Harsh storms, snowfall, UV rays, and rigorous camping can all take a toll on your gear. Luckily, you don’t need to go out and buy a new tent or tarp just because of a few holes. Repairing your items is really a quick and simple task you can do at home, plus you will save so much more than buying new ones!
General Tent Repair Tips
The first step in repairing your tent is to thoroughly check for any loose threads that may be present. These fibers can indicate that there is a tear nearby, as they pop up as a natural part of the ripping process. If you leave the threads there to hang too long, there is a risk that they will continue to rip and cause even worse damage to the fabric over time.
Once you’ve properly located the damage, make sure the area is clean, either by washing your entire tent with soap and water, or by using disinfectant to prepare the individual spots. Allow the area to fully dry before beginning. You can even dry the site with a hair dryer, or steam it to allow the materials to lay down flatter and make repairs easier and more precise.
Next, you’ll need to apply either a repair tape or a seam grip to the area for a perfect touch up.
If you’re opting for a repair tape, make sure to measure at least a half-inch to one-inch of tape more than the size of the tear. Then, you’ll need to round off the corners of the tape, which helps prevent annoying budging later on. Once you have the perfect size and shape, apply the tape to the tear while gently pressing down, ensuring that it is applied perfectly smooth.
If your tear is near an area that will have a lot of tension, like the top of your tent where the poles extend, then you may want to consider also placing tape on the interior side of the tear for extra support.
When opting for a seam grip, you’ll want to begin the process the same as the tape, by cutting loose threads and cleaning the area. Once it is prepared, apply the seam grip alongside the tear with a small brush. You’ll want to ensure that the product covers both the tear and a half-inch of area around the damage. Now you can let the seam grip dry completely before heading back out on your next trip!
For even better results, you can use the two products together. Either by layering the seam grip and the tape, or by using one product on the interior and one on the exterior.
General Tarp Repair Tips
Repairing your tarp is just as easy as repairing your tent. First, you’ll want to identify the damaged areas and properly clean them with soap and water to ensure the repair tape will adhere properly. If your tarp has been exposed to grease or oil, wash the area with rubbing alcohol to remove any excess.
After it’s clean, lay the tarp down and flat as possible and apply tarp-specific repair tape to the area, leaving a wide margin surrounding the tear for even greater security. Gently rub the tape into the rip to create a stronger seal between the two materials. For the best results, you’ll want to apply the tape on both the interior and exterior of the tarp.