Whether it is a tear, leak or broken zipper, there are a few ways your tent can become damaged. Read on to learn the easiest ways to repair various tent issues. Repairing a damaged tent is not incredibly difficult, but you want to take your time to make sure you do the job as efficiently as possible. Some tent repair methods are better than others, but all of the best repairs involve taking your time to make sure the issue does not return. Small tent tears can become large ones in a hurry, so make sure you take care of the problem as soon as possible. Always carry tent repair tools, including scissors, pins, repair tape and seam sealer. The way you fix a broken tent will depend on the damage.
One of the easiest ways to eliminate tent damage is to set it up correctly. Most rips and tears to tents occur because they are not pitched properly. More specifically, most people set up tents too rigidly. This causes them to remain in place, and eventually tear, when the wind blows strongly. Instead, make sure you set up your tent so it is flexible. If the wind blows or someone falls on the tent, for example, it should have enough give to accommodate this and still remain strong. Also, make sure you avoid pitching your tent near rocks, sticks and so on which can cause the tent to tear. These preventative measures are the easiest way to limit the risk of tent damage.
Damage is inevitable if you use your tent frequently, however, so you should be prepared to repair it when necessary. Whenever you camp out in your tent, make sure you have your repair tools on hand. Most damage to tents comes in the form of tears, so have a quality repair tape to easily fix these small problems before they become large. The type of repair tape you use depends on your tent. For nylon tents you'll want a ripstop nylon tape and for canvas tents, use a taffeta repair tape.
Place the repair tape on both sides of the tear, smoothing it out to make sure there are no areas where potential leaks could occur. Place a seam sealer on both patches of tape to make sure they stay in place. If the tear is too large for repair tape to cover it alone, you will need to sew the tear closed and then place down the repair tape. Sew in a double seam to close the rip as strongly as possible, then add your repair tape and seam sealer as before. Apply the sealer to both sides of the rip to create a watertight seal.
Leaks are nothing more than small rips in your tent, and the last thing you want is to hastily repair a small or large tear and end up with a leaky tent. If your leak occurs as the result of a very small tear, you do not need to apply repair tape. Simply add a generous portion of seam sealer. Usually, these small leaks occur in the roof of the tent. Those leaks from the floor are generally from larger tears, which need to be patched up with replacement fabric.