Tent tips

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Life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself - these are some good tips from people who have made the mistakes.

1. Before use - get to know you tent.

Practice pitching the tent and check all the components are present.

2. Pitching - Select a suitable flat spot
3. Zips and pegs - Drive in the pegs at a right angle to the pull of the guy to get a good grip in the soil.

When possible peg down in line with the seam of the canvas.
Never use the rubber guy loops to pull out the pegs - rather use another peg.

4. Zips - treat them gently - never force them. Take the strain off them by cross pegging at the base.

Keep closed when not in use.
Metal zips can be waxed if they become stiff to use, nylon ones do not need attention provided the teeth are kept clean.
Close zips before folding your tent.

5. Wet weather - if it rains make sure you and your belongings don't touch the tent fabric - this may allow water to seep in. Cotton fabrics may let in a fine spray on first wetting after a hot spell until the fibres swell and close up the weave. Rain or dew will tighten the canvas and you may need to reposition the pegs near the doorway zips become difficult to close.
6. Dry weather - All fabrics including tent cloths can be weakened by prolonged exposure to strong sunlight and fading can occur. With normal holiday and weekend use a tent will have many years of life, but if it is left standing for several months in a sunny climate, degradation can take place.
7.Condensation - happens especially in nylon (synthetic fibre) tents Don’t confuse with leaking. The droplets of water moisture from the air and your breath forms on the inside of the tent as the temperature falls, i.e. during the night. Increasing the ventilation in the tent helps.
8. Fire! - Keep naked flames and gas appliances away from tent materials. NEVER change gas supplies or refuel paraffin stoves inside the tent and keep well away from naked flames and don’t smoke.

Don’t cook inside small tents and avoid oilsplashes. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If the tent catches alight, drop the tent to the ground quickly by removing the poles.

9. Striking camp - If possible pack up when the tent is dry. Scrape or brush off any mud or grass from the tent, groundsheet and poles. Fold carefully with zips closed to the size of the carrying bag(s) and roll up towards the door to let air escape. If you have to pack up when the tent is wet, it should be FULLY erected and pegged out under tension as soon as possible and allowed to dry thoroughly – especially on the seams. Failure to do this may result in MILDEW – a cotton tent’s worst enemy.
10. Mildew - Mildew is a fungus which attacks cotton only in a wet or damp condition when stored. Eventually it will rot the cloth completely if not checked. Any early signs should be treated. Dry out thoroughly and air well, brush carefully, and re-proof the area if necessary.

Sever cases may need to be cut out and patched or panel replaced.

11. Storage - When not in use, tents are best stored opened

out but always in a cool, dry, light and well-aired place. If this is not possible, give the tent a good airing on a sunny, dry day at least once or twice during the winter. Never store if damp. Always pack poles and pegs carefully to avoid damaging canvas or ground sheet in transit.

12. Maintenance - Dirt and stains can be removed either by brushing or by gentle washing with a mild soap solution – never use detergents, and don’t scrub.

Rinse well and dry. Re-proof only if necessary. If tent fabrics start to leak or wear thin, seams or panels can be re-proofed with any proprietary spray, solution or wax. Such products give full instructions. Small holes and tears should be patched, eyelets checked and renewed if necessary.

13. Optional Extras - Don’t forget, there is a range of extras for your extra comfort; a flysheet for a ridge tent or angle poles to replace an upright. Lounge groundsheets and awnings can add considerably to your comfort.
14. A Final Note - Don’t forget, there is a range of extras for your

extra comfort; a flysheet for a ridge tent or angle poles to replace an upright. Lounge groundsheets and awnings can add considerably to your comfort.

See Also