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How to Buy, Fix, and Maintain a Tent

Tents are a staple to any camping experience, as well as a fantastic emergency shelter for a prepper. Odds are you can purchase and survive in a tent well enough. But like with many aspects of prepping, there’s always more to learn. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying, fixing, and maintaining a tent.

Buying a Tent

When choosing a tent, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is size. If you’re only ever camping with your partner, then a two-person tent is fine. For one-time camping parties, rent a larger tent.

When do you camp? If you’re a fair weather camper, then a three-season tent will suit you just fine. While all-season tents are strong and can resist heavy wind and snow, they’re bulky and heavy. If you’re expecting frequently rough terrain, then a freestanding model will have an easier time pitching.

Shake it down. Before purchasing a tent, ask to set it up first. This will let you get a feel for exactly what you’re buying. It’s easy to fall for size tricks. No one wants to have to slouch just to sit in a shelter.


Keep it dry. Whether it was rain, morning new, or simply the damp earth, tents get wet. Allow them to properly dry out before packing it up. try tents are easier to brush the dirt off of, and it prevents the build-up of mildew.

Take care of the parts. Don’t play around with the extension poles. They are the literal support to your tent, and should be given the respect they deserve. Also replacing them is a hassle, should they break.

Use a base tarp, also known as a footprint. This protective layer will keep your tent floor safe from rocks, sticks, and other rude intrusions on the earthen floor.

Tent Repair

These are a few ways you can potentially repair a broken tent. If there aren’t any DIY options that can do what you need, you’ll have to send it in to a repair specialist.

Broken slider or zipper? Squeeze sliders with pliers to tighten, and try to realign zipper coils with your fingernails. Torn fabric? Try repair tape on the exterior of the tent. If the mesh is what’s torn, patch it with MSR micromesh. Detached hook-and-loop tab? Stitch the tab back on, then add Seam Grip or repair tape to waterproof the seam. Broken shock cord? Pry out the pole cap with pliers and untie the cord. Slide off pole sections and fix the break. Re-thread and retie the cord.

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