waterproofing kit


Book Reviewer
just been doing some kit which the missus wrecked in madagascar so thought I'd share if I haven't done so previously as I've been doing this for a while now since my 20 year old as new north face hike tent decided to fill with water every mornng due to a worn ground sheet.

anyway - kit, especially civvy kit due to the way it's made delaminates the waterproof layer, fails in the breathable department or gets tiny holes or leaks.

so if you want to recoat rucksacks, groundsheets, flysheets, ponchos, bashas, older frame tents or awnings, seal holes in goretex or turn an older no longer breathable jacket or fabric boots into a waterproof then its worth doing. also the non sealed fabric side of webbing and bergans can be sealed to stop it wetting out.

clear silicone sealant and white spirit applied with a brush or sponge does the job a treat. 1:10 or so in a jam jar, lid on then shake like buggery until no lumps remain or use a mixing head in a battery drill. paint on rucksacks or use a small sponge roller for tents, bivvy bags, ground sheets. then hang out to dry. a second coat once dry will make it shiny but is good for bag inners or tents. where the inner coating is peeling on older bags you can paint it on the outside which will help stick the flakes back on and stop them making a mess. wipe off or wipe in any dribbles.

goretex you could do either side on problem areas like the bramble holes in old bivvy bags or the seat area on trousers.

in effect you are making silnylon as used on northface and other expensive tents, you can also do cotton and because its dilutes it works into the fibres so is non shiny. the yanks as usual make sheets of the stuff using vacuum methods but a brush works fine.

its the same idea used in fabsil but a different solvent so it doesnt keep for long, mix it and use it straight away. thicker mixes or thinner mixes depending on where its going will also work, drying time will vary and a thicker mix you need to make sure fabric doesn't touch.

brushes clean up in white spirit but sponges and rollers will need to be chucked, jam jars are use once as the silicone adheres to the glass.

if only I'd known this when I had 58 webbing much misery could have been reduced :)
That's a great tip, thank you. I am going to find something to waterproof this weekend!!

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Awesome tip!!

Bone question....wouldn't it completely ruin breathability of say a tent if you coated the whole thing in it?

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Book Reviewer
Awesome tip!!

Bone question....wouldn't it completely ruin breathability of say a tent if you coated the whole thing in it
modern hike tents rely on two layers with an air gap for ventilation, the groundsheet and the flysheet a meant to be 100% waterproof which is either coated on one side or silnylon depending on how much you spent. taped seams let down newer tents as the tape falls off when the glue fails like on vango tents. my north fact I had to pitch inside out then use sealant in a tube and a wet finger to proof the seams. if the taping fails then you can paint the outside of the seams to seal them instead which at least get a few more years out of it.

even the super light weight single skin jobs when not goretex like the phoenix tents were use silnylon to seal you in an airtight bubble with a few tunnel vents to stop you dying.

silicone spray lubricant will waterproof after a fashion as it will allow water to bead off untill the fabric wets out and can be used on sleeping bags or clothing but is more expensive.
Good 'un mate.

I like my tarps and hammocks setups personally. A few years ago I communicated with a septic aout the new and expensive superlight very strong silnylon tarps and how difficult it was to get them in the UK. He told me that they suffered the same problem in the US as no one was able to source silnylon - siliconised nylon fabric, not the sprayon silicone stuff from the camping shop but more like the stuff bulders buy from B&Q. Soaking/covering/working into, even ultralight, fabric with silicone not only makes it waterproof but also increases its strength and ripstop qualities.

Anyway, my septic told me that what they do in septicland is buy ultralight ripstop nylon, stretch it out flat as possible on a level surface, squirton the silicone/thinners mix and work in with a window cleaners squeegee, hang up and dry, then use for making cat tarps - which is a whole different thread to be written subject.

Found this: Silnylon

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