Gone Outdoors

How to Replace Tent Poles

by Joe Fletcher

Breaking your tent poles is a frustrating experience, especially if you're at the campsite when it happens. Unfortunately, tents feature so many different designs and sizes, there's no "one size fits all" replacement pole that is going to make your life easy. Replacing poles can be expensive, but it's worth it if you don't want to purchase a new tent.

Check your warranty. If the poles broke under normal circumstances, not resulting from misuse or abuse, you might be able to get them replaced or repaired under warranty.

Gather your tent information including make and model, receipt/date of purchase and serial number. Have this prepared and easily accessible.

Contact the tent manufacturer. Locate a telephone number for warranty repairs, service or customer service. Since all tents feature different geometry and poles, contacting the manufacturer is the best way to get the exact poles replaced.

Provide all your tent information and discuss the option of getting replacement poles with the manufacturer.

Decide if it's best to replace the poles or purchase a new tent. Poles are essentially half your tent, so replacing them isn't going to be cheap, especially if you have expensive, lightweight aluminum poles. If the tent is old, in bad shape or not quite right for your needs, it may be wise to consider simply replacing the entire tent. There's no reason to spend money replacing poles if there's ample reason to get a new tent.

Tip

  • Other options for tent pole replacement that you can consider are using a 3rd-party pole replacement service or purchasing a tent pole repair kit, which could allow you to replace a broken segment rather than the full pole (see link in Resources). If your tent pole breaks in the wilderness, try using a splint made from a stick and duct tape to repair it temporarily. Alternately, use fresh-cut saplings, hiking poles or sticks to pitch the tent for the night. Avoid cheap tents with cheap fiberglass poles. These are prone to breakage. Invest the money into something more durable.

About the Author

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.