If you know that your tent poles are in need of repair, don’t put it off until just before your next camping trip, the time to fix those broken tent poles is now.
Fibre glass tent poles are pretty resistant to a certain amount of stress and strain and will bend and twist a lot before they break, but in certain bad weather conditions, sections of poles will break. If a few sections go it might be easier to replace the whole length of pole, or if it’s just one or two you can replace these individually with just a little time and little bit more patience.
What you need to do first is identify the width of your broken pole/poles. This info can normally be found in your instructions/spec which came with your tent, failing that, get a tape measure out!
Poles will come in several different sizes, but bar a few exceptions they come in 7.9 mm, 8.5 mm, 9.5 mm, 11 mm, and 12.7 mm widths. Some tents use more than one size of tent pole. It’s always worth taking an extra set of poles of each width in case you need to make some emergency repairs on site. Most tent pole replacement kits will include extra shock cord and ferrules (the little metal bits that go on the end). Spare shock cord can also be bought separately.
Here’s a handy video guide which takes you through exactly how to replace your broken tent poles.
Metal tent poles are usually more difficult to bend or break, but in bad enough conditions, or if put under too much stress at the wrong angle or position they will! Because these are often specific lengths and sizes for many different tents they can sometimes be more difficult to source replacements for.