If you’re in the backcountry long enough, you’ll inevitably need to repair hiking gear. The urge to just throw it away is often powerful—there are shinier, newer models beckoning you, after all. But resist it: Fixing your own gear can save you from having to shell out for costly maintenance or pricey new equipment. It’s better for the planet, too. After all, the most eco-friendly product is the one you don’t have to buy.
In our “Fix It” video series, Outside Business Journal editor and former Backpacker gear editor Kristin Hostetter demonstrates repairs for 10 common snafus that can be performed at home or, in many cases, in the field. For even more information and best practices, check out our full gear repair archive.
Backpacking Gear Repair: The Skills
Patch a Sleeping Bag Hole
Got a punctured bag? An adhesive patch can help. Watch and learn how to cover up the hole and get the bag looking like new again.
Seal a Seam
If your seams aren’t taped, they aren’t truly waterproof. Give your tent or jacket a weatherproof boost by sealing them up yourself.
Patch a Sleeping Pad Hole
Don’t let a punctured pad deflate your spirits. Here’s how to patch it.
Replace a Zipper
If your zipper has come off its slider entirely or is too damaged to function properly, you’ll need to swap it out. Here’s how to get it back on track.
Repair a Zipper Slider
We’ve all had this happen at some point or another: a zipper slider that just won’t close. Fortunately, it only takes 2 seconds to repair it yourself.
Waterproof Your Jacket
Your jacket comes with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating, but over time, it can wear off. Rather than buy a new jacket, just give your old one a new layer of protection.
Fix Tears in Your Apparel
Don’t despair over a small tear or ember hole in your trail apparel—there’s a fix for that.
Repair Tent Mesh
Tent mesh is fragile and can rip easily, allowing bugs to join you in your shelter. The good news is that you can repair tent mesh in the field or at home with this handy DIY technique.
Repair a Boot Sole
Don’t go shopping for new boots just because of a worn-out heel. It’s easy to fix a busted sole on just about any pair. Fair warning: you’ll want to do this #freesole hack at home, since it can get a little messy.
Make a Protective Boot Toe Cap
Many new boots come with built-in protective toe caps these days, but if your pair is older and/or doesn’t have one already, you can make one yourself. It really does help extend the life of the boot. Check out our tips below.
Condition Boot Leather
Keep your leather boots in tip-top shape with an easy DIY treatment.
Repair a Broken Pack Buckle
Buckles break all the time. Fortunately, repairing them is a snap.
Repair a Broken Tent Pole
A busted tent pole has the potential to ruin your trip. Here’s how to fix it fast.
Build a Repair Kit
Save money and be prepared for anything by creating your very own customizable repair kit.
Repair a Liquid Fuel Stove
Keep your camp stove running with this DIY repair.
Repair a Canister Stove Ignitor
Re-ignite your busted piezo with these helpful DIY tips.