By Mike Willis
If you spend enough time in the woods, you will inevitably damage some of your gear. Hunting gear lives in the harshest of environments, and that is why outdoorsmen and women make substantial investments to have quality stuff.
Most seasoned hunters know that if you don’t buy quality the first time, you will the second time. I have had to learn this lesson on countless occasions in my life. I’m a sucker for a “good deal” and am always hoping to check a gear need box while channeling my savings into another gear deficit.
Rain gear has become one of the most expensive items that you will purchase for hunting. While the quality has come leaps and bounds from where it was ten years ago, the price is more than most people can bear. For those who have made this investment, the thought of throwing a torn rain jacket away is inconceivable.
The problem with waterproof patches is that they often fail. It is difficult to get something to seal to a fabric that is designed to get wet. Unlike rubber, most waterproof fabrics move too much for the typical patch.
The majority of gear patches that I have tried have been relatively worthless. After separating from the fabric, they lose their waterproof qualities. This is not only annoying but dangerous as well. For those hunting in remote locations, it is not an option to get wet in the field.
Few things can end a hunt more quickly than getting cold and wet. The danger of hypothermia is real, and the consequences are permanent.
Fortunately, the company Gear Aid has created some products that have proven results among members of the outdoor community. Their two-part system consists of products called Aquaseal and Tenacious Tape. These items are sold separately but are the perfect pair to help fix your shredded gear.
Tenacious Tape is a peel and stick product and can be used without an adhesive. However, using the tape with Aquaseal makes the best waterproof patch that money can buy. The two products together will cost about 11 dollars. Best of all, this product will work on nylon, vinyl, rubber, and plastic.
When selecting your Tenacious Tape, note that there are multiple colors available. This is great when patching waders and jackets.
To ensure that your patch remains intact, make sure that you clean the surface of the fabric. The fabric also needs to be completely dry before attempting the repair.
Aquaseal cures in 8-12 hours. After using Aquaseal, store it in the freezer for the best shelf life.
I first learned about Tenacious Tape and Aquaseal from Kuiu. I ripped my Kuiu gaiters two months into owning them. I was devastated.
I reached out to Kuiu and told them what had happened. I was on my own. Lightweight gear is a choice, and there is a sacrifice of ruggedness for the benefit of enjoying a lightweight product. While I was irritated, I understood. It’s the price you pay for being a fat guy sliding down logs.
Instead of wallowing in my sorrow, I read on beyond the boilerplate text, stating that they do not warranty damage of this nature. They did, however, recommend using Tenacious Tape and Aquaseal.
These products resurrected my torn gaiters and restored them to their original functionality.
In the inland northwest, gaiters are a must-have item. Rainy hunting seasons and snow-covered ground plague hunters who venture out without them.
I now keep some extra patch material in my emergency kit. When preparing for your next backcountry adventure, pack some Tenacious Tape to ensure that you don’t go home early.
Whether you are repairing waders, jackets, tents, or sleeping bags, this system will work for you!