Gear Repair Supplies: What's in my Pack

While packing up for a dayhike this morning, I casually tossed in my gear repair bag. This small mesh sack contains all my various fix-it supplies but I noticed today that it has become somewhat unwieldy of late. Let's investigate what I've got:

A full roll of nylon repair tape
This is great stuff for fixing tears in nylon jackets, tents, and sleeping bags. It's got fabulous adhesive qualities. I've used a lot of this stuff over the years, and rarely does it come unpeeled. I even use it as an extra layer over the top of moleskin blister treatments on my feet, which helps keep it in place longer than moleskin alone. (I have seriously sweaty feet and have yet to find a blister treatment that doesn't come unstuck from my extensive foot perspiration.) This particular roll is McNett Tenacious Tape, though I've used Kenyon K-Tape for years. Tape comes in a range of colors to match the torn fabric. Hmm...I seem to have not one, but three rolls. That's a bit much—I could almost add an extra sleeve to my rain jacket!

A pole splint
This falls into the "if you ever need it, you'll be really really glad you have it" category. If one of the poles of your tent snaps, it can be a serious night and/or trip wrecker. This short, 6-inch aluminum cylinder threads over a broken tent pole and, once secured in place, keeps the pole operational until you get home and can repair it. I've never had to use one, but I know that if I ever forget to bring one my pole will snap. Most tents these days include a splint with the poles.

Duct tape
If I had to choose only one item for gear repair, duct tape would be it. I have a small roll of it wrapped around an old broken pencil, which makes it easier to unwind, especially when you get down to the end.

Small Scissors
The primary use of scissors is for cutting and rounding off the corners of duct tape, nylon repair tape, and moleskin. Somewhere along the line I acquired a much-more-substantial than necessary pair of black plastic scissors that lives in my gear repair bag. A pair of foldable, compact scissors, or a small Swiss Army knife with scissors would be much better.

P-Cord
This is just a 1/8-inch diameter nylon cord. It's not actual "parachute-cord" but a lot of people, including myself, call it P-cord for short. And it's seriously useful stuff! Extra tent guylines, shoelace replacement, extra lashing material, clothesline, bear hang, etc. etc. I usually start out with 50 feet, but that steadily dwindles as I inevitably find uses for it—my current supply is less than 5 feet! Time to get some more.

Replacement 2-inch waistbelt buckle
This is similar to the pole splint. If you break the waistbelt buckle on your fully loaded multi-day backpack, you're in trouble. Without a buckle, it will be very difficult to secure the waistbelt adequately enough to effectively carry weight on your hips rather than on your soon-to-be-screaming-in-pain-and-fatigue shoulder muscles. Never had to use it, but I've always got it.

Gear Aid Quik Attach Slik Clips
These are indeed quite "slik." One side of the clip has a small opening in it, which allows you to thread a replacement clip onto loops and other attachment points that are sewed into position with no free end for threading through a traditional buckle. It was the only thing I could find to repair a broken buckle on the load stabilizer strap of my backpack. Highly recommended.

Sierra Designs Grip Clips
The most recent addition, I had two of these left over from repairing my tent for a recent backcountry trip (See July 10 post). They allow me to add on, or repair, a guy line attachment point on any tent's rainfly.

Heavy-Duty Rubber Bands
Where'd these come from? I have four of them, in two different sizes. Never used 'em, not sure why I have 'em, but there they are. Sproing!

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