When purchasing a new tent, it is important to know how many seasons the tent is rated for, to ensure that it is suitable for your desired camping experience. While some tents have taped or sealed seams applied during the manufacturing process, not all tents are water tight directly out of the box. Whether you have a new tent, a factory-taped model, or an old tent that has seen years of nights under the stars, to get the best use out of your tent you will need to treat your seams over time. It is recommended to treat all seams approximately every other season depending on how much use your tent gets. It is also recommended to examine the seams before each trip to make sure they are still properly sealed.
To start, you will need to locate a seam sealer that is suitable for your tents fabric construction. Our Scout Tent demonstrated in the video below is polyurethane coated, and requires a water-based urethane sealant, while other tents and tarps may require a silicon-based sealant instead.
You will need your seam sealer of choice, a wet rag, dry cotton rag, and gloves.
1.) Set up and stake down your tent in a warm dry place, and wipe clean with a wet rag.
2.) When the tent is fully dry, apply the sealant to all seams, making sure to only cover the seams directly. Avoid dripping sealant on any of the zippers.
3.) Using a dry towel, wipe clean any excess sealant if necessary.
4.) Most sealants dry clear with a nearly invisible non-glossy finish, so be sure to saturate all tabs and guy line out points, while also making sure that the sealant is applied under any seam flaps as well.
5.) Once you have sealed all seams, wait until the sealant has completely dried before disassembling or using. Depending on your sealant, it may take anywhere from 12 - 24 hours to dry. If using a tent that has a rainfly, seal the fly by flipping inside out and laying over the assembled tent. Apply the sealant to all of the interior seams along the fly.
6.) To assure that you have completed the process correctly, we recommend testing the durability of your sealing job by spraying the tent with a hose after the sealant has fully dried. If you continue to notice leaks, repeat these steps with a second coat of sealant.