When coming home from an adventure, it can be tempting to throw your gear in the garage until you have time to put it away. Taking the time to unpack your gear and put it away properly will not only prolong the life of it, but also keep you organized for your next adventure. This is especially true for your tent. Improper care and storage can lead to mildew growth and material breakdown. Learn how to store a tent by following the steps below.
Dry your Tent
The most important thing to do before storing your tent is to make sure it is completely dry. You can dry your tent out by setting it up indoors, or in a shaded spot outdoors. If you don’t have enough space to set it up, you can hang it until dry. A tent that is put away damp will eventually develop mildew and start to smell bad. The moisture can also damage the polyurethane waterproof coating after some time. You will know the polyurethane waterproof coating is damaged if your tent becomes flaky or the seams begin to leak. Also, if water doesn’t easily roll off the outside of your tent, you know your waterproof coatings are damaged. Check out this article to learn how to waterproof a tent.
Clean your Tent
It is important to take the time to properly clean your tent after returning home from an adventure. Cleaning off the mud, sand, tree sap or spilt beer will prolong the lifetime of your tent. Check out this article to learn how to clean a tent.
Remove From Stuff Sack
The best way to store a tent is to drape it over a hanger in your closet if you have the room. If you don't, the next best thing to do is remove your tent from the stuff sack and store it in an old pillow case or similarly sized drawstring bag. Although it is good for travel purposes, many don’t realize that the stuff sack your tent came in can actually be damaging for long term storage. You can neatly fold your tent up and place it in the bag or you can stuff it in. The extra room in the larger bag allows the tent fabrics to relax and breathe.
You can extend the life of the shock cord by storing the poles partially assembled as this will take tension off the cord. Not everyone has space to do this, so another option is to break the poles down by starting in the middle and working towards the end. Many don’t realize that collapsing poles down like this evenly distributes tension along the cord. This will prolong the life of the shock cord and reduce the chance of the cord snapping, leaving you without shelter.
Store in a Cool Place
Try to find a cool, dry spot in your house to store your tent between adventures. Avoid storing it in damp or hot locations like the attic, basement or car. The best place to store your tent is a closet in your house. If you don’t have a spare closet, the garage is your second best option.