4th Royal Eltham


Tent Care

(This is a long and boring bit, but one day you may thank us!)

Before you first use a new tent, it is always best to put it up and give it a good soaking with a hose sprinkler. This will help to close up any needle holes made during manufacture and, give you a chance to practice pitching the tent.

If your tent is made of nylon, it will not like sunlight (the colour will fade and the nylon become brittle). Try to find a spot which has some shade, but not directly under a tree, birds and lightning like trees, don't they? Bird lime (pooh!) and mud should be removed with cold water, as soon as you can. Hot water or detergent may cause the tent to leak.

If your tent has a sewn-in groundsheet, protect it from sharp stones and mud by placing your tent onto a second groundsheet.

Try to avoid pitching the tent in heavy rain, The chances are, by the time you've got it up, it will be leaking. Wait for the rain to ease off and try, as much as possible, not to drag it around on wet or muddy ground.

When you peg out guy lines, always try to put them in line with any stitch-seams on the roof of the tent, and try to keep them all at the same length. You can use a piece of string as a straight edge. These measures will not only reduce stress on the seams, but your tent will also look better.

If you do not have a fly sheet, never touch the sides when the tent is wet. This will cause it to leak until the tent is completely dry again. Before you go to sleep always make sure that nothing is touching the sides in case it rains during the night.

Never use candles, liquid or gas burning lamps or cookers inside the tent. If it catches fire, the tent will burn to the ground in seconds, long before you can get out.

Always fold guy lines (in half, and again and again until the rope is in a neat, outstretched bundle) and tie a thumb-knot in them. This will help stop them getting tangled up.

Pegs and poles should be placed in their own bags to reduce the risk of them damaging the tent once packed.

If you have to put your tent away wet, open it out to dry as soon as you can. You will have no more than a few days before it starts to rot. 

Zips are best left undone when the tent is packed. This will help stop them being damaged by crushing.

Pegs and poles should be cleaned and dried to prevent them corroding / rotting.

Always store your tent off of the ground and if possible, unpacked.

If you look after your tent, you should have it long enough to have to re-proof it. Waterproofing liquids are available from most camping and outdoor shops. As a general rule, spray-on proofers are best for nylon and smaller canvas tents, and paint-on proofer is best for larger canvas tents. Some paint-on proofers are available in various colours so as to (it is claimed) restore the original color. In our experience, the colored stuff leaves the tent looking somewhat festive! so we just use the clear one.

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