How to pitch a tent and take care of it
The purchase of a tent is just the first one of the many wonderful experiences you’ll remember for your entire life. To make sure the tent brings you as many of those experiences as possible and remains in a good condition, you should take a good care of it. We’ll advise you on how to do it.
Choosing the spot for pitching a tent
So where to place it? The answer is simple: a flat surface free of stones, roots, and other objects is ideal for pitching a tent. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and so it’s sometimes rather hard to find such a spot.
LOAP tip: If you’re pitching a tent on a hill, place it in a way so that the entrance aims downwards. This will prevent a night-rain water from getting inside.
Sometimes, you need to clean the spot from twigs, cones, etc. Of course, the result will never be perfect but you must get rid of the worst trouble-makers so that you don’t have to worry too much about the floor of the tent. And you definitely don’t want to feel like the princess who slept on a pea, and stay awake the whole night because a rock is pressing into your back.
If you’re pitching a tent for the first time, be patient and don’t apply force on the individual parts; you might damage them.
LOAP tip: Unpack the tent at home and try to pitch it as a practice run.
Protect the tent from direct sunlight
Flat surface isn’t the only thing you should keep in mind. Protecting the tent from UV radiation is also important. You might want to get a nice tan, but UV radiation reduces the lifespan of the tent’s rainproof layer. We recommend to place the tent somewhere where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Covering the short distance to water certainly won’t be a problem for you.;-)
Lay out the tent and let it dry as much as possible
While you’re travelling, diligently air the tent out. Do this especially after you wake up. That’s because humidity condenses inside the tent overnight and clings to the walls.
The same goes for cases when the tent gets rained on. Airing the tent out properly is necessary. Unless you let the tent dry, it starts to stink and might even cause mildew. You definitely don’t want to spend the night with this guest. :-)
Of course, a situation will come when you have to hurriedly pack the tent during rain. In that case, it’s very difficult to let anything dry. If you have enough space in your car – free backseats, for example – you can partly lay the tent out there. Unfortunately, one usually doesn’t have so much space, and so inside the sack the tent goes. There’s no need to worry about this too much, but once you arrive at your destination, you must immediately lay the tent out and let it dry. If you have enough space, it’s good to pitch the tent once again and air it out this way. If you don’t have so much space, just put the tent on a clothes horse.
LOAP tip: Once at home, lay out the tent even if you let it dry before you packed it, and let it really dry.
Keep the tent clean
Every camping must end and after this happens, the time comes to clean everything up. Before you pack the tent, make the effort to remove all impurities. Small impurities might not be visible at first glance, and so people usually just pack the tent and unpack it only at the start of the next season. This isn’t good for the tent and can decrease its functionality.
Take a sponge or a soft rag and wash the flysheet with lukewarm water. Then clean the floor, but remove large stains first. People often brings leaves, needles, and other natural treasures inside the tent – and let’s not even mention all the unwelcome guests whose dead bodies lie around in the corners. As soon as you get all this filth out, wash the floor just as you did the flysheet. Then, let the tent dry.
LOAP tip: Don’t wash the tent in the washing machine.
Sand and dust particles get everywhere and are a strain on zippers as well. Small impurities are easily removable with an old tooth or hand brush. If you think the zippers aren’t working smoothly, wax them and they’ll be as good as new. Wash the dirt from tent pegs with warm water and a sponge or brush.
Last-resort kit or fix the tent yourself
Whether you like it or not, sometimes a hole appears in your tent. It can be anywhere and cause all sorts of mischief. You have to stop it as soon as possible. You can deal with small tears yourself. All you need to do is bring along a last-resort kit for fixing tents. It can be purchased in a store with sports equipment, and usually contains patches and glue. It’s good to add a waterproof duct tape.
Lost tent peg or broken rod? Never mind
Be honest – how many pegs do you lose per season? And how many of them are so bent they can no longer be used? It’s sad, but no tragedy. You can find spare pegs in the basic equipment of any of our tents. A spare peg set can also be purchased in large stores with sports equipment.
Sets with spare tent rods are a more complicated matter because the length of rods differs, depending on the manufacturer. It’s ideal to purchase spare tent rods from the same manufacturer who made your entire tent. Our current range offers these spare tent rods.
LOAP tip: You can fix laminated rods yourself. Read a detailed guide here.