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Post-Festival Gear Care Guide

While music festivals are our homes for a few special nights, they're home to native plants and animals all year round. Next time you pack up your camping equipment, it's important to treat the festival site like it's our own backyard.

Green Music Australia’s research shows that a whopping 50-80% of festival waste comes directly from campsites abandoned with dumped tents and rubbish. That means as music fans, we leave behind a massive impact! 

By simply looking after our camping gear, we can make sure our tents last longer and avoid equipment filling up landfill.

Here are our top tips on post-festival tent and gear care:

1. Pack everything away properly

At the end of the festival, instead of throwing everything into a messy bag and rushing home, spend an extra few minutes properly packing up your camping equipment. This way, you'll keep your gear in tip top condition and be sure not to lose any important poles and pegs required to assemble them in the future. 

Not sure the best way to pack up your tent? Check the instructions or follow the below steps:

  1. To start, make sure to empty all your items and clean out any dirt from inside your tent. Your future self will be grateful.
  2. Remove all poles and pegs and do up any zips. Then lay out the main tent flat along the ground. 
  3. Lay the fly flat on top of the main tent. 
  4. Start by folding the tent fabric inwards. Continue this until the tent is slightly narrower than the length of the storage bag. 
  5. Place your tent poles at one end of the folded tent and then slowly and firmly roll the tent up with the poles inside. 
  6. Make sure to keep the roll tight and then transfer the rolled up tent into its bag

2. If it's wet, let it dry

If your tent or gazebo is wet, make sure you dry it as much as possible before you fold it away. You can use a towel to wipe down any extra condensation. Even a tiny amount of moisture can lead to mold and mildew - bringing nasty smells.

If you can’t get your tent 100% dry before you leave the festival, set the tent back up when you get home and let it completely dry out. Alternatively if you’re short on space, hang it on your clothesline. Air drying your tent will help it last longer and retain its waterproofing. Make sure you store your tent in a cool, dry place when you get home. 

Remember, your sleeping bag can also hold moisture from your sweat. Let it air out when you get home before you store it away.


3. Give your camping items a clean

When you arrive home, give your camping items a bit of TLC with a quick clean. Gently wipe down the inside of your tent with a damp towel and mild soap. Make sure you check the manufacturer's instructions to avoid cleaning products that will damage the integrity of the tent. Whatever you do, don’t put your tent in the washing machine - it will tear or stretch the fabric.

Read your sleeping bag wash recommendations before you place it in the washing machine. Some sleeping bags can only be hand washed and can be ruined if cleaned incorrectly.

4. Repair and mend any damage

If your tent or camping items are damaged, it doesn’t mean you need to throw them away. A good quality tent is built to last, meaning that it can be repaired. 

Tent repairs aren’t difficult - you’ll just need the right supplies. You can purchase a tent repair kit at any good camping or outdoors store. 

Not sure what equipment you’ll need? A few common tent repairs include:

  • Ripped fabric. If the tent fabric has ripped, lightweight patches or swatches can be applied to mend rips or holes. Patches can be sewn. Peel and Stick options are also available.
  • Broken poles. Depending on the severity of the damage, a tent pole splint may be a short term solution to support your broken pole. Otherwise, replacement poles are available to purchase for most good quality tents. 
  • Waterproofing. After long-term use, the waterproofing on your tent might be a bit worse for wear. You can easily fix this by purchasing waterproofing materials at your local outdoors store. Be sure to follow instructions and complete your waterproofing a few days before you head to your next event.
  • Mould or mildew. If you discover your tent has developed mould, you may be able to fix it. Try washing the affected area and let it dry. If that doesn’t work, your local camping store will sell a suitable mould remover. Just remember, if you use mould remover, you may need to waterproof your tent again. 

If you aren’t sure what equipment you need or have questions about specific repairs, visit your local camping store and talk to a store attendant who can help you out. They’re experts in camping and know how to make your equipment last for the long haul.

Want to learn more about how to be a pro-festival camper? Visit our ultimate guide to packing for your festival trip.

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