Lockdown Tips For The Outdoor Camping Enthusiast

Lockdown Tips For The Outdoor Camping Enthusiast

Posted by Admin on

As we prepare to stay home during the lockdown, here are a few tips to keep you busy through your isolation period. Many of us have lots of free time, this is the best time to give your camping kit some TLC. As soon as the lockdown is over the first thing you will want to do is grab your tent and immerse yourself in the outdoor world again.

Air Out Your Tent

Dig out your tent and pitch it in the garden.

Avoid sleeping in a mouldy tent on your next camping trip. Any damp or moisture in a stored tent will lead to mould build-up. Unless your tent has been put away bone dry, stored in a well-vented dry area then there is a chance it needs to be aired out. If your tent has even just been stored away for a long time, not airing it can be unhealthy for you and the tent. Breathing in mould particles is not ideal but it can also smell bad, something that can easily be fixed by airing it out during this period of settled weather. So let it breath, the last thing you want on your first outing after lockdown is a fousty tent! 

Airing out your tent ensures the fabric doesn’t deteriorate and rip the next time you set it up. Brush away any dirt and give it a wipe down. Check the corners and seams to make sure they are sealed properly. If you notice any tape coming away from seams, this will need to be repaired to maintain the waterproofing.

Leave it out for a few hours to allow some airflow around the tent or just leave it pitched in your garden for some extra outdoor space while the lockdown is on. Ideal for a temporary house extension!

Cleaning Your Tent

If your tent has been well used, or even stored poorly, it may be worth giving your tent a bath. Regular cleaning and reproofing with Nikwax improves performance allowing your gear to work better for longer. 

For Smaller Tents

Fill your bathtub or any large bucket with warm water and add the Nikwax Tech Wash. This product is a non-detergent soap which can be used regularly to clean any waterproof clothing and equipment without damaging the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings. Use this product instead of detergents or washing powder as these will strip away the waterproof coating/membranes and damage the material.

After cleaning the tent you will need to re-proof it with the Nikwax Direct Wash In which will add water-repellency and revives breathability to fabrics without wicking liners.

For Larger Tents

Let's be honest, wrestling your family tent into a bath might not be the easiest thing to do. Pitch your tent in a suitable space and fill a bucket with warm water and Nikwax Techwash. Simply take a sponge and wipe down your tent, making sure to remove any marks or mould as you go. This may involve you going into the tent and repeating there depending on how marked it is. Pitching your tent will also allow you to see if areas may only need a spot clean.

To keep your tent in good condition:

  • A footprint will keep the groundsheet protected and clean. This, in turn, will make your tent last longer and also is easier to clean than having to sort the base of your tent.
  • Always dry your tent well before storing, cleaning off any dirt. 
  • We do not recommend that you wash any tent in a washing machine as this risks damaging the machine and the tent. 

Reproof Your Tent

The biggest cause of a tent degrading and losing its waterproofing is down to UV rays from the sun. Over time, this dries out the material and breaks apart the membrane or waterproof coating. It is easy to see when your tent needs reproofed though and also easy to treat.

Pitch your tent and make sure it is clean (See section above). If you are looking to test the waterproofness, simply spray/soak the tent with water. If your tent is still performing well, water will bead and roll off the tent. If you see dark patches appear on the material, this is a clear indicator that the material is allowing water ingress and is no longer fully waterproof.

To re-proof your tent we recommend using Nikwax Tent and Gear Solar Proof Spray. Before using this, make sure you have sprayed your tent down with water before working your way around each panel spraying it, wiping down any white residue and then leave to dry. By wetting the tent first, it will draw the reproofing solution further into the material and allow it to last longer. This spray can also be used on any backpacks and other outdoor use waterproof material.

NB - It is always handy to bring your reproofer with you on your camping trip, as you can top up areas on the go!  

Repair your tent

Don’t let the rain ruin your camping trip.
If you have water leaking in the tent it is essential you locate where it is coming from. If it is coming straight through a pannel then you can simply reproof it. However, if you see water ingress from a seam then it is likely they are needing to be sealed. If a tent is stored damp, seam tape may crack and peel off, this is an obvious sign that the waterproof coating has now failed. Don't worry though, Mcnett has several repair products to help fix your tent up. Seam Grip WP is a tent seam sealer that goes above and beyond to help reseal any damaged sections as well keep moisture out.

Waterproof fabric tape is also a lifesaver when it comes to tents. It can help instantly seal any leaking seams as well as patch any surprise tears or rips you come across. Be sure to pack away your tent properly to avoid any unnecessary tears or rips.

Condensation

What if you wake up and find the inside of your tent wet to the touch without it even raining? Even if it has rained, condensation can confuse a lot of campers, making them think that the tent has suddenly sprung a leak all over!

Unfortunately, this is one thing all tents will fail at stopping. If a tent is designed to keep water out, it will also keep any moisture in. There are a number of reasons why condensation happens, from the damp grass you pitched the tent on to the heavy breathing dog (or person) inside the tent. So before you go camping, have a look at Vango's amazing post about condensation:

https://www.vango.co.uk/gb/blog/how-to-prevent-condensation-in-tents.html

I hope these tips will help pass the days by quickly and have got you excited for the fun times ahead.

Stay Safe Everyone!

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