How To Extend Tent Poles

How to Extend Tent PolesTent poles come custom-fitted for the tent they were designed for, so if you want to use those poles for something else---something longer---you have to figure out how to extend the tent poles. With so many types of poles on the market, it's hard to know exactly how to make everything fit together, but with a few quick measurements, you'll quickly be able to find the parts to extend your tent poles.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent poles
  • Bungee cord
  • Extra pole extension
Step 1
Identify the tent manufacturer and model of the tent. Many stores that sell replacement tent poles identify the style of poles to sell you based on the make and model of the tent.
Step 2
Determine the material of the tent pole. Most poles are built from one of three materials: fiberglass, aluminum or steel. In order to extend the tent pole, you must buy an extension piece matching the original pole.
Step 3
Measure the pole's diameter. Measure the end opposite of the ferrule for the true pole diameter.
Step 4
Measure the length of a pole section. Adding extensions of the same length ensures the pole flexes evenly over its length.
Step 5
Buy a pole section extension based on the measurement you took in the previous step.
Step 6
Cut the old shock cord out of your tent pole. The next step is easier if you join all the segments of your tent pole together before you cut the shock cord.
Step 7
Cut a new piece of shock cord. It must be longer to take into account the length of your extension sections.
Step 8
Thread the new shock cord through all the pole segments plus the new extension segments. Tie knots at the end of the shock cord to secure it in the poles.

Tips & Warnings

Tighten the shock cord after the first few uses.
Always disassemble the tent pole starting in the middle. This puts less strain on the shock cord, which makes it last longer.
Make sure the shock cord is tight enough to hold all the segments together, because loose segments could result in a ferrule or insert busting.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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