It is no secret that outdoor gear is pricey. With such a high price tag, you want your gear to last. Knowing how to fix up a ripped jacket or replace a tent pole keeps you going for more miles. Here are a few easy DIY hacks to keep your gear in tip-top shape.
1. Fix Rips in Tents, Sleeping Bags, and Clothing
Got a ripped puffy? Maybe your tent has seen a few doggy claws or windy nights. Fix up your wounded gear with a little Tenacious Tape or a NoSo Patch. Both don’t require the use of a needle and can easily be applied in a jiffy. Before you patch up your gear, make sure you purchase the right type of tape or patch for the material you are repairing.
Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to make the fix. Usually, you want to work with a clean, dry surface, so wipe down the material with rubbing alcohol before applying the patch. Sometimes, you may need a hairdryer or clothes dryer to secure the seal.
2. Re-Epoxy Your Favorite Boots
Does your favorite pair of hiking boots look a little worse for the wear? If the treads are still in good shape, you can re-epoxy failing seams or busted toe caps. You can find boot epoxy at work boot stores or online. Again, follow the instructions on the box. You want to catch any seams where the stitching is worn or any areas where previous coatings have worn off. Typically, the epoxy dries super shiny. To avoid this look, rub the epoxy with your thumb about an hour after applying.
3. Search for Replacement Parts
Many pieces of gear, such as water filters, bladders, and stoves all sell individual parts. If something breaks, such as a nozzle, you can typically search for the replacement part instead of replacing the entire piece of gear. There are a lot of DIY tutorials on how to fix specific pieces of gear. The best way to find out how is to Google the manufacturer, model and part you are looking for along with the terms “DIY fix” or “fix.”
4. Talk to the Manufacturer
Sometimes stuff simply breaks. While I was trekking through the Himalaya of Nepal, my UV pen water sterilizer broke. I purchased the pen nearly six years ago. After contacting the manufacturer, they told me to send it back. A few weeks later, a brand-new UV pen showed up in the mail at no added cost to me.
When you purchase an expensive piece of gear, the manufacturer’s typically stand by their products. I never used the pen improperly, and I took good care of it. However, after a while, it simply stopped working. Instead of buying a new one, they replaced mine for free. The moral of the story here is it never hurts to ask the manufacturer what they can offer to help you out.
5. Consider Donating It
If you find your gear closet filled with items that you’ve replaced or upgraded, consider donating it. I’m not talking about dropping off a heaping pile of gear to Goodwill, but instead look for a worthy cause. Check with local scout groups, homeless shelters, or youth groups that aim to get kids outside. Your coveted old hiking pack could change someone’s life.
The next time your gear hits a snag, don’t trash it, repair it. A few quick fixes increase the life of your favorite piece of outdoor gear. If you do choose to upgrade, consider donating gear that still has some life in it.
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