5 Tent Waterproofing Tips to Stay Dry

Most of us have heard this familiar camping story: a great trip is hampered by an unexpected rainfall. Maybe you’ve even lived it.

No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a soaked sleeping bag.

In order to stay dry, it’s important to make sure your tent is waterproofed. Just a few small cracks or holes can lead to big leaks.

That’s why we’ve put together these 5 fail safe tent waterproofing tips. With these tips, you’ll never have surprise leaks during your camping trips again.

1. Avoid direct sunlight

Obviously, your tent might be in direct sunlight at some points on your trip.

However, when you store it at home, make sure your tent is out of direct sunlight as much as possible. And when you set it up on a trip, try to find a shady spot that’s out of the light.

UV rays will degrade the fabric of your tent’s rainfly and canopy over time. That can lead to a breakdown of your tent’s fabric, which causes leaks.

It’s worth keeping your tent out of sunlight as much as possible, even by moving it to different locations in your campsite if it’s going to be in the sun for too long.

2. Store your tent correctly

Proper storage is key to tent waterproofing.

Keeping your tent out of sunlight is a good start. Ideally, you should also have it in a cool, dry place, like a closet or finished basement.

Don’t keep it rolled up tight in its stuff sack for long periods of storage either as any dampness can turn to mold. The fabric will last much longer if it’s packed loosely. Try keeping it in a large mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase.

3. Never machine wash your tent

Washing machines (and dryers!) are quick ways to stretch out or even tear the fabric of your tent. The heat from hot water or a dryer can also cause additional damage.

Instead, use cold water, non-detergent soap, and a sponge to clean off your tent. You can scrub areas that are really soiled but do so gently.

Never use¬†bleach, dishwasher detergent, laundry pre-soaking products, or spot removers on your tent. These products can mess up your tent’s water-repellent coating.

4. Use a spray on waterproofing treatment

If your tent is going to get lots of sun exposure, or if you just want to take extra waterproofing precautions, you can use a spray-on treatment such as Nikwax or Coleman Seam Sealer. These are 2 of the most popular and best waterproofing spray options on the market. This makes tent waterproofing a breeze and it’s possibly one to add to your essential camping gear list.

Spray-on solar fabric treatments can also boost UV resistance and help maintain your tent’s water repellency long term.

5. Fix damages

Waterproof tents that break down or get damaged can be fixed, within reason. If you want your tent to last longer, try fixing it yourself.

Reseal seams that have sprung leaks. Your tent was probably sold with sealed seams. However, seams are often the first places to show damage on a tent.

To fix this, pull off peeling seam tape and apply new seam sealer.

You can also reapply waterproof coating to old tents. Clean off the flakes of old coating, and then paint on a thin layer of polyurethane sealant.

Keep in mind that these sealing products will need up to 24 hours to dry. Make sure you have a place to spread your tent out until it’s completely dried.

Tent Waterproofing Tips Wrap Up

Tent waterproofing is actually quite easy. With a bit of maintenance and precautions, you can ensure your tent will stay dry on many camping trips to come.

Need more camping tips and products for your upcoming trip then checkout this ever expanding list.

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