There is little worse than being warmly huddled in a tent at 2 AM as the heavy rain starts, and there is a drip on your forehead. Except maybe waking up cold and wet to a flooded tent. Depending on how often you camp or use your gear, applying a fresh coat of waterproofing at the beginning of the season helps keep you happy when it rains.

The obvious item to hit is the tent rain fly, but also consider a healthy application of water proofing on other exposed tent fabric, backpacks, shoes, and even your rain gear. After several years of wear and tear and cleaning and washing, some of the original waterproofing may need a boost. Another useful tool in the weather proofing toolbox is seam sealer. Check the stitched seams for your rain fly’s and exposed tent seams for old or no sealer. It’s a huge help in stopping leaks where stitching pokes holes in the fabric. Apply as needed and of course follow the manufacture application instructions.

Checking your gear and applying fresh waterproofing and seam sealer (as needed) at the beginning of the camping season goes a long way toward extending the life of your tent and other gear, not to mention keeping have a dry place to go when the rains come.