It takes more than just buying a good tent to weather a storm. Even the best model won’t stay completely dry. Here are a few tips to help keep the water out.

  • First, you need a three-season tent with a minimum waterproof rating of 600 mm for the flysheet and 1000 mm for the floor.
  • The more ventilation the tent has, the better—it will keep condensation out and your sleeping bag dry.
  • The fly should almost reach the ground all the way around the tent.
  • Slather a generous amount of seam sealer on a new tent, prior to your trip.
  • A tent’s weakest link is the door’s zipper. Position the tent door away from the prevailing wind to reduce the chance of water seepage.
  • Place a plastic sheet inside on the tent floor. Having it outside will just help collect the water. When the water begins to soak through, and it eventually will, having the sheet inside guarantees a protective layer between your sleeping pad and the soggy tent floor.
  • Nylon guy lines loosen when wet. Attach shock cord loops to each one. This will guarantee they keep taut and absorb any stress placed on the fly when gale force winds begin to howl.
  • Sew on extra stake loops to the sides of the tent. Most tents only come with three or four; that’s not enough to stop the fly from flapping in the wind.
  • Tie two three-foot lengths of parachute cord at the front and back of the tent, attached to the poles, not the fabric. Double stake each one.
  • At home, pitch the tent in your backyard to properly dry it out. The moment mould and mildew set in, your tent will never hold up against wind and rain again.
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