Stuart had to fly home after the first week so Paul and I continued. Towards the end of our trip, the sole of my ski boot was ripped off. This added to the excitement of the trip to say the least! Luckily, the hut we had planned to spend the night in was only 1.5 miles away and we made it before nightfall.
Paul had, very considerately, packed a small repair kit. Once at the hut, I used his repair kit and a few other bits and pieces that were in the hut to make the boot last until we had ski-ed off the mountain.
The next day we had some of the best skiing of the trip and truly tested the boot repair. At the end of the day, after skiing off the mountain, the repair had held and we made it to the road in time for our bus.
Once I got back to the UK and having seen first-hand the value of a small repair kit, I vowed to never travel again without one. Like a small cuts kit, this repair kit has proved to be extremely useful. Now that I have been using it for the last 3 years, I feel that I’m in a good position to write an article about what has ended up in it.
This XXS fold down dry bag contains the repair kit and a few other useful items. These small dry bags are a great way of organising your kit. I also use one for my toilet paper, hand gel and matches. I generally don’t take anything I call a ‘survival kit’ with me on my wilderness travels. My own kit provides the things I need to stay safe in a difficult situation. The closest thing to a survival kit that I take with me is probably my Repair Kit.
Usually when I’m outdoors I have some form of cutting tool with me. If I am travelling by any means other than walking, I might take a multi tool. Multi tools are very useful for repair jobs such as; mending ski bindings, fixing crampons or for making repairs and modifications to a canoe outfit to name just a few, but they are extremely heavy. I have used my Leatherman Charge ALX for the past 9 years and I am very happy with it. However, it weighs 235 grams or 8.3 oz. and that’s without the case and attachment rack. I find that this is too much extra weight for a back-packing trip so I usually take a small pocket knife.
The fold down dry bag usually contains a small head torch, the Repair Kit, a lighter and some Paracord. The Repair Kit is kept in a heavy-duty plastic zip lock bag which measures 100mm long x 100mm wide x 25mm deep and contains an array of different items to help me repair my kit on the go.
- These patches are fantastic for on the go repairs, fixing holes in canvas, nylon, rubber, and plastic.
- Duct tape, always handy for putting all sorts of things back together. I have about 1.5 metres of it wrapped around a thin piece of plastic.
- Alcohol Prep Pads and reinforcement filament line that comes with the TEAR-AID pack. Can also be used to prepare surfaces for other glue based repairs.
- Black waxed whipping twine. I do a lot of sailing, and knowing how strong and durable sailmakers cord is, I have added several metres of it to my Repair Kit.
- White whipping twine, like item 4, but this twine is slightly thinner and allows me to sew with it through thicker fabric.
- Brass wire 0.5mm thick. This item is generally used in bushcraft for making rabbit or squirrel snares. This wire is very strong and flexible, great if your backpack strap starts to fail.
- Small sewing kit with needles, multiple threads, buttons, and safety pin in a sealed plastic packet. Pick them up at your local convenience store, or a well-equipped guest house bathroom. Thanks -The Goat Inn.
- A slightly larger sewing kit in a hard plastic case, again with needles, multiple threads, buttons, and safety pins.
- Three different sizes of cable ties. Quick and easy to use, cable ties are an essential part of any repair kit, as my broken ski boot proved.
- Seam Grip seam sealant glue, used for repairing Therm-a-Rest mattresses. This came in very handy for Matt Batham on our Scottish 4000s expedition.
- A collection of fabric patches consolidated from my various tent repair kits through the years. Very useful for all sorts of tent and clothing malfunctions.
Over the years, I have adapted what I use and what I carry. This has come about by my own experimentation and by talking to knowledgeable colleagues and some of the great clients we have at Frontier Bushcraft.
Do you take any general or specific items in your repair kits on wilderness journeys?
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