Essential Tent Care: Prep for Winter Hibernation

For many campers, the first signs of winter mark the end of an unbeatable summer of camping trips and staycations. If you’re looking to tie up your guylines for the winter, we’ve got some simple steps for you to follow to keep your tent in top condition when you come to use it again next year. Here’s our 5-point winter care checklist to keep your tent as good as new.

For those looking to keep on camping through the colder months, now is also a great time to give your tent a bit of this TLC.

Packing Away a Tent
Ensure the tent is completely dry before packing it away

1) Visually Check Your Tent

Lay your tent out (ideally in a covered, dry space) and visually check it. As you go over the fabric and components you’re looking for any signs of wear and tear in the fabric, poles, pegs and guylines. Check the zips run smoothly and keep your eye out for marks, damage and areas of dirt. We stock replacement poles for traditional tents or air beams for inflatable tents.

2) Tackle Mildew & Clean Your Tent

If you spot mildew build up (identified by black marks on the canvas and a mouldy smell), sponge the affected areas with a mild solution of tent cleaner, then sponge with soapy water, rinse and dry the tent thoroughly. Once you’ve solved those hard to clean areas, give your tent a good clean overall to remove any dirt. With any tent cleaner, always read the instructions. Never use a hair dryer to dry a tent, and we don’t recommend using a machine wash or tumble drier – elbow grease is best! Check out our video on how to clean and care for a tent.

3) Proof Your Tent

If you’ve used your tent a number of times over the summer period, then we recommend reproofing your tent before you pack it away for the winter. Reproofers protect and restore the waterproof performance of your tent and are easy to apply. Simply read the instructions and watch our video on how to clean a tent above. Avoid using detergent on your tent as this will affect the tent fabric’s ability to repel water.

Pro Camper Tip: Condensation build-up inside tents is commonly mistaken for fabric leaks. Check out our simple guide to condensation.

4) Ensure It’s Completely Dry

Storing a tent wet can damage the fabric performance, breakdown the coating and impact the seams. It’s really important to completely dry your tent out before packing it away to maintain the condition of your home from home. If you pack away your tent wet, then it can become a breeding ground for mildew and mould. Always ensure you completely dry your tent poles and tent pegs too before storing them as moisture can cause corrosion.

5) How to Store Your Tent

Now your tent is completely dry and you’ve addressed any condition issues, store it in a cool, dry area. Store it flat to ensure poles are not damaged and do not put heavy things on top of it as this can also affect your tent’s condition. With most tents you can leave the inner tent (bedrooms) inside, but always check the instructions for your specific tent.

So that’s the super-easy GO Outdoors 5-point checklist for getting our tent ready for its winter hibernation. Follow these steps and you’ll find your tent in top condition when you come to use it in the Spring. Good care ensures that your tent will last many more camping trips.

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