by | Jul 28, 2023


Is Your Canvas Tent Leaking?


Don’t worry! We haven’t met a leak in any of our tents that we couldn’t fix with this checklist. Most leaks are simply from setups that need some tweaking.

Here are some common causes of tent leakage and how to remedy them.

  1. Puncture Hole – For the groundsheet, dry the area and apply the patch (try Gear Aide). For canvas, dry and apply a canvas patch.
  2. Roof not extending over sidewalls: Correct guyline tension around the tent to ensure that the sides of the tent are sheltered by the roof to prevent water from getting in the seam.
  3. Groundsheet not up four inches on sides of the tent to create bathtub effect: Tighten guylines to ensure the sidewalls are not “slouching” witch counteracts the “bathtub” effect.  ***This is the most common cause of leaking that we see.***

    The sidewall flap should hang down like this to ensure water runs off the tent.


  4. Groundsheet and door zippers not covered by roof flaps: Correct by pulling canvas flaps down over zippers.
  5. Window Zippers: Need to meet at top of flap so that they are covered completely.
  6. Tent Zippers at front corners: need to be clipped in and groundsheet needs to be tucked in and up, cover with flap to prevent leaking.
  7. Wind, driving rain up and into vents at top of tent: In extreme weather, some dripping may occur. Don’t worry your tent is not leaking.
  8. Plastic rain cap: Needs to be on top of porch nipple/grommet.
  9. After about 5000 hours of exposure (depending on the environment),   you may start to notice that water isn’t pooling up on the exterior of the tent, as it should. It may be time to re-apply a water proofing agent. You can find directions for re-proofing your tent in our Stout Tent Maintenance Guide.

Leaks in your canvas tent can be caused by various factors, and knowing how to identify and address them is crucial for a dry and comfortable camping experience. Some common causes of leakage include puncture holes, improper roof-to-sidewall coverage, insufficient bathtub effect, exposed zippers, and rain infiltration through vents. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with remedies for each issue. By following these guidelines and referring to our Stout Tent Maintenance Guide, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer any leak-related challenges and enjoy your camping adventures to the fullest.



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