How to Repair a Camping Tent

How to Repair a Camping TentTypical camping tents are made out of nylon, and while nylon is a tough fabric, it does suffer under camping conditions. Wear and tear or accidents will eventually cause even the best tents to suffer tears, burns, gouges and/or leaks in the fabric, as well as bent poles. A good tent repair kit will give you all the tools necessary to make lasting repairs against this sort of damage, and the repairs can be carried out in the field.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent repair tape
  • Nylon tent repair kit
Step 1
Patch up any tears or holes in the tent's nylon fabric with a tent repair tape. In a pinch, duct tape can be used as a substitute, but it will not be as durable.
Step 2
Caulk leaky seams in the tent with a tube of tent-repair adhesive and sealant. Press the nozzle under the seam's fold, and draw a bead of sealant down the seam by pressing the tube with steady pressure as you run it along the inside of the seam.
Step 3
Examine the tent's nylon fabric for minor damage, such as pinholes or small tears. Apply enough adhesive to both bind the fabric back together and to extend outward from the damage roughly 1/4 inch in all directions.
Step 4
Repair major damage to the floor, mesh or rainfly by using the appropriate patch. Patches of this kind are common components of any nylon tent repair kit. Flatten the torn, burnt or gouged area and set the patch or patches on the area to get an idea of what to cover with the tent-repair adhesive. Then apply the adhesive and press the patches down onto the damage. After half an hour, repeat the process with a second set of patches on the other side of the gouge or tear.
Step 5
Straighten any bent tent poles, and then buttress them by sliding plastic tent frame repair sleeves over the bend in the pole. In a pinch, buttress bent poles with duct tape, but this will not prove as durable as a plastic repair sleeve.

Tips & Warnings

Allow any nylon tent repair adhesive and sealant at least two hours to dry before doing anything with the tent that would expose it to further wear and tear.

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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