Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Photo by Nick Hromiak IIIProper care and cleaning of tents will insure years of service. Photo by Nick Hromiak IIIProper care and cleaning of tents will insure years of service.

Outdoors: tips to care for your tent

Thursday, August 3, 2017 by NICK HROMIAK Special to the Press in Sports

With the camping season now in progress, some folks prefer enjoying the outdoors in an RV or motor home, while others prefer to rough it in a tent. If you’re in the latter group, you may or may not know how to care for your tent, especially if it was just purchased. As such, Coleman, the premier camping company, has offered these caring and cleaning tips for your tent be it big or small.

*Do not snap poles together. Expend poles section by section. Using care will greatly extend the life of your poles, aiding in splintering protection and keeping the structure of your tent sturdy. When collapsing your sock-corded poles. Collapse them near the center first to ease the stress on the cord. Try to avoid pulling the poles as this can tear the shock-cord or the tent body. Often it’s easier to push the poles through the pole sleeve.

*If your tent will be set up for a week or longer, it may be wise to place the tent where it will get an ideal amount of shade. In order to extend the life of your tent, avoid extended UV exposure. UV rays can damage all fabrics over time. If there’s no shade available, your rainfly will help protect the body of tour tent from damage by the elements.

*Sweep out your tent. Make sure rocks, leaves and dirt and branches are all out of the tent before packing it.

*If at all possible only take down your tent when it’s completely dry after a rainstorm or morning dew. Wait until it dries so you won’t have to worry about drying it later.

*You can use a sponge and mild soap to wipe off a dirty tent. Don’t use a washing machine to clean it. And always let it air dry before repacking it.

*Your tent must be stored dry. If you must close camp in the rain, open your tent and set it up as soon as possible to avoid mildew and odors. When your tent is stored, a cool dry place is ideal.

*Depending upon temperature and climate, your tent may gather moisture inside. This can usually be avoided by opening the tent to ventilate by opening all nylon windows and screen.

*Under hard ground conditions, stakes may bend. Tent stake replacements are available but not necessarily at a campsite. Remember, a tent can also be tied using guylines, to rocks or other stable objects.

*Do not pull up stakes with the tent body or stake loops. Use a stake puller or the end of a hammer to remove stubborn stakes. Ripped stake loops can be repaired but be sure to seam seal the stitching.

*Open doors and windows to allow air to escape as the tent is collapsed. Doing this will make rolling and storing easier. Rolling the tent toward the open doors and windows will help too.

*When folding the tent, fold along the original lines. This may be more difficult as the lines fade after a few years. A good rule of thumb is to fold the tent about the same length as the tent poles before rolling it up.

And finally, roll the tent lightly and neatly with (bagged) poles and stakes rolled into the bent body. This uses the tent poles as a structure to help roll the tent. A slow, tight tent roll is the easiest way to compact the tent.