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Classic Moss tent needs de-odorization

Dear REI,

Our beloved Moss Little Dipper tent from 1994 (Camden, Maine) has taken to probable polyurethane breakdown and the subsequent foul odor.

I hope someone familiar with the high quality Moss tents can advise us if something can be done to allow us to continue to use our tent.  The red tent floor seems to be the main culprit. 

The tent is in very good condition and thus is something we wish to save for more years of outdoor adventure.

Please advise us on how to proceed.




11 Replies

I think we may be lucky, but due to such a crazy year, we've only used our Moss Little Dipper once since our trial washing.  I washed it in October 2020 and used it once in New Hampshire in mid-November 2020.

I placed the body of the tent into our bath tub with warm water and Woolite detergent. I gently agitated the tent body around the tub for 10 minutes, then let it soak for 10 more. I then gave it as good a rinse as I could. The rinse process was quite lengthy as the soap suds seems stubborn to fully rinse away. After a good deal of rinsing I hung it to dry in my basement, which is quite dry (very low humidity). I left it hanging there for at least 2 full weeks, maybe slightly longer.  

There was no foul smell!  I did not attempt any water proofing nor did I test to see if it needs water proofing... sorry.  But the smell is gone 🙂

We did take it for a long weekend get-away in New Hampshire and throughly enjoyed using it!  The rainfly does not have the terrible foul odor as the body of the tent had experienced, so I did not wash it. 

I fully suspect that the rainfly and tent body would need a water-proof treatment boost.  I might try to get that done before mid-June when our schedule opens up for some possible camping opportunities.

Your tent seems to have the same stink that we had.  I hope the smell doesn't return for us. But, I think the Woolite option is safe. I'm not a scientist, but the results seem good. Time will tell.

I hope this helps your decision. 

MOSS Tents are the best!

Happy camping,




Thanks for circling back here to tell us about the process for ridding your tent of its musty odor. Hooray for the result!

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