Monday, June 13, 2011

Caring For Your Canvas Tent

Canvas tents are made by various companies and each of these companies supply the new tent owner with cleaning instructions for their specific make of tent. However, there are some basic care instructions that work equally well with any brand of canvas tent on the market.

Immediately after purchasing

As soon as you purchase your new tent, or at least before that first camping trip you should assemble the tent in your yard. This not only allows you to have a dry run through of pitching the tent but allows you to check and make sure all the necessary pieces and parts are there. If you have any missing parts, contact the store you purchased your tent from and ask what they are going to do about it.

Once your tent is assembled, give it a complete and thorough soaking with water. Canvas tents are made a little larger than the frame to allow for shrinkage the first time they are wet. Shrinking them now will tighten the canvas the way it should be.

Allow your tent to thoroughly dry before putting it away.

Cleaning Your Tent

The best way to clean a canvas tent is to give it a thorough sweeping both inside and out, making sure all dust and dirt is cleaned off it. If it is necessary to wash part of your tent to remove soiled areas then use clear water and a brush.

Most canvas tents are specially treated and using detergents can damage these treatments that add protection to your tent.

Storing Your Tent

Make sure your tent is completely dry before storing it even for a short period of time. It doesn't take long for a damp tent to start to mold and mildew and then your tent may be permanently damaged.

You will also want to store your tent in an area free from mice and other small rodents. Rodents will chew on anything and your canvas tent might seem like an ideal snack or even breeding area for mice, chipmunks, and squirrels that manage to make their way into your storage shed or garage.

If you are storing your tent in an area that might be exposed to small rodents, it might be wise to invest in a metal trunk that will provide your tent additional protection.


Do purchase a tarp or rainfly to place over your tent. This rainfly will help shield your tent from the ultraviolet rays, and help guard the roof against rain and snow. It will also extend the drip line of your roof keeping the outside of tent walls dryer.

Most canvas tents will not ever need to be retreated but, if yours does make sure you use camp dri or some other product made especially for tents.


You should never spray insecticides or bug sprays directly on your canvas. Doing so may eat away the protective coating on the canvas.

Following these and the manufacturer's care instructions and your canvas tent will increase its life and give you many more happy camping memories.

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