Tent Care: Quick and Easy Tent Repairs

Ben Conroy4 min readAdvice & Guides

Snapped tent poles, broken guy lines, leaking seams - tent repairs are easy to do when you have the knowledge. In this guide we'll explain the most common tent repairs to ensure simple problems don't bring a quick end to your camping adventures.

How to Fix a Fabric Tear

Accidents do sometimes happen and one of the most common tent repairs is for small holes or tears in your tent's fabric flysheet or groundsheet. Holes are bad for tents as they let water in so it's important to repair them quickly. Let's have a look at a temporary fix for at the campsite, and a forever fix when you're back at home.

At the Campsite: For small holes or fabric tears at the campsite, simply use tent repair tape like Tenacious Tape or or duct tape to cover the damaged area completely. Clean the area first and apply it to both the inside and outside of the tent. For small holes like burn marks from sparks off your BBQ, we recommend using a seam sealer which is a sealant which you can apply easily.

At Home: Although a quick fix should last the remainder of your trip, it's important to do a lasting fix when you get home. Tent repair patch kits often come with your tent and will include a patch matching your tent fabric and colour, plus sealant to secure it. Follow the instruction to easily repair the damaged spot. Liberally apply seam sealer to ensure waterproofing.

How to Repair a Broken Tent Pole

Strong winds, excessive force and other things can cause your tent pole to snap or become damaged. As with repairing small tears, at the campsite you can use tent repair tape or Duct Tape for a simple repair which should last your trip. However, it's essential that you get it replaced when you get back home.

To complete a simple repair, you'll need a replacement tent pole set which matches your model of tent. If you're unsure, visit your local Millets store or contact us for advice. Universal tent pole sets are also a good option. You'll also need a small hacksaw and sandpaper. Here's a guide to this simple repair:

  • Measure the section which needs to be replaced and purchase a replacement that matches.
  • Most replacement poles will need to be cut to size to match the length of the pole you will be replacing using a small hacksaw. Take care when doing so and wear gloves to avoid fibreglass splinters. A good tip here is to put Duct tape just before where you will be sawing to hold the pole in place and prevent splinters. Then remove and sand around the edge till the top is smooth.
  • Lie your full pole section out on the floor and begin to untie (or cut) the knot at one of the ends. Remember to keep a hold of the elastic shockcord.
  • Hold onto the shockcord and remove the sections one at a time until you reach the broken pole section that needs replacing. Always keep the pole sections you remove in order.
  • Still holding the shockcord, re-thread the cord back through the replacement pole section and the sections you have removed. Tie a large knot at the end, ensuring the shockcord is fairly taught. You can always change the shockcord length at any time by redoing the knot at one of the end poles.
  • Spare pole sections are available online or in your local Millets store.

If the elastic inside the pole needs replacing, remove all the sections and re-thread using new elastic. Tie temporary knots as you thread each section to ensure the elastic will stretch.

Is My Tent Leaking?

Is my tent leaking? A common question among campers who find moisture within their tent. Firstly, it's worth saying that you don't need to reproof a new tent. Fresh out of the box, tents are rain-ready due to a waterproof fabric and taped seams. After time and regular use you may find that your tent starts to 'wet out' (damp begins to sit on the outside of the fabric, rather than bead off). Before we talk about how to reproof a tent to restore it's waterproofing quality, let's cover condensation and how not to mix up the two. Check out this quick and simple explanation:



If the problem is more than just condensation and you do find a leak, then we recommend using a tent reproofer from Nikwax or Grangers to revive the water repellency of your tent fabric, and a seam sealer which is a sealant applied directly to the inside and outside of the seam. Leave the affected areas to dry and then check your handy work by using a water spray - you should see the water simply bead off in droplets again. For more information on tent aftercare, please read our Guide to Tent Care & Maintenance.

We hope this guide has given you the confidence to complete simple tent repairs and keep camping! Check out our range of Tent Proofers and Cleaning Products online or visit us in-store.

Author avatar
Ben is passionate about the beauty of the outdoors. Stargazing, sightseeing and outdoor photography hold a special place in his heart. Now that beauty is at risk he’s keen to take a stand to try and fight back against this Climate Crisis. In his free time, Ben is a music fanatic. If there’s one place you can find him, it’s at a festival. Plus, he plays guitar, bass and piano, as well as producing his own electronic & UK Garage tracks. He’s also a regular at every Wetherspoons in his local area, so if you ever see him around, pull up for a pint?


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