How to Care for Tents

Tent Care Tips 101: How to Care for Tents

Just because your tent is a temporary home when you outdoors do not mean you can neglect its maintenance. A tent is not a cheap investment. Any camper would want to get their money’s worth out of their tent. Will they be able to do that if their tent gives up after one trip?

Unless you know how to care for tents properly, your tent will also give up prematurely. Just take out some time after you come back from a camping trip. With proper love and care, a tent can provide years of service and help you build wonderful camping memories.

Tips on How to Care for Tents

How to Care for Tents
Ganesh Bastola

Keep It Dry

Ensure the tent is not wet before storing it away. Dampness can cause the fabric to become weak over time and deteriorate. After cleaning the tent, dry it inside and out before storing it until your next trip.

Less Sun Exposure

Tents are very durable. They protect you from bad weather, rainwater, UV rays, etc. But that does not mean you should be neglectful or harsh when caring for your tents. Do not leave them out into the bright sunlight for longer than necessary.

UV rays are harmful not just to our skin but also to tent fabrics. Do not leave your tent set up in your backyard for days. The continuous exposure to UV rays will cause the nylon fiber to break down. The tent structure will weaken over time. Your tent might even collapse on you the next time you try to set it up.

Use a Footprint on the Tent Floor

A footprint is a custom cloth for the ground. It provides extra protection for the tent floor, so there is less damage. A footprint is cheap and easy to replace. So consider getting a footprint for your tent when camping next time. It will help increase the tent’s lifespan.

You cut a footprint according to the size of your tent. But if you cannot find the appropriately sized footprint for your tent or do not want to use one, then you can go for an alternative option. You can use any groundsheets and cut them according to the tent size.

Zipper Care is Important

Patcharin Saenlakon / EyeEm

Take extra care of the zippers since they can get damaged from the constant opening and closing of tents. Avoid yanking or pulling on the zipper too hard unless you want them to break off. Waxing the zippers is an excellent way to keep them in good condition.

Waxing ensures the zippers feel smooth when you use them. It also prevents moisture or dust from collecting on the zippers.


Your tent can suffer from minor damages, which is normal after a camping trip. Make the necessary repairs before storing the tent. If any seams are damaged or seem to be coming off, focus on them.

The outer seams are the most important since they will be exposed to the rain and sun. The seams on the ground and around the fly should be repaired first. After sealing the damaged seams, apply sealant both inside and outside.

Clean the Poles

The poles on your tent are the key to holding the structure in place. It is crucial to keep the poles taken care of. Wipe the poles with clean soap water and dry them thoroughly before storing them away. Saltwater can damage the poles and trigger corrosion. Even if you have not camped around the beach, it is best to clean the poles.

Tent Storage


If your tent comes with protective covers, use them after it is clean and dry. Avoid placing your tent bag on its end. The poles can get damaged from the pressure. Also, the tent can get knocked down easily if you keep it vertically.

Find a cool and dry spot for the tent. Roll it up and keep it flat on the ground. This way, your tent will be safe.


Caring for your tent is not a one-sided concept. If you take proper care of your tent, then it will be well enough to take care of you when the time comes. Otherwise, your tent will barely last one trip, let alone several.

A good tent can last very long, considering you ensure it gets proper care and maintenance. Unless you know how to care for tents correctly, you will fail to get the full lifespan out of your tent.


How often should I clean my tent?

A: It is a good idea to clean your tent after every camping trip. Your tents are exposed to dirt, water, sand, and so on. Clean and dry it properly before storing away.

Should I fold my tent or stuff it?

A: There is no rule of thumb when storing away tents. Campers simply roll their tents to store since it takes up less space. Rolled-up tents are also easier to store.

Can I vacuum my tent?

A: Yes, you can vacuum the tent to clean every nook and corner thoroughly. After you finish vacuuming, roll the tent and put it in storage.

How do I kill the molds on my tent?

A: Use water mixed with vinegar to spray on the affected area. After it is dry, use a mixture of hot water, salt, and lemon juice to clean the spot. Avoid using harsh bleach or detergent since they can damage the tent fabric.

Should I wash my tent in the machine?

A: No, using the washing machine is not an ideal way for you to clean tents. The structure and fabrics of a tent are not suitable to be put inside a washing machine. The material might get tears, and the mesh parts can also get severely damaged.

You can also check: The Best Camping Tents for 6 Persons

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