Have a camping trip planned? You will surely be hoping for good weather and clear skies. But what if the reverse is true and it’s looking to be a rainy week ahead? Have no fear, read this article for tips on how to stay dry in your tent.
If your kids are asking you “Will the water come in?” as the lightning lights up the skies above you, you’re probably too late to get anything done. This is also about the worst type of weather to camp in, worrying if your tent will be alright or not. By waterproofing your tent prior to your trip, you save yourself the trouble of being in this predicament. Read on as we bring you through how you can waterproof your tent! Do note that this article is largely aimed at owners of tents made of synthetic fabric, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if your tent is made of natural fibres.
Check The Entire Tent For Areas of Weaknesses
Assuming makes an ass of you and me. So be sure to check your tent thoroughly before you embark on a trip, lest you be met with seepage or leakages in unexpected parts of the tent. While new tents will already be waterproofed, you’ll want to double-check if your tent has been with you a while now, or if you are extra cautious about your tent. Regular waterproofing also extends the shelf life of your equipment, so be sure to do it. In particular, you’ll want to check on the seams, the fabric and the rain fly of the tent to ensure that no tears or rips are present.
Steps To Follow To Check Your Tent
Before each trip, make sure to check the tent by following the steps below. This is especially important if you were rough with your tent the previous trip, or if it’s been a while since the last trip you took.
Find a sunny day to have your tent set up in the garden or backyard. Get the kids involved and make it a fun family activity. Once the tent is set up, send the kids inside the tent, and grab a garden hose. Turning the nozzle to the setting for a fine mist, spray away! Ask the kids to point out areas where they spot water going in. This makes for a fun time, while also helping you to prepare for the camping trip ahead!
If you don’t have a child, don’t fret! You can always grab a friend, your spouse or just any family member living with you. If you are truly alone, then just spray the tent thoroughly and head inside yourself to make a check.
By checking your tent ahead of the trip, you won’t mix up condensation and leakages. Condensation can build up inside the tent while you camp, as a result of your body heat. If it’s raining, the weather is likely to be cooler, making condensation far more likely to occur, which may fool you into thinking you’re in for a leaky night. If you did your checks ahead of time, then you’ll be able to rest well, knowing it’s just condensation and you won’t be soaked through the next morning.
You should also check the outer fabric of your tent too. If you see lots of water rolling off your tent, then all is well and good.
Separately Check On The Tent Fly
If you have a tent with a separate fly or a non-mesh tent, be sure to check for leakages without the fly. Once this is done, set the fly up and check again. This gives you the reassurance that should the fly fail, the tent itself is waterproof.
Wash Your Gear Prior To Waterproofing
Be sure to wash your tent prior to waterproofing. While this may not be necessary for new tents, this is essential if your tent is a used one. Most of the time, clean water and a sponge will suffice, but if you see flaking off the tentage, then use some rubbing alcohol to wash that part of the tent.
Don’t Stinge on The Waterproofing
While some campers only waterproof the key areas such as the floor or rain fly as this helps them to save cost, consider waterproofing your entire tent to be absolutely sure that you remain dry and toasty.
Waterproofing Of The Tent
In case you didn’t already know, the seams are where two pieces of material meet and can be found along the tent corners, near zippers, doors and windows, where the tent body leads into the tent floor, and any part of the tent where you see the stitching. Be sure to check the entire length of the seam when you check for leaks. The actual waterproofing of the seams is relatively simple and should take you less than twenty minutes. It is recommended to remove the rain fly for easier access to the tent seams, before replacing the rain fly after the waterproofing of the seams is done.
With tears, you’ll want to be safe rather than sorry. If the tear is quite small, then simply put tape on the reverse side of the tear, followed by sealant on the actual tear itself. About eight to ten hours later after the sealant is dried, a second layer may be applied to ensure the integrity of the tent. If the tear is rather large, then consider buying a new tent instead as large tears can worsen with bad weather.
When purchasing any waterproofing spray or coat, you could also consider getting one that provides UV protection. While a rainy camping trip is terrible, so is getting sunburnt on your trip due to the lack of UV protection within your tent.
With these tips in mind, you’ll know how to waterproof a tent, and how to check for leakages and seepage. Now, regardless of how the weather is, you will be able to stay dry and enjoy a cosy time in your tent!