Camping preparations are always challenging, especially if you are trying to pack neat and tight. It took some time and practice over the years to master all the hacks. There are many solutions on how to pack efficiently- some of them are great, others not so much.

Packing up a tent, along with everything else can seem to be a nightmare. Because of this, some campers wonder can you vacuum pack a tent?

Keeping your tent compressed will save you space for storing food, as well as other important items you will need on your next camping trip. Now, as practical as it may sound, packing up a tent in a restricted area where the material can’t breathe might not be such a good idea.

The Tent Is the Beginning

Having a tent is a great thing. However, you need to sleep in that tent, you need to warm up, you need to eat something. Camping equipment depends on the choice of the camper, and the basic things you need to bring are a sleeping bag, a bag pad, a flashlight, a primus (stove), as well as a knife, and we would add an ax.

Before choosing camping equipment, you need to know what you need it for: it is not the same if you go camping on the sea or in the mountains. Also, the season when camping is an important thing, but above all the question of how many days and in what conditions you will be camping.

Of course, camping equipment is also chosen depending on the means of transport you used to go camping because you can put a dresser in your own car, while if you fly by plane or travel by bus, the choice of equipment you can take to camp is more than limited.

Packing Lightly

Packing with the reduced weight off your shoulder is virtually every camper’s dream. But is it possible to vacuum pack a tent? Some campers already have a habit of putting a tent in a compression sack. However, storing it like this long-term may cause actual damage to the tent.

Maintaining your camping equipment is the number one rule if you want your camping equipment to last. Vacuuming a tent into a compression sack may seem like a smart thing to do, but it is not always the best solution for the tent. It mostly depends on the type of material the tent is made for, and how resilient it is to being compressed.

Learning the benefits and risks of any type of maintenance will grow your expert opinion on the matter.  The material depends on the brand, size, and purpose you need your tent for.

What Size of Sack Should I Use?

As we already mentioned, the type of material used for tents depends on their brand and purpose. Some materials are thicker than others due to the temperature range they were made to endure.

In case you are wondering what the average tent campsite size is, be sure to read up on that here. Over time your decisions will become more confident, and you will spend less money on expensive and resilient equipment.

Why Would You Want to Vacuum Pack a Tent?

It is quite simple to save some space. Who wouldn’t want that extra room to bring on more stuff that you might not even need on your next camping trip? There are times when it is easier to pack tightly as you are restricted with storage or the weight you are able to carry.

People who love to go camping in their cars might not need to put a tent in a compression sack. The bag that the tent is packed in when store-bought is usually enough. Now, if for some reason you don’t have the original bag, the tent was packed, consider alternatives. Maybe you can try making or buying only the bag if the tent is according to your needs. Or it might be time to change the camping equipment one tent at a time. But if you plan on walking and carrying the entire equipment on you, that is an entirely different story.

Backpacking With a Tent

Using a compression sack is a great and simple resolution if you are planning to tighten everything up with your luggage. In addition to making space in the backpack for other utilities, you may have enough space to store the entire food properly.

It is extremely important to keep in mind that it is not a good idea to consider storing a tent with a vacuum seal. Storing a tent in a compressed environment for longer periods of time can only damage the material.

A great example is the coating that is used to repel water from soaking the tent. Compression can end up causing damage to those substances. We remind you that some tents use specialized chemical treatments for those.

The reason why some tents shouldn’t be kept in a vacuum pack, compressed and with no air is the potential damage it can do to the surface of the material. Some of these tents are covered in specialized chemical treatments to protect the material from UV lighting and harsh weather conditions, as well as water. This will happen because of friction the tent will place on itself if the tent is compressed tightly.

Use a Bag Instead

Some experienced campers claim that keeping their tent compressed during travel did not do any harm to the equipment. For those that need the extra space, it definitely comes in as a handy solution. On the other hand, there are those campers who prefer to avoid any potential damage. Their solution is to simply pack their tent without any kind of bag.

Tents are often made to be able to compress. The material is made that way so it can easily lay flat, and you should be able to manually fill up any little holes.

How Should You Store a Tent?

Properly storing a tent during colder months when you won’t be going camping is simple. But it should not require a compression sack or a vacuum. The tent material needs to be able to breathe. Good airflow will ensure that it stays in good shape.

Instead of using a vacuum sack and compressing, try to:

  • Lightly fold
  • Roll
  • Stuff it in a breathable bag

Keep in mind that your tent should be clean and dry before you store it.

When Should I Use Vacuum Packing?

Using compression bags and vacuum packing is not something you should resort to by default. There will be times when you need more room in your backpack when you go on your next trip. We strongly advise you to think ahead, plan and be critical to the way you pack.

Carrying one backpack for a longer trip has its challenges as you need to carry a tent, a sleeping bag, and all other camping necessities. All packed preferably in one bag.

Go as light as possible for short trips

Consider How Much You Are Carrying

Besides the tent, sleeping bags, pillows, and jackets can all be vacuum-packed in a compression sack. Considering every item you pack you will be needing it. A hot summer and good weather may find you camping out in the open night sky. You might not need a sleeping bag. Also, if you are going away only for a few days, maybe you can consider using a hammock instead of a tent altogether.

Now when it comes to storing clothes and other items that will not be easily damaged by friction, you can use vacuum packing by all means. This way you may even be able to pack and leave enough space for those items that should not be compressed together.

Are There Any Alternatives?

It would be safe to say that using vacuum packing is an alternative. Most tents, as well as sleeping bags, come with their compression bags. These compression bags are manual and do require some pushing, tugging, and pulling but get the job done.

Using vacuum packing is a practical alternative that was probably rooted in urban surroundings. Compressing any air out of the material for proper storage has been advertised by the end of the twentieth century. It came as a solution for cramped storage in small apartments where entire families lived.

From that idea, some practical campers who were looking for ways to make packing and storing easier started using vacuum packing for camping equipment – tents and sleeping bags at least.

So Can You Vacuum Pack a Tent?

Using a vacuum to pack your camping equipment can be challenging. If your storage space is limited for the entire camping trip, and the material is too bulky, what will happen once you open the air-sealed bag? Some campers (that travel by car) organize this to carry a portable vacuum to be able to pack up the same way once they are finished with camping.

Lining up the entire tent is not a problem, but you will have to carry around pegs and poles, either way, to be able to set it up. If you are one of those people who like to travel lightly maybe you should consider using a hammock for sleeping on those days when the weather is not too cold. To learn about hammocking (camping with a hammock instead of a tent) start by reading about where you are able to hammock camp.