Fix a Zipper, Make a 'Beer Can' hat. Follow these Tips.

Gearheads and outdoor novices alike, everyone can appreciate the joy of fixing gear gone awry. If you are in need of new ideas for repairing gear, tips on maintenance, or just want to “MacGyver” your way out of any situation, Backpacker Magazine’s “Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair” is the book for you. It’s written by Kristin Hostetter, Backpacker’s longtime gear editor. Here Hostetter gives a few fixit tips excerpted from her tome, a true gear junkie’s textbook if ever there was one!

backpacker gear book.jpg

Tip #1: How To Replace a Zipper Slider — It’s possible to remove and replace a slider on a non-separating zipper without creating a pesky sewing job. Smaller zippers can often be easily pried off with a flathead screwdriver. Just work the head of the screwdriver under one of the “wings” or into the rear opening and try to pop it off. Be careful not to gouge yourself — it sometimes takes a little force. If it doesn’t give using a screwdriver, don’t risk damaging the coils or teeth, move on to the next option (see photo below).

Replace Zipper .jpg

Pincher tool helps pry off broken zipper

Mid to large zippers require specialized tools. The best option is a pair of carpenter’s pinchers (above), which can easily bite through even the beefiest zippers.

A super-simple method for replacing a slider on a non-separating zipper entails using an ingenious device called a Fix An Zip, which comes in a variety of sizes to fit most any zipper. It’s a two-piece metal slider that thumbscrews into place on any zipper track, coil or tooth.

You simply place the Fix An Zip slider over the two sides of the zipper and tighten the thumbscrew. Then attach the included zipper pull, and you’re back in business.

fix zipper.jpg

‘Fix An Zip’ repair product

The only downsides to the Fix An Zip solution is that it’s a tad bulkier than normal sliders and it’s not as aesthetically pleasing. They come in one color only: no-nonsense metal. A worthy trade-off for the fix!

Next Page: “How to Make Ultralight Deadman Stakes”. . .

Posted by Joe Blasco - 09/19/2012 11:39 AM

That sucked. Where’s the drawn or photo instructions?

Posted by p. shaun - 09/19/2012 02:41 PM

“sharp” cap there!

Posted by Kristin Hostetter - 09/20/2012 07:21 AM

Joe, the complete instructions and step by step photos are in the book! In this format, GJ could only fit one photo per repair, but the book is crammed with photos! Hope you check it out. Thanks!

Posted by MaryA - 09/21/2012 03:09 PM

Beer can hat directions…
this page looked like the directions were pretty good.
Now all you guys have to do is learn how to crochet! Easy peasy!
http://bohemianmermaid.blogspot.com/2009/09/beer-can-hat-part-1.html

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