Store a Bell Tent

Camping Tips and Advice you should know: the way of Store a Bell Tent

Tips and Tricks Basic Camping Tips

How to store a bell camping camp, follow these simple rules, we hope this process will be much easier. In Eco UK and our two camps in Sussex, the camp we erected, Bell Tent. Hopefully our experience tells us how to avoid some pitfalls after storing a bell camping tent.

Congratulations you are now the proud owner of a Bell Tent – or you’re considering getting one!  You’ll now be the envy of the campsite and from the moment you arrive and start setting up, people will be furtively watching you.

Fellow campers may be secretly hoping you’ll struggle to put up your bell tent, perhaps feeling slightly uneasy about their expensive Nylon tent that took them hours and a structural engineering degree.  Erecting your bell tent, should see you quickly moving around laying out the base and tent. Start by erecting the centre pole – then four diagonally opsite guy roles to tension the pole and hold it in place. Then place your A frame door way in place – with a supporting guy rope in front. Next move to pegging down the ground sheet/base.  Now all you have to do is secure the remaing guy ropes and the jobs almost done.  We’ve had awnings made for all our tents to provide a covered out door area. 

Part of the fascination for many people who have never experienced a bell tent is the fabric.  Rain is no longer much of an issue while you’re camping as modern tents are waterproof and offer great refuge from the elements compared to those tents of yesteryear.  But although during the first use of  your bell tent you may find that there are small gaps between the cotton fibres, these will swell after their first exposure to moisture and act as a natural barrier to the elements.  The problems generally only begin when you need to get the bell tent packed down and home.

To start you will need to get the bell tent back in its bag.  It’s not as difficult as the comedy shrink bags that most tents come in but in true camping fashion, you may have neglected to pay attention to how it was folded when you took it out in the first place. To help we found this time lapse video which breaks down the process well.

If your ground sheet is separate it won’t pose too big an issue as you can pack it separately however if it’s not, you’ll need to bring extra towels to wipe any moisture or condensation from the bottom of the tent (along with any mud or rogue insects).  

We also like to roll the guy ropes up and tie them in neat little bundles – although this is not necessary – it does make the bell tent packing a little neater and tidier.

The major point on ‘how to store a bell tent’ – bell tents really have to be bone dry without a single drop of moisture when you put them away, otherwise they can become mouldy.  Black spots will begin to appear which are virtually impossible to remove and can develop into holes over time, letting water in.  The chances of this happening are, unfortunately, a lot more likely compared to a standard nylon tent. We now only buy a higher grade of commercial bell tents from BCT Outdoors. These tents offer much greater protection against mould and mildew and has made cleaning and storage much easier.

If you have no choice but to install it in the wet you need to find a place to lie down when you go home, so that you can completely dry. If you have a garage, big garden or another big space like a seminar, you can hang up and you’re lucky. But if you do not have a room (which is not completely wet or dripping wet) many campers are now considering self storage units. So you can stretch out and let it dry!

Every few years – depending on the number of nights you have used the bell tent, it’s quality, the weather and conditions the bell tent has been exposed to – you may want to consider re-sealing the bell tent canvas. Fabsil are one of the main suppliers – although their products do get expensive if bought in their little spray packs or from a retail outlet. We buy a five litre container of Coltex from Cole & Wilson – which costs about £27. You then dilute down as per instructions, erect your bell tent and spray on using a cheap pressure spray paint unit, which you typically can buy from Wicks or similar for about £15-20. You should get about four or five re-seals from the one batch of Coltex for your bell tent – perhaps get a few friends with bell tents and have a bell tent re-sealing party in the local park together. Pick a nice day and expect the tent to take 6-8 hours to dry in good weather. Either this or spray your bell tent one fine morning when camping and it should be dry and re-sealed by evening time.

A storage unit can give you camping gears that often become. When you start camping your life you will tend to buy camping furniture and camping home appliances until you will find yourself without room at home. You may get a roof box or add a knot to your car so you can tow a trailer.