Basic Tent Care

Any tent that is properly cared for can provide years of faithful service. And proper tent care is quite easy. Follow a few simple rules and your tent will be around for years.

Waterproof all seams. The tent says its waterproof and all the seals have been treated and sealed but do it again with a seam sealer recommended by the manufacturer and almost any tent will be leak-free. Dont do it and even an expensive four season tent will leak.

Practice setting up your tent. Know how to set your tent up before you leave the house. Learning to setup your tent at the campsite with the sun going down is asking for trouble. Improper setup can cause tents to sag, broken poles, cut guy lines and ripped tents.

Don’t pack your tent wet. If your tent gets wet and you have to break camp, set it up as soon as you can and let it dry. Just like your sleeping bag, hang out your tent after each trip. If your tent does mildew, wash it with warm water. For serious mildew, contact the manufacturer.

Duct tape is your friend. Duct tape can be used for any number of field repairs. It can be used to patch holes on a rainfly or tent. Duct tape can hold a zipper closed if it breaks. A tent pole can be mended by wrapping the splintered section. A pole with a broken shock cord can also be duct taped. Always carry some duct tape for field repairs.

Make sure the tent is ventilated. On a cold night it is tempting to close all of the flaps but this can cause other problems. As you sleep you sweat and exhale about a cup of fluid. When the inside is warmer than the outside air, this moisture can condense on the inside of the tent and it will be sopping wet by morning. Make sure to leave some ventilation to reduce condensation.

Use a ground cloth. A ground cloth a low cost tarp. We recommend putting your ground cloth under your tent. This helps keep your tent clean and prevents the rock you missed from ripping through the floor of your tent.

Stake your tent. Although freestanding tents dont require staking, a strong wind can move a tent, even with occupants in it. If you are setting up your tent when it is windy, put your pack in the tent to hold it down. Make sure the tent is staked down properly. so it can flex in the wind, but without letting the tent will flap and beat itself.

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