Caring for your Tent
Canvas is the ultimate material for camping, bar none. However, like everything good in life it requires some care and maintenance. As my Dad used to say "you only get out what you put in!". Here are our top tips for keeping your tent going strong for many years to come.
1. If you only follow one rule, this is the one. Never pack your tent away damp. All of our tents are treated for mould resistance, but this is primarily designed to stop mould from taking hold while the tent is erected. If all that moisture is packed away inside a bag and left for more than 24-48 hours, then even the best treatments on the market will not help. Mould is a fact of life, how you go about dealing with it can extend the life of the tent by years, or reduce it by a similar period. If you must pack the tent away damp (after a huge downpour for example) then ensure you hang it out to dry within 24 hours or when you get home from your camping trip. If you have space at home, erecting the tent in your garden is the best way of drying it out. Just remember, heat, sunlight and air are the enemies of mould!
2. Don't place undue strain on the zips and fasteners. When you erect the tent, make sure all zips are done up. This way, when you unzip the tent, there will be enough slack in the canvas to allow you to zip them up again. There's nothing more annoying than having to re-pitch your tent because the door won't zip up! Also, make sure you lubricate your zips occasionally with silicone lubricant to ensure they run smoothly. You can also brush the zips from time to time with an old, dry toothbrush to remove debris.
3. Do not use the guy ropes or fabric pitch points to remove pegs from the ground. Always use a specially designed peg extractor (many camping mallets have this on the other end of the handle) or simply use another peg.
4. Do not pitch the tent on sharp stones, rocks or tree roots. These sort of objects can pierce the groundsheet and give bugs and water an entry point.
5. Whilst pitched, try to keep the canvas as clean as you can. We never go camping without a good soft bristle brush to brush off leaves, bird droppings and dirt. This will save you many hours of cleaning down the track.
6. Seasoning. There is a bit of misinformation out there about this one. Basically when canvas gets made there are microscopic holes in the weave which can let small amounts of water through. Many companies recommend that you season or wet the tent before its first outing. We think this is overkill. The tent will get its first "natural" seasoning when it rains. At this point you may notice a few drops coming through but it's really not worth the hassle of setting up the tent, wetting it and then drying it again. However if you have time, then be our guest!