Most people who chose to partake in backpacking will eventually need to know a thing or two about backpack repair. Bringing your pack into the local shop for patching up is costly, and isn’t really a practical option while you’re out in the field. Having a few simple items in your repair kit and a few basic skills in your head can go a long way.
A few weeks ago while out on a day hike, I discovered a small tear forming on the bottom of my pack. It concerned me, so when I got home, I got right to fixing it.
Before making the repair, I thoroughly cleaned the torn area of the pack, inside and out, with water, and then allowed it to completely dry.
Then, I cut a round patch out of Cordura fabric. Cordura is an extremely tough fabric originally developed by DuPont. The diameter of my patch was twice the length of the tear, as making a strong adhesive bond requires plenty of surface area.
Then, I turned the pack inside out, which is easy to do with an ultralight pack like the Gossamer Gear Gorilla which has a removable hip belt. Next, I applied a small bead of McNetts Seam Grip along the length of the tear and around the entire surface area of the patch before centering the patch on the tear and smoothing it down with my fingers.
After allowing the Seam Grip to dry for several hours, I turned the pack right-side-out again and applied extra Seem Grip to the outside of the tear and to a few other damaged areas as reinforcement.
I have carried a small tube of Seem Grip in my repair kit when I hike for about a year now, but hadn’t previously been carrying anything to make a patch with. After this incident, I decided to add a small pre-cut patch of Cordura to my repair kit as well. This repair method cannot really be used on the move, but is a viable option while camped at night. I buy most of the items I need for my repair kit at Campmor because it is local and convenient. You can get a greater variety of colors shopping online at retailers such as Quest Outfitters.
What do you carry in your field repair kit?