As important as your choice of gear is your ability to repair gear when in the field. The best equipment can be reduced to a worthless pile on nylon, webbing and zippers if something fails. So given that I have compiled a list of items to make up a field repair kit for hiking and backpacking.
1. A multitool.
These are extremely useful for a vast variety of repair jobs. The knife can be used for patching, the pliers can assist with sewing tasks and general repairs, then there are tools such as the saw, scissors, awl, tin opener and bottle opener – they weigh a bit but are worth keeping on your belt. Used with a fire starter they can also get a fire going.
2. A lighter.
Essential for starting a fire it is also useful to burn the edges of fabric such as webbing or paracord to prevent fraying, I always suggest taking a few along with you.
3. Patches and glue.
These are essential repair items especially for repairing damaged inflatable mattresses and rips in tents.
4. And then there is Duct Tape.
Keep a roll but also keep some handy by wrapping it around items such as trekking poles or water bottles, in this way it will be easily accessible should an emergency arise, I also keep some around a pencil which I use to write in my journal. I have even hiked with someone whose boots sole can loose and he wrapped duct tape around the boot to keep the sole on.
I keep buckles and webbing which can be used as an emergency belt or to replace a broken buckle. Ensure that you have the same size as the pack you are using for the waist belt and sternum strap, they are inexpensive, weigh nothing and do not take up space.
6. Paracord, webbing and cable-ties.
Multi-purpose items that can do a variety of things, paracord can replace a broken shoelace or tie a rain flysheet of a tent down, both can be used to repair torn stuff and hang things around the campsite, the webbing can also be used to bind things in conjunction with duct tape and cable-ties.
7. I keep two needles with some waxed dental floss and some thread used in the production of recovery equipment, this is used to stitch rips that cannot be patched, after stitching I will cover the stitching with duct tape to keep water out.