Backpacker Magazine’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair is your ticket to becoming a camping gear repair guru. Author Kirstin Hostetter’s well illustrated, carefully explained directions return your investment with the first piece of damaged gear you save.
Maintaining and repairing modern clothing, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves and tents is not a simple as slapping on a bit of duct-tape. You are much more likely to find siliconized nylon, GoreTex titanium and Fastex buckles rather than canvas, brass or leather in a Scout campsite these days. Duct-tape repairs are, at best, a temporary solution and they may cause even more damage in some instances. Tossing your GoreTex jacket or down sleeping bag in the washer is tantamount to tossing it into the trash (don’t ask me how I know).
Scouts are pretty hard on gear and a well-stocked repair kit and (perhaps more importantly) knowing how to use it can save a camping trip. If you wake up in the middle of the first night of a week-long backpacking trip to find your inflatable sleeping pad as flat as a pancake, or put a good-sized hole in your tent, or break the zipper of your rain jacket you’ll be happy you invested the time reading the guide and put together a good repair kit.
There’s one gear problem particular to Scouting nobody can fix (nor would we want to); our Scouts outgrow more things than they wear out!
The author recommends a basic gear repair kit including a few items you’ll always want to have on hand:
|Zippers are the Achilles’s heel of camping gear, but in most cases they are simple to repair. This kit has a selection of the most common sliders (the source of most zipper failures), a seam ripper, thread, needles and repair instructions and weighs a svelte 2.4 ounces. McNett Gear Aid Zipper Repair Kit|
|Seam Grip is the almost universal goo for repairing fabrics and plastics. McNett Seam Grip Seam Sealer and Outdoor Repair Tube with Brush Applicator|
|Tear-Aid is a clear fabric repair tape. The type A tape is what you want to carry (type B is for vinyl). Pack along a few extra alcohol prep pads (like the ones you’ll find in a first’s aid kit) to clean the area before applying repair tape. NRS Tear-Aid Patch|
|Backpacker magazine’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair at Amazon|