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9 Easy Steps To Waterproof A Tent

Waterproof A Tent

Escaping into the wilderness even for a weekend could be a great way to shake off all work stress. Spending some time with nature could be a powerful mood booster. So you should start planning for your next big trip into the wild. You could hope for the perfect sunny weather. But don’t be surprised if the weather on your trip is not as sunny as you hoped for.

So to make your trip enjoyable you need to prepare for any hurdle you may face. Moreover, your shelter needs protection no matter what. Your experience in the outdoors depends on how secure your camping tents are. Especially against rainy weather. Because nothing is more unsettling than water getting inside your tent. 

Why Do You Need To Waterproof A Tent?

Generally, when you’re shopping for tents they all claim to be waterproof. But only a few can manage to keep their promises. There are so many tents of low-quality fabric and they are nowhere close to water resistance. This thing can ruin your whole experience. Before diving into how you waterproof you should know why it’s necessary to waterproof your tent.

 Waterproof A Tent
  • Faded seams: Brand-new tents always come with completely sealed seams. But with time the hardiness of seams gets compromised. Causing water leaks at the seams. You need to repolish the seams from time to time.
  • UV damage: We all know UV rays are harmful to our skin and it’s no different for tents. When your tent is exposed to the sun for a long amount of time, it breaks down the water-protecting coating. UV rays lower the effectiveness of your tent significantly. As a result, it may fail to protect you from heavy rainfall while camping.
  • Staying dry: While camping outdoors one of the main factors is staying dry. And a waterproof tent makes sure that you are dry and protected.

Ways To Waterproof A Tent

You could be planning your camping trips in the summer times. But you never know the weather may hold some unpleasant surprises for you. Now that you know how important it is. We have put together 9 ways that you can waterproof your tent.

1. Cleansing Your Tent

Before using any spray or treatment in your tent you need to clean it. You’ll need some mild detergent-free soap or tech wash, lukewarm water, a sponge, and a bucket. You may need an enzyme cleaner in case your tent has developed any mold.

First, you need to clean the dirtiest area of your tent using a small amount of soap and water. Fill up a bucket with water and a tent cleaning product and dunk your tent in that. After cleaning you can set it up and let it dry. 

2. Using Waterproof Tent Spray

Before drying out your tent completely make sure to use tent waterproofing treatment. These waterproof tent sprays have many advantages. They give protection against sun damage, strengthen the tent fabric and increase water repellency. Make sure to apply this when the tent is still a bit wet.

 Waterproof A Tent
Using a Waterproof Tent Spray

3. How To Seal The Seam?

Sealing the seam is very important as that is the main spot for water spillage. The waterproofing in the seam wears off with time. So to reseal it you need alcohol, a sponge, and products that seal the seam.

Make sure the tent is all dried up. Set up the tent in a way so you can reach the inside of the seams. Now take a sponge and some alcohol and clean them. Take off any bits that are stripping off the fabric. Apply the seam sealer as per the instruction of the product.

4. Polyurethane (PU) Coating

Polyurethane coating is the most used coating. It has great hydrostatic head (HH) ratings. You may ask what hydrostatic head rating is and how it’s measured. It means how water-resistant the fabric is. Or in simple words how much water pressure the tent can take before it passes out? It’s measured by applying water pressure to specific fabrics. Until the water leaks significantly.

 Waterproof A Tent
Polyurethane PU Coating

Yet, in the long run, PU coating can wear off. So you may need to reapply the coating on the floor or rainfly. Clean the flakes and apply a thin layer of the correct tent sealing product. It takes at least 24 hours to dry.

5. DWR Coating

The durable water-repellent coating is an important step in waterproofing your tent. It prevents the outside of your tent flyer from soaking. There are so many products that you can use. If you want something that has a quick application, you should go for the aerosol version.

You need to set up your tent and make sure it’s not dirty. Then apply an even layer of your coating. If you have applied too much don’t panic simply wipe it with a damp sponge or cloth. Before packing it up, dry it completely.

6. Waterproofing With Tarp

If you’re someone who wants to avoid any harsh chemical products for waterproofing your tent, you can set up a tarp. It will keep your tent protected and dry from the rain.

For setting up a tarp, first, you’ll need a big and preferably plastic material tarp. Your tarp should be twice the size of your tent. Set up your tent in the usual way and set the tarp right over it. Take a lot of cord cause you never know how far away the trees are. Another important factor is the angle of your tarp. Water is gonna weigh heavy on the center if it’s too flat. So one side of the tarp should be higher than the other. So that rainwater will slide away from your tent.

 Waterproof A Tent
Waterproofing With Tarp

7. Don’t Count On The Weather

Even though you have chosen the summer season for all your outdoor trips. You never know when the weather will take a sudden detour. Weather can be unpredictable, it’s better not to rely on that. You need to prepare for any curveballs your weather throws at you.

8. More Than One Coat

When the weather starts deteriorating, a single coating of waterproofing may not always work. Applying the first coat of waterproofing, wait until it dries off. Don’t apply the second layer too early as it can cause more harm than benefit. So when the first coat is dried off apply the second coat.

9. Bring A Tent Footprint

The tent footprint gives an extra barrier between the land and your tent floor. This may count as additional equipment but is very useful for waterproofing. This goes under the tent body to keep it nice and dry. Before you set up the tent lay the tent footprint on. So the foundation of your tent is dry. To make sure the water doesn’t get in the groundsheet needs to be smaller in size than your tent.

There are also some tents which have a built-in groundsheet, you can’t separate them. When you pack up your tent, it gets muddy and dirty. Built-in groundsheet comes with great cleaning hazards. You need to clean your whole tent. So if you bring a separate tent footprint it would be a wise thing to do.

 Waterproof A Tent

Final Verdict

As an outdoor enthusiast, your tent is like a second home to you. Waterproofing your tent is so vital when you want your tent to sustain for a long. It may be a lot of work but you will get to experience a blissful and hassle-free trip. You never know, under what weather you’ll have to camp, so it’s better to prepare for the worst.

We hope this guide has given you easier ways to waterproof your tent. Maintaining these simple things will make your tent get through for many years. Now, you are ready to head out into the wilderness and have a great trip ahead.

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