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How to Repair a Tent Shock Cord

Updated March 28, 2017

Modern tent poles use a shock cord to hold the rods together. These shock cords are essentially mini-bungee cords. When the tent pole shock cord rips or tears, it is time for repair work. Repairing a tent's shock cord means replacing the ripped portion on the rod section. Repairs are possible at home or in the field. When travelling into the back country, a repair kit should be part of your standard gear.

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  1. Open the tent pole with the damaged shock cord all the way. Pull each rod from the next to find the rod with the damaged cord.

  2. Cut off the cord/rod where the damage is present. Be sure to grab the remaining shock cord on the other tent rods and tie a knot at the ends to prevent the shock cord from retreating into the rod blanks.

  3. Cut a piece of the shock cord replacement out of the repair kit. Cut a length the same as the damaged piece. Light the ends of the cut shock cord to melt the nylon fibres together, preventing unwanted frays.

  4. Thread the cord through the rod blank. Place the rod blank back into the full tent pole where it originated.

  5. Pull the shock cord out from the tent pole and untie the small knot made. Tie the shock cord pieces together and push the rods together.

  6. Tip

    When opening and closing tent poles with shock cords, do not let them self-assemble. This leads to damaged metal on the tent pole ends. Hand fasten them together.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tent pole repair kit
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Lighter

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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