For anyone with camping gear, the sight of a broken or bent camping tent pole is a familiar one. Tent poles can easily become damaged during storage, or when traveling to the camping site, but it can still be very disheartening to see one laying at an angle when you open the garage door. If you are fully prepared, then you may have a few spare camping tent poles which you can use to replace the bent one, but if you have no surplus poles, or really need to fix this one, then there are a few things that you can do to straighten it out without damaging it further.
Step 1 - Examine Your Poles
Before you start fixing one, you may as well go ahead and check out all of the other poles. Lay them all out on the ground, or any other flat surface, and then examine them against each other, looking for lack of straightness. You can also roll the poles around on the flat surface, checking for wobbles and movement. Any poles which clearly wobble as you roll them back and forth should be placed to one side, as these are plainly going to need mending. While you are getting ready to fix the pole, you should also examine them carefully for breaks or cracks in the metal surface. This should be quickly solved by wrapping the pole with some duct tape.
Step 2 - Secure the Pole
In order to properly straighten the pole, you will need to place it in a secure position on the ground, with the bent portion upright, closest to you. One of the best ways to keep the pole steady while you straighten the bend is to place one end into some soft earth. If you wish, you can dig a small hole, and then place the pole in that, piling the earth up around it before you proceed. You are not planting the pole, so it does not need to go in very far, just enough to give it a stable position. Don't try and straighten the pole by holding it flat against a table, or holding it upright on a smooth surface, as this can expose you to the risk of injury.
Step 3 - Straighten the Pole
When the pole is secure, hold the pole tight with one hand, or use a vice to grasp it tightly, just below the bend. Use the other hand to put the pliers onto the pole above the bend, and then pull the pole upwards using the pliers, so that the bend straightens out. Do not bend the pole too far in the opposite direction, and be careful not to pull too hard, as this may weaken the metal of the pole. Just ease it up slowly until you feel that it is straight, and then lay it on the ground and perform the wobble test again.