When you buy a Tarp Tent, a silnylon tarp shelter, or a hammock tarp, it’s best to seal the seams using McNett’s Silnet (also called Gear Aid Silnet) in order to make them waterproof in the rain. Most of these shelters are not seam sealed or seam taped, so you have to do it yourself.
Here is my simple guide to do that.
- A brush that you don’t mind throwing away afterwards
- A tin can or something to mix up in
- A bit of card, or a very steady hand
- Damp cloth
- Mcnett Silnet, which is sticky messy stuff
- Paint thinner
Start with mixing at 3 to 1 paint thinner in a tin with Silnet until it is a workable viscous paste that can be easily applied with the brush to the seams. The whole point is to get it to soak into the stitching where the water could penetrate. If you were to apply the Silnet without thinning, it cures too thick and can flake off leaving a messy look.
Note: You want to seal the seams on the outside or top face of the fabric only. One coat is usually enough. Really.
Pitch the shelter in good weather or the garage: somewhere where it can dry for most of a day. Pitch the tent or shelter tightly, as you would in the field. If it has an unusual shape that makes it impossible to seal all of the seams at once, do them separately on a different day.
Brush in the thinned mix carefully and use the damp cloth to mop up any spills. A little goes a long way. A cut out template (shown above) will help reduce spills. The thinned mixture will soak in and look neat after it dries.
Written 2015. Updated 2017.Disclosure: SectionHiker.com receives affiliate compensation from retailers that sell the products we recommend or link to if you make a purchase through them. When reviewing products, we test each thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. Our reputation for honesty is important to us, which is why we only review products that we've tested hands-on. Our mission is to help people, which is why we encourage readers to comment, ask questions, and share their experiences on our posts. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
Most Popular Searches
- can you use seam sealer indoors