Mum of five Kellie explains the importance of taking care of your tent after a camping trip.
For many first-timers, packing up and hitting the road to a warm shower in the comfort of your home is the only thing on your mind but if you plan on subsequent trips, you will need to know how to care for your tent after a camping trip otherwise you might be in for a big shock next week, next month or maybe even next year.
No matter the size or cost, taking care of your tent and knowing how to repair and maintain it will keep it in ship-shape and protect it for years of usage. Follow these simple steps to keep your tent in great condition and avoid the many common mistakes or nasty surprises.
If uncared for and left damp for an unextended period of time, mould and mildew will leave your tent unusable. Best practise is to take down your tent when it is dry but let’s face it; we live in Ireland. If you have to take it down wet, shake off any excess water and wipe dry as much as possible. When you arrive home, air it out by hanging your tent on a secure washing line or reconstruct it out the back garden to dry naturally to prevent it from becoming mouldy.
Sweep up any excess dirt or crumbs from your tent using a soft brush to avoid food rot and if your tent needs a clean, avoid using harsh chemicals. Soap and warm water with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth will work just fine but remember, the same rule applies, allow sufficient drying time before packing away.
Over time your tent will become tired and weary, and you may need to reproof the fabric to ensure it remains waterproof. Warning signs that your tent requires treatment include condensation building up quicker than normal or the inner lining becoming damp. Revive it back to health once every couple of years by purchasing a spray suitable for your tent.
Storing your tent
While many tents are bulky and can be a nuisance to put away, it is paramount you store it in a cool, dry place. Otherwise, you are jeopardising the life of your tent. Another important point to note is that tents should not be stored on its end. Always place your tent down flat to avoid causing damage or to the accompanying poles.
Tents experience many hardships from wind, rain and of course, human error especially with little ones running riot. It is always a good idea to have a patch kit for tent repairs as well as a silicone-based sealant, waterproof tape and seam sealant. After every camping trip, check your tent for minor rips, snags or even holes.