Sometimes all you would really want to do is to go camping; this could be solely for the sake of adventure or for the fact that you need to relax a bit from the mundane life of work and hustle. However, as much as you’d really like to camp, do you always have this fear that suddenly the weather will come over your tent, attack it and all that you’ll be left with is your body in the night cold? I can assure you that it’s not peculiar only to you.
I have been there before but I quickly overcame this fear by employing some techniques to weatherproof my tent and ever since I have found the techniques so effective and worthwhile. I am so confident that if you’ll follow these techniques I want to share with you in this article, you’re on your way to camping without the fear of the weather. Note: one tool that helps your tent withstand strong wind or any other bad weather is the tent stakes
In short, a lot of research is ongoing concerning the effect of weather conditions on tourism which includes camping. One of the studies by Jelmer H.G pointed out in his research Effect of Weather on Tourism that weather and climate are the major drivers for tourism. The research by the Hewer, Scott, Gough of the University of Toronto and Waterloo shows that “weather acts as central motivators for travel decision and outdoor recreational activities” which camping is one. If you want to know more, the research work is available here on Research Gate.
So you see why it is important to discuss how to weatherproof a tent. Knowing this will help you prevent unfavourable weather conditions whether you’re camping alone or with a partner. And I’m sure you do not want anything that will tamper with the perfect moment you have created for yourself and perhaps for yourself and your partner.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED WHEN WEATHERPROOFING A TEN
There are basic things you’ll need to take along if you intend to weatherproof your tent while camping. The things I’m going to mention here are those tools I usually arm myself with. You see? You may be wondering why this topic is very important to me. This is it: you are going to be spending the night under a tent; it is quite critical for you to get it right before you even leave for camp at all. This is to ensure that you are set for an uninterrupted adventure as your tent will become a fortress difficult for weather to penetrate.
These are the things I always take along to weatherproof my tent when I go camping:
Now, to make the techniques I want to share with you briefly and straightforward I’m going to highlight the step by step procedure.
It’s normal for the seams of your tent to become loose and holey after you have used it for a while. It’s these loose and holey seams that give way for water to penetrate into the tent. So it becomes necessary for you to get a sealant and sealed the holes properly. There are a couple of sealants available, so you’ll need to get some good ones among the many lots. I’ll like to recommend some sealants for you. I have used some of them and they are very effective. Some other users have also affirmed their effectiveness.
Below are the recommended sealants:
Back to the procedure, the first step to do is CLEANING:
It seems so easy to overlook this aspect of weatherproofing but it’s quite important to the overall aim. This is because you cannot use sealants on a dirty surface and expect it to be effective. In short the sealant will begin to peel off after some days. This cleaning is done using detergents. However, it is not all detergent that can be used because some of these detergents affect the weatherproofing properties of the tent. So having done this you’ll then need to rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water.
Things you’ll need for cleaning:
I shall recommend the below detergents
The next step is DRYING the tent
You have to dry the tent after cleaning and make sure that you do that in the absence of dust so that the seams you’re sealing don’t get contaminated. Having dried the tent very well, you should then stretch it out and perform the next step on it.
It’s important to first find out the spots where there are leakages because they’re the spots that need more attention. You should apply the sealant on these spots and also the seams that are mostly exposed to weather should also be examined and apply sealant where necessary. The exposed seams could be found somewhere on the body of the tent, the floor of the tent, and also the fly.
It’s during this step that the use of duct tape comes in. This is because the sealant tends to spill across the tent and to prevent this you need to apply the duct tape at some distance away from the seam edges in the inner walls of the tent. You should also be careful when applying sealant on the tent to avoid the sealant spilling to the zippers and however, should the sealant drift towards the zippers you should quickly clean it off.
After you have applied the sealant on the inner walls you should then turn the tent around and apply the sealant on the exterior seams. For those tents that have fly, you should lay the tent on the ground and seal the fly seams.
Having done all this, you should stretch out the tent and allow the sealant to get dried. When you’re sure the sealant cannot drive across the tent, you should then remove the duct tape.
Now, we’ve discussed the use of a sealant to weatherproof a tent. This is not the only method of weatherproofing a tent, but you are likely to find it easy and effective. Apart from the use of sealant, I’ll like to share with you some other techniques of weatherproofing a tent that I have tried out over a few years.
You may want to watch how a tent is weatherproofed here
Below are the techniques of weatherproofing a tent without using sealant
THE USE OF A GROUND CLOTH
I have decided to mention the use of a ground cloth or footing because it works well when one intends to keep away the groundwater that could flow into the tent. Footprint is a ground cloth you put on the tent floor so that it forms a barricade. The footprint should be totally tucked under the tent to avoid water sipping in.
AVOID EXPOSURE OF TENT TO SUN
The rays from the sun are so powerful that they can actually reduce the durability of your tent. And what do you expect of a tent that is no longer durable when wind blows through? So the best way to avoid this destructive ultraviolet rays from the sun is to keep your tent away, perhaps under shade when the sun rises.
FIXING OF HOLES IN THE TENT
Having holes on your tent, as small as they may be, is so detrimental to your safety when camping. You may be thinking that your tent is safe or there can’t be holes there. Don’t forget that those little elements you take along with you to camp can affect the integrity of the tent. Think of pocket knives, stones, or even sticks; these things can easily puncture your tent. So you need to examine your tent and the patch any holes you find in the seams. This will help restore the strength and durability of the tent.
Most of the tents, if not all, come with the waterproof coating done by the manufacturers. But there’s a time limitation to the extent that this coating can last. Therefore, it is expected that after a long period of use, the manufacturer’s coating will begin to wear off the tent. And the side effect of the wearing-off coating is obvious. There’s reduction in the life of the tent. Mind you, you don’t need to toss away your tent because you can actually recoat the tent. In this case, when you observe that the manufacturer’s coating is wearing off, you should consider investing some small amount in coating treatment. The money you want to invest should deter you from doing this because the effect of not recoating the tent may prove more disastrous.
PROPER TENT MOUNTING
This one is not a technique per se but it’s good I mention it for those who are not aware of it yet. It’s obvious but you shouldn’t underrate it. How you mount your tent is very important to how it is subjected to weather condition. The way wind affects a properly tautened tent is not the way it affects a tent that is not well planted. So when installing your tent it is essential you fixed the tent to the ground properly. The poles should be at 45 degrees angle facing away from the tent. More so, do not fasten the chords on the tent fabric as this may reduce the strength of the tent over time; rather you should fasten it to the poles. This makes the tent highly resistant to wind.
I have mentioned some of the techniques I have found very effective. The techniques highlighted here are those that are done to prevent water penetration such as footprint, leakages. Learning and mastering the skill of weatherproofing a tent can make a large difference between a perfect camping with a partner and a devastated one.
As a camper you should see why it is necessary for you to master the skill. I have taken my time to help make your camping experience more vivacious. It’s now left to you to follow the techniques which I have been using and share my camping excitement. However, since weatherproofing a tent is to make it quite resistant to forces that could lower the potency of the tent and render it less protective, any method that can offer such a great resistant for a tent should be properly followed.
What is your opinion about the techniques I have mentioned in this article? If you don’t mind you can comment it on this post. Also, I will like to know if you have used any of this technique before. You may share your experience about weatherproofing a tent. Or do you have your own methods of weatherproofing a tent that is not mentioned here? You should share with us. As campers let’s enlighten one another and make the camping adventure worth the while.