Canvas Tent Repair Tips
Canvas tents are popular for camping because they keep you dry and comfortable and well protected. However, you do not want to be caught in the rain with a hole or tear in your tent. If you are in the comfort of your home, it is easy to just sew up the tear, add the patches, and throw on the seam sealer. However, sometimes you have to work on the fly to repair a canvas tent, so it is good to remember a few tips.
Duct Tape or Cloth Repair Tape
When there is a minor tear or rip, you can use tape as an easy and inexpensive stopgap solution. Although you probably do not want to carry too many items when you are camping, duct tape is a great versatile tool that should be in every camping toolkit. It can be used to tape together anything, including your camping tent. If you find you have a leak due to a tear or hole, just put some duct tap over it. It is best if you put it on both sides of the canvas for extra protection. Fabric tape will also work, especially taffeta tape, if you want to have a specialized tape for your tent. Although tape will help momentarily, it will not last for long nor will it help if you are in a massive rainstorm.
Whether you are backpacking or driving with your tent affects how many tools you can bring with you. If you have the room, you should carry a repair kit with you. There are many that are made to be easily carried on trails, so even if you are backpacking you can take one with you. The kits are made to help you to make the repair while camping, and often are more cost efficient than buying the supplies separately. The kits will usually contain glue, needle, thread and some patches and do not cost much money. They will save the day when you are out and find your tent is damaged. However, the glue sometimes needs to be dried before it can protect against rain, so you do not want to fix it while it is raining.
Grommets, Snaps and Zippers
A tent features many fasteners that can cause a tear and a bigger problem if they are not fixed when they break. When you replace a grommet, you will often have to replace the material surrounding it as well. Cut out the grommet, use patches and insert in a new one with a grommet setter and be sure to seal all edges, including the patches. For snaps, carefully remove them and then replace them using the appropriate tools. If your zipper breaks, you can replace it, although it can be a tough job. Carefully remove it by using a stitch remover, find a replacement and sew it in place. For a new zipper slider, just unstitch the part that needs to be fixed and replace the slider and sew it back in.
Canvas tents can be easily fixed, whether on the fly or when you are safely back at home. Any temporary fixes, whether with a tent repair kit or duct tape, should be relooked at once you get home. If you used a kit, it may hold up and not need any more work. Duct tape will need to be removed and a more stable fix performed.