Repair your tent out in the field
Even the best tents can be subject to bad luck and need some quick repair. Here are some tips on how to get it done in the field.Guides | 5 Minutes read
Even well built tents can need to be repaired if you have bad luck. You can get a rip in the tent fabric, a tent pole can break, or a zipper might fail if strained too much. Everything is repairable, even out in the field, so you will always have shelter when you most need it. All Fjällräven tents come with a repair kit (see opposite page). Note that the seam- sealer is unfortunately not included in the repair-kit as it is a perishable product. But we do recommend that you buy some if you are going on a longer trek. In addition to the repair kit that comes with your tent, it’s also a good idea to carry a multi-tool with pliers and duct tape with you.
The easiest way to repair a broken guyline is to just tie it back together. But repeated repair in this way creates too many knots, in which case it is preferable to change the whole line. Always burn/melt the ends of the guyline with a match or a lighter so they won’t fray.
Tent pegs can get bent or disappear. If you have a bent peg, straighten it by stamping on it when wearing boots, by hitting it with a large flat log or other object against a hard surface, or by bending it back into shape with the pliers on your multi-tool. If you are missing a tent peg it can be replaced with a regular stick in some ground types. Remember to use a fresh, bendy stick rather than a dry brittle one.
If a tent pole breaks you can replace the broken section with one of the reserve sections that comes with the tent and if you don’t have a reserve section you can use the repair tube.
a) Take off the aluminium plug at the end of the pole and untie the knot in the elastic cord. Separate the sections of the pole, remove them from the elastic cord and once you get to the damaged section replace it with the reserve section. Pulling the elastic cord through the new pole section is tricky because the section is longer than the cord. But by sewing a thread through the end of the cord and using the needle as a weight, you can push the needle and thread through the pole section and then pull the elastic cord through. Tie a new knot in the aluminium plug at the end of the cord and press it back into the top of the pole.
b) If you don’t have a reserve section you can use the spare pole repair tube that is in every tent’s repair kit over the broken section of the pole (see opposite page). Try to first shape the broken ends so they are as round and smooth as possible. This reduces the risk of the broken edges damaging the elastic cord inside and it is easier to slide the tube into place. Then use a small piece of tape to hold the broken parts together. Now slide the tube over the broken part and then tape it in place at both ends with duct tape.
Fix a broken tent pole segment
- Release the broken pole segment. The repair tube covers all our pole dimensions.
- Take away sharp edges from the broken ends and fix them together with duct tape.
- Slide the repair tube over the refract and fixate the ends with duct tape.
Tent fabric and ground sheet
A little leakage via the seams is perfectly normal for a tent, to make the tent 100 percent waterproof use the seam sealer that can be found in the repair kit. If there is a rip in the tent fabric it has to be repaired immediately, otherwise the rip may get bigger in strong winds. It can be difficult to get tape to fasten to the silicon-treated surface of the flysheet, but in your repair-kit you’ll find a needle, thread and spare tent fabrics. You’ll also need seam-sealer which is not included in the repair-kit as it is a perishable product. Firstly sew up the rip so that there are no gaps. Cut a generous piece from the spare flysheet fabric and glue it with seam sealer glue onto the outside of the tent, and then sew around the edges of the patch to secure it further. Seal the stitches with seam sealer. Let dry. You will find a self-adhesive patch in the repair kit for the ground sheet. Cut a piece that is big enough to cover the rip, remove the protective backing and cover the rip on the inside of the ground sheet. It is always a good idea to have a couple of metres of duct tape with you (rolled around the top of a trekking pole for example). So that if you need to mend a rip temporarily and quickly, you can use the tape on the inside and outside of the ripped section.
If a zipper breaks, the first job is to seal the open part with tape. Then sew the edges of the zipper together by stitching over it. A few stitches every ten centimetres is enough. Hopefully the zipper will be partly usable as all tents have two-way zippers. To replace the broken zipper, go to your local Fjällräven reseller when you get back home, and they will help you.
Fix a broken zipper (provisional)
- Start by sealing the broken part of the zipper with tape.
- Secure the tape with stitches every ten centimetres.