So you’ve just bought yourself a tent. You want to make it last right? Here at Millets, we want to help you take care of your tent so that it serves you well for years to come. Here’s our expert guide to tent after care.
Before Your Trip
The first thing you should always do before embarking on any camping trip is practice-pitch your tent. Just by simply pitching your tent in an open space a few days beforehand you can save yourself so much stress down the road as it allows you to check for any damages such as tears or a broken zip.
Practice-pitching is especially useful for new tents, as you learn the correct way to pitch the tent before your getaway.
Tip: Follow the provided guidelines when pitching your tent to avoid causing any damage.
Cleaning & Drying Your Tent
Keeping your tent clean and dry is guaranteed to make it last longer. Tent hygiene is sometimes overlooked as unimportant, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A clean tent could be the difference between an annual holiday home or a one-time campout.
You always want to make sure that there is no dirt or debris lingering inside your tent. A simple dust pan and brush can make sure your tent is fully cleaned of any loose bits.
Tents can get very dirty, very quickly, but don’t worry. To clean it, just simply wipe away any excess dirt that’s found its way onto the fabric. For stubborn caked on mud, a cleaning sponge and a bucket of warm soapy water will do the trick. But be sure to stay away from detergents however, as these can damage your tents waterproofing abilities.
When packing your tent away you want to make sure that it’s as dry as possible. To dry your tent, simply shake off any excess water and wipe down with a clean cloth. Then just leave it open to air out for a few hours. If you’re struggling to get your tent dry due to the weather, don’t worry, just pack it away neatly and air it out when you get home - either by re-pitching and following the same steps mentioned before, or hang it over a washing line. Make sure you do this as soon as you can though to avoid musty smells and mould. The sooner the better.
Tent Protection Essentials
When camping, there are a few tools out there that you can use to protect your tent that little bit more.
Duct tape (or gaffer tape) will be your tent's best friend. Allowing you to cover up any small tears or fix any minor damages that may occur, it’s the perfect temporary fix to any problem until you can organise a more permanent solution. You can purchase duct tape here.
A footprint is a removable groundsheet used to protect the underside of your tent from wet ground or damaging debris. They prevent tearing and help you clean up, just by simply removing it. View our extensive range of footprints to find one that suits you!
Tent Repair Kit
Tent repair kits aid in covering up any small wear and tear your tent may incur. Featuring self-adhesive tent patches, just simply place on a flat surface and you’re all sorted. An essential piece of kit you can pick up here.
Seam sealant is the perfect solution if you find a leaking seam. Just re-cover the seam and leave it to adhere to the material for a few days, - crisis averted.
Reproofing Your Tent
Reproofing the flysheet of your tent will reinvigorate its waterproofing abilities. How often you use your tent will determine how often you’ll need to reproof it. A sign that your tent needs reproofing is if water no longer beads (forms droplets) on the surface but seeps into it. Condensation building up quicker than usual, and the inner lining becoming damp are also be warning signs that your tent requires treatment. We recommend Nikwax Solar Proofer.
Packing Your Tent Away Correctly
If you want your tent to last longer than one trip, you’re going to need to know how to pack it away correctly. Not doing so could result in lasting damage. Here are some general tips to ensure your tent is packed away correctly, but remember that every tent will have its own guidelines that you should follow.
- Ensure the inside of the tent is completely clean of debris and dust
- Open the tent and leave it to air for a few hours before you start packing it away (if the weather is dry)
- Partially zip the tent doors leaving some room for air to escape
- Unpin the poles from the pins and collapse the tent with the poles still in
- Push (don't pull) the tent poles out of the sleeves and fold them
- Have a person stand each side and fold the tent to match the width of the bag, pushing air out as you unfold.
- Place the bag for poles and pegs on top of your folded tent and roll as tight as possible
- Tie the tent up and place it into it's bag
Storing Your Tent
Storing your tent correctly is essential to its condition. Ensure you place it down flat it in a cool, dry area and away from harmful chemicals. Try to avoid placing it on its end as this can damage the poles. You should NEVER store your tent wet as it will get mouldy and cause damage. It also gives off a rather unpleasant smell. Some good places to store a tent would be a dry garage or in the loft.
Your tent is an investment, your portable home that you’re going to want to look after so it will last you many camping trips to come. Following the advice in this guide will make sure that your tent will last.