Steps to test out an 11 year old tent?

11:27 a.m. on October 29, 2008 (EDT)
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Got an 11 year old REI half dome tent from my brother who used it for a 6 week outdoor project in college. He gave it to us for my son to use with his boy scout troop. The tent was stored in his garage (Texas Heat in Summer) but visually appears in perfect condition.

What steps or things should I do to ensure the tent properly functions prior to sending my son out on a 3 day scout camp? Thanks

11:40 a.m. on October 29, 2008 (EDT)
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Also, it has a bit of a smell. Any recommendations for removing smell? Thanks

12:04 p.m. on October 29, 2008 (EDT)
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122 forum posts

Check the tent for mildew. If your brother never let the tent air out / dry out before putting it away, it may have a mold/mildew problem.

To test it out, I'd put the tent together in your back yard. Make sure all the pieces are there and in good condition. Spray down the tent a while to make sure the tent is still waterproof. Check the zippers and cords.

12:29 p.m. on October 29, 2008 (EDT)
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You can remove the mildew smell by wiping it down with vinegar. If the zippers are metal, run a lead pencil along them and it will keep them from sticking.

7:11 p.m. on November 2, 2008 (EST)
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134 forum posts

Set it up outside for a few days, and the smell should go away. Then re-seal the seams on the fly. Do a search, you can find a recipe to mix silicone caulk and mineral spirits for a great seam sealer.

June 21, 2018
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