How to Store a Tent the Right Way

We all know that the last thing we want to do upon our return from an adventure is to tend to our equipment. After all, it’s much easier to either leave them in the basement or stuff them anywhere out of sight.

However, camping equipment doesn’t come cheap, and keeping them in a good condition will allow them to stand the test of time and continuous use without fail.

For that reason, you need to know how to store a tent properly to extend its life, and that’s exactly what this article is about. Today, we’ll walk you through a brief step by step guide to show you the ideal way to store the tent properly. Let’s dive right in!

Related: Looking for a family friendly camping tent? Check out our roundup of the best 8 person tents.

1. Clean the Tent

The first thing you need to do upon your return from a trip is clean the tent. A lot of people overlook this step. However, it’s extremely critical to get rid of all the sand, dirt, animal and bird droppings, tree sap, and all the other things that might be stuck to your tent.

For starters, all this nasty stuff can get really musty and create an awful smell with time. Not only that, but it can also deteriorate the fabric and shorten its service years.

Luckily, cleaning the tent isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you need to clean it is some cold water with mild detergent and a sponge. For stubborn stains, you can add some alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash it off.

You can also use a toothbrush to remove any grime or grit that is preventing the zippers from running smooth.

2. Dry Your Tent

After cleaning the tent, don’t attempt to store it immediately, as it’s going to be wet. Instead, you need to make sure that the tent is completely dry to prevent any moisture from creating a stinky buildup on the fabric, which reduces its waterproof capacity and damages its structure.

The best way to dry your tent is by hanging it to air dry. You can do that on anything large enough to keep the fabrics unfolded, such as:

  • Doors
  • Banisters
  • Chairs and furniture
The great low weight NatureHike Cloud-Up 2 Carry Bag to keep a hold of your backpacking gear
A compression sack is useful for keeping a tent portable, but it’s better to give the fabric room when you’re storing it.

3. Store the Tent Loosely by Taking It out of the Stuff Sack

Most tents come with a storage bag that keeps them compact and secure. But as tempting as it seems, storing them in these bags can be bad for long-term storage.

Cramming your tent’s sheets into such a bag will prevent the fabric from stretching and breathing.

Alternatively, you can store the tent loosely by removing it from the stuff sack and keeping them inside an old cotton pillowcase.

Although in theory, this might be a lot of work, it’s actually easier to store your tent in a loose pillowcase instead of the poorly ventilated stuff sack that comes with it.

4. Reduce the Tension in the Tent Poles

The best way to store your tent pole is by storing it partially assembled, which prevents the tension from shortening the lifespan of the cord. This is ideal for anyone who has enough space to store it that way.

If you can’t find a space wide enough for the job, simply start collapsing the pole down from the middle and towards both ends to distribute the tension evenly on the cord.

Store your camping gear in a garage or shed that is cool and doesn't leak.
Cool dry sheds or garages are one of the best places to store your camping gear.

5. Choose a Dry, Cool Spot to Store the Tent

Now that everything is ready for proper storage, make sure that you pick a location that allows for long-term storage. This can be anywhere that is relatively cool and dry.

Alternatively, avoid storing the tent in hot, musty locations, such as basements and car trunks. Instead, go for garage storage, or a gear closet for the best results. Here are some extra tips to help you ensure ideal storage for your tent:

Keep Your Storage Space Organized

Poorly organized storage may discourage you from preparing your gear for a new adventure. Make sure that you organize your storage space and label your gear properly in order to retrieve them efficiently and without making a lot of mess.

Use Silica Gel Packages To Keep It Extra Dry

Silica gel bags that come with shoes and gadgets are excellent moisture absorbents. If you can’t find a dry spot to store your gear, throw in a few packages along with the tent and they should keep it dry for a long time!

Pro Move: Create a DIY Gear Wall

If you’re a camping enthusiast, you display your gear proudly even when it’s not in use. The best way to do that is by creating a DIY gear wall this is simply a wall with a few shelves that serve as a storage area for all your camping gear.

Not only does it make your gear more accessible and stylish, but it also saves you huge storage space by making use of overlooked walls.

When you store your camping gear in a garage or shed, make sure it has plenty of ventilation.
Make sure your garage or shed has plenty of ventilation to store your tent and camping gear in.


Can I store a tent in the garage?

Garages are among the excellent spots for storing tents because they’re usually cool and dry with proper aeration.

For security, make sure that they’re stored within a gear closet inside the garage and not exposed to dust and debris.

How do I organize my camping gear in bins?

You can use clear stackable bins that are large enough to store your tent without being stretched or crammed in.

Also, make sure that the bins have aeration holes to allow the fabric to breathe while being stored.

Can you store camping gear in a shed?

This depends on the design of the shed. If the shed is properly built over a solid sealed surface that prevents ground moisture from reaching inside, you’re good to go.

If it’s a simple shed with high humidity (above 60%), you might want to avoid keeping your gear there.

Final Thoughts

This wraps it up for today’s guide that shows you how to store a tent properly in order to maximize its lifespan and ensure a reliable performance upon using it next time.

As you can see, getting the job done isn’t as difficult as it seems and shouldn’t take a lot of effort. However, it’s one of the best ways to appreciate the service of your camping gear for the wonderful trip you had!

Next up: Fancy an adventure but want a little more comfort? A wood cabin may be the answer for you. Check out our cabin camping checklist to get started.

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