Your tent is the most important camping essential and you need to take great care of if you wish it to last as long as possible. Not caring for your tent and storing it in the wrong kind of environment can drastically decrease the quality and lifespan of the fabrics.
DRY IT OUT
Having a damp tent is a big no no when packing away your equipment, therefore we recommend that your tent should not be left wet for any more than a couple of days. (For Polycotton/TC tents no longer than 24 hours) Leaving your damp tent for a long period of time can cause the fabric to rot, increasing the chance of holes appearing. Mould will start to grow encouraging your tent to get a bit whiffy and look unkempt.
This will void your warranty.
Tent Inspectors cannot inspect mouldy tents due to health and Safety legislation. This further ruins the waterproof coating and could even cause your tent to leak on your next camping trip!
How do I dry my tent?
Campers with larger tents may find drying their tent more difficult than people with smaller tents, as finding a big, dry area can be challenging if the weather constantly lets you down.
Pitching in the garden: this is the easiest, quickest and most beneficial way of drying your tent If drying outside, make sure that once the flysheet is dry, you flip the tent over to dry the bottom of your tent. Ensure that when you flip your flysheet, the flysheet is on a clean dry surface.
TIP use your tent footprint or an old bed sheet to protect your flysheet(tent fabric).
Washing line: hanging your tent over the washing line in the garden is a great way to dry out your tent, allowing the air to travel through the whole of the flysheet and inners.
TIP – open all doors of the tent to allow air to escape, making it easier to fold and store. This will also freshen up your tent if odours are lurking.
Stair banister/Shower curtain rail:
These may sound a tad crazy but these methods will successfully keep your tent off the floor and allow water to drip or run off. If using this method, be sure to place towels to keep the carpet/floor clean.
TIP – take out the inners of your tent if possible as these are made of breathable fabric and are more susceptible if mould does start.
Garage: using this space with a makeshift washing line will dry your tent off reasonably quickly! Don't forget to open the door to enhance the airy environment.
DON’T: Put your tent in the tumble dryer. (This will void your warranty) This will not only damage your tent but also affect your dryer. The heat of the dryer can cause misshaping of your tent fabric, making it prone to ripping and melting parts of the tent.
No one wants to be putting up a dirty, smelly tent when going on a family camping trip, so when your tent is completely dry, you should check for any dirt lurking around the groundsheet. You can eliminate debris by using wipes, a towel or brush. Another way you could catch the crumbs and dry mud is using a portable vacuum cleaner, however try not to use too much force on the fabric as this could cause damage to the groundsheet.
TIP – Don’t forget to clean out any pockets in your tent.
You should also clean the bottom of your tent, if you do not use a footprint. We highly recommend a footprint for this reason, as these can be easily scrubbed and hung to dry!
TENT LOVING CARE
Before re-proofing and packing away your tent you need to check your tent for any tears or mildew appearing. If any rips or tears occur, be sure to repair them, so that they don’t get worse Gear Aid Tenacious Tape is what we recommend for tears.
If you wish to cover small holes in your flysheet / groundsheet the best way to repair them is to use the repair swatches provided and a self-adhesive repair patch (we recommend Tear Aid or Gear Aid).
- Cut the swatch of material to cover the hole
- Ensure tear is dry and clean
- Use Tear Aid to stick the material to the affected area
- Repeat this on the other side of the fabric
If mildew appears on your tent take immediate action to eliminate the chances of the mold spreading. We recommend Milton's sterilizing fluid, which works best well diluted and sponged onto the fabric. This will not remove the mold, however it will decrease the dispersion and bad smell.
FIGHT THE RAIN
Re-waterproofing your tent restores the fabric and also aids to protect against UV degradation, improving the lifespan of your tent. We recommend Fabsil Universal Protector for this.
How to use Fabsil: (Always read the instructions on the labels of Fabsil products before use) To make sure you have enough for your tent, we recommend buying a bulk bottle, and decanting it into a hand held spray gun (the kind you would use for watering house plants). Before you start, lay the tent down flat or pitch in the garden (which may be easier as the flysheet will be taut). Spray the solution onto the outside of the flysheet and catch any drips or runs with a sponge. Once you have pitched your tent, work your way round panel by panel ensuring maximum coverage with your reproofer and leave to dry as per instructions on the bottle.
It is advised annually to re-proof your tent, your tents water repellent coating may wear off, this can cause your tent material to "wet out" (absorb water), instead of it beading up and rolling off. If you experience any "wetting out" you will most likely have to reproof your tent before your next camping trip. Re-proofing with Fabsil Universal Protector also reapplies UV filters to protect the fabric from UV degradation caused by the sun.
STORE IT AWAY
The location and storage method is very important if you want to take good care of your tent and use it for a long period of time! You should store your tent in a cool, dry environment, packed slightly loose and roughly rolled the same as when you first unpacked it. Poles, pumps and other tent accessories should be kept in separate bags, ensuring the tent fabric is protected throughout the winter months.
DON’T: Store your tent if it is damp or dirty.
Storing your sleeping bags, rucksacks and camping essentials away is just as important as your tent, therefore also recommend you pack this away in a cool, dry environment. Keep all of your camping kit in the same place, making sure you know exactly where everything is when you go camping again! TIP – Do not over-pack the storage area as delicate equipment may get squashed, causing bending and breakages.
Check out these hints and tips to successfully pack away your equipment:
- Wipe down your furniture, ensuring no leftover stains or crumbs. This is also applicable to cooking equipment such as stoves, pots and pans, keeping the insects at bay when in storage for a long period of time.
- Furniture and kitchen storage units should be carefully folded up the way they were first purchased and into their carry bag for protection. This will help prevent tables and chairs developing scratches and marks.
- Removing any batteries is a good habit to get into. Remember to recharge them or get rid of them if they have run out. This means when you decide to go camping again, you have fully charged or brand new batteries to last you throughout your camping trips.
NB: This is merely a guide to assist you in maintaining your tent and improving your camping experience. Please always refer to full manufacturer's details to remain compliant for all warranties.