One big mistake people make with their tents is storing them while they’re damp or wet. This is a big no-no because it allows mold and mildew to build up. Another common tent storage mistake that people make is leaving their tent in the sun for months at a time. This puts your tent at risk from ultraviolet light damage, which will wear down the tent material.

It may surprise you, but at the campsite, many outdoorsmen forget to stake down their tents. Obviously, neglecting to use the stakes will cause your tent to blow away in high winds. Also, while you’re camping, try not to store food in your tent. Often, the scent of food—even crumbs or wrappers—will attract all manner of creatures to your tent, from ants to bears.

Finally, operating any appliance that burns fuel, or keeping an open flame, inside your tent is a sure-fire way (pun intended) to end its life. This means stoves, lanterns, heaters, or even candles. The combustion these appliances create consumes oxygen and can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside your tent, which can lead to serious injury, or even death. Even though most tent materials these days are treated with a fire retardant, they will burn if they’re left in contact with a continuous ignition source.

Oversight and neglect can be just as harmful as mistreatment or destruction, even more so in some cases. Keeping the tips outlined today in mind will help you protect your tent from yourself and extend its life for many more years.