Beginner’s Guide to Tent Maintenance

Tents face up to excessive climate and resist pure components, however they’ll nonetheless be damaged past restore because of unchecked wears and tears.

Simply since you’re roughing it, doesn’t imply you received’t be caring for your tenting gear. Realizing how you can keep and restore the tent will assist it last more. We’ve put collectively this newbie’s information to tent upkeep, the place we’ll drop some tips about how you can higher care for your tenting gear earlier than, throughout, and after use.


Establishing could make or break the upkeep sport. Know the way and the place you may set as much as keep away from pointless damages.

Campers setting up the tent at the forest.

Campers establishing the tent on the forest. Photograph Credit score: Getty Photos, SolisImages

Check gear at house

Make it a behavior to follow pitching your gear at house earlier than you head out into the wild. Test if in case you have a whole gear set: the equipment, man strains, and stakes have to be accounted for. Rigorously take a look at the tools, and don’t below any circumstances whip the poles round, not at house nor on the campsite. We’ll get to that later.

Arrange in a great spot

Extending the lifetime of your tent means tenting at established websites most of the time, particularly since individuals adjust to the Go away No Hint precept. The important thing to discovering a great spot is to test for easy, stage, and clear floor. Clear away pinecones, twigs, or small rocks which may injury the fabric the place you need the gear arrange. Avoid locations which are close to water, and ensure you’re few hundred ft away from the closest supply.

Be light with the tools

Arrange rigorously. Unfold and match the sections of the poles collectively one after the other. In any other case, you may weaken the poles and trigger them to crack. Aluminum poles will turn out to be extra brittle and can corrode when uncovered to sea air and saltwater. A great way round that is to rinse the poles and allow them to dry.

Use a footprint

Stop tearing as quickly as establishing camp so that you received’t have to wash it as usually. A footprint is designed to protect your tent from exterior components. You can too use a groundsheet that’s lower to match its form. That is used as safety on the backside from gravel and puddles.


Upon utilizing, you’ll want to not pry something to the purpose of damage and tear. Additionally keep away from water and daylight.

Deal with the zippers

Whenever you need to come out and in, confirm that the zippers aren’t compelled to glide while you pull them. Not solely does this weaken the material, it’s going to additionally trigger the zippers to separate. Use your different hand to carry down the observe as you’re pulling it open with the zippers.

Within the occasion that zippers do cut up, you may attempt latching it again collectively once more. Pliers can be used to fix them.

Go away footwear exterior

Bringing dust and soil inside may corrode the fabric and tear holes into the underside. One other factor to recollect is to keep away from consuming inside, because the meals will appeal to rodents who can chew on the material.

Photograph Credit score: Unsplash, Patrick Hendry

Avoid water

Water publicity can step by step break down the fabric. Keep away from pitching in areas the place water may pool round you as a result of it damages the waterproofing. Be certain that the air is ventilating inside while you’re utilizing the tent to maintain it from condensing.

Keep away from excessive daylight

The ultraviolet rays of the daylight are harsh on the tenting materials. Publicity to an excessive amount of UV mild may cause fading, softening, or impairment.

There may be tenting gear that’s UV resistant, however the identical artificial cloth can degrade with sufficient radiation. As soon as it has sustained sufficient UV injury, the fabric turns into non-repairable. In case you do dry your gear, be certain the solar isn’t too blaring exterior, in any other case, dangle your gear within the shade.


Going by the method of caring for your tent earlier than, throughout, and after its use will assist protect its longevity.


As a lot as potential, handwash the fabric. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and cleaning soap and immerse it within the bathtub. Use a easy sponge or a chunk of white fabric to clean the dirty areas. In components the place you waterproofed the ground and the seams, watch out to not rub too laborious. Wash and rinse the material, then dry utterly.

Use gentle soaps which are freed from detergents and fragrances. Detergents may comprise chemical substances that break down the DWR coating and fragrances will doubtless appeal to bugs.

Air-dry your tent

Arrange outside, ideally someplace with shade, to dry your tenting gear after a weekend getaway. The material can develop mildew if saved with any moisture. You’ll have the ability to inform from the odor. Don’t neglect to dry your tent as a result of it may possibly turn out to be flaky and cheesy to be used.

Eradicating mould

After a time out tenting, it’s not unusual to search out mould or mildew within the cloth. It may need been the condensation or the climate. Put together it exterior in daylight to kill the mould earlier than you take away any stains.

Use a mushy brush to take away the mould from the fabric. Wash the material with an answer of scorching water, vinegar, and dish cleaning soap. You can too use variations of this, similar to Lysol or lemon juice and salt with scorching water. For cussed molds, keep away from scrubbing it too laborious. As a substitute, use a brush with bristles. Rinse the material gently and let it dry utterly within the solar.

For mildew, bleach the stain. Wash the affected space with non-chlorine bleach. Coloured materials want an answer of a cup of lemon juice and salt with a gallon of scorching water, whereas color-safe materials want an answer of two tablespoons of bleach and a quart of water. As a lot as potential, do that outside to keep away from leaving mould spores inside the home.


Preserve your tent dry

Do it as a lot as you may assist it. It’s your accountability to turn out to be meticulous about its upkeep.

Tents might accumulate moisture, so greatest count on mould and mildew to kind, particularly in humidity, which permits them to kind inside when the dampness is trapped. Whereas these are unavoidable, you may forestall mould and mildew throughout storage.

Waterproof your tent

Waterproofing will want two coatings. These will put on off ultimately, so you’ll want to reapply each infrequently. Purchase a tube of seam sealer for waterproofing the tools. It can be used for patching holes within the cloth.

First, apply urethane coating to stop moisture from penetrating the fabric. The second layer is the DWR answer, which repels water.


Keep in mind to retailer it in a cool and dry place after utilizing.

Shake your tent

After taking it down, give it shake to verify nothing is inside earlier than you repack it. Take away the footprint.

Shot of a group of friends setting up their tent while out hiking in the mountains.

House is the place you pitch your tent. Photograph Credit score: Getty Photos, bernardbodo

Push, don’t pull

Poles are simpler to take away than you assume, so there may be little have to be tough with them. They go by sheaths on the outside for simpler elimination, so simply push them by and so they’ll come out. Then, break them down within the center and divide the sections.

Dry after utilizing

You realize the drill. Dry the tent each time you may. If the within is even a bit moist, mildew is certain to develop. After a day outside, it is advisable to be certain no moisture is left inside, since you’ll be leaving it in storage for some time. Roll it up earlier than you set it inside. Merely stuffing it’s going to spoil its kind and stress the supplies. At house, dry it once more, after which retailer it in a unfastened sack someplace dry and funky.


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