Properly looked after your tent will last much longer, and you are less likely to get a nasty surprise when you are actually using it! Use the following basic tips.
- Get to know your tent. Before the initial camping trip, practice pitching perhaps in the garden.
- Check that all the parts are present and undamaged.
- Seal all seams with sealant. Advisable if the tent is nylon or synthetic material.
- Some manufacturers supply sealant with a new tent. Taped seams don't require sealing
- New cotton tents need to be weathered (Covered below)
If you properly maintain and pitch your tent, it should resist most weather conditions.
- Select an area which is as flat as possible. Avoid low lying or marshy ground which could flood in heavy rain.
- Clear the site of anything which could damage the groundsheet, stones or sticks for example
- Do not peg the groundsheet out too tightly.
- It is better not to pitch under trees. It drips long after the rain has stopped, some trees drop sticky sap and birds don't care where they drop....
- Make use of any natural windbreaks, such as hedges and try to face the tent door away from prevailing wind.
Zips, Pegs and Guys.
- It helps to pitch the tents with the zips closed.
- Avoid treading on zips, especially if wearing boots, and treat gently, do not force. Try some silicon lubricant or rub with a pencil.
- Drive pegs in at an angle to the direction of pull to get the best grip in the ground. Peg in line with the direction of the seam.
- Pegs situated at the base of zips should be crossed over to take off any strain.
- Rubber guy loops should be stretched sufficiently to tension the fabric without overstretching.
- Site your tent a minimum of 6m from adjacent tents.
- DO NOT place cooking, heating or lighting appliances near sides of tent or fabric.
- Keep tent exits clear.
- NEVER allow children to play near or with lighted appliances.
- It is recommended that you carry spare pole(s) and tent repair kit.
- Condensation can occur in nylon/polyester tents and even cotton and should not be confused with leakage. To reduce condensation ensure that the tent is well ventilated at all times.
- Before storing the tent ensure that it is completely dry and that all mud has been removed.
- Tents are best stored opened out in a dry well aired place. If this is not possible, air tent on a dry day or indoors if necessary.
- Mildew affects cloth when tent is stored in damp or wet conditions. At first signs, dry out the tent completely. Brush carefully and re-proof.
- Dirt and stains can be removed by either brushing or gently washing with mild soap. Never use detergents.
- Do not scrub, rinse well and dry thoroughly, re-proofing if necessary.
- Store pegs and poles separately.
- Follow manufacturers instructions on treatment.
- Cotton tents are not at their best until they have been thoroughly wet and then naturally dried out. Why not erect your new tent for a few days and allow to be rained on? If it is not convenient to wait for rain then try spraying with a garden hose until the tent is wet then allow it to dry.