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Anupama Pradeep

How to Waterproof a Tent to Stay Safe and Dry Overnight?

Majority of the tents which you get from the shops or via online will be waterproof. However, this does not mean that they are perfectly fit to be taken out into the rainstorm and used in any terrain, enjoying the warmth or dry time.

You can’t most of the time.

There are certain things which you should consider while you are setting out with your waterproof tents. Sometimes there might be situations where you will need a waterproof tent quickly.

You might be planning a trail with your family or friends and then cancelling the event since you don’t have any rainproof tents and you are not able to afford a new one.

Don’t worry anymore!


Even if you are having a tent or you could borrow it from your teammates, you can easily waterproof a tent. If you ever find that the raindrops are not turning into droplets on the tent and is coming inside the fabric, then it is high time that you should reproof it as soon as possible. If you don’t know the procedure, don’t worry as we are here to help you with providing the right tips on how to waterproof a tent in the perfect way.

Need for Tent Waterproofing

Even the best or the most enjoyed trip can get cancelled with an unexpected rainfall. No one really wishes to wake up in the middle of the dark hours with soaked sleeping bags.

For staying warm and dry, it is highly important to ensure that you have brought the best waterproof tents. Just a small crack can result in big leaks. Let’s look on the chances of getting the things which shelter you from the rainstorm.

happy young couple setting tent outdoors

Tent Waterproofing Checklist

  • Seams of the tent
  • Hydrostatic tent
  • Zippers
  • Rainproof entrance
  • Stitching
  • Waterproof treatment
  • Bathtub sewn-in groundsheet
  • Whether it has a skirt

Basic Methods to waterproof your Tent:

  • The very first step is to apply the top-rated tent seam sealer which will help to protect the moisture from entering inside.
  • The next step is to revive the urethane coating which is present on the inner side of the rainfly as well as on the floor of the tent since these are considered as the main barrier against the moisture.
  • The last and the final step are to refresh the durable water repellent. This is the coating which will help the rainfly to shed the water.

The Basics Which You Should Check!!!

Waterproofing tent won’t be a success if you are not investing some amount of cash for some good quality seam sealant or any waterproofing agent.

In short, we can say that the major things which any waterproof tent should ensure may include: that the entire ties are tightened well, that the Ground cloth is all set and finally seal all the seams.

camping tent

Best Waterproof Tents Tips – Stay Dry and Warm

There are many things which you should check before you start. Prior to waterproofing your tent, check with the tent maker to see the practices which they advise or warn against. It is highly recommended to follow the maker’s suggestions as well as the seam sealant’s directions.

The first thing to check is to note down the regions where the tent needs waterproofing or where exactly you need to use a tent sealer.

Did the coating in the wall come off from your tent?

Is your floor facing any leaking issues?

Do you need to waterproof the fly?

Keep in mind that there is no special golden rule for making the best waterproof tent. Most importantly, different regions of the tent need varied kind of care.

The best way to find out the region where you need to use the best tent seam sealer is to fill a bathtub with water and then immerse the tent inside it. If there are small bubbles which are escaping to the surface, then that will be the area which you need to work out. Next step is to dry the tent in the shades. Remember that some of the tents won’t be UV resistant and this is the reason why you should dry it in the shades.

Before you start with waterproofing a tent, it is important to clean the tent properly and then start with the work. Firstly, clean the tent fabric. This is the most important part since waterproofing can’t be done unless it is clean and dry. If not cleared properly, then any layers which you are applying will only be covering the dirt and will come out in the first rain itself.

four season winter camping tent

Safe Tent Waterproofing Tips

  • Avoid getting direct sunlight
  • Storage should be perfect
  • Never wash the tent in machine
  • check
    Use spray on the waterproofing treatment
  • check
    Fix the damages

Tent Seam Sealer

tent seam sealer

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Basically, seam sealants are a kind of chemical coating compositions. Majority of the tents are now coming with seams which are well sealed, however, there are high chances to come out over time, thus resulting in leakage.

This is where you need to learn how to seam seal a tent. This is, however, the hardest part of the complete procedure. If you are using your old tent, then you need to seal as well as waterproof each seam. To do this, you need to make use of a sealant on the inner portion of all the seams and then allow it to dry well. Repeat the same thing again.

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Once this is done, you can use the best waterproof tent spray and then cover the outer portion of the seams and then let it dry well.

If you are having a new tent, then the seams will be tape sealed. There is no need to waterproof these tents again.

However, the odd part is the Rainfly seams and the seams on the tent floor will also require it. On the other hand, if you come across a leaky seam, then the things which are required may include a rag, rubbing alcohol, seam sealer and a drop cloth to hold the spills.

Steps for Weatherproofing Your Tent

  • 1
    Find out the seams to seal. Keep in mind that every seam in the tent does not require to be waterproofed. Those which are exposed to puddles, rain or runoff needs to be cleared.
  • 2
    Decide the side of the fabric which needs to be sealed. Prior to slathering on any particular sealant, make sure that you go through the instructions for deciding the side of the seam to be treated.
  • 3
    Plan the seams. Using a toothbrush, take out all the peeling bits and pieces of your old sealant and then swab all the seams cleanly using a rag which is dipped in the isopropyl alcohol.
  • 4
    Apply long and even strokes on every chosen seam.
  • 5
    After drying the goop, you can set the tent up underneath a sprinkler for few hours and then check for the leaks.
  • 6
    After each step, make sure that you dry it thoroughly and then move to the next one carefully and patiently.

Important Areas While Waterproofing Your Tent Includes:

  • Tent Fly
  • Seams in between the side panels and the groundsheet
  • Door zipper

Foot Note!!!

Waterproofing your old tent is really an easy job which is affordable too. If you are not a frequent hiker, then it is useless to buy a branded one. It would be better if you could buy a tarp and then buy some tent seam tape or any waterproof spray.

It won’t cost you much and you are sure to enjoy all the good times with your friends or family while in the woods. Waterproofing your tent only requires a minimal maintenance and certain precautions. This will help to make sure that you can stay dry always.

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safety, seam seal, tent, Tent and Shelter gear guide, top 10 review, water repellant, waterproofing

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