How to Waterproof a Tent

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How to Waterproof a Tent

Exploring and being in the great outdoors is a lot of fun, but the only problem is the weather can be very unpredictable. One minute you’re basking in the sun, the next the rain’s pouring down. One of your major priorities is to waterproof your tent, so you’ll have a warm and comfy nook to protect you from the rain. Here are several methods to waterproof your tent.

Use A Waterproofing Compound

There are many water-resistant preservative compounds that work great on canvas tent. One example is Canvak. It’s applied just like paint, and can be bought easily from hardware stores.

What You’ll Need:

  • Waterproofing compound
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint mask
  • Ladder

Procedure:

  1. Set up your tent and wash off the dirt and dust from it. Let the tent dry completely. Afterwards, transfer it in a clean and dry area.
  2. Put on your face mask, so you can avoid the unpleasant fumes from the compound. Begin painting the canvas. Set up your ladder, and work your way from up going down.
  3. Let the tent dry completely before you pack it up.

Using Spray Starch

The problem with waterproof compounds is they can give off fumes that can be toxic. The smell can also cling to the canvas, long after you’ve applied the compound, If you don’t want to risk it, a wonderful alternative is to use spray starch. Here’s what to do.

What You’ll Need:

  • Spray starch

Procedure:

  1. Lay the tent down on a ground, as flatly and as smoothly as you can. The outer part and the top part must be facing upwards. Make sure the wrinkles and folds are gone completely, so you’ll be able to get the spray starch everywhere.
  2. Coat the whole surface of the tent, making sure you go under folded areas. Let the coat dry completely.
  3. Reapply a second coat of spray starch to give the tent better protection. You can add a third coating, so it would really stay waterproof. The excessive starch might make the tent a bit stiff, though. Let the starch completely dry.
  4. When done with one side turn the tent over and work on the other side. If you want, you can also spray the inside.

Sealing The Seams

Cracks and punctures along the tent’s seams may cause leaking. After you’ve done either of the tactics above, make sure you seal the seams completely with a seam sealant. You don’t need to apply this to all the tent seams, only those that exposed to the weather effects.

What You’ll Need:

  • Seam sealant
  • Old toothbrush
  • Alcohol

Procedure:

  1. Check which side of the tent you need to apply it on. When you spot the areas, clean them with alcohol and an old toothbrush. Let dry for a few minutes.
  2. Set up the the tent in a clean area with good ventilation. Make sure the rainfly is tightly cinched, to open holes that the sealant will close better.
  3. Once you know where to seal, clean the surface area with a toothbrush and some cleaning alcohol. After allowing it to dry for a few minutes, you need to pitch the tent with the rainfly cinched tight and where there is good ventilation. A tight rainfly will open up the holes so that the sealant can close it better.
  4. Apply a generous amount of sealant on the seams, and wait for half an hour to dry. Make sure you don’t leave any gaps. If you spot a leak, let the tent dry first before you reapply the sealant.

Don’t let your tent get soggy and wet when you go camping. By doing these simple waterproofing precautions before the trip, you won’t have to worry about water dripping over your head.

 

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