How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap | Best Way to Waterproof A Tent

Today we will discuss how to waterproof a tent cheap. One of the main performance characteristics of a tent is its water resistance. The tent is used not only in favorable weather conditions but also must protect a person from rain, as well as isolate from a wet surface on which it can be installed.

Everyone who has a new tent knows that sooner or later the protective coating wears out on the tent in some places. And it doesn’t matter if you had polyurethane or silicone on your tent. Somewhere the seams are the first to wear out, somewhere there is a sleeve for the arc, each tent has its own weak point. And it’s a shame, the whole awning is in good condition, and here it starts to pour in some water in the rain. In such a condition, how to waterproof your tent? in this article we will discuss the best way to waterproof a tent.

What to do about it. I operate 30 tents, and the issues of current repair must be solved by myself. By surfing the Internet, you can find how to treat fabrics with silicone to make them waterproof. And really silicone plus white spirit works a miracle. But there are subtleties and nuances. After all, everyone has their own tent, dear and beloved, it’s scary to put experiments on it. I had something to rehearse on, and this is my experience.

Tent in Rain

Whenever we go camping, we run with the chance of encountering sudden rains. This is usually a problem, if we are not prepared. Some models of tents, particularly those that are a few years old, can leak some water and ruin everything inside, or transform a pleasant experience into a true nightmare.

This is why it is recommended, in particular for backpackers, to waterproof the tarpaulins of the tents. Something that with the right product can be done without problems, and does not involve toxic or harmful materials.

How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap

Products such as sprays or liquids can be used, with a formula that repels water, keeping the canvas dry for longer. This does not imply that it will not get wet, but that it will resist the water that falls on it for longer. There is no product that guarantees 100% impermeability, but they do provide us with a more durable protection of those weak points of the tent.

Another method is to use materials such as plastic to cover the tent, improvising a kind of awning over the tent between some trees or the car itself. This will prevent the water from reaching the tent, although the surrounding area will flood. Then it is recommended to make ditches around the tent, taking the water to another part of the land, thus avoiding its accumulation.

You can also check out: How to insulate a tent for winter camping

Best Way to Waterproof A Tent DIY (My Experience)

When I saw that my tent is damaged and it is leaking water, I was frustrated. But I was confident that I can repair it. So, now the question is How to Waterproof A Tent. I had just a few confusions. So, I started my work by clarifying those confusions.

  • The first thing I was worried about was how polyester (tent material) would behave in contact with white spirit! Fine. There is no bad impact.
  • Second. How the native PU coating will react to the new coating. Fine. No reaction.
  • Third. In what proportions should the ingredients be mixed? I’ll tell you everything now.

So, the technology was chosen, to apply silicone to the outside of the awning. To do this, we need the silicone itself, an ordinary construction sealant, see that there are fewer impurities in the composition, and no acrylic. I came across neutral silicone, it smells less. If there is acidic silicone, it’s okay, there will be no stench, the smell ends as the silicone hardens. 

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And the second component is white spirit. We mix silicone and white spirit, many advise to mix them to a jelly state. My opinion is that such a jelly is probably good for some other purpose, but not for a tent. If you cover the fabric with such jelly, you get a thick film, visible to the eye, rubber to the touch, and stains from the brush are very visible. 

I make the solution thinner, I apologize, I did it by eye, I can’t give numbers in grams. With a liquid solution, it is possible to achieve that the silicone layer is not visible to the eye, the color of the fabric changes slightly, but there is no feeling of rubber. Liquid silicone penetrates deeper into the threads of the fabric, and the desired effect is already there. 

I apply with a brush. After application, let it dry for at least a day. Water on the new coating does not absorb into the fabric at all but rolls around in balls on the surface. Silicone does not lose its properties from sunlight. All impregnations in an aerosol that are sold in sports goods are extremely short-lived. The photo clearly shows the effect of silicone. In the photo “the difference is obvious” the upper part of the fabric is treated with silicone and the lower part is not, at the top there is water in balls, and at the bottom, it is smeared and absorbed into the fabric. 

Before waterproofing a tent
Before waterproofing a tent
Upper portion of a tent waterproofed
Upper portion of a tent waterproofed
Tent fully waterproofed
Tent fully waterproofed

After application, let it dry for at least a day. Water on the new coating does not absorb into the fabric at all but rolls around in balls on the surface. Silicone does not lose its properties from sunlight. All impregnations in the aerosol that are sold in sports goods are extremely short-lived. The photo clearly shows the effect of silicone. 

In the photo “the difference is obvious” the upper part of the fabric is treated with silicone and the lower part is not, at the top there is water in balls, and at the bottom, it is smeared and absorbed into the fabric. 

You can buy silicon from following link:

Silicon for waterproofing tent
Silicon for waterproofing tent
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8 tips to extend the life of your tent

Prevention is better than cure. So, before thinking about How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap, we should think about how to extend its lifetime. A good tent is an investment, so caring for it to extend its life is important. By following these eight simple tips, you can enjoy your refuge for many seasons to come.

Never keep your tent wet

Typical. After a winter camp everything is damp and wet. You come home tired, thirsty and hungry. Direct to the refrigerator ?? It is difficult, we know, but before emptying the fridge it is good to take the equipment out of the backpack and let it dry at room temperature while you eat, shower or whatever you like to do when you get back from the hill. 

It is important that you do not keep the tent wet, since fungi can form that affect the resistance of fabrics and coatings, even breaking them. Store the tent dry and in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Treat the tents with love

That’s how it is. Especially when you are setting up the tent, since that is when they are most exposed to bad treatment. When you stretch the uprights make sure that the segments fit perfectly, not half, since doing it wrongly you risk breakage when placing them in the tent. Avoid stepping on the studs when you have them on the floor. 

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Once you are folding the posts for storage, start from the center outward, moving them around to evenly distribute the tension in the bungee cord. If you’ve been camping in a dusty or sandy area, make sure you clean them up well, especially at intersections. Finally, when storing the studs, take care to wrap them inside the tent. Don’t put them in the same bag as the stakes,

Use a footprint

The footprint was designed to keep the tent floor clean, to protect it from abrasion and to prevent moisture from doing its thing in winter conditions. In addition, it helps to keep the floor of your tent clean when storing it. Clearly the use of this “accessory” will help the floor of your tent last much longer.

Be careful with closures

Clasps can get damaged if you don’t handle them properly. Although it costs, especially when in the early morning and half asleep you have to go out to pee, always try to help with both hands to open or close the closures, that way the cars will stay in place and you will avoid tearing the mesh or cloth. Another good tip is to clean the zippers with a toothbrush and soap and water after camping in places with a lot of dirt or sand. When storing your tent, try to leave the closures open, so that they are not damaged when folding it.

Protect it from the sun’s rays

Tents offer good protection in both sunny and stormy weather, but if you want your tent to last for many seasons, don’t leave it set up in the backyard all summer. UV rays break down nylon fibers, drying them and making them brittle, which considerably reduces their strength. When that happens, the fabric can get ripped at the seams and sealed. Keep your tent out of the sun’s rays when you are not using it.

Don’t cook inside

Apart from the fact that it is dangerous because in poorly ventilated conditions, cooking inside the tent consumes oxygen and releases carbon monoxide that can poison you, there are many cases of tents that have been burned and damaged by the use of kitchens inside. For your safety and for the life of your tent, do not cook inside.

Don’t mess with boots (and even less with crampons)

It seems obvious, but “the essential is invisible to the eye.” Don’t go into the tent with your boots on. This way you will avoid breaking the floor and dirtying / wetting the interior.

Use common sense

“Common sense is the least common of the ZZZZzzzzzz.” Who has not seen tents flying through mountain boxes, or worse, tents “turned upside down” mercilessly whipping, poorly anchored, against the ground because of the wind while users are giving their all on the hill? It has happened to me. Well, what we’re going. 

The wind is a determining factor when setting up and anchoring our shelter, so it must always be remembered that, if you have a tent with two entrances, these must be open so that the wind can flow, preventing it from rising through the air like a fragile kite. Then try to anchor it solidly using large rocks on dry hills or Deadman snow. 

Fix the four ends well and use all the winds. A good set-up and good anchoring of the tent, especially in windy conditions, will avoid unnecessary wear or tear.  

Best Waterproof Folding Tents for you on a budget

Now, to take care of your tent at first you have to buy one. And, we will definitely suggest you to buy a waterproof one.

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Choosing the perfect Waterproof Folding Tents is a daunting task. One has to try and test different products available in the market to get the best.
But do you think it’s that easy? Certainly not.

Especially if you have absolutely no knowledge of that particular product. If you are confused with so many of the options available on the market, simply simplify your search by following the shopping guide below. We have done extensive research on Waterproof Folding Tents and reviewed around 14 products before providing you them in a serial.

How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap | Best Way to Waterproof A Tent
Ciays Camping Tent, Waterproof Family Tent
  • This tent is very durable I can tell you that. This also is very easy to assemble I like how this made and it only took me like thirty minutes to figure out the assembling process very quick and easy.
  • The tools needed is none. Everything is on the package.
  • Lightweight tent portable and even on higher ground is suitable.
  • It has the top part that you can also use as a blanket if you need it. A family of 4 will fit on this camping tend it is huge,large capacity.
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How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap | Best Way to Waterproof A Tent

Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent – Ultralight Waterproof Camping Tent
  • Three people could totally fit (if comfortable with each other). For us, it will be two people who might take our 2 small dogs out sometimes (recommend throwing something down in the tent if you’re going to have dogs, or anything rough on the floor).
  • It packs up really well into a nice bag.
  • Good rods which snap in easy and stay strong, but are still a breeze to get off when it’s time to take it down and has some good metal stakes.
  • Two zipper doors, nice pockets on inner sides, and an awesome rain cover that snaps in super easily.
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How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap | Best Way to Waterproof A Tent
Coleman 8-Person Tent for Camping
  • It’s quite sturdy, very easy to put up, and a great occasional-camper tent that will be great for all around use.
  • Really, it’s easy to put up. I’d say it takes 10 minutes to put up without the fly.
    It’s tall. I’m a tall guy (over 6 feet) and it have no problem standing or moving around in this tent.
  • It’s definitely roomy. We use a queen air mattress (the really high one) and a single for the kid. There is plenty of room for us to move around plus have all of our gear without tripping over it.
  • With the fly off, during hot, dry camping it stays pretty cool, and lots of breeze passes through it. Plus, stars!
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How to Waterproof A Tent Cheap | Best Way to Waterproof A Tent
Snugpak The Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent 94″ x 39″ x 28″ Nylon
  • I used this for my entire 113-day thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. It kept me completely dry. It was big enough to fit me (6ft) and my bag (55 Liter) at the foot of the tent.
  • One night while on the AT, I found a stray dog. It was cold and raining pretty hard. I didn’t want the dog to freeze so I coaxed her into my tent with some tuna. That night she slept in the tent with me. So yeah, you can fit your backpack and a medium (60lb) size dog if needed. It was pretty tight, but we managed just fine.
  • 11-17-2017 UPDATE- I am still using this tent. I used it for 1500 miles on the pct. It is still going strong. I have never used a footprint and I treat this tent pretty rough. It has one pinhole in the rain cover due to my own negligence. I covered it with a piece of tape.
  • In the Southern California desert, there are a lot of wind farms. The wind is so strong that you can hardly stand up. I give it a huge thumbs up on how it managed in strong winds. The Big Agnes UL folks suffered in the wind.
  • This tent has logged 3,750 miles and is still going strong. I anticipate completing the triple crown with this same tent.
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Now, we hope you have got enough idea on how to waterproof a tent cheap, how to take care of your tent, how to choose a tent and so on. If you have any further query you can contact us or let us know in the comments section. Take care!!!