Camping chairs are an essential part of every camping trip. If you are an experienced camper, you have probably changed many camping chairs so far. Usually, when we find one that we like, we get attached to it as finding a great camping chair is not an easy task. What to do when it gets broken though? In most cases, you can repair it and in this article, we’ll teach you how to fix a broken camping chair.
Obviously, there are several different chair types, from foldable to hanging ones, so the repair steps are different. In many cases, you can repair a broken camping chair with some household items, but sometimes it is not worth it. In the rest of the article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to repair a chair, but if you don’t want to read the whole thing, here is the short 5 step-by-step solution:
- Inspect the damage – What’s broken? is it a hole in the fabric, or the legs?
- Is it worth fixing? – If there is a quite amount of damage, it is cheaper to buy a new chair. However, if the damage is minimal, it’s definitely worth fixing.
- What tools to use?– Holes require a needle and a clothing patch, and broken legs require glue or welding.
- Measure everything – Measure how big the hole is, and cut a patch slightly bigger than the hole.
- Get to work – Use a needle to sew the patch over the hole. Otherwise, if the legs are broken, glue everything together. For metal, use a welding machine.
- That’s it – You successfully repaired your old chair, saved some money, and retained some memories.
If you want a more detailed step-by-step solution, keep reading.
How to repair a hole in a camping chair
The first step you should take is to see what’s wrong with the chair. In most cases, the fabric will have some holes in it. If that’s the case, don’t worry, that’s an easy fix. In an ideal scenario, you should find a fabric that looks exactly the same as the chair.
It is important to find a firm, durable piece of fabric. Some people even use their old jeans to create a patch, but any piece of fabric will do. For smaller holes, you can use just a needle and a thread, however, if it’s a bigger hole, follow these steps to create a patch:
- Take a measuring tape and write down the width and height of the hole.
- Take a piece of fabric and mark a square patch that’s 0.5-1″ (1.3 – 2.5cm) bigger than the hole on both sides.
- Cut the square patch from the fabric and press it against the hole.
- Slowly sew the square patch over the hole.
- That’s it, you no longer have holes in your chair.
Most of these holes occur because people don’t know how to store camping chairs. Another reason is cigarettes, fabric burns easily so you got to be careful when smoking in a chair.
If you would rather see a video, you can check the one below and apply the same principles when fixing your chair.
How to fix a broken leg in a camping chair
Another, more complicated issue is when a camping chair’s leg breaks. Do not worry, most of these legs can also be fixed. If you have a plastic camping chair, chances are you can find spare parts online. Most of the time the repair will be as easy as unscrewing, removing the old leg, placing the new leg, and screwing it back in.
However, if you haven’t got a “brand name” camping chair or the parts are too expensive, there are other things you may try.
The first thing to try is to use super glue, epoxy, or other special plastic glues. Warning, once the glue wears off, the leg may break again. This is why we always suggest getting a camping chair with an aluminum or steel frame. Especially if you are looking for a camping chair for a bad back.
On the other hand, if your steel/aluminum camping chair leg breaks, this is what you can do:
- If you can unscrew the leg, try to find a spare part online.
- Check if there is a broken rivet or a screw, you can easily replace those. To remove a rivet, drill it in the center. You can find replacement screws in any hardware store.
- You can fix a broken camping chair by welding it. Sometimes the weld will break, causing the chair legs to separate. If you got the right tools, you can easily weld it back, but make sure you can still fold the chair. If you have never used a welding machine before, let a professional do it.
Sometimes all it takes to fix a broken camping chair is to tighten the nuts and bolts. That’s why we said, “inspect the damage first”. To prevent unrepairable damage, fix the chair as soon as you see a problem.
How to fix a broken mechanism in a camping chair
The third most common problem with broken camping chairs is the mechanism. The mechanism is mostly used to allow you to fold the chair. Carefully inspect the chair to find if any mechanism part doesn’t work correctly, especially the hinges. You may need to take the chair apart if possible.
If the camping chair hinge is the problem, most of the time you can find a spare part for it. These parts often come in a standardized size. The replacement is as easy as removing a screw from the hinge and replacing it with a new hinge. The whole process shouldn’t take you longer than 15 minutes.
However, if you cannot find the part, here are some things you can do:
- Check if the problem is in loose bolts. If it is, use a wrench to tighten them up, and the chair will be like new.
- If there are no bolts, but rivets, you can replace those. Simply drill the rivets in the center and remove them, then place the new ones. If it’s not possible to place them in the same hole, you can try to drill a new hole.
- If the hinges are creating a loud noise, you can add some “WD-40” or similar product which will degrease and lubricate the hinge.
- For small cracks in the plastic, you can use super glue to temporarily fix the problem.
If the damage is not huge, you can repair your camping chairs in most cases. However, sometimes the repair is simply not worth it. Certain chairs have spare parts that you can purchase to replace the broken ones. You can also use household items to fix holes in fabric or to glue minor cracks. If the chair legs are broken, you can either glue them or weld them, depending on the material, but make sure you know what you are doing.
Now you know how to fix a broken camping chair, go and restore your favorite piece of camping equipment.