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Come and hold my hand, I fear I may cry... tent disaster!

(18 Posts)
lovecat Tue 19-Jul-11 09:03:48

Well, we're back from Latitude. Apart from the godawful weather, we had a great time grin

However, disaster has struck and I need to vent - DH doesn't get it....

We last camped over the May bank hol, it rained on the last day, so I had had it up in the garden until it was bone dry. I swear, it was dryer than a dry thing in the middle of the Sahara. It had then been kept in the dining room for fear of it getting damp in the attic. Got to Latitude, unpacked the soulpad, pegged it out...

Mildew. Dirty streaks of mildew and filth all over it. Inside it, when we got it up, the ZIG was awash with dirty water. I nearly cried (this may have been more to do with the fact we'd just wheeled the camping gear 2 miles in 8 inch deep mud and were utterly knackered).

How did this happen? I'm utterly bemused. And the lovely cream calmness of the tent is destroyed. We mopped out the tent with DH's towel (bless him), scraped off the worst of the dirt and it was still waterproof, kept us dry and stayed upright in the 4-day storm that ensued, but that mildew isn't ever going to come out, is it?

The only thing we can think of is that when it was up drying in the garden, some water must have got inside/the groundsheet was wet underneath and it dribbled through, but I could have sworn it was all dry when we folded it up, it was on a baking hot day.

DH says it doesn't matter as long as the tent works (is he right?), but I'm feeling very sad Bless him, he said 'we'll buy another' - then I told him how much it cost (shock) - so we're stuck with the problem, unless anyone has any miracle cleaning tips.

When we repacked it coming home we unzipped the ZIG (first time ever, we thought at one point it wasn't going to unzip, which was a panic!) and stored it separately and will do so in future.

But we still have the mildew problem. And I now look like a sloppy tent owner who can't even put her tent away properly. Wah!

Could I paint over it (I'm not as good as the lady on UKCampsite but I have vaguely artistic leanings), or would it still look spotty from the inside?

Meh. Anyway, we're off to Cornwall for a week on Sunday, so I'm just hoping the rain keeps off long enough to dry the canvas so we can pack it up again!

(btw, the tealight chandelier packs away to nothing and it looked amazing. It kept the tent warm too, in the deluge!)

notwavingjustironing Tue 19-Jul-11 09:13:48

Oh, I was waiting for your update yesterday.

What a terrible shame - I'm not in the canvas "gang" but I do look after all of my kit very carefully and I would be gutted if that had happened to me.

I'm sure all the wise ladies of Soul will be along soon to give you support and advice.

In the meantime, top result with the tealight chandelier - irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes you have to take your pleasure where you can smile

What toppest tips did you take with you that worked?

Lucycat Tue 19-Jul-11 09:23:29

Oh no your poor tent sad I too am useless at suggesting a mildew solution - could you phone soulpad and ask? We also have a zig which is stored separately as Lakey would be unmovable with it in. We shall do the same with our new Hypercamp Dutch jobby. Just wanted to commiserate in a canvas way sad

oranges123 Tue 19-Jul-11 10:58:49

Oh Lovecat - how awful. I would be gutted too. If noone comes along with a better idea, my only suggestion would be to try Milton. It has worked for me when we had black spots around our bath and (yuk) on baby clothes which I had left in the basket too long. I would try it fairly dilute first of all and if that doesn't work go a bit stronger. It must be fairly mild as you can sterilise baby bottles in it but even so, you don't want to take a risk of the canvas perishing.

Hope you get it sorted out and glad you had a great time at Latitude otherwise smile

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 19-Jul-11 11:19:19

Oh Lovecat. sadsad How horrible for you. I did see some 'tent mildew remover' hmm in a small and very expensive jar in my internet ramblings yesterday. Have no idea if it would work, though. here. Agree that Soulpad might have some helpful advice too.

Glad Latitude was great, despite the mud!

oranges123 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:24:27

Actually I was just looking at Soulpad's website and they say that their tents are impregnated with stuff to make them mould/fungus resistant. It might be worth having a word with them as it looks as if you maybe shouldn 't have had this problem at all.

SalomeD Tue 19-Jul-11 11:52:03

sad oh Lovecat, what horrible news. Perhaps try one of the tent repair companies, also I think there is a link on one of the bell tent sites to a bell tent cleaner (maybe it wasnsomething on Soulpads facebook page because i remember someone sending theirs away to be cleaned). We're off Thursday and so i'm now wondering about ours. Didnt store zig separately and its been under the bed as thought that was less likely to get dMp than the garage.

Slubberdegullion Tue 19-Jul-11 15:04:44

Oh God lovecat. I completely understand how upset you are. I would be exactly the same and am equally anal about packing my tent away bone dry.

I wonder how the water got in? On the inside of the groundsheet?

Oranges has already said it, dilute Milton is what is usually recommended on ukcs to get rid of mildew. I wonder as well if time outdoors in sunlight (har de har) would help to bleach it a bit.

If you can't get it back to cream then what about dying the whole thing? would make your bell an original. The new canvas of the 2011 range of cab anon pyramids is a very nice restful sage green.

Sorry to hear about this. latitude sounded fun despite the weather. Apologies again for being an arse on your packing thread.

lovecat Tue 19-Jul-11 19:34:35

Thanks all. I will try it with dilute Milton before spending £££ with Albion - I resent buying anything off those buggers because their website doesn't include VAT until you get to the checkout,, which is just sneaky (although thanks for the link)!

Slubs, stop apologising, you weren't an arse at all. I assumed you were just messing about, knowing your no-nonsense approach to all things camp, and took it in that spirit. I was being a moody cow about the non-locals piling in and telling me I had too much stuff, but as I said, I was NOT in a good mood that day....grin

Dying is something I'd thought about, but I think the dark spots may still show through the colour (unless I dyed it black - ooh, then it would look like one of those German scout tent jobbies... but my accessories are not efficiently Teutonic enough for that...)

Slubberdegullion Tue 19-Jul-11 19:50:30

Oh God, those black tents shock wtf?. And would be so hot inside.

You could paint big black spots over the top of the little black mildew spots. A leopard print bell would be very, um rad and easy to spot at future festivals.

lovecat Tue 19-Jul-11 19:57:55

grin DD would LOVE a leopard-print bell - she seems to be channelling Bet Lynch/Joan Collins as style icons atm...

But I will try a spot-test with Milton while it's still up trying to dry (I can seem us taking it sopping wet to Cornwall on Sunday at this rate!).

Slubberdegullion Tue 19-Jul-11 20:21:24

heh heh

I can see the tealight chandelier really working in a leopard bell.

JetLi Tue 19-Jul-11 21:04:58

Little sis had much success with the Milton that slubber mentioned, however it was a nylon tent & not canvas.


needanewname Wed 20-Jul-11 22:18:33

Lovecat - you poor thing, your DH obviouosly doesn't understand - heartless bastard!

I feel your pain sad

lovecat Wed 20-Jul-11 22:22:35

Tried to buy milton today but all the chemist had were the tablets. I'm going away again on Sunday so will try and get some then to do a spot clean. It's taken me til this afternoon to dry the tent out from the weekend, so I didn't dare leave it up to try it out for fear of it raining again!

lovecat Wed 20-Jul-11 22:23:49

I can't slag DH too much, he bought us a roofbox this afternoon so I can take all my glampy shit along with us! But thank you needanewname for the

FlorenceMattell Tue 26-Jul-11 18:26:43

Hi lovecat
Am a bit late to this tread, but feel for you.
Just to say disolve the milton tablets and then pour solution into an empty very very well washed out spray bottle.

needanewname Tue 09-Aug-11 19:09:44

How is it lovecat?

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