How to Repair Tent Poles

Written by charles dodd white
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Tent poles can easily become damaged in storage. Their length and flexibility can be detriments if other articles are accidentally heaped on top of them. However, it is possible to repair damaged tent poles, which can be expensive to replace. With only a few basic tools and a good working area, you can fix most minor problems involving tent poles.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Duct tape

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  1. 1

    Lay all of the tent poles on a flat surface to check them for straightness. You can test the straightness of tent poles similar to the way you would with a cue pool. Simply roll the pole back and forth to see if the pole wobbles; any poles that show significant wobble should be set aside.

  2. 2

    Straighten a bent tent pole by placing one end of the pole on the ground so that the bend can be grasped. Grip the pole in one bare hand and with a pair of pliers in the other. Gently but firmly correct the bend with the pliers, being sure not to bend the pole back too far. Test the corrected straightness by repeating the roll and wobble test.

  3. 3

    Visually inspect any loose connections between segments of the tent pole. Often, these segments can lose their finely milled fit because of slight crimping that occurs to the tent pole during use. Correct this by finding these small crimp points and evening them out by squeezing the proper shape back into the segment using the pliers.

  4. 4

    Small breaks and other various damage to the poles can be fixed using duct tape. Find the problem area and wrap several layers of duct tape around the pole, using a "mummy" principle to restore strength to the area. Make sure to regularly check this repair to make sure the tape does not work loose under regular strain.

  5. 5

    Check the tips of the tent poles to make sure no splintering has occurred. If splintering or other sharp edges are present, either remove them or bend the sharp pieces into a blunted shape. A sharp edge at the end of a tent pole is likely to cause serious damage to the fabric of the tent.

Tips and warnings

  • Remember to never use equipment that is not in correct working order. Using tent poles that are not properly repaired risks damage to the tent itself.

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