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A Few Tips for Repairing Everyday Damage to Your Outdoor Tent

by Martin Williamson

An outdoor tent is meant to be very strong and durable to withstand the elements, abrasions from nearby trees and rocks and potential tears from high winds. However, this doesn't mean your tent won't eventually suffer some damage. Note a few tips for repairing everyday damage to an outdoor tent so you don't need to replace it, but can still camp while being safe and dry.

Rips and tears

Using duct tape is a common solution for repairing rips and tears, but what many people forget is to tape both sides of the tent so that nothing gets stuck to the exposed tape. If you don't cover the sticky side of tape, you may find that twigs and leaves and other debris get stuck to the tent and then make that small tear or hole even bigger.

You can also repair some rips and tears with nail glue. This is available in the beauty aisle of your supermarket or pharmacy, where you find nail polish. Nail glue is made to hold together a torn nail or is used to adhere an artificial nail, so it's very strong and durable. Some brands come with a brush-on applicator so you can simply brush it over a tear or rip, and it easily holds two pieces together while forming a watertight bond.

Broken pole

One common mistake that tent owners make when trying to fix a broken pole is to just wrap it with duct tape, but tape may easily bend against the weight of the tent and allow it to collapse. Instead, use a splint of some sort under the tape. This can be a pencil or pen, an Allen wrench, or anything else cylindrical and sturdy. Wrap the tape around this item and the tent pole, and it should then be strong enough to hold up the tent as needed.

Broken zipper

If the zipper of a tent won't open or close, try some lubricating spray. Dust and debris can get caught in the teeth of the zipper and interfere with its movement, and spray will clean this away. If that doesn't work, note if any fabric around the zipper has become bunched up or very wrinkled, as this can cause the two sides of the zipper to become uneven as well. Smooth out and straighten this material and the zipper may work easily once again.

If the damage to your tent is too extensive to be repaired by some tape or glue, talk to a company that specializes in tent repairs.