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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats




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  • 2 Post By markharf

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  #1  
Old 14 Sep 2012
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How can i make my cotton tent waterproof? Any alternative?no camping shops around!

What can i use to impregnate ( i hope this is the good word???) my cotton tent?


What are the alternatives to make a tent waterproof?
Here in Ecuador they don't seem to know what i mean.
And they don't sell those bottles in any shop.
There must be a way !
please help!

Saludos and many thanks!
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Old 14 Sep 2012
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oil

You could try linseed oil. I read somewhere that it was used by troops in WW1 to keep there clothing and tents waterproof.

Marty
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Old 14 Sep 2012
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Why make it out of cotton? Why not make it out of nylon coated with water repellent? You can buy it from various vendors... see

Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics - Supplying all your outdoor fabric needs

for ideas on what to do .. see

DIY - My Designs - Tents

Note I have no commercial interest in any of the above, but I have used owfinc for supplies.
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Old 15 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warin View Post
Why make it out of cotton? Why not make it out of nylon coated with water repellent? You can buy it from various vendors... see

Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics - Supplying all your outdoor fabric needs

for ideas on what to do .. see

DIY - My Designs - Tents

Note I have no commercial interest in any of the above, but I have used owfinc for supplies.

Thanks for the replies,
the this is that it is a old tent that i already have and
getting stuff from the Internet from other countries to Ecuador is not really an option.
That linseed might be a good option!

Anyone else an idea??
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Old 15 Sep 2012
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Just found something on the web!



Traditional Canvas Tent Waterproofing
  • The simplest way to waterproof a canvas tent is to rub the entire surface of the canvas with paraffin, then go over the surface with a hot iron. You can also use a mixture of paraffin and turpentine to make a waterproof canvas coating. Melt 1 lb. of paraffin with 1 gallon of turpentine in a double boiler, then paint the mixture onto a pitched canvas tent. When this waterproofing method is used, the fibers of the canvas absorb the wax, which prevents water from saturating or passing through the fabric of the canvas. Even though there are still tiny holes between the threads of the fabric, the surface tension of the water causes the water to bead and run down the fabric.

Using Linseed
  • <LI class="step " itxtHarvested="0" itxtNodeId="15">Another waterproofing method involves painting linseed oil over the tent. You must allow oil-treated canvas to dry in a shady area to make it waterproof. You must also apply extra waterproofing material to the seams of the tent to prevent water from leaking in. Many canvas tents also include a rain fly, an outer covering on top of the tent that keeps water from entering. Canvas tents must never be laundered in a washing machine, since this type of washing will destroy the waterproof coating on the surface of the fabric.




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Old 15 Sep 2012
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Many of us are old enough to remember waxed and/or oiled cotton tent fabrics. There are a few issues you might want to think about, for example:

How fast would you like your tent to burn up if exposed to flame? Seriously.

Are you prepared for the tent leaking wherever you touch the inside surface while the outside is wet? As your source says, pores in the cotton remain open but water will bead up and run past the pores, leaving it effectively waterproof. What it doesn't say is that as soon as you touch the inside (or your sleeping bag does, or your baggage, or your hair while you sit up to get dressed) water will be drawn through those pores by capillary action, and that spot will continue to leak until the tent dries out. Coated nylon doesn't do this.

Last, although wax is not poisonous, linseed oil, turpentine, and other solvents are. Some materials, like linseed oil, support mildew. You might not want to go to sleep enveloped in fumes or spores.

None of which means don't do it. But do a flame test first, and think about what it would be like to be inside a burning tent.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark

Edit to add: I don't mean to be insulting, so take this for what it's worth: wax and solvent on a stovetop is a famously effective way to start a house fire. That's why your source says "double boiler." Use the double boiler, but if you're really cooking up wax and terps, do it outside in a controlled environment, still using the double boiler.

Or not: your choice.

Edit once more to add: I seem to be having some trouble leaving this one alone. If I were you, I'd merely cover the whole tent with a blue, orange or yellow woven plastic tarp. Presto: it's waterproof.
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Old 15 Sep 2012
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Is it possible for you to make a fly to go over the tent made from plastic or nylon? If you have an air gap between you wont have any condensation problems or water wicking through the tent when you touch it. Just a thought..
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Old 15 Sep 2012
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Some good info to think about!!!
Thank guys!
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Old 28 Feb 2014
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How to waterproof a tent

It is best to put a rainfly on the tent. However wax and ironing can work as well. It is a more complicated way to ensure your tent is waterproof. A plastic tent is easier to waterproof. You can use Nikwax, or a number of other water repellent products on the market. Hair fixer works as well.
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Old 28 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Edit once more to add: I seem to be having some trouble leaving this one alone. If I were you, I'd merely cover the whole tent with a blue, orange or yellow woven plastic tarp. Presto: it's waterproof.
Exactly what I thought as soon as I opened the thread. The other possibility is to find a "rain fly" from any modern tent and adapt it to your cotton one. All modern tents come with a rain fly, separate from the tent itself.

(good point about melting Paraffin ... nearly burnt our house down as a kid melting it down to wax our Surfboards! Danger! Danger!)
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Old 1 Mar 2014
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Waxed cotton tents were what was used... Waxed cotton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You may also think about waxed cotton motorcycle clothing - Belstaffs etc. You may be able to get their treatment stuff in local motorcycle shops?

I'd think a cheap supermarket tent would be as good as anything you could end up with using a cotton tent. YMMV

------------------------
Double boiler -

one pot inside the other - water between the two so the inner one does not touch the outer one .. good for melting chocolate.
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