The Gear Doctor
E-Z Tent Pole Repair
Have you ever been in your cozy sleeping bag, and heard that dreaded and sudden “snap”? If it’s late at night in a windstorm, this can be a big problem if you’re not prepared. Here are some tips for an easy way to fix broken poles on your tent.
Aluminum Repair Sleeve
Campmor.com, or any camping/outdoor store carries these in the Camping Dept. They run about $5 or so. The sleeve looks like a 6” tube. It can be placed over the broken part of the tent pole like a splint, and taped into place. This is a temporary fix, but it works well in an emergency situation. When you arrive back home, be sure to get the pole fixed properly. One place you can send the pole to is Tent Pole Technologies in Seattle (360-260-9527), where they will fix the pole for about $15 and ship it back to you.
The stakes you used to guy out your lines or stake the tent make excellent “splints” for the tent pole, if you do not have a pole sleeve. Additionally, long metal tools can substitute as a splint, such as a screwdriver or small wrench. These can be placed along the broken edge of the pole and taped sturdily. Wrapping string around the taped splint will reinforce the strength.
When all else fails, use a strong piece of a branch and follow the same instructions.
What happens if the shock cord inside the pole has snapped? It’s not the end of the world….here’s an easy fix!
Find the two ends of the cord and slide them through the two pole pieces and ferrule tips. These are the small metal pieces that cap off the tent pole. Be sure to have equal tension on each side. Usually, there will be tiny washers inside the ferrules that are tied to the cord end. Untie them and use them on the new cord to keep the cord from popping through the ferrule. If there are no washers, tie a large double knot in the end on each side.
You won’t want to place undue stress on a tent that has a splinted pole. Try not to stake out the guy lines too tightly or the splint may break. Remember, this is a temporary fix and the splinted pole should never be used again. Get the pole fixed as quickly as possible. Below are 3 suggestions for repairing your pole:
1. Contact info for Tentpole Technologies: (360) 260-9527
2. You can try calling the manufacturer of the tent to see if they have replacement poles for sale. This is especially great if your tent is under warranty, although many times pole damage is not covered unless the tent was completely and properly set up.
3. Local Camping Store is where you can drop off broken poles and damaged equipment, and they will ship it out to a vendor for repair.
That’s it! You’ll become your own Gear Doctor in no time!! Until then, stay tuned for the next issue of The Gear Doctor for more tips on fix-its, camping essentials, and fun ideas.
Anita the PahaQueen
We are very pleased to have Anita Hudson Easton back on our writing staff as author of our monthly Gear Doctor. Anita is a 30 year veteran of the Outdoor Industry and is an expert in the design, manufacturing, care and maintenance of outdoor gear!