Tree sap, caked dirt, sand, and small pieces of leaves and twigs may all be found in the internal and/or or external parts of a camping tent after use. These may have been brought in by the occupants of the tent. The more occupants who used the tent, the dirtier it is going to be, which is family tents tend to be dirtier. Thus, dirt and debris must be immediately removed even before packing the tent and heading home. However, for the sake of regular maintenance, you also need to clean your tent after each trip. Taking care of the tent entails doing some degree of cleaning, proofing, and repairing.
Cleaning refers to the removal of debris and dirt that may have accumulated from your previous camping trip. First, choose a sunny day during which you can clean the tent. It is important that the tent be allowed to air dry after cleaning. For a more thorough clean up job, set up the tent as if you are on a camping trip so that you can clean it from inside out. Sweep off the dry dirt if present. Then, dip a large sponge in a pail of soapy warm water and then squeeze the excess water out. Wipe all the surfaces of the camping tent repeatedly until all visible dirt and stains are removed. If something has dried on the surface, do not use a sharp object to remove it; soften it first with the soapy water and gently scrub it off. Afterwards, hose off the suds and allow the tent to dry.
Another good way of taking care of a camping tent is through proofing, in which you will be spraying the tent with a protective chemical solution that will penetrate the fabric for added protection against the elements. Proofing large family tents may take some time so it is a good idea to plan free schedule before doing this. Once the tent has dried thoroughly after cleaning, fill a sprayer with a universal protector and adjust the nozzle to ensure even coating; a coarse spray is preferred over a fine mist. Next, spray the entire tent, including seams and corners. Remember that the goal is to wet the tent fabric but not saturate it with water. After spraying all the surfaces, allow it to dry for as much as 24 hours to allow the silicon to “cure.”
When not fixed right away, small tears could lead to bigger damage in the future. Thus, it is important that mending and repairing procedures be performed immediately. The main idea behind preventive repairs is to avoid larger rips and tears from the small ones you have noticed. For large tears, these must be patched with the right type of repair tape. Cut strips of repair tape with a two-inch allowance on all sides to withstand pressure and movement. It is also a good idea to place the tape on both sides of the tear. Generally, to repair rips and tears, you can use a ripstop repair tape or a seam sealer for nylon tents.
By taking care of your camping tent, you will be assured of durability as well as full protection when you need it the most.