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How to Replace a Broken Tent Pole


Q. Yo Gear Guy! This weekend when I was setting up my two-man tent to air-dry, one of the fiberglass poles broke. Any places that I could go to get a replacement?
— Half-a-pole Adam, Spokane, Wash.

Dear Mr. Half. First off, good for you for airing out your tent (cue applause). Taking care of your gear is key for making it last a long time.

Now, there are a couple tent pole-specific tips I’d like to offer: When you’re putting up or taking down collapsible tent poles, always work from the center out. So for instance, don’t try to collapse the pole from one end first. That’ll put too much stress on the elastic inside the pole and can cause it to break. Next, always try to keep your poles out of the dirt or sand. That stuff can get inside the pole joints and cause problems too.

Obviously your immediate issue is getting a new pole. Your best choice is to contact the original manufacturer of your tent. You should be able to find a customer-service email or toll-free number on the company’s website. If not, try going to the shop where you bought the tent. They might have info on how to reach the manufacturer. When you do get in touch, be sure to mention which exact tent model you have and which pole is broken.

If that’s unsuccessful, you might also try TentPole Technologies, LLC. ( Prices for replacement poles seem to range from $5 to $35 for fiberglass poles, depending of course on the diameter and length of the pole you need. Aluminum poles are roughly twice as expensive. While I can’t vouch for the company directly, it does seem like they’d be able to help.

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15 Comments on How to Replace a Broken Tent Pole

  1. Scouter Donn // August 13, 2019 at 11:06 am // Reply

    WOW so after 20 years my inexpensive (about $30) off brand tent pole snapped just above the ferrule at base, very odd but it was the one that saw the most stress I guess, well a little med tape from the first aid kit did the fix for the trip. I went to the website mentioned above and for under ten bucks they made and shipped me a replacement section which fit like original. Key thing is to measure the diameter and length. Remember the old saying measure twice (or more) and cut once! So make sure to know the shaft length and ferrule length.

  2. I’ve used Tent Pole Technologies a few times now. Great results, and even better customer service. They’re awesome.

  3. The more remote you are, the more important this is. Bring a spare if you are a long way from civilization.

  4. The problem I’ve run into is that the manufacturer of our tent is no longer in business. We have a missing pole for along the entrance of the tent that pulls the material outward so the entrance stays drier – maybe a rainfly? I tried fabricating my own but it requires two ferrules that bend at an obtuse angle and I can’t find anyone that sells them. I will look into the link mentioned in the article.

  5. DakotaHoosier // November 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm // Reply

    I was stowing my Marmott today and noticed there is a short aluminum tube in the stake bag. This tube can slip over a broken/bent pole to give temporary support. Similar to what another commenter said above (carry a length of PVC pipe). Nice that this company equips their tent with the ‘be preparer’s motto in mind!

  6. WinterWolf120 // December 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm // Reply

    ok well this helped pretty well thx gear guy

  7. hufflepuffdude05 // July 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    thanks for helping

  8. Barnesville Troop // July 16, 2015 at 10:49 am // Reply

    So all that said, any tips on threading the elastic cord through the replacement pole sections?

  9. BlaqueKnight // July 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm // Reply

    I keep a roll of plastic electrical tape with my gear. Came in handy when I snapped a pole while camping. Major sporting good store carry replacement kits in various sizes.

  10. When you shop for a replacement, know the diameter and length of your pole, and if you have to cut a fiberglass pole to length, an easy way to do it is with a tubing cutter (the kind that turns around the tube) from the plumbing section. If you have to do a temporary fix with duct tape, it works better if you splint the pole first with something rigid — even a twig helps.

  11. On camp outs it it always good to carry a 6 inch piece of pvc pipe. this can be placed over the break and keep the tent usable until you fix the pole.

  12. how about a kite pole?

  13. Anonymous // May 8, 2012 at 11:45 am // Reply

    any sporting good store worth its salt sells tent pole repair kits they are pretty cheap and come with shock cord extra fiber glass poles and the metal end caps.but if your on the trail and dont have the kit duct tape is wonderfull.

  14. StillScouting // November 1, 2011 at 10:29 am // Reply

    Depending on how your pole is broken you might even be able to repair it using the same material you’d use to fix a fiberglass fishing pole..

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