How to Replace & Repair a Kelty Tent Pole

by David McGuffin
Knowing a couple of fixes for tent poles can save you in a pinch when enjoying the great outdoors.

Knowing a couple of fixes for tent poles can save you in a pinch when enjoying the great outdoors.

Repairing a Kelty tent pole can either be an easy fix or something that is impossible to do, depending on the manner in which it is broken. Fortunately, finding a replacement is as simple as contacting Kelty and ordering a new pole. However, try a few of the do-it-yourself fixes before ordering a replacement.

Splitting and Cracking

Diagnose the problem with your tent pole. If the pole is cracking or splitting, you can fix the problem in a couple of minutes.

Wrap duct tape around the pole where it is splitting. Chances are that the pole, if made of fiberglass, will be splitting near one of the ends, in which case you will need to wrap a thin layer of tape around the end with two to three layers higher up on the pole.

Insert the pole into the sleeve where it connects with the next adjacent pole to make sure you have not put too much duct tape on the end to prevent it from fitting.

Bungee Cord Broken

Inspect your pole to find where the bungee cord inside is broken. Chances are that if this is the case, you can simply pull the poles apart until you find the end of the bungee cord.

Tie a small, thin bungee cord to the original bungee cord. Feed the new bungee cord through the center of the Kelty tent pole until it is coming out the end of the final pole section. Pull the bungee cord tight and tie an overhand knot on the bungee cord end that is sticking out of the tent pole.

Put the end cap back onto the tent pole to cover the exposed bungee cord knot. You should be able to use the tent pole again as long as the bungee cord was tightened enough when you pulled it through all of the poles. If the poles are not held firmly together by the bungee cord inside, you will need to tighten it by removing the cap from the end pole section and pulling the bungee cord so that it is tighter. Tie it off again.

Replacement pole

Purchase a generic replacement tent pole at any outdoors department or store. If you have a family dome tent, then the generic tent pole may work for you as long as it is a similar length. If it is a little bit longer or shorter it might work, depending on your tent's design.

Inspect the rest of your poles for possible breaks, splits, cracks, or bungee cord wear and tear. If you need to replace one pole, then there may be a chance that you need to replace the other poles as well.

Contact Kelty and purchase a tent pole replacement specific for your tent. Most specialty backpacking tents have a unique pole setup that is not compatible with generic tent poles found at typical outdoor stores. If your Kelty tent is only a few years old, Kelty may replace the tent pole for free if it was due to normal wear and tear or product defect.

Items you will need

  • Duct tape
  • Thin bungee cord
  • Replacement tent pole
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Pliers


  • If you are dealing with fiberglass poles, be careful to watch for fiberglass splinters. Since fiberglass is clear, the splinters will be extremely small and hard to remove.

About the Author

David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.

Photo Credits

  • tent site image by Mike & Valerie Miller from