Gear Rx: Sleeping Bags
- Dirty bag. Ship your bag to a repair shop for a professional laundering.
- Unraveling seams or holes. Most outdoors stores sell patch kits, and repair shops can easily fix separating seams and patche torn shells and liners.
- Lost loft in a down bag. Ask your repair shop to inject new down (550 fill power or higher) in your bag.
- Broken hardware. Shops can mend or replace zippers and slip new drawstrings into hoods.
- Lost loft in a synthetic bag. There’s no way to restore loft to synthetic fills.
- Ruptured baffles. If you ran your sleeping bag through your home washing machine only to find that all the fill material gathered in the foot, it’s time to buy a new bag.
Gear Rx: Boots
- Torn seams or holes in uppers. Cobblers can usually repair a torn seam or patch holes caused by chewing critters.
- Separating toe guards and rands. If the rand separates at the glue line, a permanent adhesive will stick the pieces back together. See Gear Works
- Broken lace hooks or lost eyelets.
- Hot spots in otherwise well-fitting boots. Cobblers use several techniques to stretch toe boxes and other areas to improve fit.
- Worn soles. Cobblers can replace most soles on high-quality hiking and climbing boots.
- Damaged leather uppers. If the leather has worn thin or has abrasions covering more than a third of the upper, you should replace the boots.
- Worn soles on lightweight hikers. Resoling lightweight, inexpensive boots isn’t cost effective.
- Degraded leather. Mildew and mold usually means replacement. Treat your boots with conditioner or waterproofing regularly, and put them out to dry immediately when you return from a trip.
- Broken midsole or shank. If the shank breaks, you’ll need to replace the entire outersole unit, or more likely, the boot.
Gear Rx: Tents
- Broken tent poles. A repair shop can usually replace an old, broken pole or fix just the busted section. See Gear Works, September 1996.
- Bad shock cord. Most outdoors stores carry shock cord, and repair shops can easily replace a broken or worn-out section.
- Torn mesh or fabric walls. Repair shops can stitch in a patch over a hole burned into a tent wall or replace an entire mesh panel.
- Broken zipper. One of the most common repairs for tents is zipper repair or replacement.
- Broken hardware. Lost grommets, ripped guy anchors, and unraveled seams are all easily repaired. See Gear Works, May 1996.
- Mildew. Repair shops can clean mildly-effected tents.
- Delaminated seam tape or durable water repellent (DWR). Repair shops can retape seams and reapply DWR finish on most fabrics. See Gear Works, See Gear Works,
- Heavy mildew. Extensive mildewing can’t be removed without damaging the tent itself. Brittle tent or rainfly. Ultraviolet light breaks down fabric structures irreversibly.
Gear Rx: Clothing
- Broken zipper. See Gear Works, August 1996.
- Unraveled seams, small tears. An easy fix at most repair shops or at home.
- Delaminating seam tape on raingear. This fix requires a special machine, so find a certified repair shop.
- Raingear that doesn’t repel. Restore the durable water repellent (DWR) finish at home or send it out.
- If an item is old or worn thin to the point that new holes are constantly appearing, repairs will be expensive and marginally effective.
Gear Rx: Stoves And Water Filters
- Clogged stoves. When gunk clogs jets and burners so thoroughly that you can’t clean them at home, send it to a stove expert for complete disassembly and cleaning.
- Lost or dried out O-rings, gaskets, or hoses.
- Broken pump housing. That component must be replaced. Broken stove generators/preheat tubes.
- The stove is unsafe to use. Discard it.