How To Weatherproof A Tent (Complete Guide)

Whether you’re an experienced camper or a beginner, you should be familiar with the first rule of camping: never trust the weather.

It might be sunny one minute, and stormy the next, which is why you should ensure your tent is weatherproof for all conditions you might encounter.

So, let’s learn how to weatherproof a tent (and not just waterproof it) correctly so you are optimally prepared for whatever mother nature throws at you!

How To Secure A Tent In Windy Weather

How to windproof a tent

If you are an outdoor enthusiast and love camping, you already know securing your tent is essential.

While rain and snow inevitably affect your camping experience, high winds are one of the most destructive forces you might encounter outdoors.

If the tent is not well secured, it will blow away, and potentially break in the process.

Tips To Secure Your Tent Against Wind And Storms

Applying these preventative measures will hold off most storms. But, still use common sense and avoid camping in extremely windy conditions.

Set Up Your Tent Correctly

While it seems like an obvious step, you might be surprised to learn how many people don’t know how to set up a tent properly.

Each tent model comes with instructions on how to properly set it up, and following the steps precisely is the best way to assure that you’ll be sleeping in a secure tent for the night.

When you put the tent up, you need to ensure that you:

  • Use all the poles
  • Use all the peg holes and guy ropes available
  • Drive the pegs into the ground at a 45° angle
  • Follow the manufacturer’s setup instructions

Tip: If you plan on using a new tent, practice setting up your tent at home before your camping trip so you are intimately familiar with the setup process.

Use A Tent Designed For High Winds

When camping in high winds, you want a tough, durable tent that is ergonomic and low to the ground. A tall, cabin-style tent is not what we are looking for here. But, rather a dome-shaped, aerodynamic tent with a low-profile.

Stay Close To Shelter

Instead of setting up the tent in the open, find a sheltered spot that protects your tent from harsh winds and storms. Put the tent behind trees, bushes, buildings, or any other windbreak you can find. And avoid spots under a tree as falling limbs can be a real danger or near water.

Sweep The Grounds

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, sweep the campground and clean up any debris that might fly into your tent (or you) and damage it.

Use The Extra Pegs

Pegs and ropes serve to create a base for your tent and secure it firmly to the ground. Each tent comes with extra pegs and ropes—use all of them to better secure the tent. And insert the pegs into the ground at a 45-degree angle to better resist the forces of the wind.

Get A Tarp

Waterproof tarps are strong and durable for an extra security layer over your tent. Get an industrial-sized tent tarp and put it over your entire structure to make it more resistant to winds and storms.

Bring A Repair Kit

If debris, or simply the force of the winds creates a tear in your tent, you’ll want to be prepared. Otherwise, the continued winds could potentially make the tear worse.

Check The Forecast

The wind is a tent’s ultimate nemesis. Before you plan your camping trip, don’t forget to check the weather forecast. While you can’t depend solely on the forecast, it is helpful to know what to expect for the next couple of days.

These tips can help you secure the tent well against all forms of weather, but you should also bear in mind that every tent has its limit.

How To Waterproof Your Tent

How to waterproof a tent

One of the main purposes of tents is to keep out water. While most tents are waterproof, the material also loses its effectiveness against natural elements.

Why Waterproof Your Tent?

When planning an outdoor adventure, it is good to give your temporary shelter a boost against rain and snow.

Most high-quality tents are waterproof, but other low-grade versions are only water-resistant (a big difference). While these tents won’t start melting with the first heavy rain or snow, they may not provide enough protection against severe bouts of weather.

Plus, a tents waterproofing properties will degrade over time. How long tent waterproofing lasts depends on a few different factors:

Amount of Sun Exposure

Even a few days camping in the summer months damages the tent’s fabric. Harmful ultraviolet rays damage the skin in the same way as they affect the tent’s material and reduce its effectiveness against heavy rains.

Age And Use

A tent deteriorates, especially when exposed to natural elements, left to dry in the sun, and stored in a tight bag for months on end – all of which can degrade the waterproofing properties.

Seams

Natural elements like rain and wind take a toll on the tent’s seams. Most tents come with sealed seams but break down over time, allowing moisture entry to the interior. A high-quality sealant will help you with this problem.

Best Ways To Waterproof Your Tent

To properly waterproof your tent, you will need to focus on the tent seams, the tent fabric itself, and the rainfly.

Here are a few tips on how to waterproof a tent to avoid leakage.

Tent Seams 

Water enters through tent seams, the tent’s fabric, and/or the floor. Tent seams are where two pieces of material connect and are arguably the most vulnerable entry point for water. Sealing the seams is highly advisable, and a quick and easy job that won’t take longer than twenty to thirty minutes (depending on the tent’s size).

You will need:

Instructions

  1. Start by removing the sealant sections that are starting to peel off, cleaning the seams with a cloth and alcohol.
  2. Then apply a new layer of seam sealant along the outside seams using the paintbrush. If you plan on camping in extremely wet conditions, you can apply the sealant to the inside seams, as well.
  3. Allow the sealed tent to dry for 12 hours.

Again, be sure to use a high-quality seam sealant like Gear Aid!

Gear Aid - Seam Grip WP Sealant Adhesive

Gear Aid – Seam Grip WP Sealant Adhesive

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Tent Fabric

Next, we need to waterproof the tent’s fabric.

You will need:

Tip: We recommend performing the procedure on a warm, breezy day to ensure quick drying and easier sealing.

Instructions

  1. Start by cleaning the tent with a sponge and water. Check out our guide on how to clean a tent for some important tips.
  2. With the clean tent still wet, apply a thin layer of waterproofing product evenly across the tent.
  3. Remove any excess with the sponge and leave the tent to dry.

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof makes waterproofing your tent a super easy job. Plus, it adds a layer of sun protection to your tent, as well!

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof

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Rainfly

The fly’s purpose is to protect your tent from harsh weather elements, especially during winter. It is exposed to winds, storms, and snow, and it might be the first part of the tent to deteriorate.

To waterproof the rainfly, you will need:

Instructions

You’ll notice waterproofing your rainfly is very similar to waterproofing your tent. In fact, we recommend just doing both at the same time.

  1. Start by turning the rain fly inside out to access the seams.
  2. Clean it with a damp cloth.
  3. When it is clean and moist, spray the sealant evenly across the surface, wiping excess product using the cloth.
  4. Leave the rain fly to dry for a few hours out of the sunlight.

Again, Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof is our product of choice.

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof

Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof

Price:
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Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Check out our guide on how to waterproof a tent fly for more information.

How To Insulate Your Tent For Winter Season

How to winterproof a tent

In a perfect world, all camping equipment would be ready for all seasons, but harsh weather has other plans, especially during winter.

To protect your tent for upcoming winter camping trips, you should learn how to insulate a tent for winter camping (which is simpler than it sounds).

Tent Insulation Tips For Winter Camping

Winter camping is a fun experience if you have proper insulation and the right gear. The colder nights can pose a danger if you aren’t prepared, though.

The best way to keep the cold outside is to insulate your tent properly with these helpful tips:

Use Small Tents

There are many tents available, and it can be a real challenge to choose the right one for your winter camping trip. One counterintuitive way to keep yourself warm is to use a smaller tent. You will have less space to heat and will warm up faster than a big tent.

Choose The Right Tent

If you do purchase a 4-season tent with insulation and thicker materials, you will pay a little more for the privilege (though there are some budget 4-season tents out there).

4-season tents are designed with snow in mind – featuring thicker textiles and more durable construction to stand up under the weight of snow.

In certain situations, a 3-season tent will work. Check out our article that covers whether you need a 4-season tent for winter camping or not to find the best tent for you.

Floor Insulation

Ensure your tent is hot and comfortable during your winter camping trip by insulating the floor. One way to do this is by placing a ground tarp over the area under your tent, known as a tent footprint. An extra waterproof layer will also help prevent any moisture from coming in. You could also use woolen blankets to cover the floor and insulate the tent from below.

Use A Thermal Blanket

Your first aid kit probably has a thermal blanket in it, but it is always a good idea to pack one or two extras. When inside your tent, you can use these emergency blankets to create an extra layer of insulation. One idea is to zip up the tent and use duct tape to secure the thermal blanket to the tent’s top and sides.

Heating Tent

One of the best ways to heat a tent while camping is to use a portable heater.

While some campers think heaters aren’t the safest solution, quality models quickly insulate your tent in winter and keep you warm during the frigid nights.

You can get a tent heater that runs on propane or electricity. In certain situations, you can even use a candle to heat a tent.

A quality heater will undoubtedly make a significant improvement in your winter camping comfort!

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Portable Radiant Tent Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Portable Radiant Tent Heater

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