-What do I do if my tent gets mold or mildew?
-How do I clean or wash my tent?
-What if the difference between a Flex-bow "deluxe" -model and "basic" model?
-Are there any special considerations for extended use situations?
-How can I prevent mold or mildew?
-Where are Kodiak Canvas tents manufactured?
What do I do if my tent gets mold or mildew?
A: If your tent is covered in black mold, and the canvas is falling apart there is not much you can do at that point. The tent body should be replaced (Look for your specific tent body in our "Parts" section. Tent bodies cost less than an entire tent).
If you catch mold in the early stages you can save your tent. We suggest that you treat your tent with a product called “Iosso Mold Mildew Stain Remover”. You can find it online. Follow the instructions on the label. We have found it to be safe, easy, and effective to use.
Mold and “Iosso” treatment will degrade some of the canvas water repellency. You should retreat the affected area with a silicone based water repellent such as Kiwi Camp Dry. Be sure to get the silicone based. Other treatments could clog the tiny pores in the canvas and cause it to lose its breathability.
Q: Will a Kodiak Canvas tent keep me dry?
A: Absolutely yes! Kodiak Canvas tents are made with premium Hydra-Shield™ canvas. However, not all tents are completely waterproof out of the box. On occasion a new tent will experience some leaking. Over the life of the tent, occasional, waterproofing maintenance will be required. If leaking occurs, it is an easy fix. Treat the affected area with a SILICONE based waterproofing such as Kiwi Camp Dry®. This should absolutely take care of any leaks, and you should seldom have to retreat. Caution: Do not use other types of waterproofing such as Canvak® on this Hydra-Shield™ canvas, as it could affect the breathability of the canvas. When properly sealed, your expectation should be that a Kodiak Canvas tent will stay completely dry inside, even during drenching rains.
Q: I grew up with canvas tents and remember when it was raining you could not touch the inside walls of the tent or it would wick water. Is this the case with a Kodiak Canvas tent?
A: There have been some significant advances in canvas technology since the good old days. Kodiak Canvas tents are made with Hydra-Shield™ canvas that is specially made for tents. The super tight weave and silicone waterproofing combine to make an excellent barrier against moisture that will not wick water. Another great thing about Hydra-Shield™ canvas is that it is breathable. This minimizes mugginess on the inside which means you stay more comfortable!
Q: Do I need to waterproof my tent when I first get it?
A: After initial set-up, it is suggested that you spray the tent with water and allow it to dry completely. This “seasons” the canvas. The water causes the canvas to shrink slightly, closing the needle holes where the canvas was stitched. The most effective way to do this is to have the tent out in its first good rain. This process is only required once.
VERY IMPORTANT—the tent must be completely dry before storage! STORING A WET OR DAMP TENT, EVEN FOR A SHORT TIME, WILL RUIN IT AND VOID THE WARRANTY.
If you want to be completely sure your tent is sealed and waterproof, it’s not a bad idea to go over the seams, stitching, and stake loops with a SILICONE based waterproofing such as Kiwi Camp Dry®. This should absolutely prevent any leaks, and you should seldom, have to retreat.
A: Condensation is the process in which water vapor in the air condenses or collects into water droplets on a surface. We have all seen a glass of ice water on a hot day drip water down the outside of the glass. This is a classic case of condensation. If your tent has a leak it is most often an isolated location where the tent is leaking. Condensation is not a leak. It is water droplets forming from water vapor on the inside of the tent. Examples would be water droplets across and entire panel, or water between a mattress and the tent floor. Factors that can impact condensation are the following:
a. Climate related.
b. The number of people breathing inside the tent. Respiration increases humidity.
c. Propane appliances such as a heater produce humidity.
2) The difference in temperature inside the tent, and outside the tent. Snow on the roof, or frozen ground can greatly increase the chance of condensation formation.
3) Ventilation. A tent that is zipped up tight will be more likely to form condensation.
Ways to minimize condensation:
1) Crack open some windows and/or vents even on cold nights.
2) If there is snow on the outside of the tent, clear it off periodically.
3) Do not use propane heaters.
4) When possible, reduce the number of campers per tent.
5) Use a ground tarp.
6) If you are on the floor of the tent on cold ground, use extra insulation between your bed and the floor.
How do I clean or wash my tent?
The best way to clean a tent is to spray it down with water, or wait for a good rain storm. Do not sweat a little dirt—that will give your tent some character.
If you must, you can clean an area with some soapy water and a sponge. Use rubbing alcohol to remove pine tar. Soap and alcohol will affect the water proofing. After washing rinse with clean water and allow to dry. Then retreat the area with a silicone based waterproofing such as Kiwi Camp Dry.
Be sure to air your tent out, and let it dry completely before storage.
What if the difference between a Flex-bow "deluxe" model and "basic" model?
The deluxe model is the full feature version. The basic model is the same tent less some of the features. Here is a list of the differences. Everything else would be identical.
1) The basic models do not have the gear loft or clip on bag and pocket organizers. (See note below for #6098).
2) The basic models do not have vents. The vents help improve air-flow and temperature management.
3) The basic models do not have a window inside the door, thus there are two windows (one front, and one back) and two doors (one front, one back). The deluxe model has four windows (two front, two back) and two doors.
4) The basic models have a duffel style storage bag with a zipper. The Deluxe model has a handy strap-and-cinch storage bag so the bag conforms to the rolled tent. No cramming or stuffing.(See note below for #6098)
5) The deluxe models use top of the line YKK Brand zippers. The basic models use a generic version of the same zippers. Note that we have used the generic zippers for nearly 5 years in our basic tents and have very few issues. See the video link on the home page that shows the features of the deluxe Flex-bow tent. Just click the “info video” button on the lower left hand corner. This will give you a better idea of the tents features on the deluxe tents.
If you can afford the deluxe version then go for the full features. If you are on a budget, the basic models are a great value.
* Note: Model #6098 9x8 ft. Flex-bow deluxe tent does not have a gear loft, and has a duffel style storage bag.
Are there any special considerations for extended use situations?
If you are using your tent for extended use situations, periods of continuous use for three weeks or greater, there are some precautions you should be aware of in order to maximize the life of your tent.
1) Canvas Rot: This occurs when the canvas at the bottom of the tent is in constant contact with moist ground. The canvas never dries out and eventually will begin to rot or decay in the areas of contact. Even if there is no precipitation, this can be caused by moisture from dew. Prevention: For extend use, make sure the tent is placed in an area that is well drained and dry. It could be placed on sand, gravel, or a slated wooden platform. Extended use on grassy areas or moist soil should be avoided.
2) Mildew: Is more prone to grow in humid climates in dark or shady areas. Prevention: Opening the tent up daily and letting it air out. When possible, place the tent in an area where it can receive a couple hours of direct sunlight a day.
3) UV damage. While your Kodiak Canvas tent is much less susceptible to UV deterioration than many synthetic fabrics, over time it will eventually degrade the canvas. Life expectancy in full sunlight should exceed one year of continuous use. Possibly much more than a year—there are many factors. Prevention: Placing your tent an area where it receives full sunlight for only a few hours a day is best, and will prolong its useful life.
How can I prevent mold or mildew?
To prevent mold or mildew remember to always allow the tent to dry and air out (inside and out) before you store it. Even if there has not been rain there could be humidity and moisture from dew, and or condensation.
If you have to break camp when it’s wet, when you get back set your tent up ASAP and let it dry out.
If leaving a tent setup for extended periods (weeks, months) in a humid area, prone to mildew, doing the following will minimize mold occurrence. 1) Place the tent in an area that will receive daily direct sunlight. 2) Allow the inside of the tent to air out at least daily.
Where are Kodiak Canvas tents manufactured?
All our tents are made in China by an expert canvas tent maker. If your concern is quality, know that all the materials are top of the line. We use top grade zippers and components. The canvas is custom woven and treated to meet our specs. We are confident that our tents are the best value for your dollar.
If your question is more about patriotism, know that companies that claim that their tents are "Made in the USA", are most likely made with canvas that comes from Pakistan or India. While our tents are made abroad, they are made with cotton grown in the USA (the % of USA cotton can vary). Significant duties are levied on all tents imported into the USA, generating funds for the federal government.
Kodiak Canvas is a USA based company, but our tents are sold in many countries around the world including Asia. As a global citizen, Kodiak Canvas seeks to produce its products responsibly, while ensuring our customers get the most value for their hard earned money. Be assured that our tents are made in modern, clean facilities, with skilled, well paid, adult employees.