FAQ | CanvasCamp

Tips and Tricks

Check out our blog pages for tips, tricks, how-to's, and more! 

  • Painting and Dyeing a Canvas Tent

    Paint and dyes can adversely affect the treatment and waterproofing of canvas and cannot be covered under warranty.

    That said, we know that many of you are artists and see canvas for what it is, so here is some advice:

    Use exterior latex flat paint diluted with 1/3 water. Two coats of diluted paint should flex with the canvas. More layers of paint may cause cracking, thus if you are painting on top of paint, a thinner paint may be required. Test out a small area to see how the paint absorbs and how the colors appear when dry. If too stiff, dilute further.

    Be sure to send us pictures of your creation!

  • How do you take care of zippers?

    Treat your zippers well and extend the life of your tent. Zippers are high use items that are frequently used and abused.  Zipper abuse is widespread across nations, gear, and industries - zippers failure as a result of normal use is not covered under warranty. Treat 'em well by following these tips:

    • Take the time to line up the zipper correctly and make sure it's closing correctly. If you have poor alignment from the start your going to have a hard time and possibly damage your zippers. 
    • Don't force it.  If there is too much tension on the zipper, you likely need to adjust your guylines to relieve the pressure.  This typically happens on the front door - just move the guy lines on either side of the door closer together and try again.
    • Brush your teeth! Get after 'em with a toothbrush and some soapy water. Floss out dirt and debris that gets stuck in there.  
    • Lube if you MUST.  If you've followed all the steps above your zippers should be working just fine.  If you choose to lube keep in mind: silicone grease, hard wax, chapstick - gets gooped up with dirt and dust and can make a sticky zipper worse over time.  Dry Lube is bad for the environment and generally has PTFE or other undesirable acronyms in it.  Lube works in a pinch but use it sparingly and clean the area regularly.
  • [CORONA] How do I disinfect a tent?

    Are you concerned about how to disinfect your canvas Sibley tent after someone has used it?

    We don’t have a way to independently lab test the viability of coronavirus on our cotton canvas, so we don’t have a definitive answer. However, this study indicates the virus can survive, under ideal conditions, up to three days on hard metal surfaces and plastic, and up to 24 hours on cardboard. Cotton is more similar to fibrous cardboard than metal or plastic. A 2005 study of SARS found that it took 5 minutes to 24 hours for that virus to become inactive on cotton, "even with a relatively high virus load in the droplet, rapid loss of infectivity was observed for paper and cotton material".

    For more information on cleaning procedures, we would suggest consulting the CDC's cleaning recommendations and referencing the EPA's recommended cleaning products. Note that many of these products are bleach or hydrogen peroxide based and will cause discoloration on that canvas.

    We would suggest the following:

    • Allow the tent to be vacant for 24 hours.
    • Diluted bleach solution on a disposable rag (aka. Clorox wipes) for the high touch hard surfaces such as the center poles and zipper pulls.
    • The ground sheet can be wiped down/mopped with a diluted bleach solution.
    • If the tent has not been vacant for 24 hours, you can try cleaning the canvas itself with something like Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Mist which is EPA approved and designed specifically for soft surfaces. We can't confirm that this will not cause discoloration as we have not lab tested this.
    • Ask whomever is using your tent to try not to touch the canvas. This is a good practice regardless of coronavirus because of the oils naturally present on greasy, dirty human hands.

    Overall, we personally believe that the tent itself poses a very low risk of spreading the virus. The primary surfaces of contamination to focus on would be furniture, mattresses, linens, towels, decor, rugs, and shared facilities outside of the tent. Good old fashioned fresh air and sunshine goes a long way in preventing the spread of the virus.

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