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Fix your hiking gear yourself with these helpful tips

  • Feb 12, 2015

Whether you go hiking every weekend or take month-long backpacking trips each summer, your gear is bound to get a little roughed up. But just because your pack has a hole or a tent zipper is busted doesn't mean you have to spend money on all new gear. Try out one of these tips to fix common hiking gear issues. 

Repair your zippers at home
Zippers are on nearly every important piece of backpacking equipment other than your watch compass. From your pack and tent to your sleeping bag and jacket, if your zippers aren't functioning optimally, you're in for some serious inconveniences. But you don't need to invest in totally new equipment. 

Backpacker magazine recommended that hikers take a DIY approach to common zipper issues. You can use a knife or pliers to do most minimal repairs such as clearing out a stuck zipper or affixing a new stopper on a slider body. If your zipper is seriously damaged, you can add a whole new zipper and slider body to the fabric, saving you a significant amount compared to a whole new product. 

Some companies will fix zipper issues free of charge if you mail the product back, so check your warranty. 

Fix your coat and sleeping bag with tape 
Section Hiker pointed to Tenacious Tape as a better version of duct tape for hiking gear repair on the trail. A small roll of this tape fits easily in your pack but can save your gear from further damage. 

It'll patch holes in your coats, jackets or a sleeping bag in just a few seconds, but doesn't leave behind the residue of duct tape, allowing for it to be easily patched with sewing when you get off the trail. 

Reseal your tent 
If your tent isn't sealed properly, you'll end up covered in water or mosquitoes. Backpacker recommended taking time between trips to reseal your tent seams with commercial sealant. It won't take long, but it's an issue you don't want to run into on the trail. Resealing a small hole can prevent a bigger tear from forming and forcing you to buy a new tent. 

Bring extra supplies 
Most repair materials are small and light, and won't be much of a burden to add to your pack. Carry extra buckles, buttons, and heavy-duty thread and a needle with you so that you can fix any issue that may arise, at least temporarily. 

Going back packing through the mountains this spring break? Not only will you need the proper gear, you'll also need the proper wrist watch to keep track of time while exploring mother nature. ProTrek's PRG270-4 allows each wearer to keep track of direction, temperature and changes in altitude. With some tent sealant and a PRG270-4, you'll be more than prepared.