Tent maintenance has as much to do with your state of mind as anything you buy a really nice high quality tent and take care of it, It will last you a lifetime and you can pass it down to your grandyung’uns. If your state of mind objects to that, you can buy a really cheap tent and throw it away after your trip and buy another really cheap tent next time. You will enjoy your camping experience much, much more with the really nice tent.
Let’s look at what’s involved in taking care of your really nice tent. After spending some cash for a really nice tent, spend just a tad more and get a footprint for it. That’s sorta like a second floor or a floor to protect the floor. The idea is that the footprint will sacrifice itself so that you don’t damage your really nice tent. A footprint is not an expensive item to replace. A really nice tent is expensive to replace.
The first thing to do with your camping tent is to set it up an examine all the pieces. Make sure you have all the tent stakes and plenty of line. You will want extra of both these items. Do not store your tent in a hot attic. Long term heat will break down the best of tents. So will moisture, dirt, debris, and UV. Creepy crawlers and critters can ruin your tent while in storage, so take precautions. Stored properly, your tent should be in excellent condition for your next excursion. Just to be sure, set it up and check it out a couple of days before the next use.
Always set your tent up on flat, smooth ground, free of rocks, roots, or any thing that could possibly damage the floor. You’ll be a lot more comfortable too. Look up as well as down. Falling limbs can ruin your whole day. Sap is not as disastrous, but it is hard to remove and can wreak havoc with the fabric if ignored.
While set up in your flat smooth ideal camping spot, free of all hazards, be sure to keep debris out of the tent. Leave boots or shoes outside. Be sure to check footwear for visitors when putting them back on. A whisk broom and small dust pan come in handy at this stage. A hand held vac is a good supplement to the broom, especially if you have one of the tents with electrical outlets. Keep seam seal and a waterproofing spray handy in case you notice any seepage or leakage.
Pay close attention to the zippers as these are easily fouled. Clean it thoroughly with a small brush and then lubricate it with bar soap or candle wax
It is not always practical or even possible to break camp with a dry tent, but just as soon as possible upon your return home you should address the problem of drying your tent. If you store it wet, dealers such as will be glad to see you when you next open it up.
This may seem like an awful lot of fuss to keep up a tent, but it is easier done than written about. If you are just lazy like I am, consider inviting a friend along who has a serious obsessive compulsive disorder. You’ll have an immaculate tent and probably get a car wash too.
As long as I’m giving advice for the lazy, let me reccommend one of the tents that you back your car or SUV into. Leave all your stuff in the vehicle and use the tent just for sleeping or lounging. With all your stuff in the vehicle you have plenty of room for a nice comfy air mattress. When you get ready to leave everything is still loaded. You just shove the tent in on top of everything else and go!