Your new tent is an investment that will provide many years happy camping if you look after and store it properly.

The best way to avoid lengthy tent cleaning and repair is to make sure it is dry and clean when you pack it away at the end of each holiday.

Sweep out grass and leaves from inside your inner tent, secure guy lines and fold the tent as neatly as possible. When you’re camping, take a spare plastic sheet (or Ikea bag or the boot liner from your car!) to store shoes and boots on to avoid your tent becoming muddy and damp smelling.

Packing away your tent

If the inner and outer of your tent pack together as one unit, make sure that the clean fabric parts of the tent are folded together to prevent the outside groundsheet ‘mucky’ parts from making the fabric of your tent dirty. If the insides are removable and can pack separately, keep them in a separate bag to keep them clean. Likewise, wipe mud from dirty tent pegs as you remove them from the ground, and store tent pegs in a separate smaller bag to prevent them from becoming lost or causing damage to your tent. When folding your groundsheet or tent footprint use a tea towel or soft cloth to wipe away mud, dew and bugs as you roll it back up. If your tent is damp when you pack it away, it could quickly become mouldy by the next time you use it, so it’s important to dry it in the garden as soon as you get home.

Store your tent in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing your tent poles on their end, lay flat to avoid damage to the poles.

Reproofing

Every few seasons you might need to reproof your tent, especially if you’ve been camping in lots of wet weather. Signs to watch for are if your tent starts to develop damp patches, if condensation starts to form on the inside of your tent, if water droplets don’t roll off your tent, or you don’t feel it is as waterproof as before. There are a range of products available from outdoor camping supplies stores or maybe even the camp shop on your camping site. These can easily be applied either at home or once you’re already on holiday, so don’t panic that it’s time to pack up and come home!

To prolong the proofing of your tent, avoid using any detergents on your tent as this will reduce the fabrics waterproofing. This includes bubbles that the kids blow and even laundry detergent residues on damp towels, if you hang your towel on the tent to dry, for example.

Tears and patches

If your tent or groundsheet has a small tear while you’re on holiday, duct tape is a great quick fix that will hold until you get home and have chance to repair it properly. Many new tents come with adhesive tent repair patches, alternatively these can be purchased from outdoor and camping shops. Seam sealant is ideal for damage along the seams of your tent, or if the seams begin to leak (especially if the weather has been particularly wet!) although this is best left to dry for a few days after application, so don’t apply seam sealant the day before you pack up to come home from holiday.

Replacement poles

Fibre glass poles can be prone to snapping when pitching in bad weather or put under pressure. Replacement poles can be bought direct from the manufacturer as they are often specific to your tent design. Generic poles will often need to cut to the exact size. Split poles can be repaired with duct tape, and detached poles can be rethreaded with pliers, new shock cord and a little gentle patience. Pushing poles through the fabric sleeves (rather than pulling them) when pitching your tent and taking it down along will help prevent damage. Let poles collapse in the direction the cord or spring wants them to fold, do not force your poles.

Zips

Zips can become stuck if covered in mud or grass, so keep your zips clean. If your zip gets caught on the tent fabric or gets stuck, do not force it. Gently try to reverse the zip action to free any obstructions, or use a zip lubricant product (or try using beeswax) to ease the zip along.

Cleaning

If your tent is dirty and needs cleaning, use a tent wash or a mild soap mixed with water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely before packing away. Do not use washing up liquid as detergents can reduce the waterproofing of your tent fabric. Never put your tent through the washing machine.

Tent kit

If you have space, it’s a good idea to pack the following in your tent kit:

  • Duct tape
  • Dust pan and brush
  • Reproofer
  • Seam sealant
  • Needle and thick thread
  • Spare guy lines

Read our tips on how to safely pitch your tent here: ‘How to pitch your tent safely

 


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Find a Park

Search for your ideal park and visit their website to find out more.

  • Rowlands Wait Touring Park

    left quotesright quotesWonderful site was exactly everything we look for in a site, dog friendly, children friendly nice little play area, lots of space, clean facilities. Walks from site were a bonus and in an ideal location for tourist activities. Highly recommended and were made to feel very welcome by the helpful cheery owners.

    5 StarsLinda Tyson

  • Westermill Farm Holidays

    left quotesright quotesWent last year, can't wait to go back. Lovely little place. Hidden gem. Tina the owner is lovely, comes to see you before you leave. It’s the perfect little retreat. Love it.

    5 StarsEllen Candlin

  • Manor Farm Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesWent last year, can't wait to go back. Lovely little place. Hidden gem. Tina the owner is lovely, comes to see you before you leave. It’s the perfect little retreat. Love it.

    5 StarsEllen Candlin

  • Tanner Farm Park

    left quotesright quotesI love this site. It's set in beautiful surroundings and there are useful shops just down the road in the village, although I wouldn't touch the Chinese takeaway there with a barge pole (had food from there once and it was vile). The pitches are an excellent size and the park definitely doesn't feel crowded. All facilities are clean and well maintained.

    5 StarsAlan Smith

  • Silver Sands Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesOur favourite family holiday. We've been returning year after year, camping as a group of four families. The site is beautifully clean and tidy, nothing is too much trouble for the amazingly helpful owners and the location is perfect for exploring one of the most stunning parts of Cornwall. We love this place!

    5 StarsJo Cooper

  • Loch Ken Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesA lovely family friendly campsite. I imagine it's quieter out of season but even during the bank holiday weekend the facilities were clean. Very good facilities for all, great parks for the kids, rope swing, walks and spectacular views. Site is on the loch which is lovely. Recommended.

    5 StarsMat Bailey

  • Forest Glade Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesSuperb hidden gem of a site with just enough to keep all the family entertained while so being a good Base to explore the rest of Devon from. Friendly and helpful staff and a really enjoyable holiday.

    5 StarsJohn Cowell

  • Riverside Holidays

    left quotesright quotesFantastic site with beautiful surroundings and right by the river. The site is well kept and the wardens are fantastic and will always go out of their way to help you. Also a good base for exploring the south coast. We stay numerous times a year as always made to feel so welcome.

    5 StarsRachel Price

  • Polruan Holidays

    left quotesright quotesMy favourite campsite and one I return to often! Very friendly, clean and well maintained. The owners are very helpful and welcoming. I can't recommend this place enough. Wonderful spot for relaxing. Great location for walkers too. Right near the coast and across the estuary from the usually busy Fowey.

    5 StarsMatthew Batten

  • Halse Farm Caravan & Camping Site

    left quotesright quotesThis is an excellent campsite. A friendly and informed welcome in the heart of Exmoor. The site has great facilities and stunning views. WiFi was free and provided a good signal. Don't be put off by the farm tag it's all well managed and separate from the camping area. Overall an excellent campsite and one we will visit again.

    5 StarsNathan Burden

  • Plas Gwyn Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesFantastic place! Home after lovely weekend, fantastic place to take the caravan for few days. Great site well looked after clean and tidy. Friendly place to stay. Close to Caernafon, Llanberis plenty to see and do, Will be going back again in the spring.

    5 StarsRachael G

  • Disserth Caravan and Camping Park

    left quotesright quotesHad a lovely long weekend at Disserth this summer. The site has everything you could need and it sits in a wonderful peaceful little valley. The wildlife is amazing and we saw many red kites. We will definitely be going back next year.

    5 StarsRon Edwards

  • Bingham Grange Touring & Camping Park

    left quotesright quotesJust got back from another great stay at Bingham Grange, couldn't fault a thing, food in restaurant was top class and loads of it, wonderful friendly staff and great amenities. Loved the pitch, so well maintained. See you again soon!

    5 StarsBrian and Anne Willows

  • Holme Valley Camping and Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesAmazing campsite, really well looked after. The kids playground, river for paddling, duck pond and picturesque walks make this one of the best I've been to in the UK. Huge thanks to whoever runs this place.

    5 StarsRowan White

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