by Phil Howell

Backcountry Tire Repair Essentials For Your Next Adventure

Tire Repair

Be prepared with backcountry tire repair know how. Tires carry us to work, the store, and the backcountry. When exploring off the beaten path, there’s always the chance that we’ll experience tire failure. Punctures and slices are common as sharp sticks and jagged rocks are always waiting to ruin a trip. Most backcountry explorers carry a spare tire, but what happens if you use the spare, then, have another flat? What do you do when you don’t have a spare tire, or are too impatient/lazy to change the tire? 

One thing you don’t do is worry. With the products available to us today, backcountry tire failures needn’t stop us from exploring, or even cause anyone to sweat. With a little backcountry tire repair knowledge, you won’t be slowed down from adventures and can keep exploring.

ARB spent considerable time designing and testing the shatterproof polymer case that features an enlarged carry handle and latches that work with gloved hands, a one-piece heavy duty hinge, a water tight seal in the lid (the portable CKMTP floats if dropped in the water), removable accessory pockets, and an air travel equalizer valve to prevent cabin pressure crush when landing.

ARB, famous for its Air Locker locking differentials, also offers a full line of outback-tested equipment for the backcountry enthusiast. This equipment includes their reliable line of 12v air compressors. ARB has expanded their air compressor lineup to include the ARB Twin High Performance 12v Portable Air Compressor (CKMTP12) that can be carried from vehicle to vehicle. The ARB twin cylinder compressor produces an impressive 6.16CFM at 0psi, making it one of the fastest compressors available. The portable model comes with an air tank, harness, hose, and accessories, all packed in a sturdy case. It is the best portable compressor we’ve ever used. We also like ARB’s Speedy Seal Puncture Repair Kit that includes everything needed to complete successful backcountry tire repairs.

The ARB Twin High Performance 12v Portable Air Compressor (CKMTP12) is a twin-cylinder powerhouse that pumps out 6.16cfm at 0psi. Its ducted IP55 sealed brushed DC cooling fan and anodized aluminum motor mounting brackets effectively dissipate heat from the motors, heads and electronics allowing for a 100% duty cycle. The integrated aluminum air tank and pressure switch regulates pressure between 135 psi and 150 psi, allowing the use of most air tools. The compressor comes with harness with alligator clips large enough to clamp on battery posts, an air hose, and attachments for inflating tires and just about anything else you need to inflate, including air mattresses.

How to Repair A Tire

Follow along in the slideshow as we show you how to repair your tires in the backcountry and keep your rubber rolling.

02b Tire Repair 06 Tire Repair 07 Tire Repair 08 Tire Repair 09 Tire Repair 10 Tire Repair 11 Tire Repair 12 Tire Repair 14 Tire Repair 15 Tire Repair 16 Tire Repair 17 Tire Repair 18
STEP 03 After finding the puncture, clean any debris out of the hole. Using the supplied lubricant in the Speedy Seal kit, lubricate the spiral shaft of the reamer. Insert the reamer into the hole, rotating it as you push in. If the puncture is small, this is sometimes tough to do, hence the lubricant. We’ve bent lesser ream tools in the past. The ARB reamer is beefy to keep that from happening.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the Spring 2016 print issue of Tread Magazine.

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