Instructables
We bent the poles that came with our 6-person cabin tent. When I was unable to find the manufacturer's website and their phone was disconnected, and I discovered that custom replacement tent poles cost upwards of $30 per pole, I decided to make my own.

This was an easy and cheap project. The total cost of supplies for two poles (including the beef jerky which is always necessary for these kinds of projects!) was $12.50. It took about half an hour to make two poles.
 
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Step 1: Get to the store!

I bought stainless steel electrical conduit from my local home store. It's cheap, relatively light, and very strong.

Before heading to the store, if your tent has built-in sockets where you insert the poles, see how snugly your old poles fit. If they're very tight, you'll need to find conduit that's very similar in size to the originals.

Second, take your broken poles to the store with you. Conduit is usually sold by the size of the hole down the middle, not the size of the outside of the pipe. If you have a 3/4" tent pole and buy 3/4" conduit to replace it, you'll be in for a nasty surprise later.

Once you've found the perfect piece, find a larger piece of conduit that can slip over it. You'll be using this as a sleeve to connect the pieces you'll be sawing apart in while.

Next is the hardware to hold the poles together. I used standard bolts, washers, and nuts to semi-permanently attach the sleeve to one end of each pole, and a clevis pin and hitch pin to quickly attach the other ends.
DBuzz4019 months ago
This is great! Went camping this weekend and found a brand new tent in a dumpster just because the poles broke. Now for just a few bucks I have an awesome storage tent while we camp! Thanks for the instructable!!!!
pbates1233 years ago
Here is the URL of the site I found the Fiberglass rods on:
www.mgs4u.com/fiberg.htm
pbates1233 years ago
Great idea and I'll bet those poles will withstand Godzilla standing on them... Very creative and I really like Keya Tetsu's idea of painting the hardware - awesome!

I found a site with fiberglass rods that telescope or "Sleeve" as the manufacture puts it. It maybe a little lighter if weight is more of a concern.

Great work!
Size Weight(lbs.) Wall thick Length Color Part Cost
1/2"OD (1/4" ID) 0.837 1/8" 8 ft. Black RT-12-8 $ 6.50
3/4" 1.50 1/8" 8 ft. Black or Gray * RT-34-8 $ 9.00
Kaya Tetsu3 years ago
Paints the nuts, bolts, pins, etc bright colors like neon orange or yellow for easy location in the event you do drop them. Interesting instuctable. eventually looking into some sort of DIYish ultralight tent/ tarp ten setup. This could come in handy. Are the poles heavy?
kstrauser (author)  Kaya Tetsu3 years ago
Painting the hardware is a great idea! My poles weren't very heavy, although perhaps a little heavier than the originals. I didn't shop for weight when I bought the raw materials, though, and I'd bet you could find something much lighter than the steel conduit I used.
McGyver23 years ago
Awsome instructable. I found a old tent that was completly torn apart and I was able to stitch it all back together with Duct Tape (The universal fit all) and Shoe String. Unfortunatly the poles were shattered. Now I have some replacements. Again, great job.
kstrauser (author)  McGyver23 years ago
Thanks! That made it all worthwhile.