How Can A Beginner Maintain Their Tent Properly?

Tents can withstand intense weather and natural elements, but they can also be damaged beyond repair due to unchecked wear and tear.

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Just because you're roughing it doesn't mean you're not going to take care of your camping equipment. Knowing how to maintain and repair the tent will extend its lifespan.

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We've put together this beginner's guide to tent maintenance, where we'll give you some pointers on how to care for your camping tent before, during, and after use.

 a beginner maintain their tent properly

Setting-Up The Tent

The setup phase can make or break the maintenance game. To avoid unneeded damage, understand how and where you can set up.

Test The Tent At Home First

Make it a habit to practice pitching your equipment at home before venturing out into the wilderness. Check to see that you have a complete gear set: attachments, man lines, and stakes must all be present. Test the equipment thoroughly, and under no circumstances, at home or at the campsite, whip the poles around. We'll talk about it later.

Set Up In A Nice Location

Camping at established sites more often than not means extending the life of your tent, especially when people follow the Leave No Trace ethos.

Check for smooth, level, and clean ground when looking for a decent place. Remove any pinecones, twigs, or small objects that could damage the material where you wish the gear to be installed.

Avoid areas near water, and make sure you're at least a few hundred feet away from the nearest source.

Set Up With Care

Set up with care. Unfold and fit the pole sections together one by one. Otherwise, you risk weakening and cracking the poles.

When exposed to sea air and seawater, aluminum poles become brittle and corrode. A smart way around this is to rinse and dry the poles.

Make Use Of A Footprint

Prevent ripping as soon as you set up the tent to avoid having to clean it as frequently. A footprint is intended to protect your tent from the weather.

You can also use a groundsheet that has been trimmed to fit the contour of the object. This is used at the bottom to defend against gravel and puddles.

Don’t Poke

When using, avoid prying anything to the point of wear and tear. Avoid water and direct sunshine as well.

Take Special Care Of Zippers

When you wish to come in and out, make sure the zippers don't sag when you pull them. This not only weakens the cloth, but it also causes the zippers to separate. As you draw the zippers open, use your other hand to hold down the track.

If your zipper does split, you can try locking it back together again. Pliers can be used to repair them as well.

Leave Your Shoes Outside

Bringing dirt and soil inside may cause the material to corrode and tear holes in the bottom.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid eating inside because the food will attract rodents who will chew on the cloth.

Keep Away from Water

Water exposure can cause the material to degrade gradually. Avoid pitching in areas where water may pool around you, as this can harm the waterproofing.

When you're using the tent, make sure the air inside is venting to prevent condensation.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

The UV rays of the sun are damaging to the camping equipment. Excessive UV light exposure can cause fading, softening, or deterioration.

There is UV-resistant camping gear available, but the same synthetic fabric can disintegrate with enough exposure.

When enough UV damage has occurred, the material becomes unrepairable. If you want to dry your clothing, make sure the sun isn't too bright outside; otherwise, hang it in the shade.


Going through the process of caring for your tent before, during, and after use will help it last longer.


Hand wash the material as much as possible. Fill a bucket halfway with lukewarm water and soap and place it in the bath. Scrub the soiled areas with a smooth sponge or a piece of white cloth.

Take care not to rub too hard in the areas where you waterproof the floor and the seams. The fabric should be washed and rinsed, then properly dried.

Use soaps that are gentle and free of detergents and scents. Detergents may include chemicals that degrade the DWR coating, and scents will almost certainly attract insects.

Allow Your Tent To Air-Dry

Set up a drying rack outside, preferably in the shade, to dry your camping goods after a weekend excursion.

Mildew can grow on the fabric if it is stored in a damp environment. You'll be able to know by the odor.

Do not forget to dry your tent after use, as it might get flaky and tacky.

Mold Removal

You may detect mold or mildew in the fabric of a tent after a day of camping. It could have been caused by condensation or by the weather.

Before you remove any stains, prepare them outside in the sunlight to destroy the mold.

Remove the mold from the material using a gentle brush. Wash the garment with hot water, vinegar, and dish soap solution. You can also use Lysol or lemon juice and salt with hot water as alternatives.

When dealing with tenacious molds, avoid cleaning too forcefully. Instead, use a bristle brush. Gently rinse the fabric and allow it to dry thoroughly in the sun.

Bleach the stain to remove mildew. Non-chlorine bleach should be used to clean the afflicted area.

Colored materials require a gallon of hot water mixed with a cup of lemon juice and salt, whereas color-safe fabrics require a quart of water mixed with two tablespoons of bleach.

Do as much of this outside as possible to avoid bringing mold spores into the house.

Keep Your Tent Dry

Do it as much as you possibly can. It is your job to become conscientious about its upkeep.

Tents can gather moisture, so mold and mildew are likely to occur, especially in high humidity, which permits mold and mildew to build inside when dampness is trapped. While these are unavoidable, mold and mildew can be avoided during storage.

Your Tent Should Be Waterproofed

Waterproofing will necessitate two coats. These will ultimately wear off, so be sure to reapply every now and then. Purchase a tube of seam sealant to waterproof the equipment. It can also be used to repair holes in textiles.

To begin, treat the material with urethane to prevent moisture from infiltrating. The DWR solution, which repels water, is applied as the second layer.


Remember to keep it in a cold, dry location after you've finished using it.

Shake Before Storing

Before repacking it, give it a thorough shake after you've taken it apart to make sure nothing is inside. Take away the footprint.

Push Don't Pull

Poles are less difficult to remove than you may imagine, so there's no need to be hard with them. They pass through outer sheaths for simpler removal, so simply push them through and they'll pop out. Then, split them down the middle and divide them into parts.

Be Sure It's Completely Dry

You're familiar with the routine. When possible, dry the tent. Mildew will grow if the inside is even slightly damp. After a day spent outside, make sure there is no moisture left inside because you will be storing it for a while.

Before you put it inside, roll it up. Simply cramming it will damage its form and put undue strain on the materials. Dry it again at home, and then keep it in a loose sack somewhere dry and cool.

About the author 

Susan  -  I love camping and everything that goes along with it. I live in a part of the states that has four seasons so I mostly just go during the summer. I find the best camping hacks and the best camping equipment, so you don't have to.

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