While I believe in checking and maintaining gear before you head out, sometimes failure is inevitable. Carrying just a few small repair items can save the day if your gear happens to fail you.
If possible I find it best to address gear issues as soon as they become apparent, ignored problems only tend to worsen. Small tears can become large holes rather quickly, loose threads in a critical area of a pack could be the loss of a retention strap.
The relatively small repair kit I’ve put together should be all you need for a wide verity of expedient in-field repairs. All of your most critical gear shelters, packs, clothing, and even footwear can be repaired with this minimal kit.
What’s in My Repair Kit
- Gorilla Tape – Duct tape’s big brother “Gorilla tape” can temporarily fix almost anything. It even sticks in wet conditions, add a little heat for an even stronger bond. If possible I prefer to use tape on both sides of a problem area. A few feet rewrapped around a gift card, a water bottle or a plastic tube some do the trick.
- Tenacious Tape – This is a lightweight super sticky tape best for fixing holes/tears in tarps, tents, packs, outerwear, rain gear, and even shelter netting. Typically sold in a short roll or small sheets.
- Needles (1 Small & 1 Large) – Use in conjunction with thread, allows for more permanent fixes. Especially helpful for repairs on packs, clothing, etc.
- Thread (Floss) – Spun fibers used for sewing.
- Cordage (Bankline) – About 10′ will do, this heavy-duty cordage can be used for anything thinner fibers can’t mend.
- Safety Pins (Small & Large) – Can be used to quickly close tears, also aid in sewing.
- Fix’n Wax – Great for waterproofing fabrics and leathers, also useful for sealing wood and protecting metal.
- Ranger Bands – Made from bike intertube, these extra-strong rubber bands hold things in place extremely well.
The list of things you can repair with these items is endless, obviously repairing mechanical/electrical gear would require tools, adhesives or instruments beyond this kit’s capabilities. But I haven’t run into those types of issues yet.
Other Possible Repair Kit Items
- Adhesives – Glues, epoxies, etc.
- Tapes – Friction, electrical, etc.
- Cordage – Paracord, bank line
- Wire – Thinner wire, like the snare variety, can be used similarly to a thread to sew fabrics. A thicker wire can be used to stabilizing and holding sturdier items together, like poles and tools.
- Cloth, strap or webbing – a square of cloth or strapping could reinforce tears or holes like a fabric patch.