Seam sealing tarps and shelters terrifies many people. Honestly it’s the easiest thing you can do.
A few ground rules:
- Seal the outside. That’s where the rain will fall and you need to seal the stitching there to repeal water ingress.
- Make sure its not too hot 6of/15c is ideal temperature to seal up your shelter, and not in high humidity (below 80%)
- Make sure the shelter is pitched tight and defect free before you start to seal it.
Now to seal that shelter:
You will need:
- A brush
- Cup/tin or something to mix up in
- A bit of card, or a steady hand
- Damp cloth
- Mcnett Silnet for Silnylon, or if PU coated material Seam Grip
- White spirit/paint thinner
Start with mixing at 3 to 1 paint thinner in a tin with Silnet till it is a workable viscous paste. This will make sure it’s easily applied and rubbed into the seams. The whole point is to get it to soaking into the stitching where the water could penetrate.
Brush in the thinned mix carefully and use the damp cloth to mop up any spills. I used a cut out template to help reduce spills. Rub your finger over it to help push it into the seams and then leave to cure, working a 3 to 4 inch area in one go. As the Silnet it is thinned it will soak in and look neat after it dries. Check after an hour or so to spot missed areas.
On high stress areas like the tieouts; add neat dabs of Silnet to reinforce those area. Then allow 24 hours to dry. Pack away, and next trip sleep well, not worrying about water ingress into your shelter.
This tip was contributed by Trail Ambassador Martin Rye.