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When you’re roughing it in the great outdoors, it can be difficult to keep sand/dirt out of your tent at night. While a little bit of dirt is expected while camping, no one wants their tent to turn into a sandbox.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep sand and dirt out of your tent. Up next, here are some top tips for keeping your tent free of dirt and sand at all times.

1. Maintain A No-Shoe Rule

First things first, no shoes in your tent. Hiking boots and trail runners tend to trap massive amounts of sand in their thick lug soles. So, keeping boots outside of your tent at all times is a must.

Of course, no one wants their hiking boots to get soaked in the rain, so it’s understandable if you’re apprehensive about leaving yours outside at night. Therefore, a tent that’s great for wet conditions and that has a vestibule is ideal. These vestibules provide the perfect place to store your boots at night and give you peace of mind that your shoes won’t get soaked in a rainstorm.

2. Wet Gear Stays Outside

Wet gear – especially packs and rain jackets – tend to collect large amounts of dirt and sand. When they finally dry, all this sand will fall off and make a mess in your tent.

So, keep wet gear outside your tent at all times. Your tent vestibule is a great place to keep all your damp equipment so it’s not in your tent with you. Plus, vestibules generally get quite a bit more airflow than the main body of the tent, so your gear is more likely to dry in them, anyway.

3. Use A Welcome Mat

No, you don’t need to carry around an actual welcome mat in the backcountry, but placing some sort of cloth at the entrance to your tent can help keep dirt out of your shelter.

An oversized groundsheet or footprint that extends past the main door of your tent usually works well for this purpose. These simple fabrics help to trap any sand or dirt that’s stuck on your socks and gear before you enter your tent. That way, you can keep the inside of your tent as cleans as possible.

If you’re going beach camping or somewhere that’s particularly sandy, CGeear’s Sand-Free Camping Mat is a good choice. This super-durable mat is designed to trap sand, dirt, and other sediments at the entrance to your tent so you don’t have to worry about bringing the beach into your shelter with you each night.

4. Bring Baby Powder

Okay, this might sound a bit odd, but baby powder is particularly good at getting sand off of the bottom of your feet. For beach-side camping trips or any outdoor adventures with kids, baby powder is a must-have. It quickly pulls sand off of the skin, helping to keep the inside of your tent sparkly clean while outside.

5. Keep Backpacks Out Of The Tent

Many people bring their backpack into their tent each night so that it doesn’t get wet in the rain. However, backpacks love to get covered in dirt, so bringing them in your tent is a surefire way to fill your sleeping area with sand.

If you’re concerned about your pack getting wet in the rain, take some steps to waterproof your pack. Consider using a pack liner or pack cover to protect your gear. Then, place your pack under a tree, boulder, or in your tent’s vestibule to keep it as dry as possible.

Sure, your backpack might still get a bit wet if it’s not in your tent at night even when using a liner or cover. But, packs are meant to get wet and they dry out pretty quickly. When the alternative is a tent full of sand, we’d take a wet pack any day.

6. Shake Out Your Tent

Unfortunately, dirt is notoriously good at getting trapped inside tents. This means that simply taking down your tent and putting it back into its stuff sack isn’t enough to get rid of all the dirt that’s collected inside.

So, if you notice that your tent is full of dirt, do something about it! The next time you take down your tent, turn the body inside out. Then, shake it out to ensure that you get rid of all that dirt and sand.

This is a good thing to do whenever you pack up your tent. When you get back home, take the time to shake your tent out thoroughly before hanging it up to dry. That way, you can be sure that the entire tent is dirt- and sand-free before you head out on your next camping trip.

7. Bring A Dust Pan And Brush

Finally, if you’re camping somewhere that’s really sandy, there’s nothing better than a dustpan and brush. A small amount of dirt or sand is inevitable on a camping trip, especially if you’re camping with kids.

Having a mini dustpan available can ensure that you can quickly sweep up any dirt or sand piles before they get out of control within your tent.

John Zahra