The Tent Maintenance Guide Cleaning and Washing Your Tent After Camping

Taking care of your tent may be the difference between one trip or multiple trips. To make the most of your tent, follow these steps to make sure it is set up and packed to be in the best possible condition. Failure to take good care of your tent may cause mold or stains, or cause water leakage in the tent.

 tent set with Toyota

The following list is for those who want to take a group camping holiday. You can use this list as a starting point and find equipment related to your specific trip. However, if you do nothing, follow these four important rules:

  • Always read the directions.
  • Be gentle with zippers and tent poles.
  • Clean your tent and fly from time to time.
  • Never store a tent wet.

Tent Care During Setup

Practice before entering the wild. Learn how to set up a tent in a stress free environment. Make sure you have all the stakes, stays and accessories you need. When you are in the field, please follow the following guidelines, you will prolong the service life of the tent:

Looking for a mature campsite: This key no-trace principle should guide you to set up smooth, horizontal and relatively vegetation-free locations. After that, you just need to remove the debris (pine cones, branches, small stones) that may poke holes in the tent floor. Avoid disturbing your tent site.

Tent Footprint: This custom-cut floor cloth is designed for your tent plan. Footprints protect your tent floor from wear and provide a clean surface in which you can clean up your tent. In addition, since it will not exceed the perimeter of the tent floor, the footprints will not collect rainwater like ordinary ground cloth or waterproof cloth. If a general-purpose floor cloth is used, please plug the excess material under the tent floor.

Avoid exposing the entire tent to direct sunlight for a long time: Minimizing ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a key factor in prolonging the service life of tents. Over time, ultraviolet light degrades the fabric in the canopy and rain flies.

Because flies are more UV resistant, if the tent will be in the sun when you leave bagging or exploring, you can leave it in a shaded outdoor spot. Many tents have polyester flies that are more UV resistant than nylon rain flies.

Move the flies out of the tent for a long time, no matter what materials you have.

Yellow tent next to toyota 

Be careful with the poles: Don't throw a pole around and try to snap its shockproof part into place. You can cut a section and weaken the tent pole - or hit your hiking partner. If you deploy and install the rod parts together at one time, the installation will be smoother.

How to Care for Your Tent While You’re Tent Camping

Be gentle with your zipper: Do not forcibly jam the zipper. Instead, hold the zipper track with one hand, then gently pull the slider back and swing left and right until the stuck fabric is free. If the zipper breaks, gently pull it back until it re engages. If it continues to crack, gently squeeze the zipper slider with a pair of pliers to make it slightly tighter on the zipper track. However, be careful not to overtighten and jam the slider

Put your boots outside the tent doors or in the lobby: Dirt, gravel and pebbles falling on the tent floor will be perfectly positioned to wear and pierce your tent.

Store food and aromatic personal items in safe containers outside the tent: Small animals chew the tent's fabric in search of the next meal.

Your tent is not a kennel, so don't leave unattended dogs in it: When your faithful companion decides it's time to go out with you, teeth and claws can cause serious damage to the tent materials.

How To Pack Away Your Tent

tent bags on ground 

Shake out your tent: Remove dust and debris and rubbish before packing. This is easier if your tent is freestanding, as poles help keep the tent open when you dump dust.

When removing the shockproof rod from the tent, push instead of pull: If you pull and the other end or part of the rod is suspended, you may put too much pressure on the elastic rope.

When you break your pole, start in the middle: This distributes the tension evenly along the rope. Repeat this technique in each subsequent half until your rod is fully folded.

Dry all the camping gear before bagging: Even well ventilated tents accumulate condensate, usually on the floor and under umbrellas. Moisture left on the tent can cause damage (see below), so wipe it as dry as possible before packing and going on the road every day. You can set up your tent and fly over branches, shrubs or boulders, but be careful not to poke or hook the tent fabric.

If you have to pack in a humid environment, be sure to dry the tent body immediately after you return. If it's sunny, put it in the yard; If the weather is wet, please hang the tent in the garage or non carpeted room to dry.

Scroll it or fill it? This is an old argument with no clear answer. Filler advocates believe that it avoids repeated indentation (and weakening) of materials and coatings along the fold line. Folding advocates believe that it is less stressful than the filling process itself. The tent material should be strong enough to withstand any method.

Tent Care Once You Are Home

Wipe off any dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, dust or debris adhered to it with a wet cloth. If you're on camping trip in the sand, it's worth immersing the zipper in water to remove sand that may block the zipper. If necessary, you can also use a bathtub with warm water and tent specific cleaner to clean your seriously dirty tent.

  • Allow your tent to dry completely before you store it.
  • If necessary, wipe off any hard spots with mild, biodegradable soap and warm water.
  • Wipe the dirt off the pole with a damp cloth to keep it clean
  • After cleaning, put the tent in the backyard or open place and let it completely dry. If you clean the tent too early after washing, mold and mold will begin to form
  • If possible, use a large bag at home instead of a compressed bag to store your tent. This helps to ventilate the tent and extend its service life when you are not using it. It also helps maintain coatings and materials. Mesh laundry bags are a good idea to allow ventilation.
  • You can easily reseal the seams or waterproof the tent at home to prolong its service life of the tent.
  • Check your tent for tears and holes that can easily be repaired with patches or stubborn duct tape.

For tips on how to make your tent comfortable while camping, check out the link below: 

15 Ways to Make Your Tent the Most Comfortable Place on Earth

How to Clean Your Tent

Clean your tent after camping, especially when the tent is exposed to sand, fine dust, bird droppings or tree sap. If you often take short camping trips, please gently clean a tent every season.

Do not machine wash or dry the tent: Washing machines, especially top loaders with agitators, can stretch or tear fabrics, meshes and seams. The dryer can also do this and can generate enough heat to cause damage.

Perform basic cleaning: Use non-abrasive sponges, cold water, and non-detergent soaps. Gently scrub the soiled area by hand, especially gently for the floor and fly coating area.

Avoid using household cleaners, such as irritant cleaners, bleaches, spot removers, or laundry prepreg products. Most household soaps are scented and eventually attract insects, rodents and larger organisms. The DWR coating will also damage most durable tents.

Cleaning the tent should be part of your daily routine after each car camping trip. This may be a bit painful, but it can ensure that your tent will continue to be used for the next few years! Cleaning your tent can protect the waterproof coating and reduce the amount of maintenance your tent needs in the future.