Keeping your tent and camping gear in good nick when it’s going to be stored away for some time is important.
Before packing up until spring, it pays to unpack it all and check carefully for wear, damage, holes, tears, damp, mould, mildew or any other signs of wear.
Mould and mildew will make the tent smell bad and eventually it can make the fabric rot away, leaving it only fit for the bin. If your tent is wet at packing up time, shake off as much water as possible and wipe more off with a clean dry cloth or a towel. When you get home unpack it and leave it out to dry as soon as possible. If the weather makes this difficult, even spreading it out in a garage or shed is better than leaving it in the bag while wet. Even waiting a few days can cause damage and definitely don’t store away for the winter until the fabric is dry.
CHECK FOR DAMAGE
Pitch your tent in the garden if you can or, at least, spread it out so you can check it thoroughly. Look out for and replace broken poles, damaged zips and worn guylines. Also check for tears in the groundsheet and flysheet. Some rips in the waterproof flysheet can be simply sewn back together, either by hand or with a sewing machine, then coated on both sides with seam sealant. For ragged tears and seams it makes sense to add a patch. Glueing as well as sewing the patch on will make the repair more durable, and again, you should apply a seam sealant. Depending on the problem, sometimes simply taping up a hole or tear may well suffice for years and there’s no need to go overboard before storage.
Check the overall state of the outer fabric as, if the damage is down to age, use and the effects of bright sun, then a temporary fix might be a waste of time and a new tent needs to be added to the Christmas list.
As inner tents are not meant to be waterproof, fabric can be stitched up fairly easily even when torn in a ragged pattern.
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