Elk NetworkDavis Tent: Canvas Wall Tents

Sponsored Content | October 19, 2020

Video by Jordan Budd/Running Water Media

Chris Davis chats with Jordan Budd about Davis Tent and what goes into making their top notch canvas wall tents.


If you’re new to the walled tent life or only considering it, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from new walled tent owners with answers from Davis Tent to help you out and put your mind at ease.

WHAT IS A WALLED CANVAS TENT’S LIFESPAN? The answer to this question will of course depend to a large extent on what types of hazards or erosive elements the tent is exposed to. With normal use, your tent should last for several years, but if it gets exposed to high UV rays, sand, salt, air pollution, bird droppings, and other environmental hazards, the lifespan will be shorter. Proper storage and pitching so that the tent isn’t too strained are other factors that will influence the life of your tent.

HOW DO I STORE A WALLED CANVAS TENT PROPERLY? There are a few guidelines for storing your tent, and the biggest one is to never store it wet or dirty! This can lead to deterioration of the fabric simply because of the fibers remaining wet, but also because it encourages fungus and mildew, which will further break down the canvas. Even if you have to flee a rainy campsite, be sure to hang it up within the next few days in the sunshine to dry (and clean it), before packing it away.

Another is to make sure you store the canvas part in a place with ventilation that is away from moisture. This is all to prevent mold and other contaminants.

HOW SHOULD I CLEAN OR WASH MY CANVAS TENT? If your tent got wet or sandy, you should rinse it off and also treat all zips and metal components with silicone spray. If there is mud, you might also need a brush. For spots or stains, a soft brush or sponge with mild detergent and cold water is usually sufficient. Metal surfaces should be wiped down with water, and remember to always let the tent dry fully before storing.

WHAT IF I WANT TO USE MY TENT FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME? There are a few additional considerations for extended use of canvas tents. First, if you’re planning to move from location to location and pack up the tent each time, you must be very careful even in this situation not to store it wet. Wetness can also come from the tent simply touching the ground, even from dew. If this wetness is allowed to go unaddressed, it can result in canvas rot, an infestation of mold.

It’s also important in your tent setup to ensure that you’re putting it in a place that is well drained (usually a slightly higher elevation than surroundings), or ideally even a wooden platform. Again, this is to avoid too much contact with the damp ground and grass.

You should also seriously consider using a rain fly, and choosing a sheltered or shady location. These two factors will reduce the amount of UV radiation, rain, snow, and elements in general which your tent will be exposed to. A spot under a tree with a rainfly is a great option.


WHAT IF MY TENT GETS INFESTED WITH MOLD/MILDEW? It is possible to save a tent if the infestation is caught early, you just need a bit of mold removing/killing solution, a brush, and some elbow grease. Lay out the tent in an open space on a sunny day, wearing a breathing mask and eyewear, and use the brush to brush away the mold, followed by the mold killing solution, followed by rinsing, and repeating as many times as are necessary. You may also need to re-treat the area with a silicone spray, to maintain its water-resistance.

There you have it, do you have any questions that aren’t answered here? Reach out to Davis Tent and they would be happy to answer any and all questions about tents.