Seam Sealing

To seal the seams, follow the instructions below and take proper safety precautions: wear eye protection and gloves, and provide adequate ventilation.

Sealer

For best results, we recommend using Seam Grip Sil from Gear Aid. You can also use most commonly available silicone caulks thinned with odorless mineral spirits (available from most hardware stores). Some people, including us, like to thin the Seam Grip slightly with oderless mineral spirits as well. We typically aim for a consistency similar to that of warm honey.

DO NOT USE sealers made for PU coated fabrics!

The Process

  • It's usually easiest to seal your tent while it's pitched. For tarps, however, it may be difficult to reach the seam. In such a case, pull the seam taut over a flat surface, clamping it or weighing it down at each end to keep it in place while you work.
  • Apply the silicone to both exposed stitches on the outside of the seam while also working some of the mixture under the fold of the seam. A glue brush works well for this.
  • Allow the silicone to level, then wipe off excess with a paper towel, if necessary.
  • Allow the silicone to cure.
  • If your shelter has peaks designed to accommodate trekking pole handles, it’s a good idea to apply a second application to the seams around the peaks (or use a thicker application) since these areas are subject to more stress.