How to Take Care of Your Tent
Your tent is your home in nature, so take care of it accordingly. A well-loved and cared for tent is the difference between a night to remember and a night to forget.
CLEANING & DRYING YOUR TENT
Regardless of whether you’ve had rain or sunshine, when you arrive home from an adventure you should clean and air your tent. Generally, brushing the inside to remove sand, twigs, leaves etc. and a rinse with lukewarm water on the outside are enough after short trips. But longer excursions might require a more thorough wash. Just never put your tent in the washing machine. Instead, use a sponge, gentle soap and some warm water to clean away dirty marks. Don’t forget to clean the poles and zips too, especially if you’ve been beach camping, as the sand and salt can be bad news for metal parts.
Leave your tent in a well-ventilated area, preferable outdoors, to dry fully.
STORING YOUR TENT
Never store your tent damp, this could lead to mould which will eventually destroy your tent. Always air it thoroughly before storing it away for the season.
It’s best to store your tent in a well-ventilated area. Don’t use the tent bag. Instead hang the tent in a cupboard. If that’s not possible loosely fold it and store it in a pillowcase, or cover it with a towel, and store it in your wardrobe.
Take your tent out of storage a day or two before heading into the great outdoors again, to give it a thorough airing, to check that no mould has formed and to make sure you have all the parts. Check your zips too. They might need a little oil or wax to ensure they open and close smoothly.
REPAIRING YOUR TENT
Over the lifetime of your tent the odd repair, here and there, is likely. All our tents come with a repair kit that includes: a reserve guyline; a spare pole section for each pole diameter the tent uses; and a pole repair tube. There’s also a needle and thread, a seam healer that also functions as glue, and tent fabric patches for the flysheet, inner tent and ground sheet.
For longer trips, we also recommend taking a multi-tool – one that has pliers – and some duct tape, just in case something happens and you need to make emergency repairs on the go.
The easiest way to repair a guyline is by tying a knot. If you’ve already knotted it a few times, it’s best to switch it out for a new guyline. Remember to burn the ends of any new guylines to prevent fraying.
Bent tent pages can usually be straightened with the help of a sturdy walking boot and some gusto. But pliers also do the job well.
You can replace broken sections with the reserve in your repair kit. Take off the aluminium plug at the end of the pole. Untie the knot in the elastic cord. Separate the sections of the pole and remove them from the cord. Replace the damaged section with the reserve and re-thread all the pole sections back onto the elastic cord. Tie a new knot then replace the aluminium plug.
If you don’t have another reserve, you can slide the spare pole repair tube over the broken section. It’s a good idea to try and shape the broken ends to make them as round as possible. This reduces the risk of broken edges damaging the elastic cord. Once the tube is in place, tape it at both ends with duct tape (not supplied).
Sew up any rips as soon as you see them. Then glue the repair patch with seam-sealer glue onto the outside of the tent, then sew around the edges of the patch to secure it in place. Don’t forget to seal the stiches with seam sealer.
You can repair any rips or tears in the ground sheet using the self-adhesive patch in the repair kit. Remember to cover the hole on both the inside and outside of the ground sheet.
You can make an emergency repair by taping the inside to seal it then running a few stitches through the fabric every 10cm or so.
You can read our general care advice here. And if you want general camping and outdoor tips, visit our blog: The Foxtrail.