I had a reader ask, “what’s in your gear repair kit?” after I went through all of the gear repair supplies I use to maintain and repair backpacking gear at home.
Here’s what I carry in my gear repair kit on every trip in the autumn and winter when the days are shorter. It’s really very little.
- 4 Spare lithium AAA batteries for my SPOT Gen 3 Satellite Messenger
- 4 Spare lithium AA batteries for my Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
- A spare and charged lithium rechareable camera battery
- A backup 16 GB memory card for my camera
- A lens cleaning cloth for my digital camera
- A second Suunto M3 declination adjustable compass
- A small roll of duct tape
- A locking safety pin
Lest you think I’m paranoid about running out of battery power, I do periodically have to change batteries on all of my devices. Most of them have battery meters so I can tell when they’re getting low, thereby avoiding battery changes in the dark.
A spare compass? I have lost one off-trail and it was not a fun experience. I often loan the spare to friends who hike off-trail with me, but I do like having two compass with me on all hikes because I rely on them so much.
Out of curiosity, I went back to a post I wrote in 2011 about my gear repair kit then, and here’s what I carried at the time. It’s quite similar and it’s not very much…
|Spare Boot Lace||6|
|10' Roll of Duct Tape||38|
|2 Lithium AA Batteries||30|
|2 CR2032 Batteries||6|
|REI Emergency Matches in WP Bottle||18|
|6 Aqua Mira Water Purification Tablets||2|
|6 Plastic Cable Ties||4|
|6 Rubber Bands||4|
|4 Safety Pins||4|
|Needle and Thread||1|
|total weight in oz.||4|
Since then, I’ve stopped carrying a lot of the extra fasteners because I just don’t need them. and I can’t sew worth a damn, so I’ve stopped carrying a needle and thread. I don’t carry matches anymore and use a fire steel w/ vaseline covered cotton balls to ignite gas or light wood fires because they’re super reliable; and I’ve since switched to liquid Aqua Mira for bulk purification (I use a Sawyer filter during the day) because I have to resupply it less frequently than tablets.