Bell tents have become highly popular for many reasons. They are easy to set up, they circulate air really well, they’re beautiful, spacious and breathable.
Bell tents are not your quick, make-do polyester tent - they’re far more luxurious! So, if you’ve invested in a bell tent, you’ll want to make sure you're taking care of it properly. Here are some of our best tips on how to care for your bell tent.
Allow Plenty Of Time
It’s not easy to rip a canvas bell tent, but we can bet if you’re going to do it then it will happen when you’re putting the tent up. Especially if you’re in a hurry. Although bell tents are actually very simple and quick to put up, rushing the process is not advisable.
Firstly, ensure you’ve picked a good spot and check it over for stones or anything else sharp which may be on the ground, before you lay your groundsheet. Take your time with zips, avoiding forcing them if they do get stuck and ensure that your pole is properly slotted together before you centre it within the tent. Also, take your time with the guy ropes. The tauter your tent, the less it will blow in the wind. If you're staying for multiple days then check and re-tighten your guy ropes daily.
Always travel with your spare parts. It’s to easy to forget these, realise you’re missing a couple of pegs, erect the tent without them and then the tent gets damaged because it’s not been properly put up.
With bell tents, there are not many components, yet each one is essential. Pack your spare parts as a back up for if anything is misplaced.
Thoroughly Dry Your Tent
This is probably the one drawback you’ll hear with canvas bell tents. Although the material is wonderful in terms of breathability, aesthetics and air circulation, it must be properly cared for. This mainly means ensuring that it is thoroughly dried out before you pack it away.
Even if it hasn’t rained, morning dew may have made your tent moist and if you store it this way then it will result in mildew. If you’re in a rush to get on the road after your camping trip though, it isn’t a problem. Simply put your tent back up in the garden when you get home, to finish drying it out. Another benefit of it being so easy to put up!
Packing Away Properly
Packing away your bell tent is even easier than putting it up. Just a couple of things to remember. Firstly, tie your guy ropes back up, loosely knotting each one up. This will prevent tangling which can be the difference between a ten-minute and half-hour set up next time you use your tent. Secondly, though there is some argument as to whether to stuff your bell tent into the bag or to roll it up, what we can be sure of is that it’s not a good idea to fold it. Any material folded for any length of time will form creases, which are not ideal in a bell tent. We recommend rolling your bell tent back up before placing it back in the carry bag.
Re-waterproof Your Tent
Unless you’re using your tent for very long periods of time, you’ll hardly ever need to re-waterproof it. However, if you do notice more transparent areas it may be worth treating your tent to a top-up. It’s not anywhere near as tricky as it sounds. You’ll need to purchase some silicone spray and we recommend using a dry bristle brush on your erected tent to remove any dirt beforehand. The spray is then very easy to use. Just ensure you leave enough time for your tent to dry.
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