Gear Rx: Outdoor gear repair supplies to always have on hand


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Published 13 October 2022 15:00

We’ve talked about what to keep in your gear repair kit, but what supplies should you keep at home to perform gear repairs? While you don’t need to have everything on this list, having some of the key items can save you time whenever you need to make a last-minute repair.

Right now, many of us are also preparing our gear for winter storage. Before you put your gear away for the season, it’s the perfect time to clean all your gear and check if it needs any repairs. That way, all your gear is ready for your next adventure. If you’re ahead of the curve on your holiday shopping, clothing repair items make a great stocking stuffer or gift for the outdoorsy person in your life.

Persistent tape

persistent tape

Tenacious Tape is a classic gear repair item that you should have on hand. It is designed to repair cracks in synthetic materials and fabrics. While duct tape is another classic option for quick fixes, Tenacious Tape works much better on fabrics because of the aggressive adhesive that sticks for longer, even after washing. The tape is designed to bond with synthetic materials, allowing for a longer repair. Unlike duct tape, Tenacious Tape also leaves no residue. Learn more about how to use the Tenacious Bar.

Gear Assist Patch Kit

auxiliary gear patches

Patches or a patch kit are a great way to stay on top of synthetic fabric repairs. Gear Aid has some of our favorite and easiest-to-use kits, but other brands like NOSO Patches make fun patches that only take about 15 minutes to fix a tear in a jacket or tent.

Some patches are steel and etched, while others require heat activation to work. Stains that need heat activation, such as an iron or a few minutes in the dryer, are best used at home to ensure the bond to the fabric lasts longer. We like Gear Aid patches or even some Tenacious Tape for most garment repairs because they’re easy to cut to size and fix on the back. However, heat-activated patches can last longer and are preferred at home.

Gear assist mesh patches

Gear Assist Mesh Patch Kit

Tent netting can be difficult to repair and can be repaired either by sewing or with a patch. In general, patching is easier, but large vertical tears are best repaired by stitching. Mesh screen patches for awnings differ from other types of mesh repair products, so be sure to purchase one that will bond adequately to the materials. These patches are quite simple to use and use a stick and peel approach. Learn how to repair a mesh awning screen.

Sewing kit

sewing kit

A quality home sewing kit or even a sewing machine is an excellent investment if you plan to mend your clothes or other fabrics. While you can use a sewing kit for simple repairs, we recommend having a more comprehensive sewing kit at home so you don’t run out of thread, have a variety of needle options, and have a seam ripper.

Replacing the clutch

substitute tightening

Having a few replacement buckles and cord locks is so valuable. Some backpacks or gear may require special buckles that the company can only replace. In my experience, contacting the company directly and asking for a replacement is a quick and easy way to do this. Cord blocks are fairly simple on all types of gear, which is easier to replace, but many buckles can be replaced even if they are not the same size or style. If possible, having several sizes available is helpful.

Clamping of the auxiliary gear shaft

clutch of gear assist layer

While it may be mostly used for tents, having seam sealer on hand is useful for any item intended to be waterproof (ie rain jackets, dry bags). Grip Seam Aid Gear is a great option as it is easy to use and versatile enough to use on a variety of items. Different sticker options are available with different instructions, but we like Gear Aid because it comes with a small brush, making application easy.

Special seam sealers are strong adhesives designed to last for long periods. They tend to be more aggressive than superglue, so apply carefully as they can be difficult to remove. Learn more about how to close tent seams here.

Shock Cord Tent

tent cord

Most of the time, the shock cord on your tent poles is the first part to wear out or break. Keep an extra shock cord or two on hand, just in case. Even if the cord does not break, it may lose elasticity over time, requiring eventual replacement. The type of tent poles you have will depend on how exactly you replace the cord, but it can be done at home with minimal tools. Learn more about how to repair a tent pole.

Changing the tent poles

Coghlan’s Tent Pole Kit

Tent pole repair kit

Having tent pole strips is useful in the field and can be used for a semi-permanent fix, but it still compromises the strength of the poles overall. So we recommend finding replacement tent pole sections that you can keep at home and use when a replacement is needed. Manufacturer replacement poles are also an option, and you may be able to purchase replacement poles directly from them. Either way, just make sure they are made of the same materials and are the same size as the original set.

Chain Repair Kit

chain repair kit

Chains can be tricky to repair, but if it’s just the chain pulling, it’s easy to replace. Other chains may need to be replaced entirely, which requires some sewing knowledge. There are several options of chain repair kits and if you are not sure if you can repair the chain yourself, ask a local repair shop. For complete chain replacement, some shoe repair services may be an option. Learn more about how to repair chains.

FAQ

Q: What should I pack in a back repair kit?

A back repair kit doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it should have a few key items, including sturdy strips or gear patches, a knife or multi-tool, and a sewing kit. You can invest in a pre-made repair kit or create your own using our list of rear repair kit items.

Q: How to fix a tear in a tent?

Small tears in the tent can be repaired using synthetic material patches. Some patches provide a semi-permanent fix, while others are meant to be replaced when out of place. Some areas of the tent, such as the mesh, can be repaired by sewing, but other areas of the tent need to be fixed. For major awning repairs, we recommend contacting the manufacturer or a local hardware repair shop for instructions.

Q: Where can you send external devices to be repaired?

Many outdoor companies repair or replace their equipment if it is damaged. If the wait time is too long or the company does not offer these services, another great option is to contact local appliance repair shops or appliance consignment stores. For some repairs like chains or boots, it’s also worth checking out shoe repair shops. There are several options for gear repair beyond DIY, but it often takes a bit of research to find the right place.





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