, so we need to find a way to prevent these waves from travelling from the inline fan to the crop perpetrator. There are many awesome ways we can achieve this.
Hang it. Hanging the blower fan from the roof of your tent or grow room is a great way to reduce vibrations. If your fan is currently touching the floor or wall of your home, those vibrations will travel throughout the house. Hanging it up and not letting it touch any of the home’s surfaces is the first step to creating a stealth grow tent.
The great thing about this is that you can arrange it whichever way you want. You can bring the inline blower out of the tent, attach it to the carbon filter with ducting, hang it off the roof, and then blow it out the window. This is an ideal setup for a stealth grow tent.
Insulate it. Covering the blower fan in some kind of box, and then insulating the box is a fantastic way to go one step further. I did this using Roxul Safe ‘n Sound. This is some intense rockwool material which does great at dampening down the sound, and it’s not too expensive. Using those super thick rubberized mats can cost a lot of money – they are expensive.
On the other hand, using those foam sound-absorbers don’t really make much of a difference. Those are to keep sound waves from bouncing, but it doesn’t really block it. To get a good value for your money and actually have the thing work, use something like the rockwool, that’s my favorite solution.
Sound-proof the exhaust. Most likely, the exhaust port of your blower fan will be the part making by far the most noise and ruining the stealth grow tent vibe. The inlet is already connected to your carbon filter – or it should be! – but the outlet usually just leads to some ducting, which doesn’t really do much for reducing sound.
For this reason, people have actually made dedicated sound-dampeners for the exhaust port. This is an amazing product for keeping a stealth grow tent. Vivosun makes a good one. It’s lined with that sound-absorbing material I was talking about earlier. Basically, it just directs the noise out of the tube rather than radiating it around the room.
Check this out guys, it’s an excellent solution for anybody who wants to make the ultimate stealth grow tent. Strap this thing on to the exhaust port of your inline blower, and all the noise coming out of it will be severely reduced in decibels. It does create a little bit of turbulence, making the blower a little bit less efficient, but it is very well worth it. Comes in 3, 6, 8 inch varieties, take a peek.
Works very well, although it does create a lot of distortions in the flow of air. This doesn’t seem to be a problem – maybe it makes the blower fan a little bit less efficient. However, I feel that having a stealth grow tent is much more important than a 5% reduction in blower fan efficiency.
Aside from the noise, there are other things that you need to take into consideration – that’s just the most important part. I think the positioning of the tent, and also the exhaust port you choose are two other very crucial decisions to make when designing a stealth grow tent. I have a dedicated page for this, so check that out if for more information, but I’ll go over some of it here.
Stealth Grow Tent Key #2: Low-Key Exhausting
Where to exhaust is very important. If you’re just shooting air out one of your basement windows through a shiny reflective tube, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re up to no good. I mean, it could be an AC unit, could be a drier machine, but those are just things you tell yourself; everyone knows it’s a grow op.
So, to avoid this, you must choose a prime place to exhaust. The attic is dope, especially if you are doing a closet grow – put it in the closet with the attic entry, and shoot all the air in there. If you have the exhaust noise cancellation, and the carbon filter, you could literally just exhaust it in your own home without any repercussions. In fact, many people do during winter time – helps warm the house up!
If you MUST exhaust out the window, there are definitely smart ways to go about it. Ditch that shiny reflective tube, at least after the point that it exits the tent. That is a dead giveaway that you’re working with heavy lights and ventilation – screams grow op. I use some generic 4” tubing that I found at home hardware.
Then, attach that normal tubing on to one of those window exhaust ports. You know, the ones that you can buy with certain AC units to exhaust out the window. A lot of them can be pulled out to meet the dimensions of your window in particular. They make it seem like you’re just doing climate control, and therefore is a really good choice for stealth grow tent setups.
I go over where to set up ventilation and exhausting in my Conclusive Grow Tent Ventilation Guide, that you can refer to.
Smells are a big thing that attract all kinds of people. If your neighbors smell you smoking bongs, that’s one thing – whatever. However, if they are constantly smelling your weed billowing out of the window, someone is going to get upset eventually. Don’t let that happen to you, it is such a no-brainer to fix this problem.
Get yourself a nice carbon filter, and take care of it. You can detach it during the veg state to make it last a bit longer. Check the exhaust air from time to time to make sure it still doesn’t smell like weed. As soon as it starts smelling, do something about it – replace the filter.
It’s quite cheap for a really good carbon filter, especially if you consider the alternative route. Don’t let yourself get caught off guard. Make a stealth grow tent by including a carbon filter into your security stack. It’s a nice thing to do for your neighbors, so they don’t have to smell it, and it keeps you safe. All around a no-brainer.
This is just scratching the surface of reducing smells. I’ve got a post on How to Make Your Grow Tent 100% Smell Proof. Take a peek at that for more information.
Stealth Grow Tent Key #3: Don't Blind the Neighbours
Light is another thing for stealth grow tents that I was saving for the very end of the article, just because it’s so stupid. I mean, if you are having problems with people seeing your lights, then you must be doing something wrong. A grow tent of even the lowest caliber will block out basically all of the light, and you won’t see anything. Sure, when you open it, the lights can be seen. This is the point of vulnerability.
Therefore, make sure that any time you open the tent, the door to the room is closed, windows are closed, and everything is on lock down. Getting caught inside a grow tent is like getting caught red handed stealing from a store, so don’t let that happen to you.
Probably the last thing I can convey to you is placement of the actual growing tent. Place it in a locked room, even if you live at home. Family comes over, police might come over for various reasons, don’t let ANYONE can walk in willy nilly. I replaced the door handle with a lock mechanism, chiseled a bigger notch in the wall so it latches better, and that’s where my grow resides – it’s locked down. It’s important to keep everything safe, secure, locked down.
So, that was my guide on keeping a stealth grow tent. Don’t look at the tents to be stealth – it’s not about this tent or that tent. They are all the same, guys. Just a piece of mylar wrapped around a few poles. To make a stealth grow tent, we must all be very aware of where everything is placed, who has access to these things, and knowing your vulnerabilities.
If you read through this, sit down, plan something out, and keep to a strict protocol, you will most likely stay safe. In terms of telling your friends, I don’t know. I live in Canada, so I tell my best friends about this, it hasn’t been a problem for me yet, but who knows, maybe someone will get jealous later.
If you live in a place where growing is illegal, I would HIGHLY advise against showing your buddies. You know the #1 source of weed theft? Probably that one stupid buddy you showed, or perhaps he told one of his even more stupid friends about it, and they came to ransack your precious crops.
Don’t let this happen to you, it’s completely avoidable. Secure your room, create a stealth grow tent environment, and then make sure you follow your protocols when visiting the tent.