How to Repair Your Camping Tent Pole

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It is inevitable that your tent will not break down after using it for a long time or in bad weather conditions. Even the best tents, will break down and need to be repaired by you.

If your tent poles are broken, then the following tips will be able to help you.

How to Fix Broken Tent Poles – Temporary Fixes

When you are camping, you may encounter bad weather. High winds may blow your tent poles, and heavy snow may crush your poles. You may also accidentally damage your tent poles when setting up or taking down your tent. Accidents can also happen when transporting your tent.

But you still need to continue your camping trip. What about this?

Fortunately, you can use some simple tools, such as plywood or sleeves, to quickly and temporarily repair broken tent poles. Plywood can be made of any sturdy material. You can use tent stakes to act as cleats. A sleeve is a hollow tube that is slightly larger than a tent pole.

Here are the steps to temporarily repair your damaged tent poles. Tools to have on hand include tape, pliers, and a tent stake or sleeve.

Straighten the tent pole and clean the broken tent pole

If the tent pole is not broken but just bent, then you can try to gently straighten it.

If your tent pole has broken, then it may have sharp pieces of metal sticking out. Use pliers to clear off these pieces of metal to keep the outside of the tent pole smooth.

Attach the cleat or sleeve

Align the broken pole with the cleat. Use tape to firmly adhere the cleat and tent pole together.

For the sleeve, slip the tent pole into the sleeve. Keep the sleeve in the middle of the break. Use tape to firmly adhere the sleeve and tent pole together.

How to Fix Broken Tent Poles – Permanent Repair

When you return from your camping trip, you will need to make a permanent repair to the damaged tent pole. This means that you need to make a new tent pole to replace the one that has been damaged.

Here are the steps to make a brand new tent pole. The tools you need to prepare include a fiberglass pole replacement kit or aluminum pole replacement kit, hacksaw or pipe cutter, sharp nose pliers, locking pliers or flipchart, sandpaper, tape, and marker.

Purchase a replacement kit

Depending on your tent pole material, purchase a fiberglass or aluminum replacement kit.

Remove damaged tent poles

Remove the elastic string that connects the poles. If it’s a fiberglass pole, you can use sharp-nosed pliers to pull the knotted end of the string from one end of the pole. If it’s an aluminum pole, then you unscrew the cap to remove it. Then remove the rod. If the flexible string rod is not damaged, then you can continue to use it. If it is broken then you will need to use the string rod that came with the replacement kit.

Measure and mark

Based on the length of the broken tent pole, measure and mark the same length on the replacement piece with a permanent marker. Using masking tape wrapped around the markings of the fiberglass pole will prevent sharp edges from forming when cutting.

Cutting and sanding

For fiberglass poles, use a hacksaw to cut the new tent pole at the mark. Sand the cut edges with sandpaper to prevent sharp edges from damaging the elastic strings. Cut the aluminum poles with a pipe cutting tool and do not sand them. Place the aluminum pole in the cutting tool, align the marked position and start cutting.

Reconnect the tent poles

Pull the stringers tight. Use locking pliers or flip clips to hold the section in place. Re-string the poles in the same order as before. Once through the last pole, knot the end of the chord as it was. Remove the locking pliers or flip-flop clips.


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