Backpacking trips can be quite unpredictable. If your gear begins to fail far off the beaten track, then you’ll be glad you packed a backpacking repair kit. When you’re forced to fend for yourself, even the smallest mishaps can really test you. Whether it’s a broken tent pole, torn fabric, or heaven forbid, a broken stove, then it’s those simple, yet all-important supplies in your backpacking repair kit that’ll quickly have you up and running again.

10 essential items to include in your backpacking repair kit

Inexpensive, easily sourced and lightweight, here’s a list of 10 essential items for your backpacking repair kit. When coupled with your own creativity, they’ll be sure to get you out of any hole!


A standard pocket knife may serve most of your needs, but a multi-tool provides reassuring versatility. With knives, pliers, screwdrivers and scissors, there’s not a campsite job they can’t tackle. Whether repairing tent poles, pinching zippers or cutting patches, they provide it all in one tool that’s easily packed and carried.

Duct Tape

When you’re out on the trails, no repair job is intended to be permanent. Duct tape allows you to quickly an easily patch something up just long enough to last out the trip. Whether that’s taping a broken tent pole to another, or patching a hole in your tent, strong duct tape provides you that reassurance with a relatively low weight penalty.

Cable Ties

When straps and clips fail far from home, a cable tie may just be what you need to patch up that backpack. Just make sure you pack a few!

Tent pole sleeves

When the integrity of the tent is compromised a broken tent pole, it can spell disaster. A tent pole sleeve is a short tube that passes over your existing poles. It enables you to compensate for a break by sliding the splint in place over the break. If you do break a pole accidentally, then a tent pole sleeve may well be what helps your tent weather that battering wind!

Stove repair kit

Whether it’s that morning brew, or that hot meal in the evening, the lasting memories from any backpacking trip often entail those shared moments. None of that can happen however without a functioning stove. If your stove does happen to break, you’ll want to ensure you have the tools to carry out the necessary repairs. It’s often useful to carry some spare o-rings, oil and the tools you require to take your stove apart should disaster strike. This is one essential part of your backpacking pair kit. Don’t leave your fellow campers without their morning coffee!


While out backpacking, it’s not only your equipment that can break, but also your body. Blisters are a common problem on the trails, and moleskin is one of the most useful ways to treat or prevent blisters. When applying moleskin to a blister, it’s always best to cut out a doughnut shape around the blister. The extra padding around the blister will help prevent your sock from rubbing against the blister and aggravating it further.

Utility cord

Whether you’re pitching a shelter on rocky uneven ground, or you simply want to reinforce tent guy lines, then some utility cord goes a long way. It provides that versatile solution for peace of mind that can also function as everything from a clothesline to a method for hanging food bags out of harm's way — especially useful if attracting wildlife is a concern.

Needle and thread

Many have an aversion to it, or simply don’t know how to use it. But for those in the know, the good old fashioned needle and thread is something well worth packing. While duct tape can patch up tears and leaks, the needle and thread provide the means of achieving that solid cohesion that’ll ensure your gear makes it through a longer trip. Whether a tear in your tent or clothing, missing buttons or a punctured air pad, with the simple needle and thread you’ll be quickly up and running after a setback.

Safety pins

Whether it’s a broken zipper, buckle or button, this durable, lightweight, multipurpose pin packs a punch in terms of utility. With a little creativity, you’ll find them useful in a variety of potentially problematic situations. And all this potential comes with minimal expense and weight!

Spare laces

As unlikely as it may be, anyone can break a bootlace, but it’s perhaps in the multifunctional uses where they really shine. They can be used for everything from starting a fire using the bow and drill method, to halting bleeding on a serious wound. And if you’re feeling particularly inventive, then they can even double as a fishing line or replace a broken belt.

A backpacking repair kit can be quickly and easily put together. While you won’t need everything all the time, Murphy’s law dictates that the day you don’t pack it will be the very day you’ll need it!