How to Waterproof a Tent

Are you planning on camping this holiday? Did you check the weather? Actually, You can’t trust the weather so much as it can turn around in a couple of minutes.

Before going to camp you have to learn how to waterproof a tent because rains can completely ruin your holiday, especially if you are taking your children with you.

1- First: Check Your Tent!

How to Waterproof a Tent

If you want to avoid getting wet on a cold night in the wildness, then you have to check your entire tent and the rainfly.

The water commonly gets into your tent through a defect in the rainfly, seams or a defect in the fabric itself.

When should I check my tent?

Well, it’s better to check your tent routinely before going to camp, but if you don’t want to do that, you can check it after finding a leakage in the last use or if you are using the tent for the first time in a while.

How to check the tent?

Take your tent to your garden and set it up, tell your wife or kids to stay in the tent and see if any water comes in.

Use the hose (fine water stream) and start splashing the tent from outside.

Your inside partner will be able to see the site of leakage if there is any.

Why should I do so?

Checking your tent is very important to avoid being tricked with the condensation of the water evaporate in your breath.

You might see some water drops attached to the wall of your tent and be confused about whether they came from rains or they are just a condensation of the water you exhaled.

2- Locate The Site Of Leakage

Workspace outdoor

You can locate the site of leakage while checking the tent (the previous step).

Now, you are able to determine where is the defect, is it the rainfly, the seams or the fabric? This can help you choose the right waterproof tent, as each part should be waterproofed in a different way.

3- Waterproof The Tent Rainfly

This is a dedicated fabric layer that is set up above the tent to protect its body from rains and sun.

That’s why this layer does the most effort in protecting the tent and needs the best care in order to do its job as you need.

Waterproofing your rainfly will almost protect your whole tent from any rains.

Prepare a dry place (your garden will be okay), a sponge, and a suitable sealant for the defect.

How To Check It?

Set the rainfly up, and use your garden hose or a bucket of water to put the water over the rainfly.

Check if it can keep the water or it’s leaking.

How to waterproof it?

  1. Clean the rainfly of the tent and wait till it’s completely dry.
  2. Make it wet using the bucket of water.
  3. Spray the suitable sealant over the whole rainfly. If you over-sprayed a certain part, clean the extra sealant with the sponge.

Wait till it’s dry (it may take hours).

4- Waterproof Your Tent Seams

Apply Spray Protector or Sealer

What’re seams? Seams are the defect found between every 2 or 3 nearby fabrics, by zippers, between the body of the tent and the floor, in the corners, and around every opening (e.g. the inlet).

Stay in a dry place and prepare a brush or a sponge, a suitable sealant and gloves.

How To Close These Seams?

  1. Clean the tent around evert seam with water and alcohol (if needed), then wait till it’s dry.
  2. Apply the sealant over the seams with the brush or the sponge.
  3. Wait till it’s completely dry (it may take 10 hours).

It’s okay to close the seams from inside or outside the tent, but if you need the best result you can close them from both sides.

Don’t forget to remove the rainfly before starting this step, this will help you reach each one of the seams without interrupting the others.

How to Close a Tear?

This depends on the size of the tear.

  • Small Tear: You can put a piece of tape on the tear and put the sealant over the tear on the other side and around the tape. (you can also put a piece of tape on both sides with sealant over the tape on both sides too).

Large Tear: make two patches of fabrics with a size slightly larger than the tear and put them on the tear from both sides, then spray the sealant around the patches.

5- Waterproof Your Tent Floor!

The floor of the tent is the layer of fabrics that touches the ground and extends to form about the lower 10 cm of the wall (like a tub).

Waterproofing the floor is very important as it protects your sleeping bag and pillows or any other stuff you leave in the tent.

Stay in a dry place and bring your gloves with you, prepare a sponge and a suitable sealant.

How To Waterproof The Floor?

  • Set up your tent in the chosen place.
  • Clean the fabrics before starting, you can use a wet sponge if it’s only dusty, but you may need to use alcohol, and wait until it’s completely dry.
  • Close the seams in the fabrics of the floor using the suitable sealant, and spray the sealant over the remaining part (remove any excess sealant with the sponge).
  • Don’t interrupt the tent till it’s dry (it may take some hours).

You can treat the fabrics of the body of the tent as the floor but they are less important, as the body is already protected by the rainfly.


After knowing how to waterproof a tent. You are ready to go camping without being worried about any change in the weather.

But don’t forget, if you knew it’s going to rain, it would be better to postpone your trip a bit (better safe than sorry!).

Did Your Tent Have Any Seams? How Did You Close Them? Tell Us In The Comment Section Below!

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