How to Air Out a Tent

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There's nothing that destroys a tent quite like mildew, no matter how large and expensive your tent is. Any amount of moisture -- even morning dew -- will eventually lead to mildew. Not only will mildew rot your tent, but it stinks to high heaven. It is imperative that your tent stays as dry as possible. The best to do that is to air it out.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry tree branches, large rocks, fences or clothesline
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Find a very sunny patch at your campsite with lots of dry trees or places to hang your bedding. If you have clothesline, rope or kitestring, string up a clothesline between two trees in a sunny area.

  • Remove every last thing from your tent so that it's bare. Leave the tent completely unzipped.

  • Hang up the bedding, sleeping mats, pillows, even bags to dry on tree brances, large rocks or your makeshift clothesline.

  • Wait until the top of the tent is dry before unpegging it and flipping it over so the bottom gets dry. When the bottom is dry to the touch, flip it back over, peg it down and brush out any dirt or crumbs with a dustpan and brush. Add the bedding, bags and any other paraphenalia you keep in your tent when they dry.

  • Dry out your tent before you put it away for any storage by airing it out completely outsidse in your yard, if possible. The sun and fresh air produce a better smelling tent than when you dry it indoors. Only dry the tent indoors if you have no other alternative.

Tips & Warnings

  • Perfume, cologne or room sprays do not get rid of the mildew smell. They are also far too smelly to be used in the little space of a tent.
  • Placing a plastic tarpulain over your tent will help keep it a little drier.
  • Pull all of your bedding away from the walls of the tent when it rains because the condensation formed inside the tent walls will soak anything it touches.
  • The tent always seems to get dry before any of the bedding.
  • Don't put this off, or mildew will get the best of your tent.
  • Don't wash your tent, but brush out all of the dirt when it is completely dry. Never stick it in a washing machine.
  • Never wear boots or shoes inside of a tent if at all possible. Always leave them upside down on a tent peg or long stick driven into the ground right outside of your tent flap.
  • Photo Credit Image by "Mentor"
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