Expedition Repair Kits
Modern equipment is very reliable and I don’t suspect many outdoor folk have had much cause to make many trail repairs. However, even for single days out I carry some backed duct tape (Duck Tape) and a few releasable cable ties (some ideas about these were covered in our previous Top Tips articles here and here).
However, for more remote and longer trips away from help it makes sense to beef this up with some other bits and bobs. Here’s a few things I always take along that may offer some ideas, but please note this is definitely not an exhaustive list and everyone has their own repair must haves. Please do send us any other ideas and we’ll add them to the list......
Duck Tape (duct tape) is definitely a good option for lots of repair jobs and there is even that old adage ‘￼if you can’t Duck it....f*** it! However, I think there are better options for repairing fabrics and the tape I carry for that is Tenacious Tape. This is super strong, very sticky, pretty durable, Downproof and it makes a semi permanent repair even on the slick and shiny fabrics lots of us are wearing nowadays. You can also buy the tape in pre cut shapes which work superbly on holes and smaller tears.
There have been quite a few times where I’ve needed Super Glue and it has got a lot easier to take a few applications along as I recently found they are now selling it in single dose tubes. This makes it less messy to carry and means you only need to take as many small tubes as you’ll think you need.
Another great sticky fixer I always carry is Seam Grip. Again this can be bought in small size tubes and it is fantastic for repairing clothing and, as I found in Morocco recently, it will also do a reasonable job of temporarily glueing a sole back onto a boot (remember that Jim?!).
There is a new kid on the block in the tape department and I think this may be worth packing too (although I've never used it in a trip yet). Adventure Tape is a brand new tape that we've been testing and it is proving to be very versatile. We'll add more detail on this innovative PU tape soon, but for now please do check out details on their website here.
An expedition participant who had once invested in a very cheap duffle bag had an awkward moment when the zip burst open as we about to head to the airport. With my trusty ball of string I was able to wrap around the bag enough times to make it secure enough for the flight home. String has many uses on expedition and a long length of something strong is well worth packing.
Alongside the sticky stuff, I also carry some durable needles and a supply of tough thread. This has again been put to use recently when I was able to help a muleteer patch up a pannier. The problem can sometimes be that you may be stitching thick fabric and, even if the needle is strong enough to go through, it can prove very hard to push the needle through. So one accessory I’ve got used to carrying is a small but strong stitching awl that allows a good enough grip to push through most fabrics.
I carry a compact Leatherman multi tool that always seems to come in handy. It isn’t one of their chunkiest models but has pliers and scissors and various screwdrivers. These have so many uses that I would consider it an expedition essential - but I still haven’t yet needed that tool for removing stones from horses hooves!
That’s pretty much it for me, but I know friends who carry a few spare buckles (and Sea to Summit are making some handy ones that can be used to replace others without stitching now too. Details on them are here) and some folk carry spare cord grips. Nappy pins can also be useful as they are simply strong and secure large safety pins.
We hope you find this information useful for your upcoming adventures - but please do email us here with any other special items you've found useful and we'll add them to this blog post.
Posted by Cal
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