Gear Repair Kit
Repair Kit Recommendations
- Needles - Bring several different-sized
needles, including a thick needle with a big hole (like a carpet
needle) that can punch through pack cloth. We're not talking
delicate needlework: Your heavy-duty needles should be able
to thread a strand of dental floss. Store needles in a film
canister (along with buttons, pins, and other losable items),
or stick them into film containers.
- Thread - Bring several weights of thread:
heavy-duty thread (like carpet thread), dental floss, and standard
thread. Don't use heavy-duty thread for normal repairs on regular
clothing because the tension of extra-strong thread actually
causes the fabric to tear more.
- Wire - couple of yards of thin wire
can help hold things together.
- Thimble - You need it to force a needle
through tough fabric like several layers of Cordura or Polyester
pack cloth, and canvas material.
- Safety Pins - Lots of different sizes are
a good idea, especially big, heavy-duty diaper pins with latches
that lock them shut.
- Tape - Bring two kinds: duct tape and white
medicine tape (to be used interchangeably, or whichever works
best). Wrap several yards of duct tape around a spare pen. That
way, you won't be tempted to use (read: lose) the spare pen,
which can be vital for communicating in an emergency. You can
also wrap duct tape around a fuel bottle; a few layers of tape
adds a little insulation between the super-cold fuel and your
fingers, and could save your fingers from frostbite.
- Velcro - Tape-on strips can hold together
sleeping bags and rain gear that have suffered a zipper disaster.
- Small Pliers - Use these for repairing
zippers and air-mattress valves.
- Cord - Regular parachute cord is a good
multiuse tool. In addition to bear bagging and laundry-line
duty, you can use it to lash things onto your pack, tie broken
parts together, guy line a tent, or hold up a tarp.
- Glue - Urethane-based glues like Shoe Goo,
Free-sole, or Selly's Kwik Grip are the hiker's choice for boot
repairs. Remember to prepare surfaces properly (i.e., clean
the surface to be joined thoroughly), follow the glue manufacturers
instructions, clamp the repair together, and wait the nominated
time before removing the clamp. Usually these repairs will keep
you going until you can get to a cobbler. There are glues for
every purpose, and you may fine that the glue to repair your
boots may not be the glue you need to repair your air mattress,
so research with care the glues you need for those emergency
- Spare Stove Parts - Remember to bring along
the instructions that came with your stove. A spare parts kit
generally contains a multipurpose stove tool, a jet cleaning
tool (if necessary), a spare pump cup and O-rings, pump oil,
and extra parts like replacement jets or adapters for different
kinds of fuel.
- Pocket Knife - Your pocket knife is also
an essential item, but you can expand on the plain two-bladed
pocket knife by purchasing a Swiss Army style knife. Most hikers
choose one that has a couple of cutting blades, a bottle opener,
a can opener, scissors, tweezers, a hole punch, and maybe a
corkscrew. Or consider a Leatherman, which also includes a pair
of pliers and other necessary tools.
- Tweezers - Throw in a spare pair of good
ones in case the little miniature tweezers on your pocket knife
- Film Canisters - Useful for storing easily
- Zipper Parts - Bring heads and sliders
to fit your important gear, such as your rain jacket, pants,
tent, and sleeping bag.
- Self Adhesive Patches and Nylon Rip-Stop Repair
Tape - Bring several feet of it, for patching up ripped
rain gear and tents.
- Spare Other - Bring such things as cord
locks, buckles, buttons (various sizes), leather shoelaces,
batteries, and a flashlight/torch bulb.
- Clevis Pins - These are used for holding
straps to external-frame packs. You can also use these as zipper
- Alcohol Swabs - Great for cleaning gear
before you attempt to repair it with adhesives. These are also
a first-aid item for disinfecting wounds, blisters, or needles
that you intend to use to pierce a blister, or remove a splinter.
- Hose Clamps - These are useful for busted
external-frame packs. Hose clamps also come in handy for splinting
tent poles. And if you're travelling on skis, you can use them
for broken skis and poles.
- Aluminium Pole Sleeve - An absolute necessity
in splinting fractured aluminium, or fibre glass tent poles.