Tent Care & Maintenance Basics

Rilor Staff
Update: April 12, 2021
Table of Contents

How to take care of a tent?

As a tent owner, you know how important it is to take care of your tent properly. If you don't, it can lead to costly issues that are not easily fixed. In fact, doing the wrong thing can even be dangerous. 

You should be careful with your tent and follow set procedures when packing and unpacking your tent and getting it repaired as soon as something goes wrong with it. Here are some tips on how to take care of your tent.

How To Take Care Of A Tent?

The tent is the essential piece of gear you own. It is your home away from home. It is the place you go to rest at the end of a long day of hiking, or the place you prepare food, or the spot where you eat your meals. It is the place you go to sleep and get a great night's rest. It is your shelter and the place you go to feel safe. You need to treat it as such.

Before the big day, you need to practice using your tent. You should check its configurations so that you can gain familiarity with it. Also, check if it is complete with its essential accessories (i.e., guylines and stakes). You would also clean your tent from time to time.

While Setting Up The Tent

Look For A Good Spot To Setup Your Tent

When you go out camping, the first thing you need to do is find a place to put your tent. Once you have done that, you will want to choose a spot that is easy to get to. You will also want to look for an established campsite for your tent. This will prevent the ground from becoming too compacted, and it will also make it easier to walk around when it is time to go. The campsite will also be more comfortable to walk around in.

The ideal camping ground for your tent should be smooth and flat. Moreover, it should be free of any form of vegetation. You should also avoid areas with debris that can damage your tents, such as rocks, twigs, and branches.  

Use Footprints

Most tent footprints are waterproof material such as polyethylene sheeting. While they are not necessary for most tents, a footprint can extend the life of your tent floor by protecting it from abrasion and UV damage. 

A footprint is designed to defend your tent's floor from scratches and abrasion. It also ensures that the tent is clean as you pack it. Since footprints don't generally extend beyond the size of the tent, it doesn't pose any risk in collecting water and moisture.

Don't Let Your Tent Have Prolonged Sun Exposure

People who love camping and hiking need to be concerned about ultraviolet rays damage to their tents. These rays can be harmful to your tent. These rays can damage the materials of your tent and make it weaker. 

One of the ways that these rays can harm your tent is by discoloring it. In the process of discoloring your tent, the tent can become weak. The damage done will depend on the type of tent and the material that is used in the tent.

Because of this, you should not place your tent in an area where there's little or no shade. Of course, you should also use a rainfly and hang it over your tent. A rainfly is more resistant to UV heat, so it is an essential amenity for every tent. Specifically, a polyester fly is better than a nylon fly.

Don't Be Harsh With The Poles

In setting up a tent, make sure that you handle its poles carefully. You should go along with it, not against it. Otherwise, it would snap into pieces, ruining your tent in the process. 

Also, keep in mind that poles are somewhat flexible. Hence, it is possible for them to whip back to you or your companion if you stretch them. 

While Using The Tent

Just because the tent is already in place doesn't mean that you can leave it unattended. Proper care and caution are still essential to guarantee that its quality will remain intact.

Don't Place Your Footgear Inside

You should never place your boots or shoes inside your tent unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Your footwear should be left outside or in the vestibule of the tent. Of all your camping clothing, your boots and shoes get the dirtiest. After all, they are the ones that are directly in contact with soil. They can pick up pebbles and dirt that can ruin your tent. 

Use Your Zippers Properly

If you found that the zippers of your tent are stuck, don't force it. To navigate this problem, hold the zipper and pull it back. Check if there are stuck fabrics in the zipper's teeth; wiggle them so that the zipper can work properly.  

Leave Food And Fragrant Items Outside The Tent

Similar to your footwear, your food and fragrant items should be left outside your tent. They should have a different container. You see, their smell can attract critters, insects, and wild animals in your tent. It doesn't pose issues to your tent but your well-being. 

After Using The Tent

Now that you are leaving, it is time to pack your reliable tent. Here are some methods that can help you ensure that your tent is packed properly. 

Shake It

Before anything else, you need to shake the tent so that you can clear out the debris and dirt inside. Of course, if there is trash and rubbish, throw them in designated bins. Always follow the Leave-No-Trace principle when it comes to dealing with your personal wastes. 

Push The Poles

To remove a shock-corded pole from the tent, you should push it, not the otherwise. Pulling the pole will strain its elastic cord, which, in turn, could damage it. 

Fold The Poles In The Middle

In the process of folding the poles, you should start in the middle. Doing this will help diffuse the tension throughout the cord. Do this method on the rest of the pole's sections until you fold them completely. 

Dry The Tent First

Even in the presence of rainfly and footprints, tents still remain susceptible to condensation. Moisture, for instance, can cause mold growth. Therefore, before you stuff the tent, you have to dry it first. One good way of doing this by draping the tent over a boulder or branch. However, make sure that they don't have any sharp parts that can scratch or snag the tent's fabric. 

If there's precipitation in your camping site, you are free to stuff the tent right away. However, after reaching home, you should unload it right away. Hang it on a shaded part of your house, such as the garage. 

Roll The Tent

Don't just push the tent inside its stuff sack. That would strain and stretch the fabrics unnaturally. Instead, the best thing that you can do is to roll it. 


Tents are made to last, but this does not mean that you can put them on the shelf and forget about them. You need to take care of your tent and make sure that it will always be there for you in case you need it. Learn how to take care of a tent, and it will do the same to you every time you head outdoors!

If you have other inquiries, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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