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Proper Tent Care and Maintenance

If you've been assigned to clean a tent, please set it up in an open space at your home and leave it to dry. Make sure that there is no dirt on the inside, outside, or bottom of your tent, and take note of any missing pieces (including stakes). Properly fold, roll, and bag your tent and bring it to the NEXT MEETING.

The following information is from the instructions included with the troop's tents. If you follow this well, we can keep our tents in good condition for many years.


Prevent mildew growth by drying your tent thoroughly before storage. Wipe off dirt and store your tent in a cool, dry place. Heat damages coatings, so avoid storing your tent in a hot car trunk.


Set up your tent and clean it using a sponge and mild, nondetergent soap. Remove pitch, sap or grease using a little kerosene. Never machine wash your tent—the pummeling it gets can damage coatings and tear seams.

Zipper Care

Dirt or sand can jam or damage zippers. Shake out your tent after each trip and coat zippers with silicone lubricant as needed. This keeps zippers sliding freely and prevents jamming.


Prolonged UV ray exposure eventually weakens fabric, so don't leave your tent set up in sunlight any longer than is necessary.


Keep poles clean, dry and scratch-free. Protect them and allow sections to engage more easily by coating ferrules lightly with silicone lubricant.


REI tents meet CPAI-84 standards for flame resistance, but any tent will melt or burn if it contacts a heat source. Use extreme care with any flame near your tent. Never use a cookstove or lantern with flame inside your tent.