Prior to taking your bell tent on your first adventure, you’ll need to do a test run setup to thoroughly season the canvas prior to first camp out. When canvas tents are carefully crafted and sewn the needle on the seam lines leaves a sightly larger hole than the thread itself. As such, with all canvas tents, you are required to season your tent (saturate with water) before using as the cotton then swells and closes completely, meaning you will be watertight in downpours!
What do you need to do to season your canvas bell tent?
1/ Pitch your tent: Once you receive your Seek bell tent, find a flat piece of ground to set up your tent (perhaps your front or backyard), near a tap outlet which you can attach a hose to. See The Seek Society setup instructions to ensure you pitch your bell tent easily and correctly.
2/ Hose your tent, let dry and repeat: When seasoning the canvas, spray it down thoroughly with a hose, please pay particular attention to drenching all the seams lines soaking the tent thoroughly and letting it dry. You’ll need to repeat this process a few times. Saturate the tent and then let dry, once this process has been repeated numerous times you have now ‘seasoned’ your canvas bell tent. Then when the tent is bone dry pack it away and store in a dry place for your upcoming adventure.
Note: Cotton shrinks when wet, making itself waterproof when it rains. The first time your tent gets wet it may leak a little, don’t worry – THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL, particularly if you have not seasoned your bell tent correctly. Once it dries out for the first time that shrinkage closes up any little holes to ensure it won’t happen again. The canvas has been impregnated to protect it from dirt, ultraviolet radiation and fungus. This makes it mould resistant but not mould proof.
If the canvas remains damp in a place where mould can grow, eventually mould will grow. If you put your tent up in a damp corner of the garden next to a hedge or under a tree long term it will eventually get mouldy (as would a car or anything left there). Therefore, it’s worth considering the right spot that has some ventilation, as mould is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Remember, always store your Seek canvas bell tent BONE DRY.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any more questions, great suggestions on ways of doing something or just to send in pictures for the gallery or to be featured on TSS Instagram account. Be sure to check the tent before you leave on holiday, and we suggest you do not leave without doing a test installation at home.