No matter whether your tent cost a small or big fortune, if it's properly taken care of, it should last for adventure after adventure. Looking after your tent, from pitching to packing up and storage, will help it to stay intact and weatherproof for longer - meaning it's ready to be taken on the next outdoor exploration or popped-up at the next festival!
Laying a groundsheet or tarpaulin down before you start pitching pitch will help keep dirt off the bottom of your tent and protect it slightly from small stones and twigs.When it’s time to head home, ensure you give the inside a sweep-out before you take it down.
When packing away your tent, be careful not to get any dirt or moisture from the outer part over the inner pods. Wash down any pegs and other small parts before you put them away and keep them in a separate sealable bag to prevent them from damaging your tent.
Mould and mildew build-up can lead to a deterioration in the fabric, making your tent unusable. To avoid this, take your tent down when it’s dry (after the sun has evaporated the morning dew).
If it’s pouring with rain, packing your tent up when it’s wet is unavoidable. Once you get home, you’ll need to unpack your tent and let it dry out somewhere airy with natural heat, like the garden, conservatory, or shed. You can wipe water off with a cloth or towel but, beware, it needs to be a cloth that hasn’t been washed with detergent as this can damage the waterproofing of your tent.
While your tent is up, don’t hang any wet towels or clothes on it to dry, as this can impair the waterproof coating on the fabric. It will also put weight on the tent, causing the fabric to sag and risk it leaking.
When opening or closing the doors to your tent, be careful with the zips. If it’s stiff or the fabric snags, don’t be rough with it or you could create a rip. Clean off any dirt or mud that will stop them from running smoothly with some warm (but not soapy) water and a cloth. Check all the zips are closed before you start to pack your tent up.
Most repairs needed for tents are small or minor issues that can be easily fixed with some TLC, avoiding the need to buy a whole new tent. The most common problems are snapped pole elastic, fabric tears, or a ripped seam, both of which can be temporarily fixed with some repair tape to get you through the rest of your trip. For a more permanent solution, you can easily sew up and seal any broken seams and new poles can be purchased from your local camping shop - keeping your tent going for the next trip!
Occasionally treating your tent with waterproofing and solarproofing agents will help to prolong its life. Nylon and polyester tents can have their seams treated with sealants.
Do not store your tent wet! This is a sure-fire way to ruin the fabric and will see you buying another one when camping season rolls around next year. Ensure your tent is properly aired and dry before you pack it away. Keep it in cool, dry location and rest it on its side to take any pressure off the tent poles.
Browse our camping collection to make sure you're properly prepared for your fun adventure and check out our other articles below for more helpful advice and camping tips.