What’s the deal with waterproofing tents for camping? Well, as you can imagine, your tent will have some level of waterproofing that has been added when it was first manufactured. Many hardcore campers like to add extra waterproofing to their tents to enhance what has already been applied.
It’s still up in the air whether or not you should do it and whether or not it actually helps. As far as we are concerned, anything meant to extend the life of your tent is well worth considering and for us, waterproofing falls under that category.
Read up on our 5 Tips For Tent Care And Maintenance
1) Waterproofing Tents For Camping At The Factory
Here’s a look at what kind of waterproofing and how to waterproof a tent your brand new tent. Typically a sealant is applied to the tent seams at key locations. These include floor seams and the rain fly. In fact, the fly is usually completely treated. Single wall tents receive the least amount of waterproofing although the seams are usually.
If your lightweight hiking tent has taped seams, you will probably not need to add anything else to protect them. The thing to remember here is that although the factory may have provided some waterproofing, whatever was used will wear away over time. That is what makes waterproofing tents for camping an important part of the tent maintenance program you will start as you care for your camping gear.
2) Be Prepared
The Scouts motto of “be prepared” could not be any more fitting when it comes to waterproofing your tent. Before you do anything you will need to do a little extra homework. This involves selecting the right waterproofing product for your job. Once that has been taken care of you will need to make sure the tent is ready to be waterproofed. This means it will need to be cleaned.
Cleaning your tent for this job is easy and not as involved as cleaning it after each use. All you need to do is make sure anything that could create an issue with the waterproofing material is removed. A sponge with warm soapy water will work. After the tent has dried, read and make sure you understand the instructions used to apply the waterproofing material.
3) Where You Would Likely Waterproof Tents For Camping?
We like to re-coat the floor of our ultralight hiking tents although some of our camping friends prefer not to. They say it adds extra weight to a tent. We say using the best tent waterproofing methods protects our investment further from moisture and while the majority of tents on the market have been treated specially with additional coverage on the flooring, we just like the added security. It’s a personal choice.
It’s never a bad idea to give the rain fly an extra waterproofing treatment. As the fly is typically exposed to the elements, the protection it provides will wear off over time. That’s why we will give it a fresh coat early in the start of camping season.
If you use a single walled tent for your camping adventures, using the best tent waterproofing methods is a wise investment. These lightweight tents come with a seam sealant but unless you use a tarp or large fly to protect it when being used, additional waterproofing won’t hurt. In fact, we recommend it.
4) How To Waterproof A Tent: The Job Itself
You may be wondering how to waterproof a tent? Depending on the actual type of waterproofing sealant you are using, you will either spray or brush the product onto the tent fabric. You must do this in a well ventilated area.
We opt for doing waterproofing tents for camping outside in our backyard. Once the sealant has been applied, allow time for it to dry. What we have done in the past is tested the waterproofing after drying by wetting a section with a water hose. If water beads on the fabric you know your job is done.
5) A Few Extras
When you are researching how to waterproof a tent, you’ll fine there are a number of different waterproofing products on the market. They range from spray-ons to paste-like ones that you essentially paint in place. It is in your best interest to experiment with different kinds of sealants to see which one you are comfortable using and which are best suited for your specific needs. We tried just about every type and actually use two different ones.
We Use 2 Types Of Waterproofing On Tents For Camping
We use spray-on sealants on sections of our tents such as on seams in the walls and roof. We switch to spreadable sealants on seams in the floor, along the entrance to the tent and on any seams that include a zipper. We use spray-ons exclusively on the rain fly and any tarps we use for added protection. Again, waterproofing tents for camping comes down to personal preference but this is what has worked for us for many years and maybe it will be helpful for you as well.
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