Tips to avoid Muddy Tents

Keeping your tent clean and cosy when it’s deep mud outside!


Kids love to sit in mud!

A wet muddy festival is most parents main worry because if you’re not prepared for it, it could turn your lovely weekend away into the most hellish few days on earth.  But the good news is that a muddy festival can also be really exciting for your kids and provide your family with a lot of hilarious anecdotes for years on end.

If you have the right kit and can stay warm and comfortable then rainy festivals needn’t be something to dread.  Of course we would all prefer not to have to embrace foul weather with open arms, but we are in the UK so you might well have to!

We already have a blog about coping with rain and mud here, but lots of you have been asking for more details on my trick for keeping tents relatively clean inside when your entire family is caked in mud.  So here it is:

The principle is simple –
contain mud and wet clothes before you enter the tent!

You need to create a way of leaving your wet muddy outer-clothes in self-contained space.  I use a Moonbag (also available in pink).  This is a large 1 metre circle of waterproofed canvas with a drawstring and carry strap.

1.  Open up the bag in the entrance of the tent
2.  Stand wet muddy child on the circle
3.  Take off waterproof jacket or poncho and turn inside out (to keep the wet mud contained) and put it in another Moonbag or suitable wet storage area (a collapsible crate, bin liner, etc)
4.  Peel down waterproof trousers, leaving them around their wellies, and lift the child out of their wellies into the clean dry tent.
5.  Repeat with child 2, 3 and 4… and finally for you too.
6.  Once all are inside the nice dry clean tent, pull up the drawstring of the Moonbag containing all your filthy wet wellies and trousers.
7.  Relax and enjoy the cosy sound of the rain on the canvas overhead… aaaah bliss!
8.  Your wellies and waterproof trousers are now all ready for you to step straight into when you next venture out.

Moonbag – great for containing wet muddy boots

You don’t need to use Moonbag, I just like them because they are so durable and practical.

Depending on the size of your kids you may need more than one.  You can use something like big blue IKEA bags – the only downside is the high sides and little ones tend to trip over when stepping out of their muddy boots.  You could also try a segmented collapsible car boot-tidy and have a compartment for each family member – probably the sort of thing you’d find in a Kleeneze catalogue!

Bin liners are a bit rubbish because they tear easily.

I always take an old towel to wipe drips and spills off the floor of the tent too.

Buggies and Wagons:

If you have a muddy buggy, you have two choices:  leave it outside if it has a good rain cover that doesn’t leak (perhaps secure it to your tent with a My Buggy Buddy Pram Lock if you’re worried about losing it) or bring it into the tent.  If you are bringing it in, I have found a mini tarpaulin (like the sort that garden centres sell as a car boot liner) or a sheet of plastic really useful.

Just wheel it onto the tarp and then you can move it out of the way by dragging the tarp around without getting muddy tyre trails all over your groundsheet.  You could also use a Mucky Mat or bit of plastic designed to go under your baby’s highchair at feeding times.

NB: Ideally, these tips work best if you have a large tent with a separate porch – even a small tent with small porch is OK.  But if you don’t have a porch area and have a small tent that is entirely filled with sleeping area (like a pop-up), then I’m afraid you are pretty screwed and the mud will get everywhere!  At least most things are washable…!

This muddy arena was only the start of it…!


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