If you've not had the tent out since the end of last summer, here are a few tips to get it ready for a summer of trouble-free camping, plus a few ideas on how to avoid problems at the campsite.
Pitch Your Tent in the Garden First
This is always a good opportunity to check your tent over before your trip away and a practice run at putting it up in case you have forgotten how to do it.
Check for Missing Parts & Damage
- Do all the zips run freely?
- Are all the guy-lines there?
- Do you have enough tent pegs (that aren.t bent)?
- Are there any tears or damage to the flysheet?
- Any holes or damage in the groundsheet?
- Are the stitched seams still fully sealed on the inside?
How to Clean Your Tent
Don.t forget to sweep out the sleeping areas. No one likes sleeping amongst dry grass and dead flies.
Mould & Mildew .if you put the tent away for storage while it was still damp, mould or mildew can grow, attacking the fabric and the proofing.
To remove mould or mildew, make a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. (125ml in 5 litres of water.) Sponge the solution on and, when the mould is gone, rinse off and wash the tent as below.
Tents are best cleaned when pitched. Never machine wash or tumble dry your tent and don.t use detergents.
Add some pure soap, (at Plas y Brenin we use Nikwax Tech Wash) to a bucket of water until foamy and sponge all over the tent. Rinse off before applying a proofer.
How to Proof Your Tent
Once a year (or when rain soaks in), give your tent a re-proofing. This will keep rain off and minimise leaks. Also, dry tents are quicker & easier to pack away and less prone to mildew.
Water-based proofers (such as Nikwax Tent and Gear Proof) can be applied to damp flysheets after cleaning (or after rain on a campsite) and are fully effective as soon as the flysheet dries.
Sunlight & UV Damage
According to one tent manufacturer .The biggest single factor in determining tent life is UV degradation, especially when used at high altitude..
A few pounds spent on a proofer (like Nikwax UV Proof) will block the UV light which weakens and fades the tent fabric, making your tent last consideraby longer.
Dry & Pack the Tent Away
When your tent is completely dry, carefully pack it away, not forgetting poles, pegs and repair kit.
And When You Do Go Camping.....
Choose your pitch carefully:
Pick a well drained spot away from areas which may flood.
Remove large stones that might puncture the groundsheet.
Face doors away from the wind.
Walls and hedges make excellent windbreaks.
Don.t pitch under a tree . it will drip long after rainfall stops and could also deposit sap or result in damage from falling branches.
Tent fabrics may be flammable so keep fires and stoves well away.
Smoke and ash can be cleaned from flysheets as described above.
All tents can get condensation when warm damp air on the inside meets a flysheet cooled by chilly night air. Leaving doors partially open and using vents on the flysheet will increase ventilation and reduce the level of condensation.
Whenever possible pack the tent away when fully dry. If not, then pack in bin liners for storage and dry the tent thoroughly when you get home.
For more advice on cleaning & re-proofing visit www.nikwax.com
If you have any questions about cleaning, proofing or UV protection for tents contact email@example.com