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Top Camping Tips for your Summer Staycation

Sometimes you just need to be outside – enjoying nature, the peace and quiet, and time away from your everyday routine. If you are planning an affordable, summer camping staycation this year, read up on our top tips to ensure it is everything you need it to be…

Finding the location that is right for you is crucial; whether you yearn for peace and quiet, family fun, the wild outdoors, or campsites with firepits and frills, then researching in advance will ensure you can find the best spot to pitch up.

Note down your top 5 essentials and after some research online you will be well on your way to locating the best spot to sleep under the stars.

Recently, wild camping has been in the headlines with the ongoing discussion over Dartmoor National Park. Recently, the High Court declared that it is illegal to wild camp on Dartmoor Commons, mirroring other national parks in England and Wales.  Currently, Dartmoor National Park are looking to appeal this decision, but they have secured a permissive camping system – learn more here

Don’t think that you can pitch up your tent anywhere you please – if you have found a good location then either check in with the landowner or look online to see whether camping is allowed.

Be sure to respect your surroundings and Leave No Trace – the outdoors should be left as pristine as you found it (for both wildlife and other outdoor enthusiasts).

How long has it been since you last used your tent? Don’t just pack it in the car and hope for the best upon arrival! Check before you go that you have all the tent pegs and poles and check your equipment to ensure it isn’t still dirty from its last use – this could hamper protection from the rain for one thing! If it needs a clean, use Tent & Gear SolarWash® and Tent & Gear SolarProof® to keep it in prime condition. You can buy our Camping Care Kit here and save 15% this month!

We all know that weather in the UK is changeable. Even on the most glorious of days, we can be hit unexpectedly with a thunderstorm or downpour out of nowhere. You should be prepared for anything when living life outdoors, so be sure to have your waterproofs to hand, plus some entertainment to keep yourself (and the children) amused should it rain and you are confined to your tent… If your waterproofs have not been cleaned in a while, then ensure they are ready for your trip by cleaning with Tech Wash® and re-proofing with TX.Direct® – you don’t want to end up cold and wet if you get caught in the rain.

Remember key items of kit! A torch for when you need to navigate to the toilets in the dark of night; bin bags to ensure you take all your rubbish away when you pack up; a first aid kit in case of any scrapes or bumps; camping chairs to relax comfortably outside of your tent; cutlery and cooking utensils when cooking over your campfire; wet wipes for easy cleaning; sunscreen and insect repellent; and, a mallet to help get tent pegs into hard ground, are some of the key pieces we recommend.

We all spend a lot of time on our phones and laptops, connected to a digital world where hours can just fly by…. Take the time to put your devices down and just enjoy the simple power of nature. Stop and listen to the birds singing, get up early to watch the sunrise whilst other campers sleep, take long walks to explore your surroundings… Quite simply, take time to yourself – being outside is so beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing!

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Look after your gear and it will look after you

Whether you’re gearing up for the three-peaks challenge, striding out along a coastal path or enjoying a local ramble, the blue skies, patchy sunshine and gentle breezes of late spring make for perfect hiking and walking conditions. However, making sure your gear works hard for you is key to a successful excursion.
Below, we’ve singled out footwear and backpacks for special attention – arguably your most essential pieces of kit for staying comfortable outdoors…

Your footwear
Firstly, make sure you are wearing the right socks for the activity. Is it a long hike? Then look for a pair of close fitting, padded socks. Are you planning an energetic walk in warm weather? Breathable, wicking socks will do the trick. Will the conditions be cold and snowy? Look for insulated socks made of materials such as wool.

Choosing the right footwear is also essential for your comfort and enjoyment on the hills and mountains. Different materials offer different benefits, and a well-fitted boot or shoe will ensure your feet are supported, comfortable and safe. However, even the best brands can agitate your toes and heels, rubbing them and causing blisters – particularly if your feet overheat and get damp.

You can reduce the chances of discomfort by ensuring your footwear will perform at its very best. If it is dirty there is a risk of reduced breathability, which can cause your feet to feel damp and increase the risk of rubbing. Cleaning your footwear regularly with a specialist cleaner, such as Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel, which is designed to revitalise the water repellency and breathability of all waterproof footwear, will help to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Specialist cleaners also care for the integral components of your shoes, such as glues and seams, without risk of damage.

After cleaning your footwear, you should concentrate on proofing it, as boots and shoes that let water seep in will contribute to an uncomfortable hike. For leather footwear we recommend our Waterproofing Wax for Leather, which adds instant waterproofing to all smooth leather footwear. For combination (fabric and leather) footwear, Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof is the go-to product. Don’t underestimate the importance of aftercare to protect your shoes – and your feet! Plus, the added bonus of Nikwax footwear aftercare is that it will increase the useable lifetime of your boots and shoes, so you can enjoy them for longer.

Your backpack
A decent backpack enables you to carry your hiking belongings safely, but how do you choose the right one for you? Whilst size and features are key, fit is the most critical factor. Go Outdoors recommends you load, adjust and wear your pack around the house before leaving for a trip – a correctly fitted backpack should carry 70-80% of the weight on your hips with the rest on the shoulders. The weight should be held close to your back and remain there without excessive movement when you move up and down, or side to side.

As for size, although much of this depends on the terrain of your route, and the weather, a pack sized between 10L and 25L will hold your water bottle, picnic, jacket and sunscreen, which are usually sufficient provisions for a daytrip. For all the campers out there, a 20L – 30L pack is generally suitable for a multiday hike that entails camping and cooking for yourself, whilst serious adventurers should consider a 35L pack. The longer the hike the higher the chance of extra gear, as well as unpredictable weather, tiredness, and clothing changes.

Most backpacks are waterproof, lightweight and flexible, providing maximum protection for the products inside them whilst keeping you comfortable. However, did you know that a dirty backpack can affect its performance, as well as that of your jacket, fleece or base layer? Keeping your pack clean and renewing its durable water repellency periodically will stop it, and your clothing, from wetting out in rainy weather.

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® is the only cleaner designed to revitalise the water repellency of weatherproof textiles. Recommended for all synthetic and canvas tents and gear, it will clean your backpack effectively, increase its tear strength and protect against UV deterioration. Follow with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof® for added water repellency and extra UV protection. Using the right aftercare for your backpack will keep it working hard for you, whatever the weather, and extend its useable life.

Look after your gear and it will look after you! Happy hiking and remember to stick to the Countryside Code.

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How to camp like a pro with Ben Phillips, Nikwax Product Feedback Executive

Since the boom in sales of camping gear in 2020, people are continuing to plan holidays and time away ‘under canvas’, with the Camping and Caravanning Club reporting that Easter 2022 bookings are up 33% on Easter 2019*. If you are thinking of getting away from it all, take a leaf out of Ben’s book and be as prepared as possible. Here, he shares his top camping preparation tips…

With spring in the air and the days getting longer, what better time to dig your tent out of its winter hibernation? I need to do that again after a busy 2021 enjoying several camping trips with my children, and I’ll be glad I did. There’s always something that needs fixing or replacing, and making sure the rest of the family are comfortable when we arrive at our destination is, of course, more relaxing for me! We’re off to the Gower in Wales this July, with several other adventures away planned between June and September.

Size can be everything…
Making sure your tent is suitable for your needs can make or break your holiday. For family campers, being sure you have enough space for all the gear you want to take away, as well as some space for the little ones to play in if it’s cold or wet, is essential. We all hope for great weather but, as we know here in the UK, we’re not always lucky! For those travelling light, ensuring there is sufficient space for you (and any friends) plus packs, will ensure a worry-free night’s sleep. I’ve heard stories of campers who have purchased a compact, lightweight tent, only to find there’s not enough room in it to keep their backpacks and footwear safe and dry.

Always check your tent before heading off…
It sounds obvious, but, if the tent is new, practise putting it up! If it has been used before, check for any areas that are mouldy or have been damaged by wet/dirt that may have been trapped when it was last packed away. Treating your tent in advance with Nikwax products suitable for synthetic or cotton materials will not only ensure your tent is fresh and clean when you reach your destination, they will also provide added protection against both wet weather and higher levels of UV rays.

  • Tent & Gear SolarWash® cleans synthetic and canvas tents, removing all the dirt that masks durable water repellency. It prepares tents for re-proofing and has the added benefit of providing UV protection.
  • Tent & Gear SolarProof® is the reliable way to add water repellency to synthetic tents (even from new). It increases the tear strength by protecting the fabric from harmful UV rays and doubles the useable lifetime of your gear.
  • Cotton Proof waterproofs canvas tents and equipment, improving the fabric tear strength and extending the useable lifetime of gear.

Other things to check include…

  • Tent pegs – are there still enough, are any damaged, are they adequate for the conditions or environment you’ll be camping in?
  • Poles – are any damaged or bent? Poles can split or show signs of wear after time, so regular checks are important (if you have an air tent, check for leaks in advance!).
  • Tent floor – check for any small holes or tears that you can repair before you leave.

When you’re there…
If you have room to take one, laying down a tarpaulin or ground sheet first is a great way to add extra protection to your tent floor, plus it acts as a clean storage area for any part of the tent that doesn’t have flooring. It’s also a good idea to pitch your tent on a gentle slope, if possible – just a couple of degrees can help prevent water from building up inside it during wet conditions. Its sensible to avoid setting up camp directly underneath trees, which can be risky in windy weather.

For extra comfort, pack a pillow (or a small storage bag that can double as one) and make sure your sleeping bags will be warm enough for your destination. Remember too that the ventilation points on your tents are not there for decoration – use them to prevent moisture build up but bear the weather conditions in mind.


  • Even for the most lightweight of camping trips, take a pack of cards!
  • Pre-prepare some meals – spaghetti Bolognese, tortilla wraps, and even custard can be warmed through in a pan and will make your life a lot easier.
  • Twist any tape-type guy lines a few times as this stops them from ‘clapping’ together in the wind and keeping you awake.
  • The famous five: tea bags, tea towel, clothes pegs, biodegradable wet wipes and a torch are all little things that make a BIG difference when camping.
  • Leave no trace. Always take a bin bag so you can dispose of your rubbish responsibly or take it home and remember to thoroughly check the camp site before you leave to ensure you’ve left nothing behind.
  • Even if you only camp once a year, make a checklist of everything you need and keep it safe for reference next time. You can always add any items you’ve forgotten so you don’t forget them again.

Happy camping!

*Zoe Wood, The Guardian online 22.02.22

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Enhance your outdoor space this summer

Over the last year, our lives have been completely topsy-turvy… Bedrooms got turned into home offices, the dining room became a school room, and the lounge became a makeshift gym/dance studio… Very little was normal, except for our outdoor space. Whether you own a large or small garden, a patio space, or even just a balcony, those spaces have become something we have all relished and escaped to for moments of ‘just feeling normal’.

Even though restrictions are lifting, our outdoor space continues to be a focal point. People everywhere are looking at ways they can improve or enjoy that ‘natural’ space, making it a bigger feature within their lives. So here is some inspiration for you to enjoy outdoor living this year…

Want to re-scape your outdoor space?
If you have a space big enough to completely renovate, then have a good think about changes and take a look online or in magazines for inspiration.

Create some movement by letting a path meander to different locations – a path should take you on a journey, so you can see and experience all areas of your garden – don’t just focus on going straight from A to B! Use hedging or borders to change the direction of your path, weave your way over a lawn to a pond or cosy seating area. Let your imagination flow and you can create a journey even in much smaller spaces that can lead you to some magical outdoor living areas.

A cosy snug or relaxation space
Is there anything better than escaping outdoors with your book or watching the stars of an evening? Snugs are perfect areas to relax in and where you can enjoy your space even in wet weather. On a grand scale this could mean an all-out summer house, whilst on a smaller level it could mean fitting a closed-gap timber frame or arbour for an element of shelter, or just a simple hammock where you can lie back and let your worries slip away… 

But, a snug is not a snug without comfort. Here you can be as arty, extravagant, or as minimalist as you choose!


Outdoor cushions are fantastic at adding a splash of colour and comfort to your seating. Many outdoor cushions are made using water repellent fabric, so they can withstand the odd rain shower; others don’t have any weather protection – always be aware of what the fabric is made of when you purchase them so you can care for them appropriately.

If you purchase standard cotton-based cushions then prepare them for use outdoors. Don’t risk your cushions gaining weight from water absorption and taking ages to dry out; by applying a water repellent coating with Nikwax Cotton Proof, they will withstand rain and dry out quicker, thereby protecting the fabric from deteriorating if they get caught in the elements.

For water repellent cushions, be conscious of cleaning away dirt from their time spent outdoors. We all know that dirt will prevent the water repellency from working to its full potential. Tech Wash® is the best way to keep your water repellent cushions clean and looking good as new, plus, it will help revive the water repellent coating.

Add comfort underfoot
Perhaps you have a patio, balcony or decking area, whereby you sit and enjoy the surrounding view, or perhaps entertain friends and family on a warm summer’s day when the bbq is sizzling. However, you feel it is missing something…. An outdoor rug?

It may sound a bizarre item to have outdoors, but yes, rugs are rising in popularity. A rug not only provides a sense of luxury underfoot when its warm and you want to kick your shoes off, it also gives an understated touch of style around your seating area. A rug can define a living area in your outdoor space, especially so if you keep the rest of your surroundings focused on nature and plants. They are designed to be hard-wearing to cope with all manner of weather, so don’t make the mistake and simply pop your indoor rug outside because you could quickly find it deteriorates due to exposure to rain and UV rays.

Made out of similar fabric to garden drapes, rugs are often water resistant, meaning they will dry quicker if caught in heavy rain. But, you still need to keep them in prime condition and performing well if they are to last. Like garden drapes, simply use our Tent & Gear range if your rug is made from Olefin fabric, to ensure they last.

Spruce up your pergola
Pergolas are popular in outdoor spaces, both for their architectural impact as well as their ability to provide an area of shade. Weave wisteria across the roof so you can breathe in its heady scent during summer, perhaps attempt to grow grapes, or just leave it bare over the top with the beams providing a shading element. But, what if you want to add just that different touch to it?

Drapes can soften the look of rugged timber whilst giving you an element of privacy, plus, depending upon the fabric, they can dampen out noise whilst you sit leisurely within the space.

For a more ethereal look, you may choose a gauzy fabric that moves lightly with the breeze and provides a degree of visibility. Surround yourself with beautiful meadow or cottage garden flowers and you have your own ‘secret garden’ space to enjoy.

Many of the hard-wearing pergola drapes (or curtains) are made out of Olefin (polypropylene) fabric, which is UV-resistant and easy to clean. However, don’t just clean with any standard detergent. To ensure your outdoor drapes last, keep them cleaned and proofed with Nikwax. Tent & Gear SolarWash® is easy to apply by hand to remove all dirt that builds up. It will revive any water repellency on the fabric whilst providing additional protection from harmful UV rays that can destroy the fabric tear strength. If you feel that your drapes are starting to absorb water in the rain, then apply Tent & Gear SolarProof®, when cleaning alone no longer revives the performance. It leaves a safe, water repellent treatment over all of the fabric, ensuring your garden drapes last for longer.

For the kids
Children love spending time outdoors and it is definitely better for their health, so make your garden space an adventure for them too. A canvas tipi or small synthetic tent becomes a perfect garden den for them to enjoy. They would have their own safe little hideaway where they can play games and have fun, whilst embracing the fresh air and green space around them. Decorate the outside with solar fairy lights, place giant beanbags inside for seating and they can spend hours enjoying their home-from-home.  Protect canvas tipis or tents from summer rainstorms with Cotton Proof and use our Tent & Gear range for synthetic tents to keep your little ones dry and keep your gear performing year after year…



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Keep synthetic tents protected from the rain and UV rays

Nikwax’s duo of tent aftercare products are safe for the user and the environment, they are water-based and contain no PFCs or harmful chemicals.

Your synthetic tent must be protected from the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) rays can be incredibly damaging and reduce the fabric tear strength, making your tent vulnerable. UV rays, as well as general dirt, will also damage the durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the tent, so sooner rather than later you may find it is not as dry inside as you need it to be!

When getting your tent out for the new season of sleeping outdoors, it is always best to give it a clean. Tent & Gear SolarWash® is a high performance cleaner that will remove all dirt and contaminants embedded on the fabric – even if you think it looks spotless, there is most likely dirt on the outer fabric!

Tent & Gear SolarWash has a hidden power to truly help your tent – it will protect the fabric against the harmful UV rays! If you left your tent in sunlight for 2 weeks of continuous exposure, the tear strength of the fabric would reduce by half, thereby reducing the useable lifetime of your gear. Tent & Gear SolarWash efficiently protects against UV damage, and, at the same time, will revive the DWR coating.

When your tent no longer is beading up water on the outer fabric, then you need to re-proof it in order to remain nice and dry inside. Tent & Gear SolarProof® is an easy-to-use waterproofer for synthetic tents and gear, such as panniers and rucksacks (avoiding the straps). It provides a high performance water repellent coating to keep you and your equipment dry. It also gives additional protection against UV rays.

It is best to use Tent & Gear SolarProof when your tent is new, but older tents benefit from its high performance protection.

Both aftercare products will effectively double the useable lifetime of your tent and gear!


  • Use approximately 50ml of product for 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outside and rub in with a damp cloth – paying attention to any really dirty areas.
  • Rinse with clean water and, if not reproofing, ensure the tent is completely dry before packing it away.
  • Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used on both synthetic tents and cotton/canvas tents.

You don’t need to let your tent or gear dry after cleaning before you apply Tent & Gear SolarProof. It can be applied by hand to both wet and dry fabrics.


  • Use approximately 50ml of product per 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outer fabric and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Remove any surplus with a damp cloth and check that no areas have been missed.
  • After several minutes check again and remove any surplus.
  • The DWR will develop upon drying and you must ensure that your tent or gear are thoroughly dried before packing away.
  • Cotton or canvas tents should be proofed with Nikwax Cotton Proof.

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Have a magical night’s camping in your garden this summer!

Why not take this opportunity to holiday from home and create a magical camping experience in your very own garden! You can stay safe but have fun at the same time…

Spending the night in your trusty tent will definitely feel like you are escaping the confines of your house. It can be a fun-filled adventure, with the bonus that you still have home comforts only a few steps away if needed. Best of both worlds…

Check and clean your equipment
First, take out your tent and check it over for wear and tear, as well as checking you have all the equipment to hand to put it up. Now is the best time to give your tent a clean with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® to remove any dirt that has collected on it which could damage the water repellency; plus, if the warm weather continues, you will protect it from harmful UV rays! If you have not used your tent in quite some time and know it has not been treated for a lot longer, then follow up with Tent & Gear SolarProof® – the instant water repellent treatment for synthetic tents, to ensure that, should you end up camping out in rain, you won’t get wet… If you have a canvas tent, then you need to use Cotton Proof to keep it water repellent!

Camping in your garden means you can truly embellish your experience because you don’t have the problem of having to try and fit all your equipment and gear in the car. So now is a great time to go all out and make it magical!

Turn your humble tent and garden into a glamping abode!
Take this as an opportunity to indulge…you don’t have to scrimp on bedding or comfort when you only have to carry everything out of your house to the garden!

Plush cushions strewn around will give you snuggly seats for when you are chilling inside – but could also help should the airbed start to deflate during the night (which we all know can happen!!).

Use warming throws as added luxury – they are perfect to snuggle into if you sit outside staring at the night sky, as well as adding additional warmth when you go to sleep.

Get the children to help string solar or waterproof battery-powered fairy lights around your tent. Apart from the practicality of helping you see your way in and out, it will look magical after the sun sets and feel like a little wonderland in your garden.

Placing lanterns around your garden will give additional soft lighting, or, for the kids, provide them with some glow stick bracelets they can wear.

Stake out, in safe places, citronella candles to ensure you keep any little biting insects at bay – you want this to be a memorable night for the right reasons after all.

Other tips for a happy outdoor camping experience
Eating outside is a must if you can – it’s what you would do if you could go away after all. A little portable bbq would be easy to set up and cook from, or, if you have a little firepit then you could cook hearty baked potatoes. Follow this by treating adults and kids to toasted marshmallows they can dip into tasty hot chocolate…

Outdoor games are a must! Create a mini nature hunt for the children, or get some lawn games and play things like Hoopla or giant Jenga to while away some time.

Download a night sky app on to your phone – there are many available. Take this time to learn the night sky, appreciate the millions of stars above our heads and keep your eyes peeled for meteors (time of year dependent) and the new Starlink satellites passing overhead.

As the night draws to a close, you can sit round telling campfire stories, or wind down with some soft music (just be sure to respect your neighbours!). Listen out for night wildlife around you – can you hear any owls or foxes out on their nightly jaunts? Relax and enjoy the quiet peace that night time brings, before settling snugly inside for a good sleep, home from home. Staycations really can be fun…

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Tents can last twice their effective lifetime with Nikwax®!

You may be starting to think about unpacking and dusting off your camping gear ready for this year’s outdoor adventures.  However, will your tent be ready for the new season ahead? If you don’t take good care of it, your tent could start to degrade, with weakened fabric and the chance of it getting damp inside which can lead to mildew. However, it is easy to look after and save your tent from the risk of ending up in landfill – which we all know is not good for the environment.

Just follow our trusty guide below to the aftercare that will keep your tent in top condition. By using Nikwax aftercare, your tent can last twice its effective lifetime!

Synthetic tents need specialist aftercare because their fabric is especially vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) light – just 2 weeks continuous exposure can reduce tear strength by 50%! UV rays also destroy the durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the tent’s outer fabric, which could ultimately result in you getting wet inside!

Cotton /canvas tents are also a popular choice for tents, with cotton being a naturally strong and hard-wearing material. However, cotton fabrics are susceptible to water – they easily absorb it, which causes weight gain and the fabric can take a long time to dry out. Not ideal if you are camping in bad weather!

Nikwax tent aftercare will maintain high performance, so you can sleep in the great outdoors and stay dry and comfortable!

Keep your synthetic or cotton/canvas tent clean with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash®.

  • Dirt and other contaminants that compromise a tent’s DWR are efficiently removed, so the water repellency is revived.
  • The safe, water-based formula increases the fabric’s resistance to UV light.
  • Easy-to-use by hand as a spray-on, Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used up to three times to clean and revitalise the DWR of a tent before re-proofing is required.
  • Use approximately 50ml of product for 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outside and rub in with a damp cloth – paying attention to any really dirty areas.
  • Rinse with clean water and, if not reproofing, ensure the tent is completely dry before packing it away.
  • Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used on both synthetic tents and cotton/canvas tents.

Over time, and through use, the DWR on synthetic tents wears off and needs to be replenished. When Tent & Gear SolarWash no longer revives the DWR on your synthetic tent, then it is time to reproof.

Keep your synthetic tent protected from the rain and UV rays with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof®.

  • Tent & Gear SolarProof® provides an effective water repellent finish to ensure tents maintain their performance, keeping you warm and dry when camping.
  • It also provides UV protection.
  • To get the most from this product, apply it to your tent from new; although older tents also benefit from its high performance protection – especially when used with Tent & Gear SolarWash.
  • You can apply it by hand to wet or dry fabrics.
  • Use approximately 50ml of product per 1m2 of fabric.
  • Spray evenly to the outer fabric and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Remove any surplus with a damp cloth and check that no areas have been missed.
  • After several minutes check again and remove any surplus.
  • The DWR will develop upon drying and your tent should be thoroughly dried before packing it away.
  • Tent & Gear SolarProof can also be applied to synthetic rucksacks and bike panniers (avoid rucksack straps).

When Tent & Gear SolarWash no longer revives the DWR on your cotton/canvas tent, then you need to reproof it.

Keep your cotton/canvas tent protected with Nikwax Cotton Proof.

  • Cotton Proof is specifically designed for use on cotton, polycotton and canvas.
  • Easily applied by hand, Cotton Proof should be diluted before being applied to tents (add 1 part product to 9 parts water and mix well).
  • Cotton Proof can be applied to wet or dry fabric using a brush or sponge – all areas should be covered and you should ensure the product penetrates the surface of the fabric.
  • Remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.
  • Check the fabric after several minutes and remove any further surplus with a damp cloth.
  • A flexible water repellent treatment is left on the individual fibres and will develop upon air drying; moisture vapour can then pass through the fabric, maintaining breathability of the cotton/canvas, and optimising its performance in wet weather.
  • Ensure your tent is fully dry before it packing away.
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Tents can last double their effective lifetime with Nikwax®

Camping is still on the increase as a prime holiday choice both here and abroad, with thousands of campsites across a huge range of locations to choose from. There are also hundreds of tents available in a variety of styles, sizes and materials, from the simple pop-up one person tent, to the deluxe family versions!

As the weather warms up, people will start to think about unpacking and dusting off their tents, ready for this year’s outdoor adventures. However, many don’t know how best to care for their home from home, which can lead to many tents being thrown away before the end of their useable lifetime. With just a few tips on Nikwax tent aftercare passed their way, consumers can embark on their spring and summer trips safe in the knowledge that their trusty tent will not only keep them warm and dry, but can last them longer than its effective lifetime.

Our Top Tips on Synthetic Tent Aftercare

• Tent & Gear SolarWash® is a high performance cleaner for all synthetic tents.
• Dirt and contaminants that compromise a tent’s Durable Water Repellency (DWR) are efficiently removed, so the DWR is revived.
• The technical, safe, water-based formula will increase the fabric’s resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light by 50% (UV light is damaging to the tear strength of synthetic fabric, weakening it. Just two weeks of continuous exposure to UV light, can weaken it by half!).
• Easy-to-use by hand as a spray-on, Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used up to three times to clean and revitalise the DWR of a tent before re-proofing is required.

• Over time and through use, the DWR on synthetic tents wears off and needs to be replenished.
Tent & Gear SolarProof® provides an effective water repellent finish to ensure tents maintain their performance, keeping people warm and dry when camping in inclement weather.
• We recommend using Tent & Gear SolarProof from when the tent is new, but older tents will also benefit from its high performance protection – especially when used with Tent & Gear SolarWash.
• Applied easily by hand, it can be used on wet or dry synthetic fabrics (so consumers don’t have to wait for their tent to dry after cleaning before they re-proof!).
• Used with Tent & Gear SolarWash, this tent aftercare duo will ultimately save money, by doubling the useful lifetime of synthetic gear.
• Tent & Gear SolarProof can also be applied to synthetic rucksacks and bike panniers.

Our Top Tips on Cotton/Canvas Tent Aftercare

• Cotton/canvas, although very strong and hardwearing (making it an ideal material for tents) is highly susceptible to water absorption, which causes an increase in weight and takes a long time to dry out. No good if out camping and someone gets caught in their tent in a downpour!
• Dirt can mask any DWR already applied to a cotton/canvas tent, so it is best to clean away dirt using Tech Wash®. This can be applied in a washing machine or by hand (following the care label).
• Tech Wash will remove all dirt and revitalise any existing DWR.

• Not all cotton/canvas tents will have existing DWR, therefore, to prevent them from absorbing water, use Cotton Proof.
• Some waterproofing aftercare products are designed for multiple fabric types, i.e. they are not cotton-specific. Cotton Proof is designed for use on cotton, polycotton and canvas.
• Easily applied by hand, Cotton Proof should be diluted before being applied to tents (add 1 part product to 9 parts water and mix well).
• Cotton Proof can be applied to wet or dry fabric using a brush or sponge – all areas should be covered.
• A flexible water repellent treatment is left on the individual fibres and will develop upon air drying.
• Moisture vapour can pass through the fabric, maintaining breathability of the cotton/canvas, and optimising its performance in wet weather. The user can enjoy their tent to the full – staying warm, safe and dry!

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Nikwax and The Duke of Edinburgh Award

For the last seven decades, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has transformed the lives of millions of young people – teaching vital life skills and giving them the chance to take part in outdoor expeditions and exciting volunteering opportunities.

Nikwax has been working with the DofE for seven years. A relationship that’s set to continue into the future.

Nikwax products feature on the DofE Expedition Kit List, and all of the products have been tried and tested to ensure they are suitable for DofE expeditions and offer value for money. We recommend using Nikwax products as they offer additional protection and prolong the life of expedition kit for DofE Leaders and participants, making expeditions more affordable and enjoyable for everyone.

“Before any expedition it is important to make sure your kit is clean and serviced” says Oliver Dibbens, Operations Officer with the DofE. “Expeditions can be particularly tough on waterproof jackets due to the abrasion caused by a rucksack’s hip belt and harness, so using a spray on these areas to ‘top up’ protection before the expedition can really help. This can also be done to the knees of waterproof trousers. Don’t forget to re-proof your tent and especially the ground sheet, as not only will this help keep you dryer – it also means not having to pack away a sodden tent every morning. Remember, even if it has not been raining there will be morning dew about!”

“And it’s good to get into a habit of re-proofing your equipment, as it gives you the opportunity to inspect for tears and other damage that you might have missed when you put the kit away last time. Expedition kit can be expensive and re-proofing will extend the life of the garments and equipment” says Dibbins.

“Nikwax is incredibly proud to be associated with this charity” says Nikwax Founder, Nick Brown. “To be a part of something whose ethos is to encourage young people into the great outdoors and introduce them to its challenges and opportunities whilst developing outdoor skills is to be admired.

“We are particularly pleased to know that Nikwax is helping thousands of young people to keep themselves and their kit comfortable and protected each year whilst on their DofE expedition. No matter what the weather throws at them.”  

The DofE recommends the Craghoppers Horizon Jacket and Ascent Overtrousers, and the following five Nikwax products:




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Protect your tent with Nikwax aftercare

People welcome the warmer months when they can take off on mini-adventures and pitch up their tent to enjoy the great outdoors. However, without the appropriate care taken to look after your gear, it is all too easy to find after time that you are sleeping in a damp tent, or that the fabric has weakened and small tears could occur.

Tents come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in price, but they are a key piece of equipment that you want to last for as long as possible. Most tents are made from synthetic fabrics, with a thin watertight coating on the inside and a durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the outside. This results in strength and water resistance, yet the item is also lightweight. However, the fabrics are vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) rays that weaken the fabric tear strength and diminish the water repellent finish. If a tent is subject to two weeks’ continuous exposure to the sun’s UV rays, the fabric can lose half of its strength. You also run the risk of the fabric absorbing water – resulting in a damp tent on the inside! All in all, if you do not care for your equipment, its lifespan will be significantly shortened.


There is protection out there! Nikwax sells two leading aftercare products specifically formulated to protect and maintain your tent and other synthetic gear, such as rucksacks and bike panniers.

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® is a high performance cleaner, which protects against UV degradation whilst removing dirt and other contaminants that affect the water repellency. The water-based spray-on cleaner will increase the fabric’s resistance to UV light by 50%, thus extending the life of your gear! As well as this, Tent & Gear SolarWash can be used up to three times to revive the water repellent coating.

After time and use, the DWR will need replenishing on your tent and equipment. Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof® provides the water repellent finish that your tent requires, in order to maintain its performance.

Tent & Gear SolarProof is formulated to complement Tent & Gear SolarWash – the two systems work together to ensure you can stay dry in your tent and make it last longer.


Here’s our easy step-by-step guide to protecting your tent with Tent & Gear SolarWash and Tent & Gear SolarProof:

  1. Either erect the tent, or protect a working surface and lay the item flat.
  2. Spray Tent & Gear SolarWash evenly to the outside of the fabric. For large items apply in sections.
  3. Rub in the product with a damp cloth or sponge, paying attention to particularly dirty areas. If necessary, use a soft nylon brush to remove stubborn stains.
  4. Rinse with clean water using a cloth or sponge.
  5. Use approximately 50ml of product per 1m2 of fabric.
  6. If only cleaning with Tent & Gear SolarWash then leave the item to air-dry – allow to dry fully before packing away.
  7. If replenishing the durable water repellency, there is no need to wait for the item to dry before applying Tent & Gear SolarProof.
  8. Approximately 50ml of product should be used per 1m2 of fabric.
  9. Spray the product evenly to the outside of the fabric – avoiding straps.
  10. As you treat the item, remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.
  11. Check that no areas have been missed.
  12. After several minutes check for any surplus product – remove any with a damp cloth.
  13. Allow the item to air-dry, ensuring your tent is fully dry before packing it away.

If you have a canvas tent, then you should use Nikwax Cotton Proof instead of Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof.

Photos: Nemo / Vaude / Nikwax