How To Waterproof A Tent In 3 Easy Steps

In your camping trip, you may be placed in a situation where you would requiring a waterproof tent, and you need to have one fast. But what if you don’t have a waterproof tent? You can’t cancel the camping activity now that you’re already having so much fun with friends and family.

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Well, there’s no need to go paranoid about it because we will teach you how to waterproof a tent in three easy steps. A waterproof tent will keep you dry during the wet and rainy days so you can keep having a blast with your friends and family. So read on!

#1. How To Waterproof Your Tent

The majority of the tents today are already waterproof. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that they have already been tested against the rainstorm or that they were built to settle down on any terrain and give you a dry time. Many of these tents fail most of the time.

While the tent manufacturers have already done much of the work us, there are still some things we should consider to get the tents completely waterproof-ready in the field.

how-to-waterproof-your-tent

1. Things To Consider Before Waterproofing Your Tent

Before you begin waterproofing your tent, you must first determine the areas inside and outside it that require waterproofing. Is there something wrong with the waterproof coating of the wall? Is there a leak on the tent’s floor? Does the tent require a waterproof fly?

There’s no ultimate process in waterproofing tents, and the type of care required would depend on the area of the tent that requires waterproofing.

Identifying The Area That Requires Waterproofing

To figure out which area of the tent needs waterproofing, fill in a bath tub with water and submerge the tent into it. You can determine the area that requires some work by the little bubbles that come out from its surface.

Once you’re done with the process, you can then allow the tent to dry out in the shades. The reason why you should allow it to dry under the shades is that there some tents that aren't ultraviolet resistant.

It would be best to do this process at home before the camping trip. It is always better to have all things set before you make a go for it.

Cleaning Your Tent

Before you start to waterproof your tent, you need clean its fabric first. You cannot waterproof the parts of your tent if they are not clean and dry because any layer you will be covering will be hindered by dirt. Dirt is easily washed away by rain.

Use a soft-surfaced sponge soaked in warm water in cleaning the tent’s fabric. Never put your tent inside the washing machine. The rocking of the washing machine will stretch and eventually damage the fabric of your tent.

cleaning-your-tent

Via Rei.com

2. The Waterproofing Process

There are three things you can do to waterproof your tent completely:

Tightening The Ties

When setting up the tent, you need to ensure that the ties are tight. You don’t want to do this in the rain because it’s going to get troublesome and you won’t be able to do it correctly since the water will cause the ties to sag.

It is always better to do this at home. It would also be a good idea to buy reflective chords since they are much easier to see in the dark in case you need to make some adjustments during night time. They also have the strength to be tied into a Hitch Knot which is the perfect knot for this process.

tightening-the-ties

Reflective ties are visible in the dark

Here’s more information about tent ties and reflective ties - My guyline system for Tents

Setting The Groundcloths

Groundcloths is an essential part of the tent since they can prevent water from getting inside the tent during wet conditions. But when incorrectly set, groundcloths can collect water inside your tent.

What you must do is ensure that groundcloth is set tightly with the seam beneath the tent. The groundcloth must be tucked and sealed into the seam. Take the groundcloth off, measure it on the tarp, create a marking around it and then cut the tarp.

Stich the tarp into the groundcloth and seam throughout the tent. Most of the time, you will only need to do this with older tents. With newer tents, it’s enough to tuck the groundcloth into the seam and seal it.

Learn more about how to choose the best 4 person tent​.

setting-the-groundcloths

Sealing The Seams

Sealing the Seams would be the most demanding part of the procedure; doing this would entail that you apply a sealant inside the seams and allowing it to dry.

In older tents, you are required to seal and waterproof all of the seams. Once you are finished applying the sealant on one seam, you will have to repeat the process on the next seam.

Once the sealant has dried, you will then need to use a waterproof spray and spray it on the exterior of the seams before letting it dry.

If you happen to have a newer tent, then you will notice that the seams are sealed with tape. You will see tape stitched and sewn and there’s no need for them to be waterproofed. But chances are the tent and floor’s seams will still require it.

When applying the sealant over the seams, be sure to do it from within the tent. You need to flip the tent inside out to do this. Push the seams upwards to expose the stitching.

If the tent is old, you may have to clean the seams first using a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. Be sure to do the smooth and complete sealing. Allow it to dry before repeating the process.

sealing-the-seams

Via Rei.com

3. What If The Wall Leaks?

Your tent’s wall can be waterproofed in the same way as its floor. You can utilize the same waterproofing spray that you applied on the floor. Spray the entire wall and distribute it evenly with a cloth. Allow it to dry.

It is not necessary to apply as much spray on the wall as it is on the floor. Just give the wall a clean sweep with the spray, and that should be enough.

A rainfly is always the best choice for your tent. This layer of plastic should cover the entire tent and add an extra waterproofing layer. The majority of waterproof tents have rainfly, but there’s no need to go paranoid if you don’t have one.

rainfly-for-tent

The majority of manufacturers enable individuals to buy a rainfly separately. If not, you can purchase a tarp in Amazon; the tarp you placed underneath your tent would work just fine.

The rainfly should be set in such a way that it doesn’t come into contact with the tent’s inner wall. You can fix the tarp by putting rocks along the edges. It’s easy.

Watch this video for a quick demo on how to waterproof a tent:

#2. Conclusion

We hope you learned much from this post. With these three steps on how to waterproof your tent, you won’t have to worry about getting wet inside your tent again.

  • Identify areas of your tent where there are leaks
  • Clean the tent
  • Tighten the ties
  • Apply sealer and water repellent spray

If you have any comments and inquiries regarding this post, feel free to write them in the comments section.

Read more - 5 Ways To Stay Warm In Your Tent​

How To Waterproof A Tent In 3 Easy Steps
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