We've now had 20-30 years pass since most tents were made of canvas. Cheaper materials like nylon have become commonplace. But thanks to a resurgence in bell tents and the "glamping" movement a new generation of people are starting to discover the beauty of canvas!
Canvas not only looks better than a "nylon nightmare" but Its much more breathable, healthier for you, better for the environment and much longer lasting than nylon.
Canvas does require some simple maintenance in order for you to maximise its potential and make your tent last longer. We've put together some top tips below:
1) Air your tent out daily. It doesn't matter if it's not being used. Canvas likes to breathe. Leaving your tents zipped up for days on end with no airflow is never a good idea. Condensation builds up and of it has no where to go it won't evaporate and your tent will be damp inside.
This is the number one reason tents go mouldy. People go away for a holiday and come back to see mould has started forming. So air it out! If you must leave it up and you are unable to air it out daily, consider a set up like the picture below. Using bamboo to outrig the guy lines (there is a gap between the roof and upper walls to allow more airflow)
Its especially important to air your tent out in damp and humid environments. So let it breathe!
2) Clean bird poop off. Don't let it sit for weeks on end. This could easily start to spore and cause mould. Bird poop can be hosed off. For more stubborn stains use a mild Eco detergent like Dr Bronners or Eco Store and a nylon brush the hose off.
* pro tip: remember our Lotus Belle Petticoat roofs are specially designed to help with this issue
3) Sunshine! Canvas tents love direct sunshine and are less happy in forested or jungle environments. Also be mindful of pitching your tent near trees which sap and could potentially be harmful to the canvas. Again the petticoat roofs are great for this.
4) Keep aerosols like fake tan, sunscreen and insect repellent out of the tent. No only is it harmful for your health to spray inside the tent, but it's harmful to the canvas too. If you have your tent on airbnb It's a good idea to remind guests not to spray aerosols.
5) Take it down for winter. The wear and tear of the colder months will age your tent faster. It takes less than 20 mins to take down your tent and worth it for the longevity.
If you must have your tent up during colder months then a wood burning stove like these are a great idea for keeping the tent dry inside.
6) Never pack the tent away wet. Pay particular attention to the groundsheet. Make sure it's scrubbed clean and dry after long term use and store in the black nylon groundsheet bag. We include this bag for a reason!
These tips can apply to all Tipis, Teepees, Yurts and Bell tents