How to Waterproof (Weatherproof) a Tent

how to waterproof a tent

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What are your plans for this coming weekend? If you have a scheduled activity, that’s fine. Well, the weather this coming weekend will be excellent for outdoor activity (or maybe not – so that’s why we’re talking here about how to waterproof a tent). Besides, being great for recreational activities for a healthier you. But for those who don’t have a free schedule even during these two days, it is still okay. When you take vacation leave from work, you can already spend the best weekend whatever you wanted to do. If you still can’t decide how are you going to spend your weekend, how about going on camping?

We know it might be too much, especially for those who are first-timers in camping. And everything is worth giving a try. Besides, camping is fun, good for health, and is the perfect opportunity to get closer to loved ones. At least once in your lifetime, you have tried going outdoors and appreciate more our nature through this activity. Pack up your camping essentials and get ready to create memories this coming weekend. Don’t forget your tents.

Tents – Essential Gear for Every Camper

If only you can transfer your home to your camping site, but it is impossible. That is why campers need a temporary shelter where they can easily pack up and transfer from one camping site to another. Well, that is why a tent is an essential gear to every camper despite any backpack weight.

Whether you are getting the small or the biggest tent, it is important that you choose the one that our heavy duty. Make sure to buy the one that will be able to accommodate the number of people that will be joining on camping with you. Everyone knows the struggle and the uncomfortable feeling when you are trying to rest in a crowded tent. Also, get the one that will be appropriate for the weather. It can be the one that is perfect for the cold season, warm season, and even the heavy duty tent perfect for all types of seasons.

Factors Affecting Your Tent’s Weatherproof Capacity

Water drops on the aquaphobic surface of the tent

For those who have been camping for a while, you already how important it is to have a tent that is of great quality. Well, sleeping is vital for every camper as it will charge them to get ready for the next day’s adventure. However, no matter how invaluable your tents for unpredictable weather, there are still some instances that it can cause some leaky or wet situations. Weather changes are given, and it is upon the camper on the possible solution he can think of for this problem.

The solution for that is on knowing how to weatherproof a tent.

Before proceeding to the weatherproofing process, there are things that a camper should understand first. Some factors are said to affect your tent’s weatherproof capability. Check below the following factors:

  • You didn’t do the “handle with care” on your tent – It is not that everyone is saying that you are very careless of the things that you have. Perhaps, you weren’t aware of these consequences. Now that you have learned about it, make sure to take care of this temporary shelter, especially when in use. Every camper knows that the tent encounters more pain than inside (and you will feel the same pain when it started raining and flooding inside). After every use, make sure to check the entire tent for the parts that need to be fixed like the tent’s weatherproof ability. Check it earlier than just doing it when you are already using it during your camping.
  • You over clean it – there is nothing wrong with cleaning your tent; make sure that you didn’t overdo things. One of the parts of the tent that is susceptible to this is your tent’s underside. Overly scrubbing this side can damage its polyurethane material. This material is essential to the waterproofing ability of your tent. Avoid damaging this important part by cleaning the tent properly.
  • Your tent is no longer brand new – this is also one of the main factors that you need to check on your tent. As outdoor equipment that shields you from unpredictable weather, it is just given that its weatherproof ability decreases. So you need to enhance its ability by weatherproofing again.

These factors tell us that we really shouldn’t be overdoing or be careless of things. To be able to use one’s tent for a longer period, it would be helpful if you start the process of weatherproofing your tent.

Getting the Right Materials for a Tent Waterproofing

Before you start to check how to waterproof a tent, you need to prepare the materials to be used. Aside from this, it is highly imperative that before starting, make sure that your tent is clean. That is why we have provided the list of materials that you will use for booth cleaning and waterproofing.

These are the materials that you will need in cleaning your tent:

Optional materials that you might also need:

  • Enzyme cleaner
  • Unscented powder
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes

For Weatherproofing, you will need:

  • Tarp
  • Cloth
  • Waterproof spray
  • Seam sealant

Weatherproofing Your Tent: 5-Step Process How to Waterproof a Tent

Now that you have prepared the materials to be used, this the perfect time to get started. Follow the step by step process below:

Step #1 The Cleaning Process

A clean tent is essential in the weatherproof project, to begin with. You need to make sure that there is no dirt or other materials that will affect the weatherproof materials during its application. Seam sealant works best on fabric that is clean and dry. So, better take note of that. Soak the sponge into water. Using this, gently scrub the parts of the tent that is dirty and on coated areas. If the seam sealants got peeled off, remove it with the use of a toothbrush.

Dip first the rag in the alcohol before using it to wipe off those sealants. Make sure that the seam is cleaned and let it dry for a couple of minutes.

In case you find a pine sap, you can remove it by sprinkling some unscented powder on that area and then remove with the rag.  For molds and mildew, put a little amount of enzyme cleaner on that part and gently scrubbing it off to be removed. In case you don’t have an alcohol or rag at the moment, you can make use of a hand sanitizer and wet wipes before having that area be rinsed with water.

Step #2 Make Use of a Tarp

tarp over tent

To avoid having leaky floors because of the moisture coming from the grass, and other vegetation, use a tarp and place it underneath your tent. Aside from wet floors, it can also be used to protect you from pointy rocks.

If in case your tent doesn’t come with a rainfly, then a tarp happens to be the best solution. Use it in covering your tent. Tie it on the stakes or secure it by placing rocks on its edges.

Step # 3 Cover the Holes and the Seams with Sealants

waterproof a tent

Most of those tents that you purchased on stores are manufactured with taped seams. Well, not that we are telling that it is not good for the tent because it is better to have it than nothing. However, through these seams, water can seep into your tent’s floors and walls. To avoid having a water situation, put a substantial amount of sealant to the seams. Apply the coat in long and even strokes to make sure that it covers everything on it.

Let the sealant to dry for an hour and then repeat the process. Check on the other parts of your tent, if you any even of the tiniest holes, cover it with seam sealant.

Step #4 Spray your Tent with the Waterproofing Sprays

Screenshot from the PNYprepper YouTube video

Spray your tent’s floor and walls with the waterproofing solution. Apply it evenly onto the entire floor with the use of a cloth. Let it dry. You can also spray some on your tent’s rainfly for added protection. Squeeze the waterproofing solution from the cloth, especially if it is already soaked up. Let it try for several hours and reuse it again to continue your weatherproofing project.

Step #5 Reapply If Needed

Once the waterproofing solution and sealant are wholly dried, check other areas for leaks. Bring your tent above a sprinkler and check for leaks. Reapply the sealant if you areas that leak. Then let it dry again.

It would also help if before you go on another trip, you will be applying seam sealant a waterproofing solution to your tent. This will make sure that your tent will not give you that stressful leaky and wet situation.

Before you go on camping…

As you can notice on the materials and the steps above, you can say that weatherproofing your tent is just easy and inexpensive. Doing this will not just help you avoid some leaky situations but also saving you from spending on a new one. Make sure that you have adequately applied the sealant and the waterproofing solution to cover those holes.

And the last, but not least pro tip: take care of your tent to make sure that you can use it for a longer time.