We have all been there: you set up your inflatable tent, but now it's time to pack it away. You feel like you are going to be spending a long time trying to deflate and pack the tent back into its carrying bag.
One of the most important things to do when camping is packing up and cleaning up after you're done. Whether you have traditional tents or an air tent, packing away your tent can be a pain. The best air tent reviews often mention how easy (or not!) these tents are to put away.
Should it go back into its bag or not? Is there any way to make this easier on yourself? The answer is yes! Here are some simple steps that will help deflate and pack away your inflatable tent with ease.
Things You Need to Know Before Deflating and Packing Away Your Air Tent
1. Check For Leaks or Tears in the Tent Before Packing It Away
If you notice any leaks or tears in your tent, try to have them repaired before packing them away. Otherwise, the punctures may get worse during the packing process, as the tent fabric is pulled and folded.
2. Clean Off Any Dirt and Debris From the Outside of Your Tent
Dirt and debris can accumulate from rain and dirt tracked onto the side of your tent by shoes, or from hands that have been touching the outside during set-up and tear-down.
It's best to remove all this dirt by wiping it down with a damp cloth before folding up your gear tightly so as not to cause any erosion on any fabric from pieces of grit and earth.
3. Deflate the Poles One at a Time
Start with the pole that the manufacturer recommends in the tent instructions. Different brands will have a different order, but it usually makes sense to start from one end of the tent and work in order. When you first open the valve, unscrew it lightly to let the higher-pressure air out, then open completely once it has deflated a little.
4. Carefully Fold the Tent to Remove Excess Air
Pitching your air tent is one thing - putting the air in is easy enough but getting it all out is another matter! Normal tents always need to be folded towards the largest open door to remove all air and pack as flat as possible. The extra airbeams on pump-up tents tend to retain more pockets of air, so carefully roll over them towards the open valve to get it all out.
5. Store In a Dry Place, Preferably in Its Original Tent Bag
Store in a dry place, if not, add moisture pillows to contain moisture. Moisture accelerates material degradation and creates dangerous situations that can destroy your tent. Don't forget to wipe down the surface of your inflatable tent - stains cause the fabric to break down over time. You don't want to ruin your lovely blackout material.
The folded tent should be placed in tent bags carefully without crushing or puncturing them since this can lead to leaks and shorten their lifespan.
The Best Time to Deflate Your Air Tent
If you are camping with an air tent, you may be wondering when is the best time to deflate it. Here are some good tips that will help you decide on which option is best for your situation:
- If the weather conditions are good and the sun is out, leave it inflated for a few hours to let any moisture evaporate
- If there's rain in the forecast, wait for better conditions before taking down your tent
- If you are camping in hot weather, deflate your air tent before the sun goes down
- If you are camping in cold weather, wait until the morning to deflate your tent so that it can warm up and dry out
- Make sure all of your gear is stored away before deflating your tent - this includes stakes, poles, and guy lines
- When packing up at home or on a campsite, make sure to roll up each item neatly so they don't get dirty or wet from other items that are being packed
Why Inflatable Tents May Be Difficult to Put Away
Tents with poles make it easy to put the tent away. The fabric can just be folded up and tucked at the end of a pole until all the other pieces are in place.
The problem with inflatable tents is that there are no rigid poles like a traditional tent, to help get them into shape for storage, which means they have to be shaped by hand when getting them back into their tent bag.
The lack of a pole structure to help with folding can mean that you'll need to rely on any additional features of your particular model. Some of the best inflatable tents have tabs on the outside that can be used to fold the tent more easily.
Step by Step: Deflate and Pack Away an Inflatable Tent
We are going to go through the step-by-step process of deflating it and putting it back into its bag. Make sure that you don't skip any steps or you might find yourself in trouble!
Step One: Deflate the Air Tents Valve
- Remove any items from the inside of the tent.
- Zip up all the zippers inside the tent, and keep the doors open(1/4 zip open) to allow air to flow out.
- Open all of the air tubes and let out all of the air trapped inside.
- Use your hands to push down air left on each side of the valve until it is completely deflated.
- Zip up each side back into place, making sure not to pinch any material as you do so.
- Find a flat and clean surface and Lay out all the pieces in order and make sure there are no missing parts or pieces that need to be replaced.
Step Two: Folding and Pack Away the Tent
- Find the instructions that came with your tent and prepare to fold the inflatable tent
- Fold the tent in a way that will make it easier to pack away.
- Place tent poles at the opposite end from the air valves.
- Fold over and together all of the edges of the tent so that they are touching each other.
- Roll the inflatable tents sideways towards the valves. Start rolling up from inwards until the ends are inward, starting with one side then continuing to the next until you are at the last edge.
- Tie off or secure with elastic band or string
- Pack away your inflatable tent by placing it inside its original tent bag with any small parts you may have lost during use
- Store your folded and packed away inflatable tents in an area where they won't be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time as this can cause them to become brittle over time
- Remember that if you are not going to be using your inflatable tents for some time, it is important that you store them properly so they don't get damaged or start leaking air which can lead to them becoming unusable when next inflated. Place tent poles at the opposite end from the air valves.
Here's a video that shows how to pack away a Berghaus Air 8 Inflatable Tent:
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how to pack up your inflatable tent, it will be much easier for you to get back into the camping spirit again.
You don't have to spend hours packing away your tent when you can use these simple steps. After following the instructions, it should take no more than 15 minutes for any inflatable air camping tent. These tips will make unpacking and packing up easier on yourself after a long day of camping!
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