Tent poles are crucial for its structural support and are very important for its overall performance. That is why they should always be in pristine condition. But what should you do if they get broken? Replacing the poles can significantly lighten your wallet.
Luckily, there are other alternatives. In this article, we will present you with a detailed DIY tent poles guide that can save you lots of money. Keep on reading to find out how to make your tent poles in no time!
DIY Tent Poles Step by Step Guide
1. Go to the Store
The first thing you should do is head to your local home store and get an electrical conduit made from stainless steel. This tube is light, cheap, and most importantly, very strong. Remember to check the built-in sockets of your tent. If the old poles fit snugly, you need to look for a conduit of a similar size.
Second, bring the broken tent poles with you. Bear in mind that the conduit is typically sold by the size of its hole, not the outer part of the pipe. In case you have ¾’’ poles, you shouldn’t buy ¾’’ conduit because it won’t fit.
After you find the perfect piece, it is time to start looking for a bigger piece that can be placed over it. This will be used as a sleeve and will connect the conduit pieces. Lastly, you need to look for the ideal hardware that is going to hold the poles together. For example, you can use washers, standard bolts, nuts, and clevis pins.
Next, you should find a perfect place for this kind of project. It is important to protect your hands with gloves. Optionally, you can put on eye protection glasses.
2. Sawing Time
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary pieces, it is time to start cutting the new poles. Make sure they are the same length as the old ones. In case you’re not exactly sure how to do that, you can saw them a bit longer than the original poles. This way, you will create a perfect length by filing and sawing.
The next thing you should do is file the end of the poles. They need to be smooth in order not to damage your camping gear, such as your sleeping bag, your tent, or your hands. The next step is deciding how many pieces your pole will be cut into. If you have more parts, they will be easier to pack. However, this also means more effort. Lastly, make a one-foot long ‘’sleeve’’ for each joint of the poles.
You should skip this step in case your original poles do not have holes in them. Start by measuring the distance from one end of the original pole to each hole. Mark the same distance on your new pole and start drilling. Make sure the new holes are placed in the same position as the old holes.
Use the largest drill bit that can fit in the hole to make the new one. This process can be a bit annoying if you don’t own a drill press. In that case, clamp it as much as possible before you start drilling slowly. If you need to drill a pilot hole, make sure you use a smaller drill.
4. Installing the Sleeves
If you are satisfied with one-piece poles, then this DIY tent poles guide is finished! On the contrary, if you’d like to have more pieces, you should install the sleeves. This should be done before you cut the poles into several smaller pieces.
To start, slide one of the sleeves over the newly-made pole. Place it where you’d like to cut the pole but pay attention not to cover any of the previously drilled holes. Next, mark the sleeve 3’’ from the ends, or at ¾ and ¼ of its length.
Clamp everything tightly and choose the right size of the drill bit according to the bolts. Drill through the pole, through the sleeve, and to the other side. Put the bolt inside the hole and place a nut on it. Next, choose the right size of the drill according to the clevis pin and repeat the process. Finally, deconstruct everything and fill the holes. Now you can move on to the last step.
5. Finishing Up
Cut between the holes for the sleeve and file the edges. Only one hole set should match unless you are lucky or you used a drill press. Place the bolt back in the holes, put a nut and a washer on the opposite side and tighten it as much as possible.
To make your tent poles, you should place the other piece of the pole in the sleeve. Make sure you line up the holes and then put the clevis pin through each of them. Lastly, insert the hitch pin into the clevis pin.
Congratulations! You’ve made your tent poles that are strong, durable, customizable, and affordable. If you’ve closely followed every step, the poles will be strong enough to endure many camping trips and support you. Happy camping!
- Trim the pins and bolts to reduce the length.
- Place smooth caps on the bolt ends to avoid snags.
- Paint the poles to match the color of your tent or your camping table or get creative and pick a crazy vibrant color.
Globo Surf Overview
Tent poles are very important because they are the foundation of any tent. They should be strong and made of high-quality materials. However, they can break due to bad weather conditions or inappropriate use. Replacing the poles can cost a lot, but there are other solutions as well.
If you learn how to make your tent poles, you will save around $25 per pole! That way, you can splurge on another camping essential, such as a lunch cooler. It is important to closely follow our DIY guide to achieve the best results.