There’s nothing like a leaky tent to put a dampener on your camping experience. But since when did you let rain get in the way of an escape to the great outdoors? As we head into summer (and storm season), you’ll want to take some extra care to keep your campsite dry and your spirits high. Learn how to waterproof your tent and get your gear ready to enjoy your camping adventure, come rain or shine.

Check Your Tent Every Time:

While most tents are made of waterproof – or at least water-resistant – materials, that doesn’t always mean you’re guaranteed to be safe from the dreaded drip, drip, drip during a downpour.

Spend some time checking your tent for potential seeping or leaking spots. Have a good look at the seams and zippers to ensure everything is in good nick.

For real peace of mind, set up your tent in the backyard before your trip and give it a good spray with the hose to test it out. Check the inside of the tent for any leaking through the seams or seeping through the fabric. The water should be beading and rolling off your tent, not soaking into it.

Use a Rain Fly and Ground Cloth:

A rain fly can be a real lifesaver when the heavens open up. This outer layer does a great job at protecting your tent from wind and rain during storms. It can also help prevent humidity and condensation inside your tent as it allows you to open your windows for ventilation – without the fear of rain coming in. Just as handy for wet-weather camping, a ground cloth provides added protection between your tent floor and the ground. The ground cloth shouldn’t extend beyond the edges of your tent or it can actually end up collecting rainwater.

How to Waterproof a Tent:

A reliable waterproof tent is a must-have for dry nights during storm season. Even brand-new tents can benefit from additional waterproofing (some manufacturers may only waterproof key areas of the tent), so it’s important to know how to waterproof a tent even if you’ve just bought yours. These steps also work to waterproof canvas, so if you’re looking for the best way to waterproof a canvas tent, rain fly or shelter, we’ve got you covered. Just be sure to always check the waterproofing products to ensure they’re compatible with your gear’s material/s.

Clean and Let Dry:

Firstly, you’ll want to get rid of any dust and dirt by gently cleaning your tent with soapy water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Once you’ve washed your tent, let it dry completely. It’s best to wash your tent on a warm, sunny day to encourage a quick dry.

Seal the Seams:

Tent seams are often the first spot to leak, so tackle those bad boys with a seam sealer to fill any holes in the stitching and create a waterproof barrier. Remove the rain fly for easier access to your seals and apply a thin layer of sealant. Some products instruct you to seal the seams on the inside and outside of the tent, so always refer to the instructions for best results. Once you’ve sealed the tent seams, seal your rain fly seams. If you notice the old sealant peeling off, remove it with rubbing alcohol before applying the new sealant. Use a Water Repellent on the Floor, Walls and Fly. Once the sealant is dry, it’s time to whip out the water repellent and give your tent a good spray. Spray the tent floor first, using a slightly damp cloth to distribute the product evenly and wipe up any excess. Do the same to the tent fabric/body, then the rain fly. Allow to dry before use. Trust us – you don’t want to skip the floor. A waterproof tent floor is just as essential for dry bedding and a comfy night’s sleep.

How to Waterproof a Swag:

If you’re camping with a swag, you’ll want to make sure it’s been weathered/seasoned and waterproofed before heading out. You can waterproof your canvas swag with these easy steps:

  1. Weather/season your swag by soaking it with a hose, targeting the seams/stitching. Allow to dry completely, then repeat 3 times. This process makes the stitching swell to fill the needle hole around it, preventing water from leaking in.

  2. Once you’ve done this 3 times, look for any leaks that may still be present. Allow to dry and seal from the inside to fill any holes.

  3. Spray the fabric with a water repellent and allow to dry before use.

Got a few camping trips on the calendar this summer?  Gear up for your next outdoor adventure with our quality tents and swags.