Caring for Your Tent

Tent and SubaruYou’ve got to take care of your tent. It’s what keeps you safe and sound from the elements when you’re out hiking trails, resting up for a day of climbing, or just enjoying a weekend camping trip. Apart from providing you shelter when you’re out in nature, a tent can be a pretty sizable purchase, so you want to just destroy it. Luckily, caring for your tent is pretty easy.

One of the best ways to make sure that your tent lasts is by avoiding unnecessary wear and tear. Be mindful of where you choose to place your tent. Avoid setting up on saplings, sharp rocks, thorns, etc. These things can puncture or tear your tent, and that damage can be prevented by choosing a more favorable location.

Also, think twice about pitching your tent beneath certain types of trees. Trees offer great coverage, but some trees, like pine trees, can drop boatloads of sap on top of your head. Sap isn’t necessarily harmful to tent material, but it can be a huge pain to clean. Just make sure you don’t mind if your tent gets sticky before setting up beneath a tree.

Always pitch your tent a safe distance from fires. This distance is usually farther than you would expect. Wind can pick up embers or blow sparks towards your tent which can melt or burn the material.

Get a footprint or a tarp for your tent. This will help protect the tent floor from rips or tears, and help keep water out.

Kick off your shoes before entering your tent. Muddy boots or hiking shoes can be left outside the tent, especially if your tent has a vestibule. This will keep the tent interior tidy.

Your tent is going to get dirty, there’s no way around that. You’re sleeping out in nature, and nature is dirty. However, you want to keep mud dirt and grime from caking up on your tent, so clean your tent if and when necessary. Hand wash your tent with a mild detergent or special cleaning solution.

Always let your tent dry and air out. This is especially important after you’ve cleaned your tent or you’ve been camping in the rain. Storing a damp tent can lead to mildew.

Check your tent regularly for damaged areas that need repair. Check it every time you pack it up, or before you take it out. Finding, and fixing, a minor problem before it becomes serious is the best way to avoid having to replace your entire tent. Look for cracks in tent poles, holes in mesh, leaky seams, etc.

Of course, you also want to store your tent properly. Make sure it’s stored out of direct sunlight in a place that’s dry and cool. Closets and garages are ideal. Roll it up and pack it properly, and make sure it won’t get lost or trampled.

No matter how well you care for a tent, it’s gong to have to be replaced at some point. If your tent is 10, 15, or 20 years old, it’s probably time to replace it. It’s had a good run. Stop by and check out our selection of camping and backpacking tents.

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