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DIY gear repairs: Fixing a broken tent pole


You've packed your gear, first-aid kit, your snacks and you're ready to go! Hold up though, because adding a DIY repair kit can save you a headache out in the field, and cash when you get home.

The extremes of Mother Nature are, for many, what draws them to the outdoors. But unfortunately, wild weather often doesn’t mix well with your gear. Tears, holes, leaks, breaks and cracks are bound to happen to equipment with prolonged or regular use in the field. Luckily, many common minor gear failures can be carried out either on the trail or at home before you go. All you need is a bit of know-how and the right equipment. So before you chuck out that bit of kit you thought was stuffed, read on and see if you can save some hard-earned cash.


Broken tent pole

A busted tent pole can be disastrous in the field. Not only will the tent not take shape, it can also puncture your tent, resulting in a damp night’s sleep.

Cutting tent pole to size

Most modern tents come with a pole sheath which you can slide over the break in the pole to provide structure to the pole and tent. Secure the sheath in place with tape. Depending on the position of the break, you may need to remove the sheath later to allow the poles to be folded, but a mid-segment break can be secured with a sheath and tape for many years.

Tent pole sheath and tape

For a long-term fix, consider replacing the entire pole segment. To do this, unscrew the end of the pole and undo the elastic shock cord. Unthread the shock cord, remove the broken segment and replace it with a new one. Many tents share segments which are the same length, so before you chuck out your old tent, save a pole to use for spare segments down the track. If it is too long, use a hacksaw to cut it down to the right length.

Tent pole sheath and tape 2

Tip: duct tape can be easily carried out in the field by taping a few layers around your water bottle.

Repair tape around drink bottle

Repair cost

Tent sheath: included with most tents, otherwise a few dollars

Duct tape: $5-10 for a roll which will last almost forever


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