Re-waterproofing a backpacking tent
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Ellie Brand
(etbrand) - F
Re-waterproofing a backpacking tent on 04/24/2005 16:26:56 MDT Print View

My husband and I have a 23 year old backpacking tent that is in very good condition but the inner coating is flaking off. The tent cost $200 when new. Since I have not been able to find the manufacturer(Wilderness Experience) online, I am assuming they are no longer in business. Is there a way to re-coat the tent? We know we could replace it but it has been with us since our honeymoon in the Adirondack Mountains.

Edited by etbrand on 04/24/2005 19:49:24 MDT.

Michael Oberg
(thewetyeti) - F
replace or repair on 04/25/2005 13:19:54 MDT Print View

You might want to consider putting a new floor in. Repair facilities will rip the border seam and tack in a new floor. It's not to difficult if the floor seam is near the ground. If it is a bathtub floor it might be much more difficult. The second option is to brush as much of the old coating off as you can and spray it down with Nikwax Gear Proof. It won't fully waterproof the floor, but it will cut down on ground wicking. You can also saftey pin a tyvek or other material groundsheet up around the walls of the tent. Just make sure it doesn't touch or stick out from under the rain fly. The first option is certainly the lightest, and it will reduce the smell in the tent, but it might set you back about $150 bucks, and that can get you a cool lightweight tent. Cheers

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
23 Year old tent on 04/25/2005 13:44:10 MDT Print View

Wow, the tent has been around for 23 years. That sounds like you got your monies worth out of it.
Like the previous post mentions, you can possibly get the floor replaced, but unless you do the repair yourself, that may cost almost as much as buying a replacement tent.
I am sure with advancements in technology some of the newer tents are made from much lighter and durable materials, offer weight savings, and perhaps better ventilation and water repellency.
I know we just "retired" some of our tents that were 14 and 16 years old. Perhaps it is time to offer a final tribute to an old friend and see if there is a comparable replacement.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
sentimental equipment on 04/25/2005 15:34:18 MDT Print View

I sold my 28 year old north face superlight sleepting bag to a guy in France over ebay a few months ago. That bag had lost a lot of loft and the 1.9 oz ripstop felt like tissue paper! I have no idea what he was going to do with it; I fully disclosed the busted baffles, lost loft, etc.
So, I know what you mean. I have a ton of memories from that red down bag. In fact, I have yet to "warm up" to the WM bag I bought to replace it! But, I would take the opportunity to replace your tent with some of the new materials now available rather than repair it.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
re-waterproofing on 04/26/2005 04:38:22 MDT Print View

I'm not sure if you can effectively reseal coated fabric with flaking sealer. It might be like painting over peeling paint.

I've used bulk K-Kote sealer with a small brush when seam sealing a lot of tents (as when a scout troop buys some) ... much easier than using the small applicators.

I don't seem to find exactly the same product (it was solvent based) but here's newer version (haven't used it).

The cost is low, if you feel really attached to the tent it might be worth a try.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
recoating tents on 04/26/2005 09:36:43 MDT Print View

I sucessfully recoated a Sierra Design clip flashlight (in the family for 22 years) with K-Cote. I took off as much of the peeling coating material as I could, painted it on with a foam brush, let it dry, then shook baby powder on the inside (so it didn't stick to itself. I didn't redo the rainfly which was OK, just the floor/sidewalls. Doing the rain fly would be much more difficult, but if I had to, I'd attach it to the tent upside-down so you could paint it on while it is on a rigid structure.

Edited by ksawchuk on 04/26/2005 09:41:37 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Use of good old tent on 04/26/2005 14:04:19 MDT Print View

A tent 23 years old from the honeymoon.

How about grandchildren. :-)?
Children just love to play around a tent.

As an anniversary gift (25 years maybe) consider buying a new lightweight tent. Same price 200$ even today.!

Ellie Brand
(etbrand) - F
Grandchildren? on 05/15/2005 10:29:49 MDT Print View

Kim,
We need our kids to graduate college and become gainfully employed first! I guess I could continue to let it take up closet space for 10 more years. Here in Florida, we may have the weather but we have no basements and the attic is a "hot" crawl space.