Among the most important supplies you bring with you camping is your tent. It’s what protects you from bad weather, provides you with comfort and privacy, and serves as your home away from home when spending time in the Great Outdoors. If you camp regularly, you know just how important shelter maintenance is. Cleaning and repairing your tent regularly increases its lifespan which saves you money and time shopping for new camp gear.

Here are some things you’ll want to know to keep your tent in the best possible shape it can be in this camping season:

  • Remove mildew easily. If a tent is stored while it is still wet, damage occurs. The waterproof coating becomes mildewed and may even have an odor. To remove the unsightly mess, use a solution consisting of 10 parts water with one part bleach. Spray it onto the mildewed area and wipe with a clean sponge. Make sure to let the tent dry completely before putting it away so you don’t encounter the same issue twice.
  • Get rid of dried on tree sap. There are a number of ways to do this according to REI. One is to use an ice cube to make the substance cold and hard. You then break it off or peel it from the surface of your tent. If that doesn’t work and you have access to an iron, you can create a ‘sandwich’ with the tent and two paper bags. Run the iron over the top paper bag until the sap heats up and transfers to the paper. This, of course, is easier to do when you’re home and have access to electricity.
  • Fix a hole quickly. Use duct tape to cover any tears or snags in your tent’s material. This keeps you from experiencing the elements in an unpleasant way. You can also use a sealant designed to take care of leaks and drips. It adds to the waterproof nature of the nylon.

Don’t be stuck in the rain with a leaky tent. Address potential problems with your shelter right away. It makes the overall camping experience more pleasant for you and your family.