How to Fix a Shock Cord

Written by joshua roberts
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How to Fix a Shock Cord
Shock cords are an essential part of tent pole construction. (tent on the forest image by Galyna Andrushko from

Shock cord is elasticated rope or string that is designed for uses that require elasticity and a snapback tension. Shock cord is most commonly used in tent poles, which rely on the tension qualities of the cord to bring the folding portions of the poles into one linear piece. Shock cords can wear out quickly, but they're easy to fix.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Length of replacement shock cord
  • Knife or scissors

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  1. 1

    Verify that the shock cord is the problem by inspecting the cord. Most shock cord problems require removal and replacement rather than repair; the cord will often be snapped in two or extremely brittle. Remove the cord. If repairing tent poles or a similar multiple-piece apparatus, make sure you keep all pieces in the proper order.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the end caps on the tent poles.

  3. 3

    Run one end of your replacement shock cord through the pole pieces. Do not cut the cord length yet.

  4. 4

    Tie the end of the shock cord to the end cap on the far end of the tent pole. Tie two knots to prevent slippage.

  5. 5

    Make sure the pole pieces are in fully assembled form. Pull the shock cord on the loose side until you reach maximum tension.

  6. 6

    Cut the shock cord after tying two knots on the other end cap.

  7. 7

    Replace the end cap. The poles should now fold up nicely and, when assembled, should snap into place quickly.

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