Winter is a difficult time for campers, because the tough weather can damage equipment. You need to consider pitching the tent appropriately, dismantling and mending, and packing it away safely. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your camping gear and keep it safe from even the harshest weather conditions.

Taking home damp tents

The first step is to ensure your camping gear is properly dry before storing it. Mould and mildew can gather in damp equipment and this can make the items smell and also damage the materials and even cause the items to rot. Instead of packing it away in its bag straight away, try to leave it laid out for a while first.

If you are transporting it in the car, drape it across the back, over other luggage. As soon as you are home, drape it out to dry properly anywhere that is dry. Never put it in its bag wet, as even a few days can damage the fibres.

Repairs to the tent

After the tent is dry, you can consider fixing any tears or broken parts. Consider replacing any broken or worn out poles or damaged zips. Also, look out for any rips in the ground sheet, which can be sewn by hand or on a machine.

You could also add a patch to make the repair stronger. Silicone sealant can be used if appropriate to mend certain materials. These are available from and other online and offline stockists. Silicone sealant remover can also be used to make adjustments. Try not to pitch a tent on top of stones, as these can damage the ground sheet.


If the rain darkens the fly sheet, you will know your tent needs waterproofing. Clean the tent before applying the proofer, which can be water or solvent based. Many campers use a spray on type, for ease of use. There are many other wet weather camping guides that can help you take care of your equipment in wet weather, whatever the season, such as this from the Guardian.


Always store your tent somewhere dry and cool and pack it loosely. All equipment should be cleaned and dried before storing, with sleeping bags loosely packed in mesh bags after airing. Remove batteries from gadgets and store separately and wipe down any furniture.