For many of us, when the weather begins to cool down, it’s time to pack away our camping gear for the year. There may be a few opportunities to break out the tent one more time, but for most of us, cooler weather means the tenting season is over for the year.
But you don’t want to just cram the tent up on some shelf, or stuff it into a closet before making sure it is ready for storage.
So, what happens if your tent has gotten wet, can you put a tent away when it is wet?
Don’t make the mistake to put a tent away when is still wet. Leaving a wet tent secured in its bag for any length of time means you have a good chance of pulling it out with mold growing on it. If there is any amount of moisture on the tent, it has to be completely dried before storing it.
Why You Should Pack Your Tent Properly for Storage
If you don’t pack your tent correctly, then next season when you are all excited and ready for the new season of tenting, your tent may not be ready.
It could be broke or have other issues that you won’t have time to deal with before the next trip. If you pack your tent with problems; those problems are still going to be there next season.
These are some steps you should take to ensure you are ready to head out on the next tenting adventure:
Dry Your Tent Before Storing
Though all of us like to camp on those beautiful sunny days, chances are you encountered some rain during one or more of your tent outings. Some of us even have to pack a tent up from a trip in the rain.
Packing a wet tent is not fun, and it is also hard on your tent. Leaving a wet tent secured in its bag for any length of time means you have a good chance of pulling it out with mold growing on it.
If there is any amount of moisture on the tent, it has to be completely dried before storing it. This drying process should be done in between camping trips as well as if you are going to store it for the season.
Check the whole tent over
Check the pegging points and well as the guy lines. Go over the entire surface of the tent to look for any small corners that may not have completely dried. You want a completely dry piece of camping equipment before it is stored in any location.
If you have been out camping and the weather turned wet and rainy, you want to be sure to dry the tent entirely within at least two days after returning from your trip.
It will take only twenty-four to forty-eight hours for mold and mildew to begin growing on the material. If you return home and it is still raining, hang the tent in your garage or a non-carpeted room in your house.
If it is sunny, an option to drying the tent is to set it up in the yard and let the sun dry it out, but you will have to make sure the bottom is also dry before storing it.
Some campers, especially those who live in apartments and have smaller living quarters, may be tempted to dry their tent in the dryer. Tents cannot go into a laundry drying machine.
Putting your tent in a dryer is a sure-fire way of ruining it. The machine is going to ruin the waterproof coating that has been placed on the outside. Another issue with using a dryer is it is likely to rip any mesh material your tent has, such as on the doors, or windows.
The best drying method is hanging the tent from the clothesline where the sun and wind can dry all areas. If you do not have a clothesline, a fence will also work.
How long it will take to dry the tent depends on your weather conditions and how wet the tent is to start with. On a beautiful sunny day with low humidity, and a light breeze, your tent could be dried and ready for storage in as little as thirty minutes.
Check Tent for Breaks, Tears, or Rips
You can check for any breaks, tears, or rips in the fabric of your tent while you are looking for any wet spots. Most tents are constructed of reliable and extremely tough materials.
Tents are made to withstand a lot of weather conditions such as wind and rain, but this doesn’t make them indestructible. There may have been objects which came into contact with your tent that compromised its fabric.
Go over everything, including the poles to make sure they have not suffered any damage from a season of use. If you discover any damages and they are minor, you may be able to fix them yourself.
If significant damage has occurred, you will still have time to take it to a professional for repairs or order new parts before the next trip. If the damage is severe, you may even have to order a replacement before your next outing.
Fold Tent Properly for Storage
After you have gone through the process of checking your tent for any wet areas or damage, you may feel like just stuffing it up in the closet.
Stuffing a tent away can cause it serious damage, and you might find yourself having to replace it. Stuffing a tent can also ruin its natural shape and make setting it up next time more difficult.
Folding or rolling a tent before putting it in its bag is a much safer way of storing it.
Storing Your Poles and Pegs
Most tents come with a separate bag for the poles and pegs. These bags are separate for a reason, and that is so you don’t damage your tent by stuffing them right up against the tent’s material.
Stuffing the poles and pegs down inside the tent’s bag could result in tears or rips in the material, making your tent un-usable.
If you did not keep the extra bag or have lost it in the shuffle, you should then wrap both poles and pegs up in another bag or find some other material that will keep them safely away from the tent itself.
One thought to keep in mind when preparing your tent for storage is that if you take care of your tent, it will take care of you for many camping years to come.