Field repair kits--what you got in yours?

11:20 a.m. on March 31, 2009 (EDT)
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Most experienced hikers and campers carry some sort of repair kit along on their outdoor adventures, even if it's no more than a few feet of duct tape wrapped around a water bottle. But duct tape can't fix everything. Close, maybe, but not everything. So what do you carry as your field repair kit?

Mine:

3 feet duct tape wrapped around bottle

2 self-adhesive ripstop nylon fabric patches

2-3 safety pins

needle and thread, small spool

small tube "crazy glue"

Elsewhere is, of course, a knife/multi-tool, small-diameter cord, and a 3/4" nylon strap or two.

10:01 p.m. on March 31, 2009 (EDT)
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Here's my summer list:

-a small roll of dental floss (stronger than thread)

-in a plastic matchsafe wrapped with duct tape: spare o ring for the stove, jet cleaner, buttons, piece of alu from a beer can (tent pole repair), needles, sunglasses screws and driver.

-ripstop fabric tape (i use this almost every trip, iron out with a pot of boiling water for a permanent repair)

-PACK BUCKLES!!

-seam grip, ever so usefull

For ski touring i add:

-binding screws

-5 min. epoxy

-latex gloves (for the epoxy)

-a wooden golf tee (to plug ripped bindings)

-a spare basket

-a nalgene lid (yep! they break when you bang them if they're frozen)

-steel wire

That's about it! The winter kit is a bit heavier but it sure beats going 20 miles with only one ski, or one pole.

10:59 p.m. on March 31, 2009 (EDT)
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Interesting, Franc.

I like the dental floss thing. I have a small roll of that in my "survival kit", which is also always with me.

What do you use as a source for pack buckles? I've occasionally needed one and had difficulty finding proper size, etc.

Re: the golf tee--wouldn't a whittled-down stick work just as well?

And where do you come up with the spare Nalgene lid? An old bottle?

11:20 p.m. on March 31, 2009 (EDT)
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1. Duct tape, I keep some wrapped around my water bottle, trekking pole, etc.

2. Part of a glue stick, many uses.

3. Needle & thread.

4. Razor blade.

5. Super glue, again many uses. My biggest use is fixing cracked fingers so I can keep fishing without the discomfort during winter.

6. Small amount of cord (suitable for bootlace) & wire.

7. Tent repair kit. (with tent)

8. Stove repair kit. (with stove)

9. Pint of straight Kentucky Bourban in case something is "broke real bad".

1:44 p.m. on April 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Trouthunter--

Maybe a number 10? A bullet to bite on?

4:17 p.m. on April 1, 2009 (EDT)
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What do you use as a source for pack buckles? I've occasionally needed one and had difficulty finding proper size, etc.

Re: the golf tee--wouldn't a whittled-down stick work just as well?

And where do you come up with the spare Nalgene lid? An old bottle?

You can get pack buckles in outdoor shops. I always carry at least a wide one for the hip-belt.

Golf tee: try finding a stick 10000 feet up a glacier ;)

They sell Nalgene lids at MEC

I might add more in time, but i've needed everything in this list so far, except the binding repair kit but i've seen it used and it works like a charm. The guy was back on his skis in 20 minutes.

6:24 p.m. on April 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Trouthunter--

Maybe a number 10? A bullet to bite on?

Got it covered actually. Just need a Indian maiden to cut splinters out.

Wait...got that too. (Wife)

9:52 p.m. on April 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Okay, Franc, ya got me with the sticks on the glacier thing. Shoulda seen that one coming, I guess!

I guess I'm gonna have to look more closely to find the spare buckles. Though with enough duct tape, I think I can jerry-rig things back to civilization!

Lastly--MEC = Mountain Equipment Co-op, right?

1:20 p.m. on April 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Yep! My favorite playground after the backcountry. It's soooo much fun to see my wife sitting, waiting impatiently while i run around like a kid in a candy store. Payback for shoe shopping!

2:45 p.m. on April 2, 2009 (EDT)
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I've looked at the MEC website once or twice, but not ordered from them. If I recall correctly, there was a hefty bit of tarrif, customs duties, etc. to be added to the price of whatever I might buy. You probably encounter some of the same in the opposite direction, I suppose. <sigh> Where are the free-traders when ya need 'em?!

I suspect you've not been married as long as I--I'm no longer subjected to the shoe shopping and so forth, and I don't drag my wife along to the outdoor shops and such.

8:53 p.m. on April 2, 2009 (EDT)
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Franc,

I use a hot-glue stick, and melt it into the hole with a cigarette lighter (Bic works just fine). You shove the golf tee (wood only, plastic ones don't work very well) into the hole quickly while the glue is stoll soft (time available depends on the temperature, pretty short at subzero F temps). Tap the tee in with something handy (who carries a hammer, though one repair I had to do on a partner's ski was on descent from an ice climb, so we had ice tools with us). The hot glue also drives out moisture (snow around here is usually pretty wet, so the whole ski is wet and water gets into the ripped out hole), which epoxy doesn't. Also doesn't require mixing which epoxies do.

11:04 a.m. on April 3, 2009 (EDT)
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Awesome tip, thanks! What do you use for a delaminated base? I've used Jbweld with succes but not too sure avout using it in the field, will hot glue work?

1:52 p.m. on April 3, 2009 (EDT)
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Luckily, I haven't had to deal with delam bases in the field. I suspect the hot glue would work, though. I have had to deal with a couple of broken skis, both from adolescent males showboating. One broke right at the toepiece, and the other was "just" a tip. I carry a spare tip, so that one was easy, and worked well, since the kid was rather subdued the rest of the trip. The mid-ski break was not too far from the trailhead, and on the way out, so not too much of a disaster. One of the other adults had a pair of snowshoes in the car, so he dropped his pack and skied the half mile out and back with the snowshoes pretty quickly. That kid's father was not on the trip, so we had to do a bit of counselling on how he was going to tell Dad how he broke the skis that had been used only a few times. I don't think any field gluing would have worked in either of these cases.

10:08 p.m. on April 3, 2009 (EDT)
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I don't carry a whole lot-duct tape, cord, some cable ties for buckle repair or something like that.

For my skis, I have some screws and a small ratchet screwdriver sold for skis at REI. Didn't think about glue though-have to add that to my list.

9:33 p.m. on April 21, 2009 (EDT)
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Wow,

You guys carry all that stuff?

I have some cord, a gerber LST knife (sometimes a swiss army knife with cork screw), a partial role of climbing tape, a BIC, and a pair of tweezers. Oh I have two tiny screwdrivers, a flat for my glasses screws, and a tiny phillips to change the battery in my headlight, except I don't have a spare battery.

Fraid thats about it. Never needed duct tape. Used a needle and thread often in the olde days (I hand sewed my own pack).

Sometimes I wonder if any of this "possibles" stuff is ever used. I guess I'm not sure what would break that would need repair? My camping gear is VERY simple and spare except for my hi tech Coleman Xtreme stove.

My other hardware consists of lighters, knife, batterys, gps, first aid kit, head lamp, tent stakes and titanium cookware/fork/spoon, and my Kelty Cloud 6500 spectra pack. I suppose maybe my tent might need repair? Hasn't happened yet.

Then theres the software. clothes, bag, pillow - again, maybe a needle and thread, which is light, but if you're into ultra light, and not going into life or death circumstances, a repair kit is pretty much just extra weight.

Jim S

12:55 a.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Jim--

You're talking ultra light, but you carry a pillow? I do too, actually. Just became a convert to the pillow world in the backcountry, and I'm NOT going back.

But as for "all that stuff", I think my repair odds & ends probably add no more than 4-6 oz total. Including the aluminum pole sleeve I forgot to list last time.

I have used all of the items at one time or another, so I guess that answers your query about whether it's ever used. Hole in outer liner sleeping bag. Broken strap. Broken buckle. Broken sunglasses. Torn zipper. That stuff happens, ya know?

1:28 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm not willing to try any kind of temporary/weak fix on my bindings or tent up high in the winter and 6 days from town. It would suck to have to stop a 2000$ trip because you can't fix a small piece of gear (namely your stove!)

In the summer who cares? You can just wrap everything in your ground sheet, put on a shoulder and keep going. As long as you have fire, you don't even need the gear. I have a small repair kit and my baseweight is still under 10 lbs.

IMO The challenge is on longer winter treks where you actually depend on your stuff.

5:51 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Jim,

Good to see you on here! You should visit more often.

But what's this about having a headlamp? I thought you only used the tiny LED light these days. ;D

I hope this house gets completed before the summer's over so I can head up your way. But maybe heading in to South Sister after the first snow would be better. And maybe we can get Tom to come up and join in, too.

9:01 p.m. on April 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Jim does have a point, most times I don't need much from my repair kit, sometimes I use the hot glue stick, occasionally the super glue. I prefer duct tape and gauze to store bought bandages. Although some of the newer ones are much better in wet environments.

I guess personally I feel more comfortable knowing I've got my bases covered, just in case. I occasionally do something dumb to create a problem too, at least I can say I was smart enough to be prepared. HaHa

7:33 a.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I keep a section of bicycle inner tube (mt. bike size) in my kit. The rubber is VERY tough. It comes in handy for all sorts of things. Cut it cross-wise, and you can make rubber bands any thickness you like. These can be used for lashing things together, etc. I use them to cover the contacts of my batteries, so they don't accidentally come in contact with anything metal, or become damaged. Cut into strips, the rubber can be used for anything from tying a tourniquet to making emergency shoelaces. The uses are only limited by your own imagination.

12:01 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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f_klock--

I love that idea! Being a cyclist myself, it gives me connections between two of my favorite pursuits. And it's lightweight, can be used for all sorts of things, etc. Thanks for the suggestion.

7:57 p.m. on April 26, 2009 (EDT)
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Bill S

Its some kind of Princeton 2 led headlamp with a Lithium battery. Spose I should find a spare bat. Love to have ya visit. I can get the senior menu items when I'm with you...

What I was sayin is besides skis or sleds, what is it that we carry these days that can "break". My wife asked me why I "don't have a needle and thread incase my down coat or sleeping bag might rip", and my response is that in 20 years the bag hasn't ripped yet and my down coat has a very brush resitant solid three ply shell for a reason.

Perry

I don't carry things that I don't use, I use a pillow. I am carrying mostly gear that I have had since the mid 80s. It was fine gear then and now I simply carry less of it.

I lower my weight by using mission specific equipment rather than generic. for instance I do NOT believe in the "layering technique - its too heavy and bulky or else under insulated. When I ski camp I take only the clothes that I ski in AND a 39 ounce gortex down winter coat and 32 ounce goretex down bibs. Well and a balaclava and spare gloves. One big coat is warmer and more efcifient than two smaller ones.

Jim S who now lives at 3,800' in Bend Oregon.

July 26, 2014
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