How To: Repair a Tent Pole
Repair fiberglass or aluminum tent poles the sleazy way, or the better way.
1. You'll need a broken pole, duct tape, and a tent pole repair sleeve (REI.com sells repair sleeves for 75 cents).
2. A broken aluminum pole will usually crimp and shatter. If necessary, break off metal shreds and squeeze the flattened ends until they fit into the repair sleeve. Fiberglass poles generally fray but stay connected. Repair procedures are the same.
3. For a quick midnight repair, slide the repair sleeve over the broken pole section keeping it centered on the break.
4. Notice how the broken pole ends have been rounded and cleaned up so they'll fit in the tube.
5. Repair sleeve centered over break.
6. To complete a quick, one-night repair you can simply fasten the repair sleeve in position with a wrap or two of tape and get back to sleep.
7. For a stronger, multi-night repair, mark where the repair sleeve sits when centered over the break.
8. Wrap one broken end with duct tape so that it fits tightly into the sleeve and the tape goes all the way to the end of the repair tube's length. Position the tube and mark the opposite end.
9. Wrap the other half of the broken end in similar fashion. Note how the two duct tape wraps go all the way to the repair tube ends.
10. Slide the repair tube over the duct taped pole section.
11. So it looks like this. If the tape fits tightly, you won't need to hold it in place with additional tape wraps. You can remove and reposition the repair tube at will for more efficient packing.
12. Why it's important. With both broken halves wrapped and fit tightly to the repair tube, the pole arc bends evenly with no pressure points that can fold again in high winds.
13. Why it's important. With a simple repair tube and no underlying duct tape wraps, the pole bends unevenly and the black pole sections are bent over the sharp edge of the repair tube, forming a weak point.
Photos by Jennifer Howe / howephoto.us