Looking After Your Tent

Looking After Your Tent

James Warrington

Whether you’re planning a family camping holiday or off to a festival to party, your tent is going to be your home for the trip so you must look after it!

This tent aftercare guide will show you exactly to keep your tent in tip top condition.

BEFORE YOUR TRIP

We ALWAYS recommend that you test-pitch your tent before taking it away. Pitching your tent before you go away is very important so you can see if there’s any damaged fabric or broken poles that you’d forgotten about since your last trip.  If you’re lucky enough to have a new tent, it gives you the opportunity to learn how to pitch it properly, making it much quicker and easier when it comes to pitching it on holiday.

Practice pitching will save you a lot of time and stress, making your trip more enjoyable right from the start. Always follow the instructions provided with the tent so you know you’re doing it correctly.

Vango Joro 450 Air

Cleaning And Drying Your Tent

Let’s face it, when on a camping holiday you’re likely to get the tent dirty, especially you’re pitched on muddy ground or experience bad weather.  To make them last longer and stop them from getting permanently damaged, we recommend taking a footprint groundsheet with you.  This goes down first and then you lay the tent on top of it.  This is the tents first protection from rough/muddy ground. 

In between your trips away, take some time to get your tent looking like new.

  • Clean the inside of the tent before you pack up. Make sure there is no dust, mud and other Always make sure there is no dust, mud or other remains of your previous trip left in your tent – Simply use a dust pan and brush to sweep it up
  • Use warm water and a sponge to get off any mud that that maybe stuck to the tent floor or walls
  • NEVER USE DETERGENTS! Detergents can damage the tents waterproofing and so will leak afterwards.
  • ALWAYS ensure that your tent is completely dry before packing it away – wipe it down with a dry clean cloth and leave to air out for a few hours if possible.
  • If it isn’t possible to air your tent out due to bad weather when packing away, make sure air it out within 24 hours at home. Otherwise, you run the risk of it going mouldy.

TENT PROTECTION

Here is a list of the essentials which we feel will help protect and repair your tent whilst you are away.

Duct Tape

This multi-use product is a simple yet massively effective quick-fix for many problems. If you have broken fibreglass pole simply wrap some duck tape around and this should get you through your holiday until you can replace the damaged section properly.  It can temporarily repair minor tears until you you get back home and can find a permanent solution.

Footprint Groundsheets

Footprint Groundsheets

We feel that a footprint groundsheet is a must have all larger tents.  That why we make up tent packages to include them.  These removable waterproof groundsheets, basically a tarpaulin, are shaped to fit the tent and beneath your tent to protect against getting dirt and stones.

Tent Repair Kit

From time to time, you may encounter some small damage to your tent, a tent repair kit is the ideal solution. They come different tools to help with wear and tear, so you can get your tent working again.

Seam Sealant

Seam sealant is a ridiculously strong glue that helps fix taped seams that have lifted and are and letting in water. Polyester is a made made fabric so when a stitching hole it put in, it stays there.  Taped is then placed over the seam to cover the holes.  Sometimes the taped can lift slightly, exposing the holes underneath and let in water at these points.  A little dab of seam sealant with plug any stitching hole and make the tent fully waterproof again. 

REPROOFING YOUR TENT

Sometimes, after uses the tent a lot in different weather conditions your tent may lose its waterproofing properties and may need to be reproofed. This is a very simple process.

First of all, you need to check if your tent actually needs to be reproofed, look for these indications:

  • Does water soak into your tent? Water should bead (form droplets) on the outside of your tent
  • Does your tent leak? Does water come through the canvas into the tent. Don’t confuse a leak with condensation – make sure you air out the tent before reproofing. Basically, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

If you do need to reproof your tent, we recommend using Fabsil to do so.  It has been around for years and works incredibly well.  Simply use the aerosol cans if it’s just one section that needs reproofing or if it’s a large area use a clean garden rose spray container with Fabsil inside to spray the areas that need doing.  Make sure it’s set to a fine mist and gently rub the Fabsil in with a clean cloth. 

Vango Tent Bag

PACKING YOUR TENT AWAY

Packing our tent away correctly is one of the most important things to get right to ensure the tent is long lasting.

Follow these helpful hints to pack-away perfectly:

  • Ensure your tent is mud free, especially the underside of your tent
  • Air your tent out before packing it away (if it’s a dry day)
  • Make sure the tent is completely dry before dropping it
  • unzip the tent doors to leave room for air to escape when packing away
  • For tents with fibreglass poles, unpin the poles from the pins and collapse the tent with the poles still in
  • Push your tent poles out through the sleeves and fold them (never pull them out)
  • Fold the tent to the width of the bag and push the air inside out as you fold
  • Using the pole bag on top of your tent and roll as tight as possible
  • Tie the tent up and put the bag around it

STORING YOUR TENT

Storing a tent in the proper environment is massively important and not doing so can result in it being damaged.

You should follow these simple tent storage rules:

  • NEVER pack your tent away when it’s wet, this can cause it to go mouldy and you’ll need to buy a new tent
  • Always store it in a cool, dry place away from animals
  • Keep the tent flat when in storing – having the tent bag on its end can damage the pole ends.