- Clear the area of sticks, rocks or broken glass which may poke through the floor of the tent
- Use a ground cloth or tarp to protect the floor of the tent from abrasions.
- Since dome tents are generally free standing there is often a temptation not to anchor it properly. This is particulary true if the ground is hard or rocky. Never rely on the weight of gear in dome tent to keep it in place. Anchor it properly. A tent can be shredded pretty quickly if it comes loose and it is blown against a tree or rocks.
- Never store a wet tent. If it is the last day of the trip and you have to pack a wet tent then open it up and dry it at the first opportunity or it will mildew.
Selecting the Right Tent
Most camping tents manufactured today are nylon dome tents which utilize a frame of flexible poles made of sections of hollow tubing connected with an elastic cord. The tubing used may be aluminum, fiberglass, or graphite composite. A nylon rain fly will fit over the tent to shed most of the rain and to allow the tent to breathe.
Another common design is the cabin tent which is generally rectangular in shape. It will usually be supported by three horse shoe shaped poles made of sections of aluminum tubing.
Large cabin tents are roomy but they also required more care in terms of staking them to the ground. Each side of the tent presents a lot of surface area to the wind which can cause short tent stakes to be wiggled out of the ground in short order. Another consideration is that some of the bigger tents may have a foot print too large for some established campsites.
Before taking a tent to a campground or the woods, it is important to test it for leaks. Most commonly leaks will occur along the seams where sections of fabric are joined by stitching. This can be easily repaired with a tube of seam sealant.
Canvas tents will leak if touched on the inside. Air bubbles trapped between the fibers block water from getting in when that air is displace leaks form.
Three and Four Season Tents
A Four season tent will be constructed with heavier fabric and stiffer poles to support snow loads that would otherwise collapse a three season tent. While sturdier, a four season tent will be more expensive and weigh more than a good three season tent.
Before you need it, erect a tent and test it for leaks by spraying it with a garden hose. Be sure that it is completely dry before packing it away. Modern tents are generally made of nylon fabric and will have a rain fly to allow the tent itself to breath and the rain fly will shed the rain.
Canvas tents are not seen much today, They will leak if touched on the inside as air bubbles trapped between the fibers block water from getting in.