How to Fix Tent Poles

How to Fix Tent Poles
Nothing's worse after a long day of backpacking than setting up a tent and hearing the sound of a tent pole breaking. Gain peace of mind by adding a tent pole repair sleeve and a little duct tape to your backpacking repair kit. These two items are all you need for a quick fix until you get home and can repair your tent poles.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Repair sleeve Duct tape
  • Repair sleeve
  • Duct tape
Step 1
Assess the damage. If the damage is in the middle of the pole, you can fix it quickly and the pole will continue to assemble and disassemble without any more problems. If the damage is at one of the segment's ends, you'll need to remove the repair when taking down the tent and redo it each time you set up.
Step 2
Fix any splits or breaks by carefully pushing the aluminum back into shape.
Step 3
Slide an aluminum repair sleeve down the pole. Center it over the damaged area.
Step 4
Duct tape each side of the aluminum repair sleeve to the pole. The tape holds the repair in place.
Step 5
Send the pole to the manufacturer for repair after you get back. Manufacturers repair or replace poles for a small fee. If you're lucky they'll replace the pole for free under warranty.

Tips & Warnings

 
Fitting tent pole sections together carefully will lessen the risk of a break. Make sure that one pole's insert slides completely into the next pole's tube end. When disassembling a tent pole, start in the middle and work out to the ends. This practice keeps the tension even across the pole's shock cord, which extends its life. If you don't have a repair sleeve, then use this tip from Backpacker magazine author Annie Getchell: Keep your eye open for an old aluminum can on the side of the trail. Cut the top and bottom off the can and wrap the can's wall around the pole as a repair. If your tent didn't come with a repair sleeve, buy one at an outdoors specialty retailer.
 
Fitting tent pole sections together carefully will lessen the risk of a break. Make sure that one pole's insert slides completely into the next pole's tube end.
 
When disassembling a tent pole, start in the middle and work out to the ends. This practice keeps the tension even across the pole's shock cord, which extends its life.
 
If you don't have a repair sleeve, then use this tip from Backpacker magazine author Annie Getchell: Keep your eye open for an old aluminum can on the side of the trail. Cut the top and bottom off the can and wrap the can's wall around the pole as a repair.
 
If your tent didn't come with a repair sleeve, buy one at an outdoors specialty retailer.
 
If the damage is at an end of a segment, the pole often bursts open. The burst can be sharp, so be careful not to cut yourself while repairing the pole.
 
If the damage is at an end of a segment, the pole often bursts open. The burst can be sharp, so be careful not to cut yourself while repairing the pole.

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.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.