How to give camping tents proper care and maintenance
A camping tent is an indispensable item for camping. It provides a shelter for campers against bad weather, the chill at night and insects. By serving its purpose as a shelter, it contributes a lot to our pleasure we have when going camping. Sleeping in your tent, having friends and family members besides you, you know that the outside might be pitch black and cold but nothing can touch or harm you when you are inside the tent. Somehow, tent is just like a home to campers.
However, many people do not give their tents as much care as they need and deserve. Therefore, here are some things you might want to consider if you want to get the best from your tent and keep it in good condition to use for many other camps to come.
1. Apply the no-shoes, no-fire policy
Tent floors can wear out pretty fast if you keep treading it with the hard soles of your hiking boots. Moreover, bringing shoes or boots inside a tent means bringing dirt, mud, small rocks and other things that you step on outdoors along. That, asides from contributing to the tent wearing out even faster, makes it uncomfortable to sleep at night and make the tent smell bad. Therefore, refrain from wearing shoes or hiking boots inside a tent; take it out before you enter.
You should not use any kind of open flames inside or near a tent. Most tents are made of nylon, which make them easy to catch on fire. Battery operated equipment is much more tent-friendly.
2. Make sure you take down the tent properly
At the end of a camping trip, many people tend to feel tired and get sloppy in taking down their tents and pack them carefully. However, if you do not take the job seriously, you will regret it when preparing for the next camp to come.
First thing first, start with clearing the inside of your tent. Make sure to get rid of all the dirt, mud, small rocks and debris from your staying in. Small rocks tend to cling onto the corner of the tent, so check the spots. Go through all the compartments and do not leave any spot out.
Before putting your tent away, you should give its outside a good cleaning too. Do not use strong detergents for the washing. The tent seams and coating might not be able to withstand them. Use a sponge and light detergent to wipe it and then wash it with cold water.
After that, give it time to dry. You do not want molds and fungus to take hold of your tent and damage it. If you do not have the time to do these things before leaving the campsite, do it as soon as you get home.
Unzip all the doors and windows. This act let the air get outside the tent, hence, when you roll your tent, it does not get ballooned up. Be organized when you remove all the lines, poles and pegs so that you do not leave anything out when packing.
3. Be careful with storing your tent
Always store your tent in dry and cool environment, for heat can affect tent fabric negatively. While being stored, your tent should not be packed too tightly to let air circulate. That way, you can avoid getting a stale smell the next time you open your tent.
Steer away from storage that has mice and bugs as frequent guests. With your tent lying unchecked in those places for a long, you are bound to have an unpleasant surprise when bring it to use again.
4. Take care of tears and stains quickly
No matter how careful you are with the tent, it is bound to get tears and stains from time to time with it being outside with all the unpredictable elements of the surrounding environment. Therefore, when noticing a tear or stain, deal with it immediately before they accumulate and bring down your tent. Damage to nylon products can spread quickly.
For cleaning, hot water or bleach is not recommended. You can get rid of tough stains with cornstarch or talcum powder. To fix tears, use repair tape and a simple needle.
You should always bring along a small tent maintenance kit on your camping trips. It should be packed with needle, thread, sponge and cleaning products. Should problems arises, the kit will come in handy. After all, leaving the problem for later can lead to forgetting it and letting it get out of hand.
5. Maintain waterproof feature
You should use suitable cleaning products for your tent, because the fabric can wear out if you use too strong detergents.
You might want to re-proof your tent every now and then to maintain the waterproof power of the canvas. You should notice should condensation build up inside your tent or rain does not slide off tent roof in droplets. That is when you should give your tent re-proofing treatment.
Do all these on a sunny day so that your tent has time to dry up properly.