How to Repair a Broken Tent Pole Joint

How to Repair a Broken Tent Pole Joint
Many tents use poles with articulated joints, made from flexible cordage. This allows a section of two or three poles that are meant to be used together to be easily assembled for use and then disassembled for storage. However, the result is a lot of wear and tear on the cordage in the joint, and with regular camping these will inevitably fall apart. Repairing them is a fairly simple, but it does require a workbench with a vise.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Vise
  • Coat hanger
  • Replacement shock cord or bungee cord
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
Step 1
Place the tent pole into a vise and pull the cord out. If the knot is too stubborn and won't budge, tape a pen knife blade to the end of a straightened coat hanger and use this to cut up the knot and reduce its grip on the inside of the pole. Repeat the process for the other end of the section of tent poles so that there is no cordage remaining in any of the poles.
Step 2
Assemble the tent poles on the vise gripe, thread shock cord or bungee cord into the first pole and push the cord down the length of the poles until it emerges on the other end.
Step 3
Tie knots in the cords at both ends, leaving some space between the knot and the outer ends of the poles. It should be roughly 1 1/2 inches for a two-section pole and 2 inches for a three-section pole. The knots should be a little larger than the size of the tent pole's hollow opening.
Step 4
Grip the cord and pull on it to draw the knot into the tent pole, using the vise as an anchor to hold the pole in place. If you can see where the knot is resting inside the pole, use a pair of pliers to squeeze down and clinch the pole around the knot to increase the resistance and get the knot stuck. Then switch sides, put the other end of the section of tent poles into the vise and repeat the procedure to anchor that end.
Step 5
Trim off the extra cordage extending beyond the two knots with a pair of scissors.

Tips & Warnings

Sometimes you cannot strike the proper balance in making the knot small enough to get it into the tent pole, yet big enough to offer enough resistance to make clinching it into place worthwhile. If you have this problem, your next option is to increase the size of the knot with extra tying so that it will serve as an anchor at the outer ends of the section of tent poles. You will no longer be trying to get the knots stuck inside the poles, but instead will be trying to make them so big they cannot possibly be pulled into the poles. The anchor knots are more exposed this way, and are therefore more prone to wear and tear, but it's still better than having a loose and disorganized collection of tent poles.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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