Tips for How to Waterproof your Tent for Camping
Some practical tips and suggestions for avoiding leaks and keeping dry in your Tent…
If you need a good reason to actually go to the trouble to waterproof your tent and other camping gear, then just think about going camping, and having your tent and camp site all set up… everyone is having fun… then downpour of rain turns up out of the blue. There is not much that is more inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially in the middle of the night, to have dripping water coming through your tent, or to find your airbed floating on a pool of water or just getting saturated bedding from a leaking tent!
Yes… it will make for a great ‘camping adventure’ tale some time down the track…. but I think that might be one ‘adventure story’ you might prefer to pass on…
Most decent priced tents come with a fly just for this purpose, although some may still not achieve their ultimate goal… keeping you comfy and dry. While having a rain fly is important factor in keeping you dry, it is still a really good idea to waterproof your tent using some of the excellent products available… and I can guarantee if you are camping and it starts to rain you will be so thankful you did!
Really, making sure your tent is waterproof needs to start when possible while you are buying your tent. While there is really no total guarantees when it comes to this, some Companies like Coleman have gone to elaborate lengths to achieve a standard where they do actually offer one.
So it is not so much about choosing the ‘perfect’ tent, as it is about choosing the best tent to suit your needs and make sure you are able to carry out your own ‘waterproof your tent‘ regime before taking it out in the field. This is one reason it is good to check out reviews of tents before you purchase, just to get a good idea of what is on offer.
If you already have purchased your tent then it’s still not too late to waterproof your tent…. especially if you have already had an unpleasant ‘tent leakage’ experience… then don’t give up. All hope is not lost…. By applying these tips you should be able to do a lot to make sure you waterproof your tent and you don’t have ongoing repeat episodes of your previous camping disaster. Oh… and don’t forget to waterproof your other camping gear as well… sleeping bags, boots, backpacks, tarps etc.
Some Tips to help Keep you Dry on your Next Camping Trip
- Waterproof your tent – Pick a nice warm and sunny day if possible, or do it under cover if possible… it needs to be dry to do this. You are going to apply seam sealer to all the seams on your tent. This will work to repel any leakage, so make sure you take your time and do a very particular job… don’t rush it. Plus you will want to make sure the floor of your tent is sealed to prevent moisture seepage through the tent material. Obviously you will need to purchase enough sealer prior to embarking on this important step. You can choose from a selection over here at Amazon at super discounted prices. Repeat this each year as a part of your tent maintenance.
- Purchase a fly – if your tent did not come with one, or use tarps to make your own extra cover in place of a fly. You might want to have a couple of extra tarps as well if you want to put one down under your tent, and perhaps as an awning for outside as well. Obviously choose the best sizes to suit your size tent and what you want to achieve with your campsite and don’t forget extra ropes and solid stakes.
- Check the weather forecast for where you are intending to go camping, prior to heading off – You may even choose a different location if you find that there are any bad storms expected where you might have intended to go camping.
- Choose your camp site with care – Don’t set up your tent in a spot that could be subject to flash flooding, and keep water runoff in your thoughts as you decide on the best spot to put up your tent.
- Look for Hazards – Also consider trees and the possibility of branches falling on your tent. While not directly related to getting wet, certainly if a sharp branch pierces your tent and puts a hole in it, then water will follow!
- One last tip when you are putting up your tent – Make sure that the tent, the rain fly and any tarps are nice and taut. If you make them loose at all, then they are going to be more subject to water pooling that could lead to leakage. Making things nice and tight will help water to run off and not seep through seams or even the tent material.
The Coleman Instant Tent 8 is one of my favorite larger camping tents and even though it has a ‘keep you dry’ guarantee, despite this I would still waterproof your tent, even thought the newer versions have the ability to add a fly, which is a great extra feature, and certainly some cheap insurance to help keep you dry in wet weather.
A tent is not meant to be permanent accommodation, however, there are still a lot of things you can do to make it way more comfortable for the time that you are wanting to or even needing to use it.
While not as roomy as the Coleman range, the Wind Ridge Instant Tent does come with the rain fly included… And the newer models of the Coleman Instant Tent have also got a rain fly as standard.
Regardless of what you choose I would always make sure you waterproof your tent and probably repeat the exercise at least once a year.
Waterproofing the Floor of your Tent
One sealer that I can suggest you check out is the Gear Aid Tent Sure Floor Sealant with a built-in foam brush. The foam brush makes it very easy to apply to your gear or to the floor on the inside of your tent. Of course you will need to make sure that your tent is erected in a dry place where it won’t get wet during your maintenance session, or at least you can access easily the whole of the inside of your tent floor.
Obviously, you can also use other types of waterproofing products as well, and I have added a few more down below…
Take a look at the video below where you can see a demonstration of how to apply a waterproofing over the floor of your tent, as a part of your annual maintenance.
Waterproofing your Whole Tent
Now this sounds worse than it needs to be in practice, and by going this extra mile, especially when you don’t have a tent that is made from a waterproof material, then it is going to be essential. Obviously you are going to need a larger quantity of water proofing substance when you are actually coating your whole tent. One brand that comes in larger bottles and has an excellent customer rating is the Starbrite Waterproofing with PTEF.
This is just another ‘insurance policy’ that will help make your camping trip a success, and is well worth the relatively small expense and the time it takes, especially if it happens to ‘bucket down’ rain on your next camping trip!
Another Option for Waterproofing Camping Gear
The Kiwi Camp Dry Water Repellent forms a silicone bond with both fabric and leather, so this will also be great not only to waterproof your tent, tarps or other camping gear, but for clothing, boots, backpacks and even your fabric covered outdoor furniture.
This one has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating with 509 customer reviews as I am writing this…