If you own a tent, one of the questions you likely want to be answered is how long your tent will last in storage.
Yet, this is not the only question you need to be answered. It would be best if you also considered how to store your tent. Failing to store a tent correctly can damage the tent that could be irreparable.
That’s why in our simple tent storing guide; we will discuss the answers to these questions and look into the other tent storage information you should know:
Here’s The Answer To How Long Does Each Type Of Tent Last In Storage:
Most tents can last many years in storage if they are gently used. On average nylon, tents can last 30 to 40 years in storage before degrading, cotton canvas tents up to 50 years, and polyester tents between 20 and 200 years before degrading, depending on storage conditions.
What Is The Best Way To Store A Tent Long-Term?
Everyone loves to talk about what type of tent they have and how they use it, but few people like to discuss the best ways to store one. Below we have shared with you the best way to store your tent if you plan on keeping it stored for a long time.
If you follow the three steps we have provided, you are unlikely to have any problems storing your tent for a long time:
1. Clean Your Tent
The first step to ensure your tent survives being stored for a long time involves cleaning your tent. It is often incredibly easy to roll up your tent and place it in a garage or attic without cleaning it.
Usually, the worst thing you can do is to store your tent while it is covered in dirt and mud without cleaning it, as this is one sure-fire way to ruin your investment. If you store your tent and it is covered in sand, sap, leaves, and even animal scat, it will not last long in storage.
These elements will quicken the fabric of your tent’s deterioration timeframe and leave you with an irreparably damaged tent in a short amount of time.
Fortunately, the process of cleaning your tent is easy to do and doesn’t require many materials. As an added benefit, you will likely be pleased to learn that cleaning your tent won’t take you as long as you might think.
All you need to clean your tent is a mild non-detergent soap, a soft sponge, some water, a hose, and a bucket. You’re going to want to start with the inside first and clean it out using your soapy mixture to clean any dirt or stained spots away.
After cleaning the inside, you will need to clean the outside the same way, but you can use a hose to wash it down. Yet remember to set your hose to a low temperature as if it is set too high, you risk damaging your tent.
Try not to forget about cleaning the zippers of your tent. To clean your zippers, all you need is an old toothbrush and brush along the zipper’s seams. Yet take care as you don’t want to rub too hard and break your zips.
2. Hang It Up To Dry Completely
After cleaning your tent, you must hang it up to dry completely.
If you store your tent while it’s damp, you will experience problems with mildew and mold. Storing your tent while it’s wet will also seriously damage its waterproofing properties and could cause your tent’s waterproof coating to de-laminate.
To dry your tent, all you need to do is hang it up on a line in the shade. You don’t want to dry your tent in direct sunlight because even though it would be faster, you will be exposing it to UV rays which could cause damage.
If you don’t have a yard to hand your drying tent on a line, you can dry it on a stairwell railing, a door, or a few chairs.
Don’t dry your tent in a dryer. If there are no drying spots, you need only take a towel and dry them. Trust us, drying your tent before storing it for the long term will ensure it lasts longer in storage.
3. Store It In A Cool And Dry Environment
The last step you need to follow if you want to ensure your tent lasts while being stored for a long time is to store it in a cool and dry environment.
Many campers make the common mistake of storing their tent wherever is the most convenient, and often this will be a garage, a car boot, or an attic. These places are not ideal because they are not cool or dry and have high moisture readings.
That’s why storing it in a dry shed, in a basement, or another area that remains cool and dry is a better idea. A dry area will discourage vermin and the development of mold or mildew.
How Do I Make Sure My Tent Lasts Longer In Storage?
Now that you know the best way to store your tent for the long term, you need to learn a few ways you can make your tent last longer in storage:
Make Sure Pests Cannot Get Access To It
One of the biggest enemies of a tent in storage is pests. Often mice, rats, and bugs can gain access to a tent that is not stored correctly.
When they gain access to your tent, they will chew holes in it and make nests which will cause damage and expose your tent to the elements. That’s why you should opt to store your tent in a sealed box or up high away from rodents and other pests.
Ensure The Tent Is Stored Loosley
Most tents will come with a specific storing bag, but you should try not to use it if possible.
We know that might sound like an odd request, but you’re often better off storing your tent loosely as it avoids compressing the tent when it is being stored for a long time. Your tent is made with fabrics that need to breathe and be loosely relaxed (yes, we know it’s not a sentient being).
A tent that is not rolled tight won’t stretch, crack, or tear.
So if you have a large enough pillowcase, you should store your tent loosely within it. You can stuff your tent into the pillowcase or loosely fold it or roll it and place it inside of one. Once it’s in a pillowcase or similar storage solution, you can store it somewhere dry and cool where pests can’t gain access to it.
Use Silica Gel Packages
This next tip is convenient and works well for those who have no choice but to store their tent in a high moisture environment.
When storing your tent, you can use silica gel packages that you can place inside a tent to suck away any moisture and keep the tent dry. Silica gel packages are not expensive and can be bought at many stores.
Yet, if you choose to use these, you need to keep them away from animals and children as they are poisonous if consumed.
Store Your Poles And Fabric Separately
Storing your poles and fabric together can damage the fabric of your tent.
To prevent your poles from damaging your tent’s fabric while in storage, all you need to do is store the poles and material in different locations. However, note where you keep the poles and fabric because you don’t want to forget where one component is when you want to take your tent out of storage.
How Do I Check If A Tent Is Alright After A Long-Time Storage?
When it comes time to take your tent out of a long-term storage arrangement, you’re likely wondering how to check if it is still alright.
Luckily, checking if a tent is still in good condition is not difficult and can be done quickly.
Have a quick look below to learn more about how you can check if your tent is still usable:
If your tent has metal zippers, you need to look for rust, and if there is rust, you will have to clean the zippers with a mild rust solvent.
Yet, take care not to get this solvent on the tent fabric.
Check Plastic Parts:
If your tent has any plastic parts, you need to check if the plastic has gotten brittle while being in storage.
If the plastic parts are brittle, you will need to replace them.
Check the Fabric:
Carefully check the fabric of your tent for mold or mildew.
You also need to check if there are any rips or holes in the tent.
It might not seem important, but you need to check all elastic parts, loops, and cords as often these parts of a tent need replacing after being in storage for a long time.
You also need to check if your tent is still waterproof by running a hose over it once you have assembled it.
Make sure you check the seams when doing this. If there is any leakage, you can use a waterproofing spray on your tent.