The Best Way to Seal Tent Seams

Written by zach lazzari
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The Best Way to Seal Tent Seams
Seam sealing prevents and repairs leaks. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Leaky tent seams will ruin a camping trip by creating an uncomfortable sleeping situation. The water will enter the tent, soak your sleeping bag and significantly reduce the insulation value. Sealing the seams on the tent in advance of the trip will ensure you remain dry and comfortable. Seam sealing is especially important for camping in wet environments where rain is a strong possibility. The best way to seal the seams requires several tubes of sealer and a thorough approach to cover each seam.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic syringe
  • Seam sealer

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  1. 1

    Erect the tent in a sunny area. Do not place the fly on the tent until the main tent body seams have been sealed and cured.

  2. 2

    Fill a plastic syringe with a tube of seam sealer. Several different companies manufacture seam sealer for tent fabrics. Enter the tent and apply a thin bead of the seam sealer to the seams that connect the floor to the tent body. The floor and tent body are typically constructed of different materials and connected with visible stitching.

  3. 3

    Exit the tent and apply a bead of the seam sealer to the exterior of the same floor seam. Also apply the seam sealer to the areas where ground loops and guy lines are attached to the tent. The stitching on these areas will weaken over time but the sealer helps to reinforce them.

  4. 4

    Leave the seam sealer to cure for two hours. Feel the sealer to ensure it is dry. Attach the rain fly to the tent. Locate the seams and stitching on the fly and apply a small bead of seam sealer. Leave the sealer to dry for two hours.

  5. 5

    Remove the fly and place it on the tent in an upside down fashion. Apply a bead of seam sealer to the interior of the seams and leave it to dry for two hours. The seems should now be sufficiently sealed. Pack the tent in the storage sack.

Tips and warnings

  • Seal the seams well in advance of the camping trip. This will ensure the tent is ready for action and you will not forget if you become rushed before the trip.
  • The seam sealer will not repair tears in other areas of the fabric. You must use a tent patch to fix any other damaged areas.

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