How to Repair a Shock Corded Fiberglass Tent Pole

How to Repair a Shock Corded Fiberglass Tent PoleFiberglass tent poles with shock cords are generally tough and difficult to break. If the pole itself breaks, you may be able to patch it together with metal flashing, hose clamps and duct tape---until a replacement pole can be found. However, if it is the shock cord inside the pole that gives way, you're in luck. Shock cords are easy to replace with just a little effort and ingenuity.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pliers
  • Sand paper
  • Replacement shock cord
  • Thread or fishing line
  • Upholstery needle
  • Scissors or utility knife
Step 1
Use pliers to remove the tips from the each end of the tent pole.
Step 2
Cut the shock cord (if it's still in one piece) and remove it from the fiberglass pole. Keep the pole sections in their original order.
Step 3
Inspect the ends of the pole sections for sharp edges that could damage the shock cord. Use sand paper to smooth out any hazards.
Step 4
Tie a knot in one end of the new shock cord. Tie the other end of the shock cord to a length of thread or fishing line longer than the combined length of the tent pole sections.
Step 5
Run the thread or fishing line through a heavy-duty upholstery needle. If you don't have a heavy-duty needle, you can attach a small weight to the line, such as one used for fishing or a screw small enough to fit through the inside of the tent pole sections.
Step 6
Run the thread or fishing line through the first section of tent pole. Use the line to pull the shock cord through the pole section. Repeat the process until the shock cord is threaded through all tent pole sections. Fit the tent pole sections together.
Step 7
Pull the shock cord tight and tie a knot to keep it from sliding back inside the pole. Do not cut the shock cord at this point, because you may need to adjust the length.
Step 8
Break down the tent pole into sections and test the pole by reassembling it. The pole should snap back together as it originally did. Adjust the shock cord if it is too tight or too loose. Cut the cord with scissors or a utility knife. Replace the tent pole tips.

Tips & Warnings

Contact the manufacturer for repair kits specific to your brand of tent. Coleman sells universal tent pole repair kits online.
To repair a broken tent pole section, purchase a section of aluminum roof flashing and several nylon hose clamps. Cut the flashing fit around the broken pole and secure with the hose clamps. Wrap the repair with duct tape to protect the tent from sharp edges.

Article Written By Denise Bertacchi

Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.

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