Best Methods For Waterproofing Your Camping Tent
OutdoorHub Reporters 05.22.18
We’re sure you’ve at least heard of (if not experienced yourself) camping horror stories about waking up in the middle of the night to a soaked tent (and sleeping bag!). A few small holes or cracks can lead to a significant leak, so it’s essential that you learn how to waterproof your camping tent.
Unexpected rain, while a slight annoyance, doesn’t have to put a literal damper on your camping trip. With a bit of preparedness, there’s no need to experience a surprise leak and a ruined camping trip ever again.
Store your tent properly
One of the basics to waterproofing your tent is to properly store it. Ideally, you should store it in a dry, cool place such as a finished basement or closet. Once you’ve come back from your trip, clean it, let it dry, and loosely pack it, as a rolled up tent tends to get mildew or mold. To keep it in one place, you can use a large mesh laundry bag, which will allow it to get some air.
Keep it out of direct sunlight
You may not be able to avoid the sun hitting your tent during your camping trip, but at home, ensure that you store it out of direct sunlight. Over time, the fabric of your tent’s canopy and rainfly will be degraded by UV rays, leading to a breakdown of the material, causing rips and tears, and, ultimately, leaks.
Always hand wash your tent
Washing your tent using a washing machine is a surefire way to tear or stretch out the fabric of your tent. When your tent needs a good wash, use a sponge, non-detergent soap, and cold water, gently scrubbing any soiled areas.
You should never use spot removers, dishwasher detergent or bleach on your tent, as they are abrasive and will tear the fabric, along with messing up the existing water-repellent coating.
Spray a waterproofing treatment
Your tent may already be waterproofed, but if you camp in an area prone to rain showers, or your tent gets a lot of sun exposure, it can be a good idea to take a few extra precautions. Waterproofing sprays also help make your tent more water repellant, as well as boosting UV resistance.
Waterproofing your tent can be simple; you just need make sure you maintain it properly, so you can be sure to stay dry on all of your future camping trips.