If you are a prolific camper, you understand very well that there are some essential camping gears that you will always need in your camping expeditions. They include the sleeping bags,hammocks, stoves, generators among others, the list is endless. Tents are also among the must-have pieces of equipment for your camping expedition to be successful.
Instead of buying a tent every other time you intend to go out camping, taking care of your tent in the right way only makes things right for you. Having a leaking tent is one of the major nuisances you are likely to encounter just in case it gets rainy when you are camping.
If you don’t have a waterproof tent, there are some few ways through which you can make your already existing tent waterproof. Majority of campers have wished to learn more about these techniques. Well, if you happen to be such campers then welcome home. This is the right place for you.
Why don’t you keep on reading and get to know of the best way to waterproof your tent?
Two Factors to Consider Before you applying the Methods to Enhance the Waterproof Features of your Tent
Before you choose any mitigation measure to make your tent waterproof, there are certain important factors that you need to put into consideration. They are:
Is the leaking happening at the floor of the tent?
Determine whether your tent once had a waterproof coating, but with time it peeled off
To determine the situation you have at hand and the ideal remedy for the situation, submerge your tent into the water and watch out for bubbles that emerge at the surface of the tent. This way, you will know the area that you need to work on. Place your tent in the shade for it to dry. Drying it out under the sun is not ideal since some tents are not resistant to UV.
All the other skills have already been discussed in our other articles; today we will concentrate on how to waterproof a tent. Here are some tips that will come in handy in your quest to waterproof your tent.
1. Make use of a waterproofing spray
The best and most effective way of enhancing the waterproofing features of your tent is by giving it a waterproof coating using a waterproof spray. This will help a great deal in reinstating the waterproof nature of your tent.
You can trust this method to work even on the most inexpensive tent. Carefully follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer if you want to give your tent a coating that will keep it waterproof even in a torrential downpour.
2. Put up a rain cover
There are tents which come with a rain cover while others don’t. I would urge you to make use of a rain cover even if your tent already has waterproof features. If your tent doesn’t have a rain cover as you purchase it, take the measurements of your tent which will help you get the right size of a rain cover which will cover your tent completely.
Make sure that you put the rain cover on your tent every night before you sleep just in case a storm breaks out in the night. I am sure you wouldn’t want to fumble for the rain cover in the middle of the night amid a storm and with torrents of rain hitting you as you put it in place.
3. Make use of a trap
A trap comes in handy by preventing water from seeping into your tent. You should position the trap beneath your tent and this way you can prevent water from seeping in from the ground into your tent. The trap also helps in preventing your tent from wear and tear as it offers it protection from the ground which could be rough.
4. Refresh the waterproof coating
Due to extreme exposure to the sun, rain, sand and wind, the waterproof coating of your tent may get worn out, leaving some vulnerable areas. This creates the necessity for you to refresh the waterproof coating on your camping tent.
The new coating has a not so pleasant smell, and that is why you should place your tent with the new coating in an open area, say a garage for it to dry. It could take up to three days for it to be completely dry. To minimize the tacky feeling, dust your tent off with talcum powder.
5. Patch up the holes
Camping tents are prone to getting quite roughed encounters; it could be the stones, sticks, pocket knives which are a must have on a camping expedition or even the heavy and tough camping boots.
All these are likely to damage your tent by making holes on it. Patching up these holes requires expert handling if you want your tent to serve you for a longer period of time. This should be the case especially if the holes you need to fix are large.
For smaller holes, you can easily fix them using a sleeping pad repair kit. There is a method you can use to repair the small punctures in your tent known as the Hot Pot Method. Here is the step by step procedure of the Hot Pot Method:
Cut a piece of a waterproof material, nylon to be specific. It should be wider than the hole you intend to fix by about half an inch.
All around the hole, apply contact cement.
Attach the patch then place a pot of hot boiled water on top of it. The bottom of the pot should preferably have a flat bottom.
After approximately thirty minutes, your tent will be adequately sealed.
4 Different ways to enhance the Success of your Tent Waterproofing Techniques
1. Use more than one coating
If you decide to go camping in a region which experiences heavy and frequent rainfall, it is only right that you give your tent more than one coating of the waterproof material. This gets very important especially when your tent has already started to leak. When applying the waterproof coating, complete one side at a time to ensure that the consistency is just right.
2. Ensure that your tent is clean before you waterproof it
Waterproofing your tent when it is completely clean is the most effective and best way to go compared to waterproofing a tent which has a layer of dirt. The main reason why this is important is because, if you waterproof a dirty tent, the waterproof material will peel off together with the dirt. This will make your work to go down the drain.
3. Be cautious about the weather
Waterproofing your tent needs to be done outside and at times, the tent has to remain outside for it to dry completely. For these reasons, you have to check out on the weather forecast just to be certain that the weather on the day when you intend to waterproof your tent is suitable for the successful undertaking of the activity.
4. Check out the seams
Before you set out on your camping expedition, you should pitch your tent outside your dwelling place and check out its seams. Look out for any damage along with all the seams and if there are areas which need repair, make sure that you do so by using a seam sealer.
What you should avoid when waterproofing your tent
At times you could be desperate for solutions especially when you think of your son or daughter getting rained on while he or she is asleep during your camping expedition. This could make you employ the advice you get from the internet.
Some of these pieces of advice from the internet may end up causing you more harm than good. Here are some of the crazy ideas you may get:
1. Application of ductape on your tent.
If your tent is made of a sophisticated material, you don’t want to try this. It is most likely to cause intensive damage to your tent walls such that you will end up having to purchase another tent sooner than you had intended to. Ductape is also very difficult to remove once you apply it on your tent.
2. Making use of candle wax
Candle wax solidifies perfectly once it gets dry. Using it to seal holes on your tent is out of the question. The candle wax is expected to work after you light it and letting the wax droplets land on the tent holes.
You may think that you are solving the problem, but that is not the case. You will have made the situation worse since the hot wax will burn the tent material which is not resistant to heat. In a worst-case scenario, as you try to seal the tent holes using candle wax, you could end up burning it down accidentally.
There is no bigger shame than that. The biggest challenge you will face will be how you will explain to members of your household that the camping expedition they had for long anticipated for is off.
3. Use of grease or lard on the rainfly
I am sure that you have at one time heard that applying grease or lard to the rainfly will help in waterproofing your tent. It does work when it comes to enhancing the waterproof capacity of your tent at that time. But in the long run, both grease and lard deplete the waterproof coating from your tent. This will leave it vulnerable to leakage.
If you choose to use lard then be prepared to be waking up to a whole lot of ants, the critters and bugs included. Lard is known to attract insects. Either way, I wonder how anyone can withstand this yet it is extremely disgusting. Carrying a tent soaked in either lard or grease is a horrible experience.
As a camper, you need to have some basic knowledge on the best tent waterproofing methods. This article has shed some light on how to go about the whole process. If your tent had started to leak and your camping expeditions were starting to seem bleak, you need to worry no more.
You can now get rid of the hard time trying to explain to your family or friends why there will be no usual fortnight camping. If you are not so sure which waterproofing method will work best for you, try them all out.
It won’t cost you a thing, and in the long run, the effort will be worth it. Being cautious is better than having your family getting rained on yet you could have done something to help the situation.
Leave a comment on the article and let us know which way works best for you when it comes to waterproofing your tent. Feel free to make inquiries, and I will be glad to offer assistance.