Monday, March 27, 2006

Kenyon Hiker's Tent Repair Kit

If you’re looking for an inexpensive repair kit to keep with your outdoor gear or even take backpacking with you – the Hiker’s Tent Repair Kit gives you enough to work with to repair most minor rips and tears in an easy to carry package.

It’s not however, a solution to any massive damage to a tent.

Kit Basics

At roughly $6 to $7, you shouldn’t expect too much out of this repair kit besides the basics. Each kit comes with two pieces of nylon repair tape, replacement no-see-um netting for your tent screen, 3 yards of string/rope and a complete sewing kit with its own string and buttons.

The most useful items in my mind are the repair tape and the no-see-um netting. They will cover the majority of the minor rips and tears you’ll experience with your tent. The tape can easily handle small tears in the tent material and the netting helps you plug holes in your tent screens – so your tent isn’t filling up with mosquitoes while you sleep.

The rope comes in handy if you’ve broken one of you tie lines and you need a replacement and if you are good at sewing – you can use it to fix small tears and rips – though especially with the nylon fabrics of tents – sewing a tear will hold it together – but it won’t be waterproof and won’t hold it together as well as using a patch or the repair tape would.

The whole kits comes in a small sealable bag that makes it easy to store the repair kit or pack it and bring it with you on hikes.


The majority of my repairs have been limited to small holes or rips in the tent fabric where I use the repair tape. With some cleaning and some careful placement – this tape does a good job at repairing small holes. Anything longer than an a few inches – you’re going to need more drastic measures to save your tent. For those small repairs – I haven’t had a problem with the repair tape that is included in this kit.

As for the no-see-um netting – that’s another handy thing to have with you. Especially when you discover there’s a hole in your tent screen and you wake up surrounded by mosquitoes. For very small holes – I’d recommend you just use the repair tape and place a small amount over the hole. However, for a larger tear or hole in your netting – you can use the replacement no-see-um netting along with the repair tape to create a patch for the hole – or you can use one of the nylon adhesives and ‘glue’ the new section of netting over the area of the hole or rip.

I have found the rope to be handy all around and it’s traveled from my repair kit to my general backpacking pile. I can use it tie up loose gear, replace a broken tie line or use it as a short clothesline at camp.

The sewing kit? I’ve never been one who can sew well, if at all (my sewing project in my Home Ec. class was one of the worst), so I tend to ignore the sewing kit. My partner is a bit better at it – and has used it on more generic sewing repairs and used the buttons that are included to replace a lost button.

I personally don’t see much need for a sewing kit when hiking – the majority of repairs you are going to be making are something that would be better handled by repair tape and if that doesn’t work – you’re going to need heavy duty sewing and patches that is something this sewing kit can’t handle.

Final Thoughts

For the price you pay for this kit – I think it’s worth it, if only for the repair tape and the no-see-um netting. Those two items will handle the majority of your repairs and the kits small size and packaging make it easy to store the kit with your gear and bring it along with you when you’re hiking.

While I leave the sewing kit at home – I try to make sure that I’ve got the rest of the kit with me – since you never know when you’re going to need it and the kit will handle most minor repairs easily.

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