Camping tents will protect you from many natural elements including rain if they are properly taken care of and waterproofed. Applying a water repellent will ensure a good night’s sleep instead of waking up to a soaked bedroll and muddy ground. Leaks are miserable and not necessary if you take action to waterproof first. Here are some steps you can take to waterproof your camping tent.
If you have spent the day discovering new trails, spending the day fishing or horseback riding, you need to rest! There’s nothing worse than having your sleep interrupted by a leaky tent and not to know what to do.
Before going into repairing your tent, let’s look at some of the reasons why your tent leaks:
The Age of Your Tent
If you have owned your tent for some time, it has already experienced many weather conditions. Wear and tear can be a leading factor for leakage. If this is the case, it’s time to treat your tent with a repellent to enjoy many more years of camping.
Improper Care of Your Tent
Before taking off on a camping trip, you should go over every inch of your tent to make sure everything is operating properly. I even recommend you add this to your camping checklist! Check polls for debris or oxidation, make sure everything fits in place snugly and there are no tears or build up on the tent’s fabric. Tents need to be cleaned regularly to give them a longer life. It is also quite important to pack and fold it the right way when leaving your campsite.
Not Cleaning Your Tent Properly
When cleaning your tent, do not scrub the underside of your tent fly, this will damage and possibly remove the polyurethane waterproofing, originally applied by the manufacturer.
If your tent is in need of maintenance, here are steps you should take.
The most popular product on the market is Nikwax. Before applying it, set up the tent and then apply Nikwax using a hosing method. After using a good saturation, you can use a damp cloth, brush or sponge to spread it out making sure the entire surface is properly covered. Nikwax not only increases the water repellency but will protect your tent’s fabric from exposure to UV rays.
Use A Tarp
Pick up a basic tarp, or tarpling, that is available in many stores and is inexpensive. Place it above the tent for added protection and shelter.
It’s always a good idea to go over your tent before heading out on a camping trip. You do not have to run out and spend a great deal of money to replace your tent. In most cases, the waterproofing has simply worn out and not doing its job anymore. Get a good waterproofing product; they are inexpensive, and they work really well. Apply the waterproofing and see how it is doing, if you need to, you can always apply a second coat. Waterproofing does not last forever, but applied every few years will ensure your tent has a long life and is protected from the elements. Applying waterproofing properly will guarantee the next time you go camping, you sleep will not be interrupted by leaks from rain.
Pro tip: Make sure you use a tarp or a footprint to protect your tent from the weather!