Carrying a small outdoor repair kit while hiking and camping is a necessity. Here are a few things that will go a long way towards repairing your broken gear, and getting you and your gear back in one (taped-together) piece.


We like to wax lyrical at We Are Explorers about the need to carry a first aid kit on your adventures. 

However, what about a first aid kit for your gear? 

A camping repair kit is also a must-have in our eyes and will get you and your gear out of many a pickle. If you’ve broken a tent fly zip in the pouring rain (like me), you’ll know that a few humble zip ties can punch well above their weight. 

For a few bucks, you can stay dry, save your trip, and keep your spirits and sleeping mat inflated.

Read: 20 Outdoor Hacks We Bet You Aren’t Using


1. Duct Tape

Don’t scoff. Duct tape is the MVP of in-the-field repairs. It’ll patch a tent, a torn pair of pants or a punctured sleeping pad. Gaffer tape is also great, it uses a more fabric-like material instead of plastic or vinyl.

Wrap a few lengths of tape around a Nalgene water bottle or trekking poles. It’s also incredibly useful in a first aid situation if splinting or securing a bandage.


2. Knife/Multi-tool

A veritable must-have, a knife or multi-tool will cut tape, rope, zip ties and probably anything else you need. Whether you carry a standalone switchblade or multi-tool comes down to personal preference. Fold out tools like a Leatherman might include pliers, which can be particularly useful when you need a bit of extra oomph. Tim once used his to cut a broken spoke in a mountain bike race.


3. Sewing Repair Kit

If you’re more a sewer than a taper, a small sewing kit can prove invaluable and they tend to be incredibly lightweight.


@flickr/Pig Monkey


4. Safety Pins

A safety pin will save the party if you have a broken tent zipper and want to reconnect the fly in the rain — I speak from experience. The same goes for busted zippers on jackets.

They literally weigh 0.1 gram and you can carry them by simply pinning them to your pack, so there’s no reason not to have at least a couple of these guys.


5. Sleeping Mat Patch & Repair Parts

Most inflatable sleeping mats will come with extra patches and adhesive to repair in the event of a puncture.

If yours comes with this, great, keep it in the sleeping mat bag. If not, tape is your friend.

6. Voile Strap

Voile straps have been around for decades and were created to bind two skis together. Since their inception, they’ve been used to secure all manner of equipment. 

They’ll secure a broken ski boot or binding, and attach things to bikes. They’re great for applying force and tightening something that’s come apart, and they’re also great for splinting arms and legs as they won’t loosen over time.


Turning thongs into adventure sandals. @voilestraps

7. Cable/Zip Ties

A handful of these are a great inclusion in any kit and they weigh next to nothing. Think of them as a miniature voile strap. Check out the Stegosaurus vibes on Tim’s fix of a broken tent pole (P.S. It worked).


8. Super Glue

The theme of sticking things back together continues. A miniature tube of super glue is another must and there are a few brands to consider. 

Gear Aid Aquaseal is flexible once cured, so it’s ideal for repairing rubber, neoprene and other outdoor gear that has to move. 

Gear Aid Seam Grip Sealer is a more general sealant and will permanently seal seams and repair rips. It’s worth investing in a super glue designed for outdoor gear as the waterproof formula is washable and unaffected by extreme cold or heat.


9. Tent Pole Repair Kit

If you’re out in the field for longer than a night or two and duct tape and a stick isn’t going to fix your broken tent pole, you could invest in a legitimate tent repair kit. 

Coghlan’s Nylon Tent Repair Kit contains 2 adhesive-backed nylon patches, 2 mesh screen patches, 2 spools of nylon thread, a needle, 3 ferrules (8.5 mm, 9.5 mm and 11 mm), and 114 cm of shock cord. Safe to say you could fix almost any tent pole with this kit in your arsenal.


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Tent Repair Kit, Gear Repairs