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How to Fix a Backpack: My Fix-It Gear

It seems like every time I go out on the trail if something can go wrong it does. Usually, it’s a snag, a tear or a break that comes as a result of the trip. Of course, every hiker says this is normal, and something always gets a little worn and used. Over the years, I’ve fixed a number of my gear items and also a few things for other people I come across while camping out. These aren’t great fixes, but they allow you to continue using the item and carry on with the trip.

For example, the last time I was out hiking in the Grand Canyon, my backpack tore. The good thing is that I carry a few fix-it items with me for just such a scenario. Recently I got to wondering what other people do when something like this happens to them.

Are you prepared for something to go wrong? Do you have fix-it gear at least for a backpack tear? Do you have a backpack fix-it kit? Hopefully, you’ll come up with some fix-it solutions of your own when you read about the equipment I carry for simple fixes of crucial camp gear items like your backpack.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is useful for a variety of things, and you should carry little bit wrapped around a pen, on a lighter, or any other cylindrical surface. You can use duct tape to seal torn seams or zippers. However, duct tape is not really as strong as a few other fix-it materials, but it will get the job done and hold your backpack together at least for the duration of the day.

Fabric tape

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If you’re not a seamstress or a crafter, it can be tough to think of ways to hold fabric or canvas together, but there is solution called fabric tape. This is a flexible strong tape that holds together all types of fabrics. I always carry a small spool that doesn’t take up a lot of space, and amazingly, you can do a lot of fix-it work with it. Fabric tape works like any other type of tape – you just stick it where you need it. It is stronger than duct tape and you can even wash it. So if you tear the backpack cloth in any place, use this flexible tape to cover the tear.

Tent Gear Sealer

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Let’s say your backpack came apart at the seams. This can be a real problem when everything starts to fall out, and your tape is not strong enough to keep it all together. You need something strong and flexible. While fabric tape can help, it still may not be enough on its own. In this case, you can use seam repair adhesive on the inside seams and then use fabric tape on the exterior of the backpack.

Sew It Together

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If you are handy with a needle, you can choose to sew any tears back together again. Carry a mini sewing kit with you at all times. You can buy a travel sewing kit, or a hotel front desk may even give you one. You’d be amazed at how handy a little sewing kit can be.  Even if you don’t have a thread, you could sew the tear in your backpack by using a bit of dental floss threaded through the needle. Dental floss is super strong and works well as thread.

Super Glue

Did you know that super glue was originally invented to seal wounds during wartime? I don’t know about using super glue on a cut or abrasion, but I do know it works great on little plastic or metal parts that break off of camp gear. If your backpack only has a broken loop,  ring or zipper, this can do the trick.

My backpack or camping gear repair tool kit is really this simple.  It’s a hodgepodge of small things I’ve put together that pull me out of a jam in a minor emergency. You don’t have to carry a whole roll of tape with you, so just spool some of it around a small item like a flashlight, a lighter or even a pen, and you are set to go.  You’d be amazed to learn how just a little tape, glue or a needle can help in a minor emergency situation.



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