Tents can be a great investment, however you don’t have to drop top dollar to make yours last. With the right maintenance and care, your tent can last you for many years to come and countless adventures outdoors.
Here's the ultimate beginner’s guide to looking after your tent:
Setting Up and Taking Down:
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when setting up and taking down your tent.
- Choose a level and clean campsite to avoid sharp objects that may damage the tent floor.
- Clear the area of any debris before pitching the tent to prevent punctures and tears.
- Before packing up, shake off loose dirt and debris from the tent and groundsheet.
- Once home, open the tent and allow it to air dry thoroughly. Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as it can degrade the fabric.
- Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any stubborn stains or dirt.
- Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the waterproof coating and fabric.
- Store your tent in a cool, dry place to prevent mould and mildew growth.
- Avoid leaving your tent packed for extended periods, as this can lead to a musty smell and decrease the tent's lifespan.
- Store the tent loosely to maintain the integrity of the fabric and reduce creasing.
- Most tents come with a waterproof coating, but this can degrade over time.
- If you notice water seeping through the fabric, consider reapplying a waterproof treatment. Use a product recommended by the tent's manufacturer.
- Seam sealers can be used to reinforce the seams and prevent water from leaking through the stitching.
Zips and Poles:
- Keep the zippers clean and lubricated with a silicone-based zipper lubricant to prevent them from jamming.
- Check the tent poles regularly for any signs of damage or bending. Replace any damaged poles to ensure proper tent structure.
Footprint or Groundsheet:
- Consider using a footprint or groundsheet under your tent to protect the tent floor from abrasion and punctures.
- Ensure the footprint is slightly smaller than the tent floor to prevent rainwater from pooling between the tent and the groundsheet.
- Carry a tent repair kit with you on camping trips. The kit should include patches for quick repairs and seam sealer.
- In the field, address small tears or holes immediately to prevent them from becoming more extensive.
- Use a ground tarp or mat at the tent entrance to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked inside.
- Remove your shoes before entering the tent to reduce wear and tear on the floor.
- During heavy rain, make sure the rainfly is correctly secured and doesn't touch the inner tent walls to prevent water from seeping through.
- In windy conditions, stake down the tent and use guy lines properly to avoid structural damage.
- Before each camping season, inspect your tent thoroughly for any signs of wear, tear, or mould. Address any issues before heading out on your next trip.
Remember, proper tent maintenance and care will not only prolong the life of your tent but also ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. Happy camping!