The last thing you want on your next camping adventure is to be stuck with a broken tent pole. Tent poles are essential in maintaining the structural integrity of your tent, and in turn keeping the rain water out! If you want to enjoy a comfortable, dry sleep the next time you are camping in the great outdoors, make sure that you pack the essentials. Your essentials should include some tools that can allow you to get by until you can make more permanent repairs.
There are many common breaks that occur with tent poles. Depending on the type of break you have, you have a number of methods of fixing your tent poles. The first that we will step you through is the broken cord inside the pole.
How to Repair Tent Pole Elastic Cord
All tent poles are bound to fail at some point, due to wearing of the elastic bungee cord around the end of the tent pole aperture. This can occur through strong winds, incorrect use or just wear and tear.
So, before you throw your whole tent away, have a look at this process which allows you to fix them with ease. Camping Plus show you how to replace tent pole cord with a simple bobby pin (or any similar implement) and string.
On most tents, the inner cord will usually be around 2 mm in diameter which is not very durable. If you measure the opening diameter of the pole you may find you can use a thicker cord so that it lasts longer.
There are many other methods that can be used to feed the cord through your poles, but when your on a camping trip, a bobby pin and string can save the day. Here are the steps:
- 1- Remove the old cord from the tent poles;
- 2- Measure and cut a piece of string to the length of one tent pole piece;
- 3- Tie the string to the end of the shock cord;
- 4- Use your hands to flatten out a bobby pin (any long, thin, metal implement will work);
- 5- Tie the string around the end of a bobby pin;
- 6- The string and bobby pin will be used to feed the cord through the pole;
- 7- Drop the bobby pin and string through the tent pole pieces one by one – once the bobby pin reaches the opposite end of each pole, slowly pull the string to feed the cord through;
- 8- Once the last piece has been threaded, untie or cut the string from the cord – Tie a large knot against the right end of the last piece (The knot must be large enough to prevent the shock cord from slipping through the pole.)
- 9- Connect the tent poles;
- 10- Cut the shock cord from the left end of the first pole piece leaving room on the end for knots (allowing extra cord on the end means you can adjust the tension in the cord later on);
- 11- Tie a large knot around the tent pole end piece. Fit the end piece into the left end of the first pole (If your poles do not come with an end piece, simply tie a large knot in the cord. The knot must be large enough to prevent the cord from pulling through); and
- 12- Disconnect the pole pieces. Fold the pieces to test the cord tension (If the cord is too tight, reconnect the poles and adjust the cord length between the left end of the first pole and the end piece).
There it is, some simple steps to fix your broken tent pole. But don’t forget to pack spare string and cords in your camping gear!
How to Repair a Broken Pole
The easiest and quickest way to fix a broken pole is with a pole repair tube. Also called a splint, a short tube is often provided with your tent for such purposes. If not, you should make sure you purchase one and take it with you on your next adventure. Using a repair sleeve to fix a broken tent pole is simple:
- 1- Line up the broken pole sections;
- 2- If the pole is bent but not broken, try to straighten the bent part;
- 3- Slide the sleeve over the pole end until it’s centred over the break or bend; you might have to use pliers to bend any splayed pieces in;
- 4- Wrap each end of the sleeve and pole with duct tape, don’t forget to pack tape! and
- 5- If your pole breaks where one pole end inserts into the next one, you will have to splint the sections together; although this will stop the poles from folding up neatly when you take the tent down.
If you don’t have a repair sleeve, you can use a spare tent peg as an alternative:
- 1- Line up the broken pole sections;
- 2- If the pole is bent but not fully broken, straighten out the bend;
- 3- Centre the peg next to the break; and
- 4- Wrap each end of the peg with duct tape and you are done.
Don’t Forget to Be Prepared
If you are planning your next camping adventure (hopefully you’re not in the middle of one), make sure you pack appropriately, you never know when you will need to make emergency repairs to the simplest items. Being prepared is the best way to keep your family safe, secure and comfortable. Come on in to Camping Plus to check out our great range of camping supplies and equipment that can help you prepare for your next trip and avoid headaches.