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Waterproofing a tent

tentsealer-200×148.jpgMy tent leaks! Water runs through the rainfly! What should I do?

— Damp Dan, Simpsonville, S.C.

A. Dear Soggy Sir, there could be a couple of different things going on that could make your tent so leaky.

First, if you fail to properly stake out your rainfly, it’ll just collect the rainwater and conveniently channel it inside your tent. So always keep the rainfly tight with the guy lines taut.

Another good idea would be to re-waterproof your fly. With wear and tear and time, all tents eventually lose their ability to repel water.

Luckily it’s easy — and cheap! — to rejuvenate it. Start with a tube of Seam Grip (about $7). Put your rainfly on top of your tent inside out and carefully reseal all the seams. While you’re at it, apply Seam Grip along the inside perimeter of your tent’s floor, too. Then flip your rainfly over, pitch it properly and spray it with a silicone waterproofer like McNett’s Thunder Shield (also about $7). Do all this and you’ll be Dry Dan from here on out.


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12 Comments on Waterproofing a tent

  1. what to use to waterproof very large synthetic tents?

  2. so, if Thompson’s is incompatible with nylon tents, then what should I use on my 8 person nylon tent. I have a compressor and a paint gun that I could use. kSpray cans are too small.

  3. dissolve 100% silicon calk into gasoline and submerge any kind of fabric (including nylon tents) and let it dry outside until the smell is gone. this makes it completely waterproof. same as the expensive sil-nylon you buy at the store

  4. Wow, I got pritty far with what I learned in the boyscotts. I dont think I learned this trick. Useful thogh.

  5. I have a question what can you use to waterproof a tent floor? I water proofed the whole tent was wondering if Thompson water seal would work on the floor if mopped on and let dry??? I uses Shield to water proof the nylon it sold at Dicks Sporting Goods worked great.Let it dry in the sun .

  6. Always use a tarp over a tent to keep it dry. If you can find a building construction site, ask if they have any extra Tyvek. Use plastic tarp clips to tie down 4 corners of Tyvek sheet over tent and/or suspend from rope tied between 2 trees. It’s lightweight, will not rip and it is waterproof. You can also use Tyvek under tent or on inside fllor to cut down on wear and tear.

  7. Waht can I use on a nylon tent to water proof it?

  8. waterproof // June 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm // Reply

    An easy way (and the way I use) to keep my tents dry at night, and protect them from bad weather is to take a standard tarp and attatch it (using strong rope and the hole in the sides of the tarp) to two trees above my tent. The tarp will then hang above my tent and rainwater will collect in it overnight. The tent remains dry and not a drop touches it! This is a perfect, no fail way to stay dry!

  9. boyscout45 // May 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm // Reply

    it means to put along the corners INSIDE. an let it dry

    good question

  10. Puertorrican Leader // May 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm // Reply

    Do anyone know if I can get this products here in PR???

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