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Canvas Odors

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by campforums, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    One thing that I've found with camping equipment is that a lot of the time it really smells. I think part of this is because of the way it is stored, for example tents are usually bundled up without much ventilation so it easy for any moisture or bacteria to stay trapped inside. It is also hard to wash a tent since it is so big and oddly shaped.

    Does anyone have any tips for cleaning tents, sleeping bags, tarps, packs, etc. ?
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    "He I Is"

    The smell of the tent is like the smell of the cabin
    both have been locked up during the winter months...
    just waiting to be set free again.

    "...it is the perfume of wilderness dreams;
    it is a masculine scent that beckons our inner adventurous spirit."
    Northern Dancer 2009 Diary

    Seriously? :bear:

    You can buy products that will help - make sure you get the correct one. Each tent and product will have a different surface and structure.

    I just hang the tent up. Send a rope up a tree attaching the rope to the top of the tent and let it flap in the breeze soaking up the cleansing sun without it being on the ground. OR you can put them over a clothes line and change positions throughout the day. No clothes line? Try rope.

    Another thing that I do - when I'm at camp I gently wash the inner walls with a mild detergent on a hot day - getting rid of any blood stains from killed mosquitoes and cleaning up any soiled spots. Just a reminder - never store a tent on a cement floor - it's not good for the tent fiber. And for sure, never store a wet or damp tent. They recommend that tents be hung for storage - the problem is that most of us don't have the space or the height.

    For sleeping bags you follow the manufactures instructions to the letter. You don't get any instructions for cheap sleeping bags or other materials including tents.

    Always store the sleeping bag hanging up and not inclosed in the bag. When you are heading out rather than wrapping the sleeping bag stuff the bag instead. It takes the same amount of space to stuff a bag and it prevents the bag from getting knotted.

    If you are using a fire under a tarp - you always use the same tarp and keep the other ones for other duties. At the end of a trip I place the tarp in a bucket of cold water and use a toilet plunger as an agitator to wash it. Then I hang it on the line. I do not lay it on the ground.

    See yah!
    campforums likes this.
  3. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    If a tent is grimy, garden hose. If really dirty, warm water, a sponge and if required a non-detergent soap.
    Just use caution if you wanna use a soap, some will do harm.

    I'm not a canvas guy so I can't really comment further.
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