How To Care For Your Tent

Maintaining Your Camping Tent

When you’re out in the woods camping, your only true source of protection is your tent. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your tent and keep it in tiptop condition. And unlike your own concrete structure house, a tent actually requires far less maintenance. When you need to do some cleaning, use this tech wash nikwax to get your tent shiny and clean. Therefore, in this article, we will be talking about all the main ways you should take care of your tent. 

Taking Care of Your Tent When Setting Up 

It might be surprising to some but taking care of your tent extends past how you clean and keep it at home. It also includes how you set it up, use it and pack it up. So firstly, when it comes to setting it up, here’s what you should look out for: 

  1. Find An Established Campsite 

When you’re camping, you always want to look for ground that’s flat, smooth and relatively clean. Such areas are more comfortable to camp on and better for your tent’s health. As this is out in the woods, there might be some rocks, twigs or debris that could be on the ground. Make sure to clear them away before setting up your tent as these could cause a rip in your tent floor. 

  1. Use A Footprint 

A footprint is a custom-cut ground cloth for your tent. It’s important to use your tent’s footprint because it helps to protect the base of your tent from scraping against the ground. Additionally, when you’re packing your tent up, your footprint will also serve as a clean surface to use. 

  1. Don’t Leave Your Tent Directly In The Sun For Too Long 

It’s important to keep your tent out of the sun as much as possible as the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage the fabric of your tent’s canopy and rainfly. By keeping it out of the sun, you’ll help to extend your tent’s life. If you do have to leave your tent in the sun, be sure to use your fly to protect it as it tends to be more UV-resistant. However, if possible, it would always be best to shift your tent out of the sun. 

  1. Work Slowly With Your Poles 

It might be tempting to snap your poles into place by swinging them around. I’ve certainly done that before. However, in the long run, that’s actually pretty damaging to your poles because it could cause chipping to happen. And if you break your pole, your tent is pretty much a goner. So, go slowly when you’re fitting the pole sections together. 

Taking Care of Your Tent When Using

When you’re using your tent, be sure to remember the following: 

  1. Be Careful With Your Zippers 

When zippers get stuck, it can be tempting to tug and force it to work. But, be sure not to do that with the zippers on your tent as it could split or cause rips in your tent. Instead, always be gentle and slow when working with them. 

  1. Don’t Bring Your Shoes Into Your Tent 
tent

Your shoes are constantly in contact with the ground outside and dirt, pebbles and sand will cling to your shoe. Therefore, never bring your shoes into your tent as it might track the dirt, pebbles and sand into your tent. This will dirty your tent and they might also cause tears or holes in your tent. 

  1. Don’t Bring Food Or Anything Sweet-Smelling Into Your Tent 

Food and sweet-smelling products (even your perfume) will attract animals and insects. In search of that, these animals or insects might chew through your tent to get to it. 

  1. Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended In Your Tent 

It might seem like the right thing to do – placing your dog into your tent to protect or keep them safe. However, this will actually be harmful to your tent as their teeth and claws could spoil the inside of your tent. It’s okay if you’re there to supervise your dog, however, never leave it alone inside. 

Taking Care of Your Tent When Done 

Now, we’ll talk about how to care for your tent when you’re done camping. 

  1. Always Shake It Out 

When you’re done camping and preparing to pack up to leave, always remember to shake your tent out. This will help to remove any bits of dirt or debris stuck inside your tent. 

  1. When Removing Poles, Always Push

Never pull your poles out before the other pole end or pole section might unsnap and hang up. When this happens, pulling will only cause unnecessary stress on the elastic cord of the pole. Over time, this could weaken the elastic cord and hence, damage your tent’s pole structure. 

  1. When Breaking Down Poles, Start In The Middle 

Next, as you’re breaking the poles down, always begin breaking them down in the middle. This will help to distribute the elastic cord tension evenly. Continue breaking down from the middle for every subsequent half-section until you are done. 

  1. Roll Your Tent Up 

It might be tempting to just stuff your tent into the bag. However, it would be much better to roll it as it would help maintain and protect the fabric and coating of the tent. 

  1. Dry Your Tent 

You never want to pack your tent up when wet. Moisture will damage your tent’s fabric and waterproof coating. It will also make it more susceptible to growing mould and this will cause your tent to stink. Therefore, always try to dry your tent out before packing it up. You can do this by leaving it to hang over a branch or table. If it’s raining and you are unable to dry it out, be sure to dry it once you get home. 

And, even if it was dried out before packing, it would be best to let it truly air dry once home. You can do this by leaving it in a place in your home that’s cool and dry. 

  1. Store Your Tent Loosely In A Cool And Dry Place 

It might seem like the right way to keep your tent is in the bag it came in, however, that is actually false. The bag simply makes it easy for bringing along. But when it comes to storage, it is actually much better to leave it packed in a loose bag. This will allow your tent’s fabric to relax and breathe. Also, be sure to keep it in a cool and dry place as this will ensure that mould and mildew does not grow. 

How To Clean Your Tent 

Lastly, it’s also important to clean your tent. Every time you use your tent to camp, you expose it to a plethora of dirt. From sand, dust, animal faeces and tree sap, your tent comes into contact with all of that. If you use your tent for an extended camping trip, it’s best to clean it once you’re back. However, if it’s a short weekend trip and you’re planning to head out again soon, you can wait till the end of the season to clean it. 

When it comes to cleaning your tent, there are two main tips:

  1. Don’t use a machine to wash or dry your tent 

Never use a machine to wash or dry your tent because it could damage your tent. A washer, especially if it’s a top loader with an agitator, could stretch or rip the tent’s fabric, mesh and seams. Similarly for dryers, the same could happen. Additionally, the heat of the dryer could also damage the tent’s fabric, mesh and seams. 

  1. Use basic cleaning methods 

Instead, you should use basic cleaning methods to clean your tent. All you will need is a  sponge (make sure it’s non-abrasive), some non-detergent soap and cold water. With those three items, you’ll be ready to clean. Wet the sponge with some soap and water, then gently scrub your tent. Remember to use soap that isn’t harsh (e.g.. Dishwashing soap, bleach, spot removing soak, etc) or perfume. Harsh soap will damage your tent’s fabric, especially the durable water repellent coating. Perfumed soaps, on the other hand, could attract insects, rodents and animals when you’re camping – in other words, avoid it! 

Conclusion

With this short guide, we hope that you have a better idea of how you can clean your tent. Tents are expensive and you would want to avoid having to buy a new one ever so often. Therefore, be sure to take care of it well!