Thursday, 17 April 2014

How to Waterproof A Tent

Waterproof Tents
Source: Flickr
 A waterproof tent can be an integral part of your strategy for staying dry during your backpacking trip. First of all you need to have waterproof clothes, like a raincoat or a waterproof poncho. You obviously can't use an umbrella on your backpacking trip because it would get stuck in the branches of trees, and your hand would get exhausted if you had to hold it up for hours.

 A waterproof tent is a great way to provide yourself with a waterproof shelter. A tent is usually easy and quick to set up, and there are very comfortable models out there. The best ones are are pretty light as well, so you will have no problems with carrying it with you to your destination. It gets even easier if you backpack with your friend or spouse, because then you can share the weight with him or her.

 Unfortunately the waterproof coating will peel off the tent through time. As the fabric hits your backpack, the tent carry bag and you bump into it time after time, you will need to reapply the waterproof layer, the coating to the tent. You can buy waterproof sprays and coating materials cheaply through amazon or other online shops. My favorite is the Nikwax water repellent spray. This spray is very cheap, it is easy to apply.

 First of all, you need to set up your tent. You should set it up outdoors, or in an area with great ventilation. Waterproof sprays are poisonous to inhale, so make sure that you are not applying it in a closed room. Get a soft piece of rug or clothing, and wash the tent. Don't use soaps or any artificial material, these can damage the material of the tent, and poison the soil and the natural water supplies. Just get the cloth wet, and wash the wall of the tent. Wait for it to dry up again.

Nikwax waterproofing spray
Source: Flickr
 Soak the wall of the tent in the waterproofing spray, Nikwax if you choose to use that. When it is completely covered - don't leave out any spots - then grab your cloth and apply the liquid to every part of the tent. Leave the tent there for thirty minutes, so that is gets dry again. Don't leave your tent in the sun, because the UV lights can damage the material of the tent. I know, it is quite remarkable how many things can damage your tent. Leave your tent to dry in the shades.

 After the outside of the tent is waterproof again, you need to apply the coating to the inside of the tent. Your cloth will be soaked with Nikwax if you have soaked the outside wall with it enough, and you have applied enough liquid to the wall. Grab your cloth, and apply the liquid on it to the inside of the tent. Then you just have to leave it to dry. You should maximize the ventilation inside the tent so remove all rainflys, covers, open all the doors and windows. Just to be on the safe side you can hold another piece of cloth to your mouth to make sure that you don't inhale the spray.

I hope you see that it is easy to apply a waterproof spray and make your tent waterproof once again. The whole process can be done in an hour, and you will have a great new waterproof shelter at the end of it. I go through this process every once in a while, you should do it once a year ideally.

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