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View Poll Results: How do you fix your broken gear?
Fix it easily yourself (just some duct tape) 1 2.04%
Fix it well yourself (take some time and make it good as new) 21 42.86%
Send it into the manufacturer to fix 1 2.04%
Take it to a local repair shop (maybe simply an EMS) 1 2.04%
Throw it out and buy a new one 4 8.16%
A combination of the above...it really depends 31 63.27%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-28-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
adktyler
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Question How do you repair your gear?

So as I'm sitting here attempting to sew my gloves that have been ripped for a year or so, I got to thinking: How does everyone else fix their gear?

This is similar Redhawk's post, but a little more specific. When your great breaks, what do you do?
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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I chose the "combination of the above" option.

It can't really be answered any other way can it? Except with the "replace" option.

I can repair my clothing items, tent, sleeping bag, and many other things, sometimes permanently sometimes temporarily.

I might be able to repair a stove if I can get parts from a manufacturer, but I can't repair a gps or a locator beacon or a camera.

So, it's situational.

Hawk
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
adktyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
I chose the "combination of the above" option.

It can't really be answered any other way can it? Except with the "replace" option.

I can repair my clothing items, tent, sleeping bag, and many other things, sometimes permanently sometimes temporarily.

I might be able to repair a stove if I can get parts from a manufacturer, but I can't repair a gps or a locator beacon or a camera.

So, it's situational.

Hawk
Very good point. I actually was just thinking about that now. I should have left that last one out, because it does really depend. I was looking for an overview, such as what do you USUALLY do.... Some people I know as soon as it breaks they discard it and purchase a new one, they don't even try to repair it. Others will keep their pack for as long as possible, making 5, 10, 20 repairs.

Maybe we could pretend the last option doesn't exist, and just treat it as a multi-answer poll?
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:31 PM   #4
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I even buy broken gear for next to nothing (or people give me their broken gear) and I fix that.

I've gotten a down vest and down jacket, a pair of goretex snow pants, a few backpacks, some fleece jackets, and a pair of gaiters that way. Mostly broken zippers or small tears that are easily fixed.

If I can't fix it, I try to salvage any useful parts for homemade gear, or fixing other gear. I have bags full of straps, zippers, webbing, buckles, fabric, cordlocks, cord etc
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:47 PM   #5
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I have neither the time, inclination or ability to repair my gear the way a specialty gear repair and custom artisan shop near my office does.

They do a bang-up job and aren't all that expensive either. I take even the simplest jobs there.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
adktyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbitling View Post

If I can't fix it, I try to salvage any useful parts for homemade gear, or fixing other gear. I have bags full of straps, zippers, webbing, buckles, fabric, cordlocks, cord etc
What a great idea! I try to do the same thing, but I know I can be a little bit better about it. I also get much of my basic outdoor layering cloths from the Salvation Army. I have some great shirts and pants from there (such as my favorite VaporWick shirt from North Face...for 3 dollars!)
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:56 PM   #7
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What happens when the equipment fails while on a hike (Especially on a longer backpacking trip)? Have you had to make emergency repairs in the past?

In my case, It only happened twice in 30 years of backpacking. My external frame pack was repaired with a combination of fishing line and brass wire (I used this particular pack for an additional 2 years after the repair and didn't need further fixing). The other occasion was when I used duct tape to repair a bad tear in my tent. I never used this tent again but it still sits in my basement waiting for the day I'll need to cannibalize it for a pole, a nylon bag or a piece of fabric.

I always carry too much stuff in my repair kit and never end up using it. What are the odds? Which piece of gear is most likely to fail?
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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Fishing line and brass wire, excellent! What a great idea.

I had my snowshoes pop a rivet hiking up Phelps last winter. My dad and I repaired them with some shoelaces that I keep tied to the daisy chains on my pack. It held for the remainder of the trip, which was a blessing because there was too much snow to bare boot. When I got home, I put a nut, washer and bolt on, and it held for the rest of the season. I've since upgraded to Denali Evo Ascent, but I keep the other ones as spares, because they still work well.
Other then that, I haven't had any mishaps, thankfully.

I have no idea what piece of gear is most likely to fail. My guess would be anything made by Ozark Trail or Coleman, lol. Besides that, my guess would be some sort of clothing (I've seen lots of busted zippers before, the worst being on top of Cascade in the middle of February!).
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK88
I have no idea what piece of gear is most likely to fail. My guess would be anything made by Ozark Trail or Colman, lol. Besides that, my guess would be some sort of clothing (I've seen lots of busted zippers before, the worst being on top of Cascade in the middle of February!).
Hehehe I know what you mean about Ozark Trail. Coleman makes decent equipment. Just not for lightweight hiking/backpacking. I have a 25 year old classic Coleman double burner stove I use for car camping. The only thing I had to do (once) is to replace the leather cup gasket on the fuel (air) pump. I also have a compact Exponent white gas stove I use on the rare winter overnighter and it works great.

I never thought of a zipper failure as a major problem before but I see your point. Can you get a buttoned up down jacket nowadays?
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Hehehe I know what you mean about Ozark Trail. Coleman makes decent equipment. Just not for lightweight hiking/backpacking. I have a 25 year old classic Coleman double burner stove I use for car camping. The only thing I had to do (once) is to replace the leather cup gasket on the fuel (air) pump. I also have a compact Exponent white gas stove I use on the rare winter overnighter and it works great.

I never thought of a zipper failure as a major problem before but I see your point. Can you get a buttoned up down jacket nowadays?
Ok, ok. Coleman isn't that bad. It seems to be a pick-and-choose, though. My family also has a Coleman double burner stove, and hasn't had any problems that I recall. But some other Coleman things have broken on me, mostly little trinkets and such.

The zipper failure was actually a problem because it was his shell, and as I recall the jacket didn't have any ways to secure it closed in spite. One thing I hate about some EMS jackets, if the zipper busts, you're screwed! Both my shell and my down jacket have Velcro, so if the zipper blew on me, I could still keep the thing together. Snaps work as well, and if I could find a jacket with buttons, I'd be all over it
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:03 AM   #11
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I'm with Hobbitling, I have purchased or been given countless "worthless" pieces of equipment that I repair myself. It is an indicator of the consumable society of today how quickly things are tossed out...clothing, tools, houses, people.
I have even bought a shop manual for one of my film cameras to repair that, but the newer, more electronic devices, as Hawk mentions, are tough to repair without a schematic and the proper diagnostic equipment.
Sometimes, when I can't fix whatever, I contact the manufacturer. I bought a nonworking water filter/cooler/hot water dispenser for $5. After extensive investigation, I couldn't fix it. So I called the manufacturer, and they sent me a prepaid shipping container to return it AND a check for $100!!
And I would much rather spend the evening tinkering with some mechanical puzzle than sedating myself with a sitcom.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:48 AM   #12
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All of the above. I'll use my gaiters as an example. A few years ago I put a hole in one of my gaiters. I field repaired it with some duct tape. When I got back from the trip, I put a permanent goretex patch on the hole. That lasted the rest of the season. At that point the foot straps were starting to go so I brought the pair in to ems. A week later I got them back good as new. They are now full of holes again and at this point it's time for them to be replaced.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:01 AM   #13
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I have neither the time, inclination or ability to repair my gear the way a specialty gear repair and custom artisan shop near my office does.

They do a bang-up job and aren't all that expensive either. I take even the simplest jobs there.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to go out and get an extra job so I can pay someone to fix gear I can fix myself.

My gear buying philosophy is that it WILL break, therefore always buy high enough quality that it can be repaired when it DOES break.

I just repaired (again) a pair of good old faithful boots that I've nursed along for probably close to 20 years. The sole delaminated... again. Used lacquer thinner to easily soften and remove the old adhesive, then contact cement to reattach. This is a repair I've done several times on these boots, with extra effort this time to clean them before applying the new cement. A comparable replacement boot would have cost me $75-$100, and I used less than $1 of materials for the repair. I remember many years ago a friend telling me he just threw out a pair of the same boot he had because the soles came loose. He said the boot sucked because of that. While I will admit that the problem appears to be a flaw in the boot manufacture, I cringed at the thought that he threw them in the garbage instead of giving them to me as a back-up pair.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:24 AM   #14
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My favorite repairs are made with dental floss. I've sewn a pack strap back on to the pack (not mine) on the summit of Saddleback Mtn (ME) when it was 5F and 25mph. The secret is to pre-thread the needle so you can sew in mittens. The owner told me it was still holding when I met him again after 6 months. It was a temporary repair with on 8 stitches and 3 end knots with the tail singed with a lighter - the hard part.

I have also sewn pants while being worn by the hiker. One was a split leg seam from hip to ankle while bushwhacking (on Macomber). The other was a a broken full length side zip on a Pilot Range (NH) hike in wet sloppy winter conditions. The owner was SOL. I knew it had to hold. Hip to ankle with wide stitches and then countless knots (I think 5 or 6) The guy called be from home after the hike to tell me he couldn't get his pants off!

When I was really bushwhacking alot I could get only 3 hikes out of a pair of canvas gloves. Floss wouldn't help as the fabric was just completely gone. Winter nylon over mitts would need repair after 2 seasons, but I could get an extra season if I sewed them with floss. I also saw a benefit to using shoo goo 2 on abrasions.

The most prowd field repair was a replacement of the pivot pin in a pot gripper. It ovaled out the hole. probably because my pasta dinner was too heavy. I drilled out the hole with my SAK and replaced the pin with an extra clevis pin. That was 25 yrs ago. Still have and use it today.

I don't like duct tape. I think it is over rated. The only really good use IMO is for torn down filled items. I dont carry it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:07 AM   #15
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No matter the situation, I find that in desperate times with few resources, I am pretty crafty. Its in my nature to go through trial and errors and figure out which works best and in the least amount of time possible.

All depends on the situation. I know its not gear, but I had a sagging tomato plant that I propped up with dental floss, a pencil and a screw driver. I know its nothing impressive, but its what was available to me at the time.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:36 PM   #16
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Actually I suggest new products to other people and wait ti see the results they have before I buy.

Hawk
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:16 PM   #17
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Actually I suggest new products to other people and wait ti see the results they have before I buy.

Hawk
So, it's been over 2 years since you posted this. Has enough positive feedback come in for you to try eating those Hawk Vittles I keep hearing about?
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