You may have blinked and missed it but, like it or not, our British summer is nearly at an end. There’s a definite chill in the air and that can mean only one thing… it’s nearly time to winterise, or pack away your tent. Easy, you may think!!!?!
It took you 10 minutes to store it in the shed/garage/spare room. Wrong! There’s so much more to storing your tent then simply throwing it into a corner until you’re ready to take to the Great Outdoors again. Each year, thousands of campers are faced with rotting, smelly tents that are only good for the rubbish dump simply because they haven’t taken a few, easy steps to ensure their tent is in tip-top condition when it’s packed away. So, because we’re nice people who don’t want you to have to throw hundreds of pounds worth of good tents away each year (and in the hope that you’ll come to us for ALL your future camping needs *wink*) here’s our guide to safe storage of your tent.
Firstly, always try to get your tent into a dry environment. It doesn’t matter what kind of tent it is, tents collect condensation from damp grass and the atmosphere. And that goes for the awning too.
If your tent has an inner tent then remove this too and make sure it’s thoroughly dried.
Whatever you do, don’t wash off any debris on the tent, use a brush to knock off the dirt – it has to be tinder dry if it is to survive its time in storage.
Remember that items like guy ropes, zips, Velcro fasteners and zip covers all absorb moisture so focus on getting these as dry as possible. The stitching on the zip covers is cotton and this can take up to 24 hours to dry sufficiently so always allow enough time.
Also remember to pay particular attention to pegging points on the tent as these also get very wet and always clean tent pegs before they go into storage.
Conservatories and garages make great places to hang up your tents to dry. You need to get as much air through the tent as possible as air movement all aids and speeds up the drying process.
Once you are thoroughly satisfied that all of the tent and the accessories are completely dry it’s time to pack it away.
Always store it in its proper bag. These bags are made with the proper dimensions and built to protect the tent when it’s not in use.
Follow instructions and fold the tent carefully. DON’T put the pegs and poles in the middle of the tent, always store them on the top of the tent. If they’re rolled up in the centre they can move and rip the canvass.
3. Where to store
Now you’re ready to put it into storage, but where’s best?
Although many people often store tents in sheds and garages, being placed on a concrete floor is far from ideal. Tents can also be a favourite place for mice as many of our customers have found to their horror when they’ve gone to get the tent out of storage.
A spare room in a heated house is much better for the tent’s longevity and, looking on the bright side, it may be a lot easier to locate come next camping season if it’s not wedged between the lawnmower and Great Aunty Flo’s old bicycle.
Take these few, simple steps and ensure your tent’s in the very best condition for the camping season ahead.