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How to Repair a Tent Pole Sleeve

Updated March 28, 2017

Tent sleeves hold the poles, allowing the tent to go up and remain tight. Because the tent sleeves are one of the areas on the tent that has friction contact with the poles, they wear out or get ripped. When rips and tears occur in the field, you need a way of repairing them to keep the tent's integrity strong; this is a handy thing when inclement weather is "raining on your parade".

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  1. Set the main tent body down on the ground. Smooth out the tent sleeve needing repair. Make sure the area to be repaired is dry.

  2. Wipe off any dirt, grit or debris on the surface of the tent sleeve. Open up the torn area and apply a coating of the tent glue to both sides of the ripped sleeve.

  3. Pinch the tear together and let the tent begin to set. Leave the sleeve to dry for between 30 to 45 minutes. Once dry, wrap the sleeve with a single strip of duct tape, running lengthwise down the sleeve, to reinforce the repair.

  4. Slide the pole into the sleeve and put up the tent. Watch the repair and when possible, reduce the amount of stress on the sleeve and use a guy-out line from the tent on the repaired sleeve side of the tent. Guy-out lines are the lines used to keep the tent stable in winds.

  5. Tip

    Sew the tear together, following the seam stitching once you get back out of the field and into an area where you have access to a sewing machine or a sewing kit. Use strips of nylon patching material to patch any rips or tears once at a sewing machine.


    You should always keep a repair kit in your pack when venturing out into the field. Keep tent glue, nylon patches and a small roll of duct tape in the kit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Nylon grip tent glue
  • Duct tape
  • Repair nylon patch strips
  • Sewing machine (optional)

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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