How To Look After Your Tent
How to Look After your Tent
Tent care and maintenance starts from the moment you get your new tent home. Don't let the first time you unpack and examine your tent be the first day of your holiday. As soon as you get it home, unpack it and check that it is complete and free from any defects.
Double Check your Tent
As soon as possible, erect your tent. This will act as a double check that nothing is missing, and will also familiarise you with pitching the tent.
You don't want to turn up at your campsite, when it could be wet, windy and possibly even dark, and need to study the instructions while erecting your tent.
No tent can be totally guaranteed 100% waterproof, so having practiced erecting your tent, it is a good idea while the tent is up to weather it. We recommend you hose it thoroughly and check for any seam leakage.
The material used in making modern tents is generally waterproof, but it must be remembered that certain weather conditions (like high winds and driven rain) can cause leakage through the seams and zips.
A good tent will always have the seams sealed on the inside of the seam. These should be checked when hosing the tent, and any leaks fixed with a good quality seam sealant.
For added protection, you can apply seam sealant to the outer seams. Remember, though, that some discolouration may occur.
Using your Tent
- Choose a site that is free of stones and sharp objects
- Avoid pitching near trees
- Always read the fire precaution label attached to your tent
We recommend that a mallet is used to peg out your tent and that you keep it fully guyed at all times for stability.
In high humidity, condensation can form on the inner side of your tent. Do not confuse this with leaking. We recommend that as many ventilation points, including partial opening of doors and windows are left open, subject to weather conditions wherever possible.
After Care Use
Prior to packing always clean off mud and grass.
If possible pack away your tent when it is dry.
Do not store your tent wet - mildew can form on the inners and rust can form on steel pegs and poles, always dry and clean these items prior to storage.
Store in dry, ventilated conditions
Cleaning Your Tent
Keeping your tent clean will extend its serviceable life. Not only does dirt mask water-repellency and encourage rotting and mildew, it can become engrained into fibres and promote abrasion and deterioration within the fabrics.
You should wash your tent with a non-detergent soap - we recommend Loft Tech Wash by Nikwax.
Normal household detergent or washing up liquid will degrade the water-repellency by stripping it off or masking it with water-attractive residues.
You can wash your tent while pitched, or immersed in the bath or a dustbin. Do not use a washing machine, as this could damage the seams.
Reproofing Your Tent
For nylon and synthetic tents, we recommend using Tent and Gear Proof or UV Proof, both by Nikwax.
This is a water-based, non-aerosol, spray-on product. Being water-based means that it is much safer than traditional aerosol and solvent based proofings, and also means that it can be applied even when the fabric is wet. Indeed, it will actually work better when it is wet, as the water will draw in the active ingredient deep into the fabric.
Apply by sponge, paint-brush, garden sprayer or the trigger spray-head.
For breathable, single wall tents and bivvi bags (e.g. Gore-tex), we recommend TX.Direct Spray-on by Nikwax.
This can also be applied by sponge, paint-brush, garden sprayer or the trigger spray-head.
For cotton, poly-cotton and canvas tents we recommend using Cotton Proof by Nikwax. This can be diluted with water and sprayed or painted onto cotton or canvas tents, even when wet.
It can be diluted 6:1 with water so it is an extremely cost effective proofing.
It can be applied by sponge, paint-brush or garden sprayer.