What are the essentials of outdoor adventure maintenance? Polar explorer Ben Saunders, who has spent more than a year on the ice across two decades, counts spinnaker repair tape, heat shrink tubing (for electrical cable repairs), pop rivets and dental floss (“It’s the best thing for sewing; totally bombproof”) amongst his checklist. Meanwhile, author and explorer Geordie Stewart, who clocked up more than 22,500 miles of solo cycling around the world is never without gaffa tape, cable ties and a needle and thread. Here are some of our other must-haves...


iFixit Essential Electronics toolkit

iFixit Essential Electronics toolkit, £26.99
iFixit Essential Electronics toolkit, £26.99

An essential for electronic repairs including cracked screens on smartphones. There’s an assortment of tools: 16 bits made from steel and grip tools, all stored in a compact magnetised case (which doubles as a sorting tray). Even beginners should be able to fix a number of appliances with this kit. £26.99, store.ifixit.co.uk 


Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X multitool

This polished stainless steel Swiss dynamo has 22 tools for most jobs including needle-nose pliers, screwdrivers, chisel and a metal saw that can cut through a sheet of steel, each locking securely in place. £135, victorinox.com (available in stores)


Grangers Footwear Repel Plus

Grangers Footwear Repel Plus, £9
Grangers Footwear Repel Plus, £9

A non-aerosol, spray-on PFC-free repellent for suede or nubuck hiking boots that have started to seep water. £9, grangers.co.uk


Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct twin-pack

An eco-friendly, water-based essential for cleaning and reviving waterproof clothing without harmful fluorocarbons, aerosols or solvents. Use the twin pack to wash Gore-Tex, restoring the fabric’s breathability and water repellency. £8, gooutdoors.co.uk


Merchant & Mills Rapid Repair Kit 

Merchant & Mills Rapid Repair Kit, £16.50
Merchant & Mills Rapid Repair Kit, £16.50

These sewing kits pack all the essentials – needles, thread bobbins, safety pins, shirt buttons, paper tape measure and monogrammed scissors – into a pocket-sized tin. £16.50, merchantandmills.com


Topeak Mini PT30 multitool

A multitool made for cyclists that at 7.4cm in length and weighing 170 grams can be carried on rides, but with 30 tools – from Allen keys to spoke wrenches and a chain tool – is complete enough to do most amateur home mechanics. £47.99, wiggle.co.uk

A man fixes a puncture on his bike on Liverpool Road, Peel Green, Eccles, Greater Manchester, circa 1978.
A roadside repair in Eccles, near Manchester, in 1978 © Martin O’Neill/Redferns

Kärcher K2 Power Control pressure washer

Compact and lightweight enough to be tucked away in a store room (it’s just 59cm high and weighs only 4kg), this pressure washer power-cleans everything from paving stones to gardening tools, and with a simple twist and click adjustment, can also be used for bicycles. £119.99, kaercher.com


Kingud Clean & Protect bundle

A water-based and biodegradable bike cleaner that’s strong enough to tackle post-ride muck and grime. Once clean, apply the protect product to give the bike a polish – and collect less muck on your next ride. £21.50, kingud.co.uk


Noso Patches

Noso Patches, from $9.99
Noso Patches, from $9.99

These polyester and nylon fabric patches tackle small tears in outdoor gear – simply peel, stick and set with a heat device such as a hair dryer (if you have one) to create a tough and weather resistant seal. From $9.99, nosopatches.com


Tenacious Tape repair tape

This weatherproof fabric tape is backed by a very strong adhesive and will bond securely to nearly all outdoor fabrics. Cut the 50cm length of tape to size, then peel and stick onto tents, hammocks, sleeping bags, jackets and backpack. £8, gooutdoors.co.uk 


Sugru Mouldable Glue by Tesa, 8-pack

Sugru Mouldable Glue by Tesa, 8-pack, £14.49
Sugru Mouldable Glue by Tesa, 8-pack, £14.49

Permanently bonding to materials including brick, glass, ceramic, wood, metal and plastics, this silicone putty fixes everything from broken charging cables to dinner plates, and can be secured directly onto a surface, acting as a hook. It’s waterproof, shock-resistant and electrically insulating, and resists temperatures from -50°c to 180°c. £14.49, sugru.com


SOL duct tape

Duct tape has many uses but carrying around an entire roll for repairs when on the move can take up valuable backpack space. These compact rolls – with 127cm length on each – slip unobtrusively in a bag. £4.21, alpinstore.com

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