Improving a (silnylon) tent floor

Discussion in 'Backpacking Gear & Clothing' started by Litehiker, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    There will come a time when during a long or heavy rain that water will begin to run beneath your tent floor.
    This is when you begin wondering:
    -> Are my floor's seams well sealed?
    -> Is the waterproof coating on my floor good enough to withstand the pressure of me kneeling on the floor?
    -> How long before water begins to pass through my floor's waterproofing?

    Uh huh... Not good questions to have running through your mind during a storm, especially one that is a Biblical deluge.

    If your tent is made with "silnylon" (silicone coated nylon) here is a recipe for RE-waterproofing it. I have used it on all my silnylon tents. (Won't work on urethane coating.)

    1. quart of "odorless" mineral spirits (Well, it won't be totally odorless but it's much more odorless than regular mineral spirits and the odor disappears rapidly.)
    2. one tube clear GE II silicone caulk
    3. clean empty peanut butter jar AND lid
    4. small (6" wide) paint roller and the shortest knapp roller available
    5. small roller tray
    6. roll blue heavy duty shop towels

    1. mix a 5:1 ratio (by volume) of 5 parts mineral spirits to one part clear GE silicone caulk in old jar
    2. place cap on jar and shake very well for two minutes (repeat every 5 minutes)
    3. pour about 1/2 cup of the mix into your small roller tray
    4. for the floor drape it over a table that fits inside the tent, exposing the OUTSIDE of the floor.
    (For treating the fly have your tent set up and guyed our so the fly is very taut and there are no wrinkles or creases showing.)
    5. Roll on the mixture in 2 ft. x 2 ft. area, then immediately wipe down with a blue shop towel for a THIN coating. Repeat until floor and side walls are covered. Use a small brush on seams to insure good coating of stitching.

    6. let dry in sun if possible for two days.

    Use your tent with the peace of mind that you have a well sealed floor with a very good hydrostatic head (very high pounds per square inch of water permeability. For one or two ounces more weight you now have a stormproof floor. If you have experienced "mist-thru" of your silnylon fly in a downpour treat the fly exterior as well.

    If after a few years your tent floor wears at the entrance repeat the process in that area.

    Eric B.
  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001
    Great post!