How to Store A Tent Properly: 5 Easy Steps

by | May 17, 2023 | Camping

Ever found yourself unrolling a musty, moldy tent for your next camping trip and thought, “There must be a better way”? Well, there is!

The secret to keeping your tent fresh, clean, and ready for adventure lies in how you store it. In this article, we’ll guide you through the ultimate tent-storage hack: clean it, dry it, ditch the stuff sack, loosen the pole tension, and find a cool, dry spot. Sounds simple, right? But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Stick around as we dive into each step, sharing tips and tricks you never knew you needed. By the end, you’ll transform from a hapless camper with a damp tent to an all-knowing tent-storage guru, ready to conquer the great outdoors!

Plus, we’ve got some bonus tips on organizing your gear and creating a DIY storage haven. Get ready to pitch the perfect tent every time, because we’re about to take your camping game to a whole new level!

Note that these steps don’t have to be completed at the campground. You could always pack up your tent and complete this process at home. In fact, it can be easier to do it at home, especially if you have a garage where you can pop up the tent and let it dry out.

5 Easy Steps for How to Store A Tent Properly

1. Clean Your Tent

After a camping trip, you’ve got to clean your whole tent. I know it can be a pain, but trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll avoid funky smells and help the tent last longer. During your trip, all sorts of things can build up on your tent, like sand, dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, and more. These things can make your tent smell bad, damage the fabric, and ultimately shorten its life.

Cleaning your tent is super easy. Mix some cold water and mild detergent, then use a soft sponge to gently scrub the fabric. For tough stains, try using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, then wash it off. Don’t forget to rinse the tent well with clean water to get rid of any soap residue.

Also, remember to clean the tent’s zippers, since they can get messed up by dirt or grit. A cheap soft-bristled toothbrush works great for this. By taking the time to clean your tent after each trip, you’ll keep it in top shape for all your future camping adventures.

2. Dry Your Tent

Your tent can develop mildew and mold, which can wreak havoc on your tent’s waterproof coating, so make sure it’s totally dry before you store it. Hang it up in a well-ventilated area, like outside in the sun, and let it air dry.

If that’s not an option, try a dry indoor space with good air circulation. Double-check that the tent fabrics, poles, shock cords, guy lines, and pegs are all completely dry before moving on. Moisture can potentially damage the polyurethane waterproof coatings, so take care to do this step properly.

3. Ditch the Stuff Sack for Storage

Stuff sacks are great for making your tent more portable when you’re camping, but they’re not ideal for long-term storage. The constant pressure can cause wear and tear, which can hurt your tent’s durability and functionality.

Instead of using the stuff sack, try folding or loosely rolling your tent and putting it in a breathable, oversized loose bag or a pillowcase. This way, your tent can keep its shape and won’t get damaged from compression.

4. Loosen the Tension on the Tent Poles

Over time, too much tension on the tent poles can cause damage and make them less effective. To avoid this, store the poles partially assembled, which reduces stress on the cord and helps it last longer. This is perfect if you have plenty of storage space for the partially assembled poles.

5. Find a Cool, Dry Spot for Your Tent

Picking the right spot for long term tent storage is super important for keeping your tent in good shape. Look for a space that’s consistently cool and dry to prevent mold, mildew, and damage to the fabric and poles.

Avoid storing your tent in hot, musty places like basements or car trunks, as they can harm the tent’s materials. Instead, try using dry place like a garage or gear closet, which offer a more controlled environment.

Organize Your Storage Space

Having an organized storage area makes it way easier to find your gear and keep everything stored correctly. Use shelves, hooks, pegboards, or even labeled crates to keep your camping equipment organized and easy to access.

Throw in Some Silica Gel Packets for Extra Dryness

Adding silica gel packages to your tent storage container helps absorb any leftover moisture and prevents mold and mildew growth.

Go Pro: Set Up a DIY Gear Wall

Create a dedicated space for all your camping gear by putting together a DIY gear wall. Use hooks, pegboards, and shelves to display and store your camping equipment, making it easy to find and pack for your next adventure.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, fellow campers – the ultimate guide to storing your tent like a pro! By now, you should be brimming with confidence and eager to tackle tent storage with finesse.

Remember get your tent clean and dry it, store the tent loosely, ease tension on the poles, and find a dry, cool spot for storage. Don’t forget to get creative with your gear organization, and consider setting up that awesome DIY gear wall.

With these tent storage hacks up your sleeve, you’ll have a fresh, clean, and ready-to-use tent for all your future camping escapades. So, go forth and conquer the great outdoors with the knowledge that your trusty tent will be in tip-top shape, waiting for your next adventure. Happy camping, and may your tent always be a cozy, welcoming haven in the wilderness!


Can I store a tent in the garage?

Sure, you can store a tent in the garage, as long as it’s clean, dry, and stored in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and moisture.

Is it OK to store a tent in a shed?

Yes, storing a tent in a shed is fine. But it’s super important to make sure the shed can keep the tent dry, since damp conditions can cause mold, mildew, and bad smells. If your shed is well-ventilated, dry, and safe from water leaks, it should be a good spot for your tent.

Can you store camping gear in a shed?

Absolutely, you can store camping gear in a shed, as long as it’s well-ventilated, dry, and protected from extreme temperatures and moisture.


Know Nothing Nomads

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