Tent Care, Maintenance & Common Repairs
If you haven’t been able to get out camping yet, now could be a good time to start thinking about it and cleaning your camping gear ahead of time. When the time comes for your first vacation, you’ll not only be prepared for the season, but you’ll also be able to start thinking about where you’ll travel on your first trip. Continue reading to find out how you may prepare your tent for future camping excursions. Camping in a tent is a traditional activity. Bringing your shelter to your campground, pitching it in the exact position, and falling asleep to the calm music of nature is a really rewarding experience.
Additionally, as new technologies and materials are produced, tents are getting more advanced, and each year, new designs that are more durable, lightweight, and comfortable are introduced to the market.
This article will provide you some pointers on how to repair and maintain your tent so that it will last you for many camping excursions in the future.
Tent Care, Maintenance and Repair
A tent is constructed of synthetic fabrics, metal, polymers, and waterproof coatings, all of which require special attention to ensure that they operate as intended. A widespread assumption is that, because these materials are tough and designed to resist moisture, they can withstand harsh circumstances — including those that we ourselves periodically subject them to. This isn’t true. While tents are designed to provide protection from the elements when used outside, their long-term longevity is dependent on how well they are maintained and treated.
Keeping moisture out of the tent before storing it helps to keep the materials sturdy and water-resistant.
There are a variety of measures you may take to safeguard your tent.
1. During Setup at the Campsite
Preparing your campground is the first stage in this process. Choose a flat, level location and clear the area of twigs and stones that might damage the bottom of your tent. In order to protect your tent from ground dampness, first put out a footprint. This may be anything from a synthetic ground cover to a folded sheet of construction house-wrap folded in half. If you intend to leave your tent in the same location for a number of days, it is preferable to have it in the shade. Tent fabric does not fare well in the presence of UV radiation, and utilizing trees to shield it from the sun is an excellent approach to avoid this problem.
Polyester rain flys are more resistant to sunlight than nylon rain flys.
Finally, resist whipping the tent poles around to ensure that their elastic ropes are securely fastened in place. This can cause the metal to break or put stress on it, increasing the likelihood of it snapping in the future. Take your time assembling these pieces one at a time if necessary.
2. During the Course of Your Camping Trip
While using your tent, the zipper will be one of the sections that gets the most use because it is one of the most exposed to the elements. Pulling zippers with one hand might be a difficult experience if they don’t move easily as you would expect. However, forcing them might cause the fabric to weaken and break, so use your other hand to maintain the zipper track as you draw away from it. The majority of the time, if the zipper track splits, it can be repaired by just running the zipper back over it until it locks back together.
- Keep all of your dirty boots, shoes, and other items outside of the tent until you’re done.
- Keeping food inside the tent can attract rats, who would gladly eat through the tent to get to it.
- One more point to mention: Dogs can make excellent sleeping companions in a tent, but their claws and teeth are not compatible with the walls and floor of the tent.
- Additionally, when exposed to direct sunshine, tents may become quite hot, making it dangerous for your dog to remain inside.
3. Storing Your Tent After Camping
When it comes to putting down your tent, the first thing you should do is shake everything out, including the footprint and the actual tent itself. It will be much simpler to shake the dirt out of your tent if you can lift it up with the poles still in place when you take it up. Some tent poles are designed to be easily removed by passing through sheaths on the tent’s outside. When removing these items, push them through rather than pulling them out. As a result of the pulling, the pole segments get separated and become entangled in the cloth, putting additional strain on the shockcord.
Before placing your tent in a stuff sack or traveling container, be sure it is completely dry.
It should also be rolled up rather than being stuffed into the sack when placing it in the bag.
The ideal method to store a tent for an extended period of time is in a looser bag, such as a pillowcase, rather than in the compact stuff sack, which might put stress on the fabrics.
Your tent will last longer if you take the precautions suggested in the preceding section before, during, and after usage. Read on for more information. It will take you the rest of the way if you know how to properly maintain it, though. Here are some pointers on how to maintain your tent properly:
1. How to Clean a Tent
You should clean your tent after returning home from a long tent camping vacation that lasts several days or more. Otherwise, if you only use it for brief camping excursions every now and again, you should clean it every few months at the very least. Is it possible to wash a tent? The first and most crucial guideline is that your tent should never be placed inside a washing machine or a drying machine. This equipment, even on its gentlest cycles, can cause tents to stretch, overheat, and otherwise become damaged.
To begin, fill a big bucket or sink halfway with warm water and a mild soap that is not a detergent.
Also, be sure that the soap you choose will not break down the waterproof layer on your clothes.
You should next submerge the entire tent in a bath of soapy, warm water once you have finished cleaning the problem regions of the tent. It should be completely washed and rinsed before being hung to dry.
2. How to Avoid Getting Mold on Your Tent
Tents are made up of a number of materials that are strung together to provide a barrier between humans and the outside world; it is only natural that they absorb moisture. When you sleep in a tent, your body generates heat and your breath generates moisture, which both contribute to the overall temperature. This warm, wet air rises to the top of the tent, where it collides with the walls of the structure. Consequently, because this cloth is generally colder than the surrounding air, moisture condenses on its surface.
When this moisture becomes trapped within the tent, mold begins to grow.
If you want to avoid having mildew on your tent, take especially careful when drying it before storing it.
You may also use a fan to help it dry faster if you want to.
3. How to Clean a Tent With Mold and Mildew
Knowing how to remove mold from a tent will inevitably come in helpful at some point. After the weather does not cooperate, you may be forced to pack your tent while it is still damp, which may result in the discovery of mold or mildew areas when you unpack it. Set up the tent outside or on a dry floor in the garage to prepare it for eradicating mold and mildew from the structure. It is critical that the tent be completely dry before the operation can begin. The sun can also aid in the killing of mold.
Using this combination, carefully rub down all of the tent’s afflicted areas using a soft cloth.
After the tent has had time to dry out, it is a good time to consider weatherproofing the structure.
4. How to Waterproof a Tent
There isn’t much else you could ask for in terms of a tent other than the fact that it is waterproof as long as it is not damaged or destroyed. Waterproof layers and coatings, on the other hand, wear away with time, necessitating the need to reapply them every couple of years. First and foremost, make certain that your tent is dry and situated in a location where it will not be contaminated by dirt. After that, begin with the seams. To complete this operation, you will need to acquire a tube of seam sealer, which, when applied, will waterproof this particularly susceptible area of the tent.
View the remainder of the tent for more information.
However, if the waterproofing of the tent floor has been compromised, it may be preferable to acquire a whole new tent.
5. How to Store a Tent
For the most part, people are surprised to learn that the best method to store sleeping bags is to shove them haphazardly into their respective sacks. Although meticulously wrapping it up might result in unequal fluff distribution, filling it allows the fluff to be dispersed more randomly because of the compression. A tent, on the other hand, does not profit from being filled into its sack in an uneven manner. The tent should be folded into thirds equally along its longitudinal axis when it has been thoroughly dried.
As a result of this rolling, the seams and textiles of the tent are subjected to about equal tension.
Some helpful clues are whether or not it feels wet or smells musty.
The fact that it is both roomy and breathable, as previously indicated, makes a pillowcase an excellent loose storage bag.
Camping Tent Repair
We rely on tents to protect us from the weather, and as a result, they are subjected to some harsh usage. Rain, wind, mud, twigs, stones, and human mistake are just a few of the trials and tribulations that a tent must face. It is possible that these difficulties will overcome them, and that they will require repair in order to return to functioning condition. One item that you should keep on hand at all times is some type of mending tape. Although there is some dispute over whether tent repair tape is the best, duct tape is a fantastic all-around alternative.
Tent repair tips that are easy to do on your own are included below.
1. How to Patch a Tent Floor
When it comes to tent floor repairs, it’s always a good idea to keep a small patch kit on hand. In the event that you have even a little hole in the bottom of your tent, water can seep in and get into your sleeping bag and living space. Always remember to use a footprint below your tent as a precautionary measure. If you have poked a hole in the floor of your tent, a patch may be the most effective method of fixing it. Patches may come with a built-in adhesive, or you may need to apply some glue to the patch before it will adhere to the tent’s floor properly.
After that, apply the patch and allow it to set for several minutes.
Silicone-based sealants are excellent for a wide range of applications.
Line up the edges of the tear as evenly as possible on the exterior surface of your tent and apply tape over the top of them to seal the tear. After that, apply the silicone sealer to the interior of the window and allow it to cure for 10 to 12 hours.
2. How to Repair a Ripped Tent Seam
Because of the tension placed on them and the inherent risk of leakage, tent seams are among the most meticulously built elements of the tent. Preserve a tube of seam sealer on hand for occasional use in waterproofing seams; preventing water from entering seams is one of the most effective methods to guarantee that they remain robust. Several choices are available if your tent seam falls apart: the right fix, the fast fix, and the expert fix.
- Proper repair: If you are skilled with a needle and thread, you may recreate the process used by tent makers to stitch the seam back together and secure it in place again. Make certain you choose a strong thread that can survive exposure to the elements. Also, make careful to secure the sections of sewing that came free as a result of the tear. When you are through stitching, apply a couple of coats of seam sealer to the seam to keep it protected. Quick fix: If you’re about to leave for your camping vacation, or if you notice the tear while you’re already on the road, it’s time to break out the duct tape. When camping, duct tape comes in handy for a variety of fast solutions, and it is particularly good for patching seams. Bring the edges of the seam as close together as you can, and then wrap the duct tape around the outside of the tent to protect it. In the event that you have a hairdryer on hand, you may slightly heat it to improve its hold on the fabric. In order to ensure the highest possible quality, you may want to consider hiring a professional to repair the tear. When it comes to tent repair, there are many of firms that provide inexpensive pricing.
3. How to Repair a Rip in the Wall of Your Tent
Another do-it-yourself project that every camper with the correct equipment can do is repairing rips in the wall of their tent. You will require the following supplies:
- A bottle of rubbing alcohol, a clean towel, a pair of scissors, and duct tape are all required. A patch kit for mesh screens is also available.
Cleaning the exterior of the rip with rubbing alcohol after soaking a portion of a cloth in it is recommended. Make certain that all debris and dust have been removed from the surface in order to ensure effective adherence. After that, cut a piece of mending tape to the right size to cover the hole. Repair tape’s corners should be rounded off to prevent it from peeling upwards when exposed to water or moisture. Make sure your tent is set up on a flat platform so that the rip is smooth and ready to accept a repair.
Attempt to determine if the rip is at a location that will be subjected to a lot of strain, such as near a pole or in a corner.
Allow a day for the patches to settle before removing the tent from the ground.
4. How to Repair a Broken Tent Pole in a Pinch
When tent poles break when camping, they must be repaired as soon as possible. Strong gusts or a mistaken step might cause these poles to collapse, split, or break, thus understanding how to put together a workable solution is essential for survival. The first option is to make use of the pole sleeve that was most likely included with your tent assembly kit. The same way that having extra duct tape and stakes is a good idea, having one of these on hand is a good idea. Alternatively, if the pole is bent, put the pole sleeve over the top of it and softly press down with a rock to straighten it out.
Having positioned the pole sleeve over the break, duct tape both ends of it to the pole so that it functions as a split.
If you don’t have a pole sleeve on hand, you may use a stake to function as a splint by duct-taping it over the broken section of the pole.
Take Care of Your Tent to Get the Most Usage out of It
Taking good care of your tent and understanding how to maintain and repair it will go a long way toward ensuring that it lasts for many years.
Keep in mind that the measures listed below will assist you in keeping your tent in excellent condition:
- Choosing an appropriate camping location
- Taking good care of the tent when you’re setting it up
- Never put it away when it’s damp
- It should be cleaned on a regular basis. Waterproof coatings are being reapplied.
Apart from that, tent repairs are typically simple and may be accomplished with a basic set of equipment. Don’t forget to bring along duct tape, a patch kit, a few additional stakes, and a multitool with scissors and pliers for emergencies. It is unlikely that you will encounter any problems that cannot be resolved with these simple tools. When we go on an expedition, we may use a tent to accompany us and give a comfortable, pleasant shelter in which to enjoy it. If you take proper care of your tent, it will provide you with many years of restful sleep, pure air, and enjoyable experiences.
How Do I Properly Care for My Tent?
When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors. Tents are built to withstand the weather, but they require regular maintenance if you want them to survive more than a season or two. In order to learn how to safeguard your multi-hundred-dollar investment, I spoke with three tent repair professionals who shared their best repair advice. Here’s what they had to say.
1: Pick Your Camping Spot Wisely
It all starts with a properly pitched sound effect. According to Charlie Lane, a tent repair expert at MSR who fixes up to 200 tents each month, “it is beneficial to set up your tent in a covered spot rather than on an exposed ridge.” Lane does not want you to lose out on a spectacular view, but he advises that if you pitch your tent on a ridge, your tent may be excessively pounded by the wind.
2: Build and Stake Your Tent Properly
Tent makers build their tents to survive a hurricane and a deluge, but if they’re not utilized properly, the components will shatter. Lane sees a lot of cracked tent poles and shredded rain fly as a result of people failing to follow the manufacturer’s directions. The extra time spent double-checking that everything is tight and correctly placed is recommended, according to the author.
3: Keep Your Tent Clean
Oil and grime can ultimately deteriorate your tent’s waterproof fly, so when it becomes visibly dirty, you should clean it in the same manner as you would your Gore-Tex jacket to prevent further damage. Shelter Wash is available from MSR, but any mild soap would suffice. Hand washing is recommended, and make sure the fly is completely dry before storing it.
4: Dry Your Tent
If you store your tent when it’s damp, the seam tape will peel and the polyurethane covering will break down, according to Lindsey Stone, operations manager at Rainy Pass, a Gore-Tex approved repair shop in Seattle. Additionally, it is likely to become moldy. Stone recommends that you set up your tent at home every time you return from a trip in order to allow it to completely dry out.
5: Don’t Store Your Tent in a Stuff Sack
If you are transporting your tent to and from the campsite, Lane recommends putting it in a looser stuff sack to allow the materials to breathe when it is resting in your garage for extended periods of time. It also prevents the fly and seam tape from becoming crimped due to the increased space.
6: Be Kind to Your Zippers
At her shop, Stone sees more zipper repairs than any other type of repair. This is due to the fact that people yank them excessively forcefully. When your zipper becomes trapped on a component of your tent, Stone advises being patient and cleaning it with a damp towel or something likeZip Care from Gear Aid, which includes a brush and lubricant, to extend the life of your zipper.
It is important to clean your zippers so that dust and sand don’t eat away at the metal.
7: Wax Your Zippers
Zipped up repairs are the most common type of repair Stone encounters at her business. Due to the fact that consumers pull them excessively hard, this is the case When your zipper becomes trapped on a component of your tent, Stone advises being patient and cleaning it with a damp towel or something likeZip Care from Gear Aid, which contains a brush and lubricant to extend the life of your zipper. Cleaning your zippers will help to guarantee that dust and sand do not eat away at the metal of the zippers themselves.
8: UV-Treat Your Tent
Stone claims that she frequently sees tents that have been damaged by the sun to the point that their rain fly and outside walls are as fragile as paper, according to Stone. She recommends using a product such as McNett’s UV Tech, which works as a sunscreen for the exterior fabric, to prevent this degradation from occurring.
9: Rinse Your Poles
According to Iris Diligencia, a repair tech supervisor at MSR, “we see a significant amount of poles come in that have been damaged by seawater or salt air.” As a result, she claims, the salt will oxidize your poles, eventually causing them to shatter. Even if you weren’t directly on the beach, Diligencia recommends that you rinse out your poles.
10: Don’t Rely on Duct Tape for Long-Term Repairs
Certainly, duct tape is useful for a temporary patch when your tent tears while you’re out on the trail, but over time, the tape will break down and peel away. Stone recommends usingTenacious Tape for a longer-term solution since it is more durable and has a stronger bond than regular tape.
TENT CARE 101: KEEPING YOUR TENT CLEAN & DRY
If you’ve been traveling for months, it’s a good idea to check your gear for signs of wear and tear, do any necessary maintenance, and, when it’s time to put it away, prepare it for longer-term storage. However, if you take excellent care of your MSR tent, you should be able to use it for many years to come. Three commonly asked questions and tent maintenance suggestions from our customer service staff might assist you in maintaining the proper functioning of your tent.
1. What’s the best way to store my tent between trips?
It’s ideal to keep your tent in a dry, cool location away from direct sunlight if possible. Store your tent in an enormous, airy cotton bag or mesh duffel, rather than in its stuff sack, much like you would your sleeping bag. Alternatively, a basic pillowcase may be used to achieve the same results.
2. How do I prevent my tent from growing mildew?
Despite the fact that all MSR tents are equipped with waterproof protection, extended exposure to moisture can result in hydrolysis, which is the early breakdown of thewaterproof coating of even the most water-resistant tents. You should avoid packing or storing your tent if it is wet, moist, or dirty in order to prevent this layer from getting mushy and sticky and becoming no longer waterproof, as well as to prevent mildew from forming on the fabric. After being damp and folded for as little as 24 hours, mildew can begin to grow on the tent’s waterproof covering, causing it to discolor and smell, as well as causing it to become less waterproof.
Allowing your tent to air out and dry might assist to keep it protected. (Please note that our Limited Warranty does not cover mildew or moisture-related damage.)
3. How do I clean my tent?
Due to the fact that your tent is intended to be used outside, you will only need to clean it if it develops an undesirable smell or becomes badly dirty. The majority of loose dirt may be removed from the cloth by applying pressure to it with an ordinary garden hose. Prepare your tent and hand wash it with warm water, a sponge, and a mild, non-detergent soap once it has been put up, for thorough cleaning. Rinse well and let it to dry completely while pitching or hanging to dry. Make careful to avoid using dishwashing liquid, detergent, bleach, and other similarly concentrated solutions on your tent, and never dry clean, machine wash, or machine dry your tent unless absolutely necessary.
Keeping your tent dry, clean, and correctly kept can ensure that it lasts for many more years.
- The Summit Register’s Tents 101: Seam Taping vs. Seam Sealing
- Tent Care Tips: How to Make Your Tent Last Longer
- Tent Washing Instructions | The Summit Register
- Tents 101: Seam Taping vs. Seam Sealing
The original version of this article was published on May 19th, 2014.
Tent Care Tips: How to Make Your Tent Last Longer
Take good care of your tent, whether you camp in the wilderness every weekend or just go camping once a year with friends and family. This will ensure that your tent lasts as long as possible. Here are six basic tent maintenance suggestions to help you get the most out of your tent. In the North Cascades of Washington, Gavin Turner and Dan Baas camped in a high alpine basin following a rapid and light ascent of Cutthroat Peak (North Cascades). Photograph by Mike Tittel
1. Never store your tent wet
It is possible that storing your tent while it is wet or simply damp can cause the fabric and coatings to break down prematurely. As a result, the most important rule for extending the life of your tent is to keep it clean, dry, and kept in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.
2. Treat your poles well
The majority of pole damage happens during the installation process. When erecting the frame, try to avoid slamming the ends of the pole pieces together since this might dent them or cause fractures at the ends, which can undermine the strength of the poles and cause them to shatter. It is important not to overstress the tent poles when erecting it, since this might result in the portions becoming permanently deformed. Also, before bending the poles, check to see that they are completely inserted into one another.
Maintaining your poles, especially near junctions, should be a top priority if you’ve been driving in sandy or salty conditions.
3. Use a footprint with your tent
Footprints are intended to keep the floor of your tent clean, dry, and protected from excessive abrasion and wear. A footprint not only helps to keep water and dirt away from the bottom of your tent, but it also helps to keep your tent clean when it comes time to pack it up.
4. Be kind to the zippers
When zipping your tent up or closed, the greatest thing you can do is proceed slowly and use two hands to ensure that the zipper lasts as long as possible. When the tent is set up, the fabric is supposed to be taut, which means that there will always be some stress on the zipper. Second-hand assistance with the zipper, especially when travelling around a curve, will decrease wear on the zipper and its metal slider, allowing it to function more smoothly for longer intervals of time.
Zippers should be kept clean and clear of fine grit because small grit can wear away at the metal slider, causing the zipper teeth to become loose.
5. Seal the seams if need-be
The moisture, heat, and humidity that accumulates in tents constructed of lightweight textiles can cause the seam tape and seam sealer to break down over time. Whenever you start to see leaks along your seams, you should consider sealing them to make them watertight again. Considering that seam tape does not stick very well to lightweight textiles (even the best grade fabrics), MSR has spent the better part of 10 years looking for an alternative. Beginning in 2019, MSR’s lightweight tents and shelters will be equipped with our proprietary Xtreme ShieldTM System, which eliminates the need for traditional seam tape.
It was decided to utilize this procedure since applying sealant to deteriorating taped seams can be a huge nuisance and is not always successful.
6. Avoid long-term UV exposure
Tents can provide excellent shelter from the elements in both bright and stormy weather. You should not, however, leave your tent set up in your backyard and forget about it, allowing it to burn in the sun all season as a result of neglect. UV rays degrade nylon fiber, causing it to become dry and brittle and lowering its tensile strength in the process. When this occurs, the fabric might rip at the seams and stress joints of the garment. Polyester textiles have a little advantage over nylon fabrics in terms of UV protection, but any tent should be maintained away from direct sunshine when not in use.
Posts related to this one:
- The Ultimate Guide to MSR Tents
- Keeping Your Tent Clean and Dry
- Choosing the Right Tent for You. Three Simple Techniques for Field Repairing Your Tent’s Rainfly
How To Care For Your Tent: Maintenance Tips
Even if you’re a seasoned camper who has recently spent a significant amount of money on a high-quality tent, you should be familiar with the basics of tent care. There are several mistakes that you can do that may cause your tent to be destroyed or damaged, therefore it is critical that you understand how to properly care for your tent. Here is a list of various things that you can be doing incorrectly, as well as suggestions on how to avoid making these typical blunders.
1. Always use a tent footprint
Even if you’re a seasoned camper who has recently spent a significant amount of money on a high-quality tent, you should be familiar with the basics of tent care. Many mistakes may be made that can cause damage or destruction to your tent, thus it is critical that you understand how to properly care for your tent. Listed below is a list of probable things that you could be doing incorrectly and suggestions on how to avoid making these typical mistakes in the future:
2. Recoat it with a waterproof solution
However, it is crucial to understand that while most camping tents are covered with some form of waterproof solution (although “waterproof” may be a deceptive phrase; the real term is “water-resistant”), this will not remain indefinitely.
It does, in fact, wear off more quickly than you may expect. A high-quality tent will often have two coatings: one on the inside and one on the outside.
- One layer of urethane coating, which is the primary factor in preventing moisture from infiltrating the fabric
- A second layer of DWR solution, which serves the function of repelling water and assisting the urethane coating in achieving better outcomes
- And a third layer of DWR solution.
Because of the rain and repetitive packing and pitching, these two protecting layers will eventually wear away, leaving the cloth vulnerable and very susceptible to rot and leaks. You shouldn’t have to spend more than $10 on a DWR spray, and one or two spray cans should be plenty depending on the size of your tent. The same is true for the urethane coating, which costs around 15 dollars for a high-quality application. For more information on how to waterproof a tent, check out our thorough guide.
3. Never store a wet tent
I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to thoroughly dry your tent before storing it for an extended period of time. Failure to comply will result in the rapid growth and spread of mold spores, making the removal of the mold spores a nightmare. And don’t forget about the unpleasant odor that will accompany your journey. So, if you happen to be caught in the rain, try your best to dry everything before packing it. If at all possible, do it while still on the campground, as there is a potential that you may forget about it after you get home.
Never put it in a dryer, since they might create more heat than the cloth was designed to withstand, damaging the fabric.
4. Learn how to clean a tent
Unless you’re camping in your living room, your tent will become soiled, and it’s critical that you clean it as soon as possible after use. However, this is where many first-time campers make mistakes and end up ruining their tents shortly after their first camping excursion. If at all feasible, dry-cleaning it is the best method of accomplishing this. Despite the fact that it is not the most convenient method and will not always be practicable, doing so reduces exposure to chemicals and high mechanical forces that might damage the coatings.
Hand wash it in cool water without using any detergents to show it some love and care.
It is possible that your tent may begin to smell, and it is critical that you get rid of the scent as soon as possible.
5. Don’t camp in direct sunlight all the time
Summer camping is something we all look forward to, but our tents are not fond of the sun. Actually, it is the UV radiation emitted by the sun, rather than the sun itself, that can cause major damage to the tent’s fabric. So, what are our options for dealing with this? You’ll do yourself the most favor if you choose your campsite in an area with plenty of shade. If you’re going to a place with hills, trees, and a lot of tall vegetation, you should have no trouble accomplishing this. As an example, if you’re intending to camp on the beach, there are very little possibilities that you’ll be able to locate any shade at all.
As a result, you should think about investing in a UV protection spray to avoid fabric damage. If that isn’t a possibility, covering the shelter with a reflective sheet will be even more effective than before.
6. Don’t ignore small rips and tears
Although it is possible that minor rips and tears could develop within the first few days of use, there is a strong possibility that they will appear at some time owing to extensive use. You must move swiftly at this stage and patch or stitch the damaged area back together. The failure to do so will simply result in the tears spreading further and farther until the tent is irreparably damaged. If you want to fix your tent quickly and on the spot, you may consider purchasing a low-cost tent repair kit.
So, what is the recommendation?
7. Don’t camp on the wrong ground
I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again that you need to choose the proper location for your tent. But what exactly does the soil have to do with your tent being damaged in the first place? First and foremost, the rough and abrasive ground is a death sentence for tent fabric. As a result, you’ll want to stay away from them as much as possible. Second, uneven terrain can lead to difficulties with weight distribution and structural stability, as previously stated. If you’re camping on a steep slope, the weight of the tent will be concentrated on the poles on the lower side of the hill.
And last but not least, if you choose to camp on flat terrain, there is a strong probability that you may be swamped if heavy rains begin to fall.
8. Don’t Forget to fully stake your tent
On this quiet and windless afternoon, you believe that it is not essential to use all of the stakes that have been given. After all, you’re familiar with your tent, and you don’t need any more than two stakes to secure it. Wrong! Alternatively, you can be impatient to get the pitching done as fast as possible and open a cool beverage to distract yourself from the importance of the situation. If you fail to anchor your tent properly, you may find yourself chasing after your tent if a sudden wind gust hits you in the wrong direction.
I’ll tell you what may happen: if a large tent is not securely fastened, it can collapse on you and cause serious injury.
9. Never omit ventilation
Condensation is one of the most annoying aspects of camping in a tent, and it affects everyone who does it. And who do you think is to blame for all of this? You, me, and the rest of us! Because they did not allow the tent to be adequately ventilated. While sleeping in a tent, the average individual will emit around one liter of water vapor per day; this is a significant amount of water vapor for such a tiny area. Mold and foul odors might occur after camping for many days due to the high levels of moisture present.
When it’s pouring outside, open the vents in your tent if it has them if it’s not too hot inside. Even if it doesn’t, keep the front door open and the rainfly off if it isn’t currently raining. Always ensure that there is adequate ventilation to prevent condensation from forming.
10. Stop cooking inside your tent
This can be harmful to your tent, not because it will be physically damaged (unless you set a fire inside), but because it will be infected with all of those foul odors. There have been several comments and articles that have stated that it is unsafe to cook inside a tent. I understand this. To make matters even worse, several camping stove manufacturers outright prohibit the use of their products in any confined location. I truly believe that utilizing them in conjunction with common sense is risk-free.
Despite the fact that your tent fabric is fireproof, it is still a type of plastic, and it will melt even if it is not subjected to continuous burning.
11. Use all the tent poles according to the instructions
Except for laziness, I can’t think of any other reason why someone would not utilize all of the poles at the same time. If you believe your current tent has too many poles and is too difficult to build, you might consider purchasing an instant or inflatable tent instead. What may happen if you don’t complete all of them? First and foremost, you must recognize that the poles are responsible for 80 percent of the structural stability of the building. The rest is accomplished by the use of nice guy ropes and stakes.
I’m actually not sure how you’ll be able to put it up in the first place.
This is a dangerous situation.
12. Don’t carry beach sand inside
Beach camping is the finest thing that has ever happened to you, but it is the worst thing that has ever happened to a tent. Once within the tent, with a great deal of activity and weight pressing against it, the sand will begin to scrape against the floor, mimicking the action of its “sister,” the sandpaper, to create a scratch. Not only would having mats or sleeping pads make these conditions worse, but they may also make them worse if any of the sandy soil manages to slip below them. Unless you’re under the age of six, you have some influence over how much dirt and sand gets inside your tent.
Always carry a brush or a rag handy to brush away any sand that may have gotten on your shoes.
13. Stop being too harsh with the zippers
You’re in the middle of nowhere, and things become nasty. That is and always will be the case. Do not lose your patience if a piece of dirt becomes lodged between the teeth of the zipper. Instead, force them to zip closed. Things simply takes a minute to clean it up before you start. Have you noticed that your zips are working really hard? Make use of a specific lubricant from McNett to keep them in good working order. Every now and then, the cloth might become entangled in the zipper. Once again, you could be inclined to drive the issue to the surface.
There is a 10% chance that you will be able to push it out, and a 90% chance that you will rip the cloth. Slowly “back up” and make little, delicate movements to try to dislodge the substance trapped inside. If you do break it, though, you should consult our tutorial on zipper repairs.
14. Always fix the leaking seams
You might not even be aware that you have a leaky seam, to be honest with you. The most common mistake people make is to mix a leaky seam with natural moisture that happens inside a tent. If you’re not sure whether or not there’s a leak, my recommendation is to plug it nonetheless. Use a low-cost tent seam sealer that will not cost more than $12 and will do the task in a short amount of time with little effort. Ignoring this might cause some materials to deteriorate over time, resulting in irreversible damage that cannot be repaired.
15. Always pitch at a safe distance from the campfire
Suppose you have a beautiful new tent, and the manufacturer claims that it is fireproof. You take their word for it, and you pitch the tent near to your enormous bonfire. Because you believe that something is fireproof indicates that it is indestructible. First and foremost, your manufacturer is correct. It is fireproof, however this merely implies that it will not be able to withstand a sustained fire. However, if the temperatures are too high, it will still melt. Another consideration is that items like as blankets and clothing that are kept inside your tent may not be fireproof.
16. Don’t use a cot without padding the legs
If you really want to make a hole in the floor of your tent, here’s how to go about it: 1. A cot that does not have any form of foam or soft material wrapped around its legs is not a good place to sleep in. There are a handful of things you can do to avoid this from happening in the future.
- Discard any sharp rocks, wood, or roots (you can’t remove roots, so just avoid them)
- Clean the pitching area. Purchase some inexpensive pool noodles from any Walmart or CVS and tie them around the cot’s legs. Extra safety can be provided by placing a layer of foam below the cot.
That’s all there is to it; you’re done. It should now be possible to use the tent floor without worrying about mechanical friction.
17. Prevent dogs from getting inside
I have no doubt that you will let your dog to enter your tent regardless of what I say about it. The difficulty with dogs is that they do not have retractable claws, and their claws are often fairly keen, especially in the case of tiny dogs. Consequently, if they start leaping all over the tent floor, there’s a strong possibility you’ll be spending the day sewing up punctures in the tent walls. A considerably ticker floor is included in certain tents that are built specifically for dog owners, which will provide more protection.
In principle, a pair of floor mats should also be able to alleviate this problem.
18. Never rush the disassembly process
When it comes to pitching and deconstructing the tent, there’s one problem: everyone wants to get it done as quickly as possible. Here’s what may happen if you don’t take the time to think about it:
- You’ll almost certainly lose a few stakes, poles, or man ropes in the process. If you keep tugging and pressing everything, it will eventually tear and tear it will tear and tear it will tear it You will never, ever be able to load the tent properly. It is impossible. That thing will not even fit in its storage bag, I’m certain of it! You’ll pay little to no attention to keeping it clean and free of dust and debris.
19. Don’t store food inside
In my experience, creatures can gnaw through cloth in order to gain access to food if they are really hungry, but I have never had this problem.
I’m not sure how true this is; however, I do know that mice and rats are capable of doing this, therefore it’s best to put your food in a location where no creature can get to it if possible. Check out our complete guide to camping storage solutions.
20. Don’t fold it: roll it
In the case of a tent made of a somewhat more durable fabric than typical (for example, winter tents), it’s preferable to roll it up while you’re packing it away. Folding it over and over again will result in creases that will eventually become permanently etched into the paper. Now, you may not be concerned with whether or not the lines are visible, but you should be aware that the waterproof coating will not be as effective on those lines. In addition, the fabric’s resilience is deteriorating, and they are the parts that are most prone to tearing and ripping.
Continue to roll it each and every time.
How to Care for your Tent & Easy Repairs
Tent maintenance might be the difference between a tent lasting for one trip and one that lasts for several trips. Follow the procedures outlined below to ensure that your tent is up and packed away in the best possible shape, allowing you to get the most out of your investment. Failure to properly care for your tent might result in mildew or stains, as well as the tent leaking. The checklist provided below is intended for individuals who are planning a group camping excursion. It is possible to use this list as a starting point and then figure out what equipment is necessary for your specific journey.
Before You Go Anywhere!
If you have just acquired a new tent, ALWAYS practice pitching it before taking it on any adventures. We anticipate the greatest level of quality from the items we offer, but sadly, mistakes can happen throughout the production process as well. Returns and repairs are far easier to arrange at home than they are at a campground or a festival.
Tent Care Shopping List
The following products are excellent for extending the life of your tent or assisting in its restoration in the event that the worst should happen.
A tent footprint is a groundsheet that has been specially cut to fit your tent, and is often offered for bigger family tents or camping trailers. When you set up your tent, you should use a footprint to protect the bottom of the tent from loose gravel and water. Additionally, it might assist to avoid ripping and reduce the amount of time that your tent will require cleaning. If your tent does not come with a specified footprint, normal groundsheets can be used; however, they will need to be folded or trimmed to fit the form of your tent before being used.
Duct tape (sometimes known as gaffer tape) is an outdoor enthusiast’s best friend. Keep a roll of this material with you at all times in case your tent requires a rapid repair to get you through the remainder of your trip. In the meanwhile, you can use tape to temporarily secure poles or holes in the groundsheet until you can complete a more permanent repair.
Dust Pan and Brush
A simple piece of equipment that will ensure that your tent is completely free of debris at the conclusion of your vacation.
When packing up your tent, the last thing you want to do is tightly wrap sharp things inside the canvas, since this can cause damage to the fabric.
It is possible that you may need to reproof your tent after a few usage to guarantee that it remains watertight. Only reproof if it is really necessary; more on this later on in the article.
Seam sealant is a terrific glue-like solution that may be used to repair taped seams that are falling apart rapidly and easily. A leaking seam in your tent might enable water to seep into the structure.
How to pack away your tent
Each tent is unique, and with a few practice sessions, you’ll have perfected the art of pitching and putting away your tent. Here are a few pointers to follow to ensure that your tent is properly stored.
- Ensure that the interior of the tent is clear of dust, stones, and other debris. On dry days, open the tent and allow it to air out for a few minutes before putting it away. Then, when you’re ready to pack up, only half zip the tent openings, allowing for some air to escape. Detach the tent poles from their pins and collapse the tent while keeping the poles in place
- Fold your tent poles by pushing them out of the sleeves rather than pulling them. The tent should be folded to the same width as the bag with a person on each side, forcing air out as you fold the tent. Place the pole bag and peg bag on top of your tent and begin to wrap it up as tightly as you can to protect it from the elements. Tie the tent up and put it back into its carrying case or bag. (If the tent is folded tightly enough, it should fit back into the bag from which it was originally packaged.)
Each tent is unique, so be sure to read the directions carefully and remove the inner tent if necessary before setting up your tent.
What to do with a wet tent
Maintaining your tent in a clean and dry environment is critical; otherwise, it will be more likely to develop defects or grow mouldy; and it is far simpler to clear mud from your tent than it is to clean mold.
- Remove any excess dirt from the tent
- Shake off any excess water from the tent and wash down the fabric with a clean towel to remove as much water as possible from the fabric
- Make careful to unpack and air out your tent as soon as possible if you have to store it away in a dripping situation. Pitch the tent again in dry weather or hang it over a laundry line in your garage to allow the tent to air out properly. This will keep the tent from acquiring a musty odor or getting mouldy. Use soap or a tent wash combined with water to clean the tent if it needs to be cleaned before allowing it to dry. Do not position your tent in direct sunlight or in front of an artificial heat source, since this will damage the fabric. Allowing the tent to dry naturally is recommended.
Where to store your tent
Tent storage should be done with care to avoid damage to the tent; follow these basic guidelines to ensure that your tent lasts as long as possible.
- DO NOT keep your tent damp when storing it. Keep the container in a cool, dry place. Never place your tent bag on the end of the poles, since this might cause damage to the poles. Always lay the tent level on the ground.
Each tent is unique, so be sure to read the directions carefully and remove the inner tent if necessary before setting up your tent.
Do I need to reproof my tent?
If you have used your tent on several times in varied weather conditions (heavy rain or extremely scorching sunshine are the most common offenders), there is a potential that it will begin to leak water. Don’t be alarmed; the tent may only require reproofing.
Look for the following:
- A tent that has been used several times in varied weather conditions (heavy rain or extremely scorching sunshine are the greatest culprits) may begin to leak water after several months of use. Take heart, the tent may only require a reproofing treatment.
A variety of tent reproofers are available at GO Outdoors stores and on the internet from reputable companies such as Nikwax and Grangers. All reproofer containers are labeled with step-by-step instructions for convenience. Avoid putting detergent on your tent, since this may damage your tent’s capacity to withstand water to deteriorate significantly.
Simple repairs and what to do
Small ripstears can develop at any moment for a variety of causes and are not considered to be life-threatening. If you have tears in your tent or groundsheet, duct tape may be used to temporarily repair them. This will hold the tear in place until you are able to repair it properly. Many tents come with a tent repair kit that contains self-adhesive tent patches; if yours does not, we have them in a variety of colors if you need to fix something. Check to see that the area is clean and dry before placing these patches.
How to fix a split seam on a tent
When seams fall apart and begin to leak, seam sealant is the right solution. If possible, wait a few days after repairing seams to ensure that the sealant has had time to bond with the materials.
How to replace a tent pole
One of the most common difficulties with fibreglass pole tents is that the poles break.
Poles can shatter if they are subjected to excessive pressure when pitching or if they are exposed to adverse weather conditions. Purchased replacement poles are typically of a generic size and will need to be trimmed to the exact length before being used.
How To Take Down & Clean A Tent After Camping In It
When you’re camping, a tent can be your saving grace. Besides keeping the elements off you from above, a tent also keeps the elements off you from the sides and bottom, which is where you will finally put your head down to sleep. Tents may be a camper’s best friend in a variety of climates, from the scorching heat of the desert to the freezing cold of the Arctic. They can keep you safe from the chill of mountain snow, the scorching heat of a desert scene, or the sand and surf of a beach paradise.
In order to guarantee that a tent can perform its intended purpose of shelter and protection without placing you or others in danger, it is necessary to clean and sterilize it properly.
What techniques do you use to make your tent clean and comfortable?
Taking Your Tent Down After Camping
The method in which you take down and pack away your tent might have a significant impact on the amount of time it takes to clean that tent later on. In order to properly dismantle your tent, it is critical that you follow a few simple guidelines.
- Shake the tent carefully before using it. After removing the tent stakes, you should vigorously shake the tent to remove any remaining dust. Start by clearing away all of the dirt and debris from the tent, as well as any garbage that may have accumulated within or around it. If your tent is self-supporting, this phase should be rather straightforward
- Otherwise, it may be more challenging. Take care not to damage the cloth or put too much pressure on the poles. When removing shock-corded tent poles from your tent, always push the poles rather than pulling them out. When you pull the tent poles, you will almost always discover that they become tangled in the tent fabric, putting undue strain on the cable beneath. Before securing the tent, allow it to air dry. It is critical that you properly dry your tent before packing it away in the right bag. Even a well-ventilated tent can accumulate condensation, which tends to collect under the floor and under the rainfly. Tent moisture can cause mold and mildew growth, so make sure to thoroughly dry your tent before packing it. You should dry your tent as soon as you arrive back home if you are forced to pack up under rainy circumstances. Install your tent in the yard if the weather is bright
- If the weather is rainy, hang your tent to dry in a garage or an uncarpeted room if the weather is drizzly.
Taking Care of Your Tent at Home
Once you get your tent set up at home, there are a few things you can do to prepare it before beginning the spot cleaning and thorough cleaning procedures that we will discuss later. These are some of the items to consider:
- Dry the tent at your own house. Once you have returned home, it is critical that you take the tent from its bag, spread it out, and allow it to air dry completely before using it again. This can be done in an interior room, in the garage, or on a clothesline strung between two trees. If you don’t have enough room to pitch the tent, drape it or hang it until the tent is dry
- If you don’t have enough space to pitch it, drape it or hang it until the tent is dry
- Store the tent in a non-permanent manner. After a camping trip, most people store their tent in a bag until they go on another camping trip. This is not something that should be done. Instead, you should keep the tent in a relaxed manner, outside of the bag, in a cold, dry environment. Despite the fact that the stuff sack is extremely small for camping and trekking, it is a terrible choice for long-term storage. If you want the textiles of the tent to relax and breathe, that’s what you should aim for. The tent will not be able to accumulate any moisture, which would be detrimental to its performance.
Storage in a warm place, such as the attic, cellar, or trunk of your car, is not recommended since the tent’s fabric might be harmed by the heat. If a wet storage location is your only choice, you should store your dry tent inside a tightly sealed plastic bin or other container that will keep the moisture out of the tent during storage.
Cleaning The Tent After Your Camping Trip
Going home after a wonderful and peaceful camping vacation may be a big disappointment, but if you want to make sure that your NEXT camping trip is every bit as pleasurable, it is critical that you clean your tent after each trip. You should clean your tent whenever you notice stains accumulating on it, or when you notice an unpleasant stench emanating from the tent. Cleaning a tent is a three-step process that involves the following steps:
- Getting all of the materials you’ll need. You will want specific items in order to thoroughly clean your tent
- These are listed below. Clean the area with a damp cloth and submerge. Spot cleaning specific sections of your tent, particularly those in which you notice stains, is essential. Additionally, you will need to submerge the tent in sudsy water after completing this step. If your tent is really unclean, you will need to move on to the thorough cleaning method that we will explain in detail later
- Rinsing and Drying will be required. After the tent has been fully cleaned, it must be thoroughly rinsed and dried throughout before it can even be considered for storage.
Gathering Your Supplies
There are a few simple yet essential things that you will need in order to thoroughly clean a tent. These supplies are as follows:
- Water should be between cold and lukewarm. Water that is too hot should never be used since the heat from the water might cause some tent materials to break down
- Soap. Regardless of the fabric of the tent, a mild dish soap with no aroma is suitable for washing it. Cleaner with specialized equipment. You will need to purchase a cleaning product that is particularly made for cleaning outdoor gear, such as tents
- A sponge or a cloth will be required. For spot cleaning and deep cleaning, a non-abrasive sponge or cloth is required
- For cleaning the bathtub. If you have a bathtub, that’s the best spot to clean your tent, but any large tub would do in an emergency.
Spot Cleaning and Immersing
It is rather simple to complete the spot cleaning and immerse phases of the tent-cleaning process. The procedure is as follows:
- Soap should be used to clean the spot. Carefully clean away any visible stains on the canvas with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth and a tiny quantity of dish soap, if necessary. Prepare the tub by filling it with water. When preparing the tub, the first step will be to clean it if it is required. Following that, just fill the tub approximately halfway with cold to lukewarm water and add the appropriate amount of the tent-cleaning product to the water. When determining how much cleaner to use, always follow the guidelines on the container to the letter. Prepare your camping equipment. It is necessary to unzip the tent doors and flip the tent inside out in order to properly prepare it for washing. Submerge the tent in water. Make sure to fully submerge the tent and rainfly in the water to get them thoroughly wet. Follow the directions on the cleaner bottle once again to determine how long the tent should be immersed in the cleaning solution.
Deep Cleaning Your Tent
It is not necessary to thoroughly clean all tents; but, if your tent has mildew, mold, or really nasty aromas emanating from it, try using an enzyme-based cleaner. When using one of these items, make sure to read and follow the instructions properly, or you might end up damaging the tent. Try using a tooth brush to clean away any sand or grit that has accumulated in the teeth of the zippers if you are experiencing any difficulties with them. In the vast majority of situations, this will resolve the issue.
To remove the sap, you may also use alcohol-based products such as hand sanitizer or wet wipes, which are also effective. Once the sap has been removed, make sure to thoroughly clean the area with water.
Rinsing and Drying Your Tent
Following a thorough washing and/or deep cleaning of your tent, you will need to rinse it fully and allow it to dry completely before stowing it away in a bag for storage. Here’s how it’s done:
- Rinse. After you’ve finished washing the tent, remove the sudsy water from the tub and replenish it with new water that is cool to lukewarm in temperature. If there are any suds left, you may need to repeat the process multiple times to completely remove the soap from the tent and rainfly. Continue the process until there is no soap left on the tent’s surface. Dry. If you are in a location where you can actually build your tent, this is the most effective method of drying your tent. It should be noted that if building the tent is not feasible, the tent should be stretched out gently and hung in a cool and shady place until entirely dry.
When the tent is entirely dry, it can be stored (in a loose manner) in a cool, dry location such as an inside room or a garage with good ventilation.