Waterproofing Tent Guide

Even though many tents will be already waterproof when you purchase them, that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to get wet – whether we’re talking about rain or just damp terrain. Like with many other pieces of camping equipment, you’ll have to make sure that your tent is field-ready.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to waterproof your camping tent. Read on!

The Advantages of Waterproofing The Camping Tent

The two main benefits of protecting your tent from moisture are:

  • The Comfort

Along with the rain, the morning dew is something that could quite possibly ruin the whole camping adventure. This is not a problem with a waterproof tent, as it keeps the humidity away and allows you to stay comfortable and dry even in the worst weather.

  • Makes the Camping More Enjoyable

Having a wrong tent is sure to ruin your enjoyment of an outdoor adventure – just imagine being completely soaked in a cold night. With a tent that’s not capable of protecting you from the moisture, you’ll have to keep your fingers crossed for the whole duration of the camping. There’s no fun in that!

The Tools You’ll Need

Let’s have a look at the list of tools that you’ll need to adequately protect your little mobile home from the moisture:

The Waterproofing Sealer

This kind of a sealer is suitable for all sorts of camping gear, garments, and, of course, tents. It can be purchased in two different variants – as a direct spray or as a wash-in. The spray version features aerosol, which you can spray on the tent and give it the necessary protection from the water. The wash-in agent, on the other hand, is applied by utilizing the washing machine.

Once it’s applied to the material, the waterproof agent will reduce the contact between the water molecules and the fabric – it makes the water roll off the material.

  • The Waterproofing and Fabric Treatment

Essentially, this would be a spray-on variant of the waterproofing agent. It can be used for tents, clothing, boat covers, sails, and other similar things. The best thing about it is the fact that it doesn’t have a negative effect on the tent material. It doesn’t only make the fabric water-resistant, but it also applies an additional coating to it and gives it a longer lifespan.

A word of advice, though – check if the sealer is fully compatible with your tent’s fabric.

Before You Begin

Before you start with the whole waterproofing process, there are a few things you need to check:

  • The Tightness of the Ties

It’s essential to ensure that the tents on your rainfly are tight once they’re placed over the tent. People who do this in the rain quickly realize that it can’t be done correctly in such conditions – it needs to be done at home. The rain makes the ties sag, so tighten the ties before you leave for the woods.

  • The Ground Cloth

During the wet conditions, this thing will keep the water and the moisture out of the tent. But the main issue here is the fact that a ground cloth that’s too wet can also collect water – it’s important to make sure that the cloth and the tent’s seam are just one single item.

How to Do It

  1. Clean the Tent

Before you start with the whole procedure, make sure to thoroughly clean the entire tent. The first thing to clean is the fabric itself, and then the other parts. The thing that makes cleaning so important is that it’s pretty hard to waterproof the tent if it’s not clean enough. Trying to waterproof a dirty tent is a waste of effort and time.

While you’re cleaning, make sure to use a soaked (warm water) sponge with a soft surface. The sponge has to be soft so that it can’t damage the fabric – a coarse sponge will cause your tent’s material to become worn out and ugly. Don’t try to wash the tent in the washing machine, as the rotating and rocking motions will undoubtedly slacken and weaken the material.

  1. Use the Seam Sealer

A vast majority of tents are not sealed, but only factory-taped instead. This means that the water can easily get through their walls. In order to solve this, one has to purchase a seam sealer. Once you buy it, simply apply the sealer to the seams and give it some time to dry out.

  1. Use the Waterproof Spray

Use the waterproof spray to spray the floor of your tent thoroughly. The best way to do this is to soak the float with this kind of spray and then use a cloth to diffuse it over the entire surface. Once again, let the whole thing dry for a couple of minutes.

When you’re spraying, it’s essential to keep the windows and the doors of the tent open. First apply the spray inside, and then outside, while avoiding inhaling the harmful gas.

  1. Take Care of the Floor

During this process, it’s crucial to take special care of the floor, as it’s the only thing that separates the camper from the wet ground. A leaky floor will be very problematic even if the weather is not rainy, particularly if you decide to camp on the vegetation – the moisture will be very intense during the night.

To prevent this from taking place, you’ll have to use the tarp. Setting up the tent on the tarp will not only protect it from the moisture, but also from getting damaged by the rocky terrain.

  1. Handle the Wall Leaks

Waterproofing the walls is quite similar to waterproofing the floor, with just one difference – you don’t have to soak the walls. Just apply a suitable amount of the spray, and you’ll be good to go.


Knowing how to properly waterproof a tent is actually quite easy if you follow the instructions and do the whole thing with patience and care. We hope that these tips have been helpful to you, and we wish you good luck with the camping!