When we buy a tent, we hope to make it last for quite a few uses. Below I have written some tips to prolong the life of your tent:
- Use a groundsheet whenever possible. This not only protects the floor of your tent, but also makes it much easier to clean it. I simply use the tarp which vegetable vendors in Delhi use to shield their stock. If you want, you can also put eyelets on the 4 corners of the groundsheet and secure it to the ground using pegs before pitching the tent.
- UV radiation does more harm than is visible to the eye. Remove the flysheet or pack away the tent during the day. If the tent needs to be pitched at one place for long duration, cover the tent with the groundsheet.
- Clean the fabric of the tent from time to time and never machine wash or tumble dry your tent.
- Sweep or shake any dirt, stones or other debris from inside the tent and above the groundsheet to keep the floor of the tent from getting punctured.
- If storing your tent for a long period of time, make sure it is dry and clean, store in a cool dry place, pack it loosely and unpack it occasionally to air the fabric.
- Be gentle with your poles, do not snap them together. When collapsing the poles, start from the middle and work your way out. Make sure they are stored dry. Be extra soft with fiber glass poles in extreme cold as they tend to get brittle in such conditions.
- Never pack your tent when its wet or even slightest bit damp. Try to eliminate as much moisture and wetness as you can before you pack it. If you have no option but to pack a wet tent, unpack it as soon as you finishing hiking and immediately air dry the fabric to avoid mildew formation.
- From time to time, clean and lubricate the zips on your tent (an old toothbrush works well), especially if you are using the tent for long periods.
- Keep any sort of fire away from the tent at all times. Cooking should be done outside the tent. If weather does not permit cooking outside, use the vestibule area but take precautions at all times. Bonfire should be setup at least 100 feet away from the tent as stray lit embers can instantly put holes in it.
If you have any more suggestions that I may have missed above, please feel free to put them in comments below.