How I Restrung tent poles

I’m going on a camping trip next week with Wilderness Volunteers. I don’t know about your 30 year old tent, but my old tent’s poles have long since lost their springy-ness. Update: I never went on the camping trip, but I did get all my gear ready, and this project is valid! 🙂 Also, be sure to read until the very end where I share a tiny piece of simple advice that made sure the project was a ton of a lot easier than it could have been!

North Face Tents Rock

Everything else about the tent is working, except for a few patches, otherwise it has still got all it’s parts holding together and has not crumpled into dust, so why should I get a new one now?

REI sells the springy chord by the foot.

First, I checked online for the chord appropriate for restringing, but it got too complicated with craft rope etc… difficult to figure out which one I needed. So I went ahead and made the trip down to REI.

I drove myself down to the local REI and asked the guys in the camping section if they had any chord for restringing tent poles. “Yes!”, they said, but suggested I bring in my tent poles to be measured both in length and thickness (the thickness of the chord is important so you don’t get it stuck).

Tent poles and chord shown to illustrate what it looks like on a section that is restrung.
I had one tent pole that had split a little bit. I used masking tape to repair it. You can see how I’ve used the brand new white chord to replace the old chord.
The Ends of Each Tent Pole Screw Off! and the chord is attached with and easy knot.

I discovered how the tent poles came apart — the ends screw off! Also, the chord is tied with an easy overhand knot. I did find one piece of advice that said the chord will be about 1/2 as long as the full tent pole length — I think that is not accurate, you want it to be stretched out a little bit, but maybe the final chord length when not stretched is more like 3/4 as long as the full tent pole length. I would suggest getting the full length in case of mistakes, it is good to have extra.

You will pull it until it feels tight which will be around 3/4 the length of the pole. Not too tight! Leftover is good in case of error.

Using the old string to pull the new string through, I restrung my tent poles. Now I have bright shiny white string in my tent poles that collapse as they should together when I go to put up my tent.

BEST ADVICE! REI guy said to be sure to keep the current string IN the poles so you can use it to pull the new string through.

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