How To Store A Tent Safely For Years In Simple Steps

Tents are that one piece of equipment that is often neglected after we are done camping. This should not be the case because you are ruining your tent by not storing it properly.

Tents have various parts and features that can lose their function if they are not packed right. So, you might buy a tent, use it once, and the next time you take it out, it is ruined.

Now in this article, we will tell you “How to store a tent” so that scenario does not happen to you. We will try to cover the necessary dos and don’ts about storing tents. It does not matter if you are a veteran or a newbie to camping, it will help everyone.

So, let us start.

Steps Of Storing Tents

There are many kinds of tents available in the market. You can own any of them according to your need and budget. But when it comes to storing tents, the types of tents do not matter much.

There are a few things you need to consider while storing a tent. We will go through them step by step.

#1. Cleaning The Tent

Many of us after returning tired from a camping trip, do not really clean our tents. When I say this, I speak for all of us. That is a bad habit and is one of the primary reasons why tents break down or become unusable.

While we go hiking and camping, the tent comes in contact with dirt, tree sap, bird droppings, rain, the odor of our body and etc. These substances are stuck with the tent until we wash the tent.

If you put the tent as it is after your trip, those substances can cause mildew, repugnant smells and hamper the tent coatings. Usually, tents come with coatings that make them waterproof and also fire retardant. If you do not clean it these coatings might get damaged.

So, now that you understand how important cleaning is, let’s learn how to clean your tents. Firstly tents have coatings and the fabric might get damaged in too much heat. For this reason, we will strictly avoid hot water and use cold water while cleaning the tent.

Now you might think that the stronger the detergent, the better. However, this is not true for tents. As we have said earlier they have coatings and so we will use a mild detergent. Clean the tent slowly and thoroughly.

#2. Drying The Tent

Putting the tent under the sun for a few hours can eliminate foul odors and moisture. It is a good alternative if you do not have time or want the hassle of cleaning your tent.

Wipe the tent with an alcohol solution for removing stuff like tree saps and other things that are hard to clean. Then keep it in the sunlight for a few hours, this will take the moisture out and you can store the tent.

So, even if you cannot do a deep clean, dry the tent properly. That is enough for storing the tent.

#3. Stuff The Tent

If you are a person that likes to be neat, don’t be while you are storing the tent. Folding a tent is considered a bad practice. If you are storing a tent you always stuff it.

Folding means the tent gets creased over and over on the same spots. That means that those places might become worn quickly. They might even tear at those spots and your tent will become useless. So, stuffing the tent prevents that. It is also less of a hassle and does not take much time.

First, stuff the tent fly. After that the tent and the poles. Cover the poles with your hand to prevent damage to the tent. The poles might have sharp points that might tear the tent. The only things that will be left are the tent stakes and other small utilities. Put them in a small bag and put them in the tent pouch.

It is a little different for pop-up tents. They have all the parts stitched together. They have to be folded and put in a tent bag. However, stuffing the tent is viable for other kinds of tents.

#4. Packing Tents Loose

Stuffing your tents does not mean you should put them in packed spaces. The tents should be put in bags or pouches where they have a little breathing space. If the tent is packed too tightly, the next time you take it out it might not pitch properly.

So, when you are choosing a pouch or a bag to store the tent, get something that is roomy.

#5. Good Places For Storing Tents

Tents should be stored in a cool, dry place. Too much heat can damage the coatings and dampness can create problems like mildew. However, they should not be put in air-tight spaces. It might break the coatings on the tent.

So, you can put the tent in your closet or even under your bed. Anything that is cool and dry works, so just keep that in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Tent That Does Not Need Cleaning?

Every tent you can purchase in the market has to be cleaned from time to time. There is no tent that you can use indefinitely, without cleaning it. So, if you own a tent you have to clean it.

There might be tents that have good waterproof and dustproof coatings. That actually does not help much. They are also quite expensive. So, there are no other options except cleaning.

Can I Store My Tent In The Garage?

Tents need to be stored in cool and dry places. Usually, garages meet those criteria. So, it is a good spot to store your tent and other gear.

Can I Put My Tent In The Washing Machine?

That is probably not a good idea. Tents are not that hard to clean and they do not need a thorough cleaning. Putting your tent in the washing machine is a recipe for disaster.

The tent will get damaged and it will not function properly. So, if you are thinking of using the washing machine to clean your tent, you really should not.

Can I Store A Tent Under A Shed?

Yes, you can store your tent under a shed until and unless there’s no chance of getting wet. Since tents are not usually affected by temperature, it is completely fine to store them under a shed.

Is It Okay To Store My Tent In A Compression Sack?

Yes, you can do it, but not for too long. As tents usually need a lot of space to be stored, it’s a good idea to put them in a compression sack, thus it will save you space a lot. It’s a temporary storing solution that shouldn’t be kept for long though. You need to find other alternatives in that case.


Tents are not that hard to maintain. They are dependable equipment that just needs the bare minimum. If you love hiking and camping, you understand the role of a good tent.

They help you and protect you from much. If you are at the end of the article you know how to store a tent. Take care of your tent and it will take care of you. So, happy and safe camping.

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Fred Hoffman

Hey, I'm Fred Hoffman, founder of The True Wilderness. I've been exploring nature since I could walk, and my passion for it never ends. My mission is to show people that there's more to life than just the city. There's a whole world of beauty waiting for them out there, and I hope to inspire as many people as possible to get out and explore. I love to share the experience I've gathered throughout my life to make everyone's outdoor adventure smooth and enjoyable.

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