Tent storage may not be something you think about often, but for most of us, your tent will actually spend 70-90% of its life packed up! If you’re not following proper precautions during teardown and long-term storage, all this time spent improperly stored can really eat away at its lifespan. Here are our top tips on storing a tent to make sure you’re not having to replace your tent/poles year after year.
We know storing a tent isn’t a fun job after a long adventure. Yet, however tempting it may be to toss your gear haphazardly in the trunk so you can rush home to jump in the shower or unwind on the couch, there’s two things you should seriously consider before calling it a day.
Dry & Clean Your Tent
If you only follow one piece of advice from this article, let it be this one. Making sure your tent is completely dry and cleaned of major debris is essential to protecting the waterproof coating, zipper function, and just overall enjoyability of the tent. Our advice is to treat your tent like you would your laundry. You would never leave a sweater outside in the dirt and rain, then leave it crumpled in a corner to dry for a month until you wear it next! Bring an extra towel whenever you plan on hitting the campgrounds for an initial wipe down of the whole tent before packing up.
The Drive Back
If you have the available space, we recommend leaving your tent outside of the carrying case. This loose storage allows it to breathe during the drive home, instead of holding onto any dirt or moisture you missed during the teardown. However, we understand space can be a hot commodity when you’re packing for a longer time out, so below is our walkthrough to storing your tent in the included carrying case.
1. Lay the tent out completely flat and fold in half
2. Fold your tent’s rainfly and lay at the top edge of your tent
3. Disassemble your tent poles and insert them into their carrying case. Lay your tent poles, pegs, and any other accessories in the center of the rainfly
4. Roll tightly
5. Use the two included straps to keep the tent tightly rolled while inside the case
When You Get Home
Re-Check Your Clean
After you return home, if you used the included carrying case, we recommend taking it out to inspect for any water or debris you may have missed, and cleaning with cold water and a non-detergent soap. If you have gathered any debris in the zippers, you can run them over with a toothbrush, rough side of a sponge, or any other soft bristle you may have.
Long-Term Tent Storage
Once your tent is completely clean and dry, the best place to keep it is loosely stored in a cool, dry place. If you have the room, leave the poles fully set up to reduce tension on the shock cords. If you must break them down, do so starting from the middle section and work out to the ends. Make sure wherever you choose to store is climate controlled. Leaving your gear out in a trunk or shed can seriously shorten the lifespan.
Interested in more tent care tips? Check out our article on Tent Care 101.
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