Camping is all fun and games until your tent goes bust. This can be due to reasons ranging from sharp sticks or stones on a campground, wrong packing or storing or just general wear and tear. So you need to know the essentials of tent repair such as how to patch a tent right on the field if you want to protect your portable home from pesky insects and bugs or even wild animals.

Tent Repair: How to Patch a Tent

Tents require regular patches due to small tears in its fabric, leaks in the seams on the rainfly and tents body or a broken or bent pole.

how to patch a tent

Tent fabric is susceptible to tear when in contact with sharp sticks, stones, and even tree branches. A fabric patch is relatively easy to carry out with a great patch kit. You’ll need a rag, rubbing alcohol, scissors, and tent repair tape to patch any of such rips on your tent.

The following are easy tips to patch a rip on your tent:

  1. Clean the area around the tear with rubbing alcohol and a rag.
  2. Use a tent repair tape to close the hole and at least one inch of fabric in that area.
  3. Now, place the tent fabric on a flat and stable surface. Take off the backing on the tape patch, and then press the patch into place.
  4. For tears in a high-tension area, such as a very close place near the pole, endeavor to patch the inside of the tent.
  5. Ensure the patch stays on for a day to cure. You can now pack the tent away after this.

Seams should be checked frequently to avoid damage or water leaks. In most cases, seam tapes are used to seal newly bought. You can go the extra mile by ensuring adequate when you use a liquid tent seam sealer. To patch or fix the seam, you’ll need a rag, rubbing alcohol and seam sealer.

To fixed damaged seams, here are some quick tips:

  1. Carefully examine all of the seams. You’ll only seal seams on the underside of the fly and the inner side of the tent body. This ensures easy access to the seams.
  2. Remove any peeling sections if seam tape.
  3. Clean the seams with a rag and rubbing alcohol.
  4. Apply new seam sealers.
  5. To ensure all seams are intact, apply sealer to all the seams.
  6. Allow seam sealer to dry entirely.

For a nylon tent repair work, you’ll need a bunch of items that can be found in a standard tent repair kit:

Nylon tent repair kits include:

  1. Two adhesive-backed ripstop nylon patches, one 9 x 3 inches and one 8 x 3 inches.
  2. Two mesh screen patches 8 x 8 inches.
  3. Two spools nylon thread.
  4. Three 2-3/4 inch tent pole ferrules: one 8.5mm, one 9.5mm, and one 11mm diameter.
  5. One piece 45-inch x 2.5 mm shock cord.
  6. Reusable ziplock bag.

Repairing Screen and Mesh Tips

Screen Patch

repairing screen and mesh tips

Your tent is vulnerable to bugs and mosquitoes when there is a hole in its screen. Patching the screen of your tent largely depends on the size of the hole, and then the supplies or screen patch kits you have in hand. Duct tape can be used to repair any emergency camp and tent repair.

However, a more complicated repair will require needle and thread for adequate repair.

How to repair screen with duct tape:

If you don’t have a tent patch kit or needle and thread with you at camp, a duct tape will do.

  1. Cut a piece of duct tape. This piece should be a little bigger than the hole. Then place it over the tear on the screen.
  2. To achieve a permanent result, cut a matching piece of duct tape and apply it to the other side of the repair. Do this if you don’t mind the look of duct tape on your tent.
  3. For a temporary repair, apply the duct tape on the side of the tear - either inside or outside. Do well to carefully peel the duct tape off the hole before packing up your tent. You can now proceed to a permanent repair once it is home.

How to repair tent screen with needle and thread:

  1. For a less noticeable repair on the screen of your tent, mend a hole with needle and thread.
  2. Match the thread color with that of the screen. Do well to use a clear monofilament thread.
  3. Begin the repair from about ¼ inch from the beginning of the rip. Then, insert the thread into the screen with a needle and tie the thread to the screen with an overhand or slip knot.
  4. Finally, be sure to whip stitch the repair together. How to whip stitch: Hold both sides of the rip together and insert the needle through both layers, and then pull the thread tight. Move slightly down the tear and repeat this action. Continue to sew until the entire rip in the screen is mended. Finish with a knot and clip the thread.

Mesh Repair

The mesh of your tent may have a rip on its door or window. You’ll need a mesh patch kit to carry out this repair successfully. Here are a few repair tips:

  1. Spread out the torn part on a flat surface.
  2. Now, put the mesh patch from the patch kit over the hole.
  3. In the patch kit, you'll find a repair tape. Remove the backing from the ring of repair tape.
  4. Line this tape with the patch on the mesh and press it into place.
  5. Allow the patch cure for a day before packing the tent away.

How to Repair Mesh Netted Tents

Mesh netting protects campers from insects. A ripped or torn mesh netting fabric can be repaired with mesh netting patches or tape. However, substantial repairs of 3 to 12 inches require sewing and the use of adhesive mesh netting patches or tapes.

how to repair mesh netted tents

For small repairs of netted mesh follow these steps:

  1. Wipe the edges of the rip or hole with a cotton ball or pad previously soaked in alcohol. Allow the alcohol to dry.
  2. Cut two adhesive mesh netting patches or pieces of mesh netting tape a little wider than the rip, and round any edges on square patches or tape. Then remove the paper or plastic backing from one patch.
  3. Place a flat item such as a folder or wood board behind the rip or hole. You can centralize and press one patch or tape over the damaged area. Now, rub it repeatedly to create a firm bond between the adhesive and the mesh netting.
  4. Place the flat object against the repaired side of the mesh hole or rip. Take off the backing from the adhesive patch or make do of the other piece of mesh netting tape. Press the remaining patch over the opposite side of the rip or hole. Encourage the adhesive to bond with the mesh netting fabric by rubbing firmly.

For large repairs:

  1. Wipe the edges of the hole or rip with a cotton ball or pad soaked in alcohol. Allow the alcohol to dry.
  2. If the mesh fabric is nylon, thread a sewing needle with a nylon thread, or polyester thread as the case may be.
  3. Hold the edges of the hole or rip together, and sew the edges tightly together.
  4. Cut two pieces of adhesive mesh netting tape or patch, so they are one inch wider and longer than the rip or whole.
  5. Now, put a flat object against one side of the sewn rip or whole. Go on to remove the backing from one adhesive patch or ready the tape. Press the adhesive side to the stitched hole or rip. Rub repeatedly to create a firm bond between the adhesive and the mesh netting.

Use any of these methods to patch the screen or mesh of your outdoor party tent.

Canvas patching

The material of a canvas tent is hard, which helps protect it from the frequent tear or rippings.  However, when damage occurs, you can repair in several ways.

the material of a canvas tent is hard

One of such ways is to sew up with a needle and thread. Sew in a short pattern that is neat and sewn tightly together. Next, do well to cover the stitched patch. Cut a piece of waterproof canvas. Be sure this piece is enough to overlap the tear completely. Patch the inside of the tent and round the corners of the canvas with a pair of scissors.

For the inside patch, sew carefully. The stitches surrounding the patch should be small so the hole will not spread, and the flaps will be secured.

Conversely, make sure the outside patch is wholly centered over the sewn hole where the tear is in your tent. Hold the patch down and press it into place. Work with a sealant for canvas cement.

Finally, go along each side of the edges of both patches with canvas seam sealer. Follow the instructions on the sealer for the amount of content to apply. The application of the sealer ensures that the stitches do not go off and the area remains watertight.

Note that your tent patch kits will determine how quick you can repair your tents. So, it’s best you get all the proper kits when getting a new tent. For example, 10x20 pop up canopy tents are also easy to patch with the right kit.