How To Waterproof A Tent In The Right Way?
Not all campers are enthusiastic about the basics of backpacking. Some of just want to go out without minding those technical details of camping. That's why in many instances, campers are experiencing problem. And one of these is sleeping a puddle because they have failed to bring a waterproof tent.
There is a necessity that you need to know how to waterproof a tent. Not all of us can buy those tents that waterproofing features. Aside from that reason, waterproofing a tent can be done anywhere. So that if you are camping and suddenly noticed that the skies are about to drop rain, then you can use your knowledge to prevent any unwanted wet problems.
How to waterproof a tent: The basics
There is no golden rule in waterproofing. Not all waterproofing process can apply to different varieties of tents. Therefore, these tents need separate treatment when it comes to waterproofing.
The first thing that you should figure out is the areas of the tents that needs to be waterproof. Try to assess each part and inspect if whether they can protect you from dew or rain. Take a look at the coating of your tent wall. Is it a waterproof coating? Or if it is, make sure that it is properly attached to your tent. Prevent it from coming off.
Look at the floor of the tent if can safeguard you from leaking.
Some camping grounds will require you to put a waterproof fly above it because these areas are susceptible of being exposed to rain. These are the things that you should know so that you can efficiently waterproof your temporary shelter outside.
To determine which area you need to waterproof, fill a bath with water and submerge your tent on it. If you can see bubbles of air floating in a particular area, then that is the part that you have to work on. After this step, dry your tent under a shade if it is not UV resistant. If your tent has a UV resistant feature, then let it dry under the direct heat of the sun.
You can do this process anywhere, but it is advised that you have to do it in your home so that you have a cleaner and controlled environment to work. Aside from that, waterproofing outside your home is proven to be a hassle.
How to waterproof a tent: Step-by-step Guide
1. Cleaning the tent first
When you want to do a waterproofing procedure, make sure that you have to clean your tent. Clean first the fabric of your tent, then the rest of its parts already. It is hard to waterproof a tent that is not clean and dry. No matter what layers of applications you will cover your tent, they will be turned into naught if your canvass if full of dirt and dust.
In cleaning, use a sponge and soak it in warm water. Try to find a sponge that has a soft a fine surface so that it will not tear the fabric if your tent once you start wiping. There are some instances where tents have been worn out due to the use of rough sponges.
Of course, do not be lazy in cleaning. If you think that you would just use a washing machine to clean your tent, just stop. Naturally, the rocking and spinning motion of the washing machine will eventually weaken and loosen the fabrics of your tent. And in turn, you might have no longer a tent to waterproof.
2. Dealing with the floor
When waterproofing, prioritize the floor first. It is the only thing that separates you from getting in contact with the ground. Even if there is no rain, a floor with leaks on it will result to a wet tent. This is true if you camped on vegetation, where moisture is intense especially during the night.
Use a tarp to prevent this from happening. Put the tarp first before you set up your tent above it. By doing this, you are not only waterproofing your tent but also protecting your floor from getting damaged by rocks.
Many tents are not factory sealed. Most of them are just factory taped. What does this mean? Water can still pass through between the floor and the wall of the tent connection if your tent is factory taped. The seams of factory taped tents have little waterproofing on them. This feature is good already, but it will never guarantee you that you won't get wet.
To solve this, you need to have a seam sealer. You can buy this one online. Use a seam sealer and apply it to the seam, then wait for it to dry. A seam sealer is used by experienced campers to have a perfect waterproofing on their floors.
You will also need a waterproof spray. Spray the whole tent floor with it.In fact, you need to soak the entire float with the spray and grab a smooth piece of cloth to diffuse the liquid solution equally.Let it dry.
For quicker drying, you have to do this outside. And remember, never to inhale the gas of the spray because they can be harmful. In spraying, always have the windows and doors of your tent open. Do this process on the inside and outside of your tent floor. But make sure that you will apply the spray on the inside first.
3. Dealing with the wall leaks
Waterproofing the walls of your tent is as the same on the floor. Use the same waterproof spray and let the walls soak on it. Using a fine, smooth cloth, disperse the liquid. Let it dry in the open, preferably.
You don't need to soak your tent wall in the same amount as you used on the floor. Just apply the right amount and it is already waterproof.
To further assure yourself, you need to have a rainfly. This tool is a layer made of hydrophobic plastics that can keep you and your camping items from getting wet.
Some tents have built-in rain fly on them. But if your tent doesn't have one, better buy now. Also, remember that your rainfly should never get in contact with the tent's inner wall.
Waterproofing yourself from myths
Aside from these standards and well-proven waterproofing methods that we have told you, there are also some peculiar ways of waterproofing that are being propagated over the Internet. Yes, they might work, but indeed, they will break your tent eventually.
One of these techniques is applying a lard or grease to your rain fly. These two can give additional waterproofing, but they will also erode the waterproof coating of your rain fly. If you use them on your waterproof tent, the same thing will happen.
And besides, aren't lard and grease repulsive? Packing a tent or rainfly with these on should be discouraging already. A tup of lard is also a magnet of ants, bugs, and other nature critters!
Another waterproofing that you should not try is covering your tent with a duct tape. Yes, it will waterproof your tent, but then removing the duct tapes is hard and it can tear your tent too!
Never mention the use of candles as a means of waterproofing. It could severely damage and burn your tent.
These are not the ways how to waterproof a tent. Never try this or else, you will suffer bigger problems while camping.
Knowing how to waterproof your tent is quite easy. You don't have to buy new waterproof tents at all! Just follow the steps and you can be sure that you are protected from getting wet while you are outside!
But if you feel that your current tent is already near retirement, then it is time to buy a new one. This time, make sure that is a great tent for rain!
Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions? Mount them here! We love to hear from you!