If you have invested enough bucks in your tent, you expect to get nothing short of durability and good service from it. But did you know that the life span of your tent and how good it serves you largely depends on how well you take care of it?
Just like any camping gear and gadgets, your portable shelter needs some pampering too. This means keeping it clean, inspecting the seams and making repairs when necessary, and most importantly, storing it right.
Speaking of tent storage, believe it or not, if you don’t do it correctly, those nights under the stars may be limited. In today’s post, we are going to talk about how to store a tent properly to prevent material breakdown and give it a longer life.
So How Do You Store Your Tent Right?
After an exhausting camping trip, all we want to do is have a good bath (sometimes in a hot tub if we are lucky) and send our bodies to a relaxing mode. There is totally nothing wrong with this. However, it would be nice to think about how every piece of equipment will be unpacked and put away correctly before giving our bodies a treat.
Storage of some items like tents, for instance, needs to be given some thought because putting these away improperly can quickly lead to mold and mildew growth. Here are two major steps for appropriate tent storage.
1. Keep It Dry
Always dry your tent before putting it away. Storing it wet can cause mold blooms and mildew, which will slowly eat away the fabric and render it useless. The moisture can also damage the waterproof material beyond repair.
Ever had some funky odor come from your tent? This is likely because you didn’t take time to dry your tent before storing it!
If you want to protect this gear from mustiness, flakiness, and tackiness, leave it outside for several hours to dry before locking it away. If the weather is warm, even better because the fabric won’t take forever to dry out. But in cold weather, you will have to pitch or hang the tent indoors until it’s dry.
However, there are times when we return home with dirty tents. In such cases, and especially if your outdoor shelter was exposed to fine dust, sand, tree sap, and bird droppings, you may want to give it a good cleaning.
Cleaning a tent is also a great way to improve the tent’s longevity. You will need a large container full of water, a soft piece of cloth, and a mild detergent.
Start with spot cleaning to get rid of any dirt that is stuck on the tent. Add the detergent to the water in the container and make sure not to exceed the specified amount. Dip your tent in the container and leave it to soak for some time. Make sure to read the instructions on the cleaner’s bottle to find out how long the fabric should stay submerged and then rinse thoroughly with water afterward. Put your tent outside to dry before packing it away.
To ensure that the door zippers are running smoothly, get a brush, and remove the grit. Don’t forget to repair or replace any damaged teeth.
Once everything has dried up check for any leaks and seal them. Get more information on how to waterproof your tent.
Important tip: Only use light detergents to clean your tent or cleaners designed specifically for camping gear cleaning to avoid damaging the fabric.
2. Find A Cool, Dry Storage
You can dry your tent all you want but if you are going to store it in a damp place, then all of this would be for nothing. When deciding on a place to store your tent, consider one that is cool and dry.
Don’t even think of your car trunk, garage, or basement. These areas can be either too hot or too humid and could get your portable shelter musty. Invest in a gear closet and you will have solved your storage problem once and for all.
You can put the locker indoors if you have enough space but a dry place outdoors would also be great. However, you will need to be on the constant lookout for creepers like mice and termites, especially if your gear closet is made of wood.
While at it, you may want to keep things loose. Many campers make the mistake of storing their tents in the bags they bought them in.
Okay, we agree, these sacks give you compact backpacking but if you are looking for long-term tent storage, you may need to consider other options. The fabric of your tent needs to breathe and relax, so get something that will make this happen. A mesh bag or old pillowcase could be a great place to get started. Just fold your tent neatly and put it in and you are all set for the next camping adventure.
How about the tent poles?
These need to be stored properly too to give the shock cord a longer life. The best way to do this is to partially assemble them to reduce the tension on the cord. Unfortunately, this will require additional storage space and not everyone can afford this. Therefore, the only way around it would be to collapse the poles from the center toward the ends to distribute tension evenly along the cord.
Tent Care Dos And Don’ts
Tents are designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be damaged. Hence, just like any other investment, tents require proper maintenance and care. There are therefore several things you need to do and quite a number you should avoid when preparing your tent for storage.
Things You Should DO To Lengthen Your Tent’s Life
- Brush any debris and dirt off your tent as regularly as you can while in use.
- Before buying a tent cleaner, seek guidance from your local camping store to find out which one best suits your fabric.
- After cleaning your tent, allow it to dry completely before putting it away.
- Do regular inspections. Check both the interior and exterior of your tent including the seams, zippers, poles, and tarps for damages.
- Spray your tent with UV rays protection regularly to prevent damages caused by these harmful rays on the fabric.
- Check the ropes, stakes, poles, and other parts of your tent for dirt and debris and clean them properly before storage. Don’t forget to dry them up.
- If your tent has any rips or tears, have them repaired immediately, as these can ruin the fabric if left unchecked for a long time.
So What Should You NOT Do To Your Tent?
- Avoid using harsh detergents while cleaning your tent as these can easily break down the water resistance material.
- Do not use bleaching agents to avoid changing the color of your tent’s fabric. These can also damage the fabric.
- Never store your tent in a wet or humid area, as this could encourage mold and mildew growth.
- Do not let water, dirt, and other elements collect inside your tent while doing the cleaning, as these could end up damaging the fabric.
- Never leave your tent out in the sun for a long period unless directed by a tent’s expert. Subjecting this camping gear to harsh elements longer than required could degrade the fabric and its UV resistance properties.
- Do not use brushes with rough bristles to avoid scratching, tearing, or ripping the tent fabric.
Following the above simple instructions will ensure that your investment lasts longer and gives you the service you deserve. Keep these handy whenever you clean, maintain or prepare your tent for storage to avoid damaging your most cherished outdoor shelter.
Store The Rest Of The Gear Properly Too
When someone mentions the word camping, the first thing we think about is a tent. Of course, this special gear plays an important role in outdoor adventures but so is any other equipment we bring along on the trip.
So even when it comes to tucking these away after the getaway, every item must be stored properly so that it is still usable the next time we need it.
Clean the sleeping bags: If you had not packed a camping blanket, chances are good that your sleeping bag was in direct contact with the ground, which means it could have collected more dirt than any other gear. Even if it looks relatively clean, it likely picked up some bugs, stenches, and sweat from your trip. So throw it in the washer to give it a good fresh clean. Just make sure to dry it up completely before storage.
Wash your pots, dishes, and utensils: Maybe you rinsed your camping utensils and pots back in the woods but you must clean everything up with detergent once you get back home. Sloppily cleaned flatware and cookware can be an excellent breeding spot for disease-causing microorganisms. Seriously, the last thing you want is to get indigestion and stomach upsets on the next trip in the wilderness. So keep things clean and dry before packing away.
Clean your stove: Your camping stove needs to be stored clean too so get to it. But just before you do, drain all the fuel. Wipe off any soot and crumbs on the exterior of your stove. Then use the owner’s manual to clean, dry, and store the rest of the equipment properly.
Polish your kitchen: Food fragments will attract creepers and get your camping kitchen moldy with time. Therefore, before you lock your kitchen and storage boxes away, give them a good scrubbing. This is also the best time to replace the missing forks, knives, and plates, or any broken item from your last camping with kids.
Check your gadgets: Is your camping lantern, flashlight, or portable speaker battery-charged? If so, you will need to remove the batteries before storing the item away. Acid from a leaking battery could corrode the gadget or cause complete damage. You really don’t want this!
Organizing Camping Gear For Storage
Camping equipment comes in different functionalities, shapes, and sizes as well as different degrees of flammability. The most effective way to store things is by organizing them by functionality.
You can cluster items into a shelter group, cooking group, and ground group for instance. Your tent, sleeping bags, and pillows will be stored under “shelter”, the kitchen, utensils, stove, and grill under “cooking”, and stakes, sleeping pads, and blankets under “ground”.
Once you have your items organized, put them in corresponding bins or crates. Don’t forget to label each crate with the appropriate group name so it is easier for you to locate things when packing for your next trip.
If you have a gear locker, just put your crates in there. Otherwise, you can use spare shelves in your house, garage, or basement. However, you need to make sure that the place is dry to avoid putting your equipment at risk of mold. Also, depending on how often rodents love hanging out in your chosen store, you may want to move things to a hidden location.
To make your storage space more appealing, personalize it in ways that inspire you. Hang up pictures of your past adventures, print posters of the lake and mountain views, or make a list of your camping gear and where it is stored.
Globo Surf Overview
If you love spending nights with Mother Nature, you probably know how important it is to care for your tent to avoid wear and tear and make those nights memorable. Regular cleaning and maintenance will go a long way in ensuring a longer life for your portable shelter but so is storing it properly.
The above guide has all the information you need on tent storage, all the things you should and should not do to your tent, and how to properly store the rest of your camping equipment. We believe that by following the tips laid out here, you will keep your tent in amazing shape to enjoy countless wild nights.
More Camping Reviews:
- Rectangular Sleeping Bag
- 4 Season Tent
- Tree Tent
- Camping Table
- Camping Games
- Camping Activities For Kids
- How To Whittle
- Camping Meals
- Sleeping In A Tent
- How To Make Coffee While Camping
- Camping Storage Tips from the Experts, ezstorage.com