How to look after your tent
Whether you have had your tent for several years or it is fresh out the bag, looking after your tent is key to make sure it will give you many years of use. A good tent is an investment and you don't want to end up with a tent that leaks, has a broken pole or isn't fit for purpose.
Looking after your tent
If you have had your tent for a while and it's starting to leak or tear what options do you have? The first thing to do is to find out what sort of warranty your tent has. This can be dependent on the manufacturer - you may have a year warranty via Simply Hike but the manufacturer might have a 3, 5 or even a lifetime warranty. So, if it has been over a year since you purchased the tent, you might want to head over to the brands website and find out directly. In the first instance, please contact our customer care team who will be able to advise you on your options. Before calling or emailing either us or the manufacturer, you might want to do a bit of research into the problem. Here's an overview on what to do for the most common return reasons.
If you think your tent is leaking remember that no tent is 100% waterproof no matter what hydrostatic head you have. Your tent will need a little help to keep the water out. You will need to reproof your tent at least once a year to keep it water tight, just as you would waterproof your walking boots and shoes. A tent needs the same treatment which normally comes in the form of a spray.
A common area where a tent may leak is around a seam, as over time the tape that covers the seal tends to come away. If your tent is new it shouldn't be doing this so contact us for advice. However, if your tent is older then you can use this quick fix - you can buy a seam kit that will re-seal over the seam making it waterproof once again.
The most common reason for people believing their tent is leaking is the problem of condensation - in fact it's the biggest reason why people return their tents only to get them back a few weeks later after being tested and finding out that nothing is wrong. If you think it is condensation, spend a night in the tent with all the tents vents opened and if you wake up in the morning and the inside of the tent is dry then your tent isn't leaking and it is just condensation build up.
If you do think that your tent is leaking, we may have to send it away to a third party for an assessment or repair. It could take several weeks, although our staff are mindful of the fact that this might cause inconvenience and will do everything to process your return as efficiently as we can. In this instance you will be advised of the timescales and can make a decision about what you would prefer to do.
Broken Tent Poles
If you have bought a new tent and it has arrived with broken or damaged tent poles then take some pictures and let us know so we can either repair or replace the poles as soon as possible. In most cases we won't need the whole tent back, just the poles.
If you have broken a pole whilst pitching a tent, this tends to happen when too much pressure is applied to the pole and is considered user error. Fibreglass poles are not designed to be that flexible, so if you are having to force the pole into position, stop what you are doing and let the pole relax because if you don't then the pole will snap. If you have a snapped or bent pole and don't have a replacement on hand, then this is where every campers favourite, Duct tape comes into play. Just cover the broken area and this should hold until you can fit a replacement.
If you have somehow managed to bend a metal pole then do not bend it back into place as this will weaken it further and it will probably snap. You will need to get a replacement pole which can be easy if your tent is new but if it's a couple of years old it may take time to find a replacement. Again, give our customer services team a call and they will advise you on your options.
Make sure your tent is dry and clean before being packed away. Mould can grow quickly on a damp tent and rot the fabric and seams rendering the tent useless when you take it out next Spring. If your tent has been in storage for a while, pitch your tent a couple of days before you go on your adventure, then check it over and "air it out" just like you would do with a new tent.
When in storage try not to place any heavy objects on top of the tent as this could lead to unnecessary pressure which could damage it. Also take care when you are packing your tent up as a lot of tears, rips and snaps happen when packing a tent away too quickly.
Long periods in the sun and wind can also be damaging to your tent. All tents are designed to be outdoors but be careful to not leave your tent outside and exposed for extreme or unnecessary periods of time as this can lead to UV degradation.
A well looked after tent can give you years of use. For more advice why not take a look at our video on how to pack away a tent: