One of the fantastic things about hiking poles is that there are so many different hacks for them. It isn’t something you buy that just has one simple use and that is it. When I bought my wife her first set it was a huge turn of events for us. She full on believed they would just be another gift that sat in the back of her closet. But they have become a staple item for us every time we head outside.
After a few hikes, and a few slips we both discovered they were way more useful than even I had imagined. It’s all of the little things they do and the hacks that make them worth it. That is what we are going to talk about next: fantastic DIY hiking pole hacks.
This is the first hack that I came across while hiking. Trekking poles can so easily be used to hold up a tent or tarp. Going on an overnight hike often comes with the tough decision of what to bring. Weight is everything, and let me tell you, packing a tent on your back isn’t fun, it’s heavy.
Alternatively you can throw a small tarp on your back, and then use your walking poles as tent poles. It is so simple it is surprising. That is a huge amount of weight you are saving. Which not only is beautiful for you back, but just makes for a plain good story.
My wife was pretty shy to this idea at first. I suppose it sounded, “too intense,” for her liking. But there is something magical about taking a tarp and sleeping bag off your own back and then having a night under the stars. If you want to hike light and camp, this is the way to go.
Selfie stick/tripod hack
Alas, you definitely can not do something as cool as camp with just a tarp and not take a decent selfie of the experience. Well my friends, thankfully there is a hiking pole hack for that.
Grab some Velcro, a little duct tape, or what ever your preferred choice of material is and attach a camera to your hiking pole. I have heard of people that use all sorts of cameras and all sorts of different ways to jimmy them onto their poles.
We prefer to use Velcro for ours. A simple way to get a gorgeous picture.
If there are two or more people hiking you can use three different poles (especially easy with snow basket or mud basket tips for stabilization) to make a tripod.
Another awesome idea is to pack some wire, find a few worms and take to fishing. Now clearly this isn’t meant for the big huge fishing trip that you’ve been planning for the past year. But it sure is a helpful little tidbit when you’re out hiking, camping or gallivanting and find yourself with a fish craving.
Simply attach the wire to your pole, throw a hook on and find a worm. It is perfect for a quick fly-fishing session and again is super helpful on saving weight for the light packing days.
The Do Not Die Hack
Now this one is not necessarily a “hack”. But it is just the best tip I have come across. Hiking poles are legit there to save your life. My wife has scoliosis, a twisted spine. It’s actually pretty epic. She has two titanium poles and a ton of screws in her back. Making her a very feminine wolverine.
After surgery her body did not heal properly, so hiking used to be extremely hard for her. If she fell or got hurt it would often lead to her being in bed for the next two weeks. But that was before hiking poles. Seriously. She got the poles and all of a sudden she was more confident, less tipsy, less fatigued and more efficient.
There is, believe it or not, an art to hiking. Especially for someone like her, someone that used to be bed ridden after a 30-min walk on concrete. Now, one year later, she has hiked mountains with me. The best hack for a hiking pole is simply to use them and rely on them. They do their jobs well.
With their assistance, I watched my wife transform from someone afraid to exercise and timid to activity into a woman excited to be adventurous and able to be in love with the out doors.
Now, as much as I like to hope that hiking never comes to this; sometimes you can get yourself in trouble. I won’t say a ton on this topic. Mainly as it would be an entire different post on safety and first aid. But I will say, I have been on a mountain and rolled an ankle and it is not a good experience.
Being hours from civilization, on a mountain with a rolled ankle will give you some serious worries. Being prepared is huge. Not only do hiking poles greatly reduce the risk of these things happening, but they can help if an accident does happen to occur. Using a pole as a splint and or crutch gets you out of some really scary situations.
Always be prepared and make room for things in your pack to assist with a splint.
Final hacking advice
One thing I have learned is to attach some rope and or wire to my poles. A small enough amount that it doesn’t get bulky and in the way, but enough to help with these random hacks: stabilizing the tent, wrapping the camera up, using the pole for fishing or even as splint. Throw some rope/wire on there and you can do almost anything with your poles.
There quite honestly seems to be a million different uses for both hiking poles and rope when you’re out in mother nature, combine both to your outdoor experience and you’ll definitely feel more safe and prepared. These are the hacks I have come across thus far in my hiking and camping experiences. Anyone else come across an awesome hiking hack or tip? I am excited to learn of more!