A quality tent can cost you anywhere from $100.00 to $1,200.00+, depending on how large it is and the material it’s made out of. For regular campers, it’s a necessary and worthwhile investment, and one that you’ll only have to make once every decade at the most – provided you’re taking proper care of it. Ensure a long life for your tent by caring for it properly when you’re using it and even when you’re not.
Before You Camp
A large part of caring for your tent takes place preemptively. You’ll want to properly clean and dry your tent before you go camping. The easiest way to clean your tent is to set it up and hose rinse the exterior on a moderately warm day so the sun can help with the drying process. Verse yourself in the care instructions, (if you have them), for your particular tent to ensure you are caring for the material it’s made out of properly. Generally, non-detergent soap, water and a soft sponge should suffice for cleaning. If you smell signs of mildew, scrub the material with a solution made of equal parts bleach and water, and let the tent thoroughly dry before packing it away to inhibit further mildew or mold growth.
When In Use
After carefully inspecting the ground and clearing the area of sticks and rocks that could puncture your tent floor, consider laying out a tarp or underlay to minimize the wear to the bottom of your tent. Keeping food inside the tent may attract unwanted attention from roaming animals; instead, hang your food out of reach if possible.
Allot yourself time before leaving your campsite to thoroughly clean and dry your tent. If you must pack a wet or damp tent, fold it loosely and store it in an air-permeable bag or a pillowcase.
Avoid storing your tent in areas where it will be subject to extremes of temperature or moisture. Extreme heat or exposure to the sun will break down the material’s protective coatings and cause the seams to release.