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Love Your Bell Tent

The Big Adventure

Many campers spend ages selecting their canvas tent, choosing the right size looking for those little-hidden extras that really suit their glamping style. Camping trips can create wonderful memories with friends and family and have your tent in good condition can be an integral part of the success of any trip. With some care and attention, your tent will become a faithful friend that will stick with you for many years. There are a few things you can do to help maximise your tents lifetime.

1. Before You Go.

When you first receive your tent, it is advisable to practice pitching before you go on a trip. Learning to pitch your tent correctly will help to minimise any wear and tear the tent may receive during the process of erecting it outdoors.

Before setting off on your holiday it is a great idea to pitch up in the back garden and take the time to check your tent for signs of wear and tear. This gives you ample opportunity to check that all of its parts are present and in good working order. It’s always better to find out you’ve lost your tent pegs or damaged a pole at home rather than on a campsite in the middle of nowhere.

2. Carry Spare Parts With You.

Try to pack spare parts such as pegs, guy ropes, seam tape and sealant. Any spare patches of fabric and groundsheet that you have are also used to carry with you. With a canvas tent having a needle and thread and some duct tape in your kit is always a good idea. Carrying spares will mean you can repair your tent while you are away and can prevent any damage from potentially getting worse or becoming permanent.

3. Care For Your Tents Zips.

As zips receive regular wear and tear you need to pay special attention to their care. Brushing your tents zippers with a clean, dry toothbrush can help to keep them running smoothly.

DO NOT FORCE ZIPPERS!

If there is a fold in the fabric caught in the zipper, work to gently free it. Lubricating your zippers can also be a helpful preventative measure that can be done before you go or when you are actually there.

4. Separate Your Pegs And Poles.

When travelling try to keep tent poles and tent pegs stored separately and away from the tent in their own bags. This helps avoid poles or pegs damaging the canvas or groundsheet whilst in transit or storage.

5. Get An Awning.

Some people choose to have an awning at the front of their tent, and if you do you should try to utilize as much as possible. Items like shoes should be left in the awning area when entering your tent and never worn inside. Soles of your shoes can bring in sharp twigs and small stones which can pierce your tents groundsheet.

Food left lying around inside can attract hungry little animals in search of a snack! Be aware that small animals like mice can chew through your tent’s fabric in search of food. An awning is one of the best camping accessories you can buy.

6. The Perfect Pitch.

Taking the time to pitch your tent properly is one of the best ways to preserve it.

A well-pitched tent is more stable than one that’s poorly pitched, and taught canvas will flap less in the wind, which means there’s less chance of tent poles breaking or fabric tearing.

Poles come under great tension during pitching, so ensure they are fully connected before fitting. Always use all the guyropes as these contribute to the overall stability of the tent. Guyropes increase the strength of the tent, particularly in bad weather. Pitching correctly also involves finding a good spot to put it up. Before you put your tent up find a pitch (away from trees which could cause damage from sap) and remove any sticks and sharp stones from the ground so they don’t pierce the groundsheet.

7. Prepare Your Tent For Packing Away.

When putting your tent away and before putting your tent into its bag, shorten all the guy lines as much as possible in order to prevent tangling.

Most importantly, remove any twigs, grass, leaves and small stones that may have made their way inside your tent before packing it away; damp grass left inside the tent can quickly create mould. Simple care like this will help you prevent wear and stop more serious damage occurring.

8. Rolling Up.

There’s some debate about whether you should stuff your tent into its bag or take the time to roll it up properly. What is certain is that your tent should never be folded up and put away. Over time, folding your tent will cause creases in the fabric and weak spots to develop. It can also damage its waterproof coating. If you are a ‘stuffer’ one tip is to keep your tents doors at the top of the bag so they go into the bag last. Doing this will allow air trapped inside your tent to escape more easily.

9. Storing Your Tent Properly.

When you get home from a trip take your tent out of its bag and ensure that it’s well aired and totally dry before storing it away. This will help prevent mold forming. To speed up the process, hang your tent up indoors so that air can circulate.

After airing your tent and making sure its dry, It’s best to store your tent in a dry cool and well-ventilated place. If you store your tent in its bag check it’s thoroughly dry before doing so.

We can’t say it enough – if you pack away a cotton tent when it’s still damp, mildew will start forming immediately.

Also, keep pegs in their own bag so you don’t lose them. Admittedly, this can be a bit of a pain and isn’t the easiest thing to do if you live in a one-bedroom flat, however, doing so will extend the life of your tent for many seasons to come.