Hiking Pole Hacks – How Many Uses?

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.

Tent Poles

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.

Fly Rod

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.

Splint

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Trekking Pole Replacement Tips – For What Terrain

Trekking pole replacement tips are one of the most useful things involved in hiking. There are four main types of tips, and we will touch on all of them here. It can be difficult knowing what tip to buy and why. But here’s believing that after this article you will have some starting places.

Why purchase a tip?

To start, a tip is an awesome accessory to attach onto the bottom of your trekking pole. A lot of poles, in fact all the ones I know of, are made so that it is super simple to switch one tip with another. The replacement tips are made for all different types of terrains. And, therefore you can always find one that is good for you.

The reason I purchase different tips is that I like to hike in all different terrains. Whether concrete, ice, mud or thick grass lands, there is a tip for you.

Everyday terrain

Usually when you purchase a trekking pole it comes with a rubber tip. This is the standard tip for all hiking poles, and there is a reason. It is an all around good tip. The rubber tip is sturdy and can with stand the rough surface of concrete and the sharp little rocks it often comes with.

The rubber tips help to protect the metal spikes on the bottom of trekking poles. They also help to protect the poles while they are in storage

Rubber tips typically come in two different sizes. Sturdy, and more sturdy. You can get a larger and more durable rubber tip. I recommend this if you either hike a lot, hike on rougher terrain or hike around wetter climates that require more protection for your poles.

Snow basket tips

 

These are my personal favorites. Mainly because they do their job seriously well. If you do a lot of trekking in the snow you should look into these snow basket tips. It’s a pretty straight forward concept. They are like little snow shoes for your hiking poles.

Snow baskets prevent your poles from sinking too deep into the snow. Seems like it wouldn’t be that necessary, but believe it or not hiking with poles that are more or less gliding on the surface (Well okay – an inch or two down, but still that’s WAY better than a foot down) makes the hike a lot easier.

These tips reduce fatigue in your arms and provide a smoothness when walking through snow.

Ice safety tips

Now when the snow starts melting and turns to ice, you come across a whole new scenario with hiking. The slippery, wet and slushy factor. My wife basically refused to hike with me during Spring. She was tired of falling and slipping. She had to watch her step so much that she couldn’t look around and enjoy the beauty of the nature we were hiking in.

This is where you actually do not have to purchase anything extra. You simply remove the rubber tip that your pole most likely came with and reveal the spike inside it.

The spikes at like a stake, and help you get your balance on slippery surfaces. You just walk with them and let them do the work for you; steadying you in the less steady terrain of Spring. They work well enough that you do not have to put much work into it – however if it is really slippery or a super slipper slope (I just wanted to use that phrase – haha) then you can put more weight into them and really stake them into the ground.

The metal spikes are your go to anytime you desperately need to keep control, stay on your feet and conquer the hurdles of mother nature.

Mud baskets

Now these ones, I have to be honest, I have yet to try. But I have them on order from amazon (because of there great pricing) as I am suspecting the ice outside to pretty quickly turn into mud. They act very similarly to snow baskets by helping your poles not to get lost in the mud.

One of the main reasons I am excited to try these is that last year, hiking without them was hard. I felt like the poles were constantly getting dragged deeper into the mud. Mud is thick and gooey and, well, muddy.

I will definitely have to update this when they come in, so I can let you all know my tried and true review of them. But I must say, I am also excited because I have heard that you can insert your pole and it’s basket tip into the mud, lift it gently and then forceably flick it at your hiking partners face. Which I deem to be a very effective use of this tip.

A tip for every season!

Summer: Hiking in summer is amazing. It is warm, beautiful and there are many lakes to be found. A rubber tip is best for this.

Fall: Hiking in fall is also amazing, it is insanely memorizing hiking around falling leaves, cool breezes and watching for signs of the animals prepping for winter. This season you often want a mix of either rubber, or spike tips.

Winter: It isn’t everyone’s favorite time to hike, but it sure is becoming mine. Bundling up and walking through snowflake filled trees – it’s magnificent. There is something so special, and, if I may, Narnian like, about the beauty of winter. Snow basket tips are obviously the best choice for this time.

And Spring: Spring is full of the fresh new smells, flowers peeking through and the sound of animals moving again. This is the season to hike and see new life; you can smell, see and almost taste Spring. This is where the spike tips and mud tips come into play.

Basically, I think it is an incredible idea to get all different sorts of tips for your hiking experience. Because, whether sun or rain, or a snowy wonderland, hiking year round is what I live for. All these different trekking pole tips make it that much more doable. If you are looking for a pack of all the different kinds of hiking tips click here.

Hiking Pole Length – The right length for you!

Hiking poles can come in all different lengths, which as wonderful as it is, can be quite intimidating. How do you know which hiking pole length is the best for you? Well that’s what I want to help you discover. The right length of pole makes a huge difference – especially when hitting up slopes.

Standard length for everyday hiking

On a typical day of going out for a hike or a stroll you won’t need to adjust your pole. You can put it to the sweet spot. The spot that just, for lack of better words, “feels right.” Thankfully it is actually pretty straight forward to select the perfect length.

Relax your arm beside you and then lift up your hand so that you make an L shape, or a 90 degree angle. Yes my friends, it is that simple. All you need is a pole that can be adjusted so that when you hold it in front of you, your arm rests naturally in a 90 degree curve. It should feel natural and comfortable.

Hitting up a hill

While going for a nice leisurely and flat walk is relaxing, it is not usually the case. If you are like me, you want to head uphill and feel some burn. I don’t adjust my poles if it is a small hill, but on the big hills or the mountain slopes it makes a big difference having them adjusted.

Before a big slope I stop to shorten the length of my hiking pole. It just feels award and less stable when your pole is too long on an uphill slope. Adjusting the pole to a shorter length gives you more stability and more of a natural feel.

Last summer my wife and I hit up her first mountain. The final point before the top was at a @ incline. So stinking steep. As a new hiker, she was struggling at first. But after adjusting her poles to a shorter length she had more of a pull upwards, more confidence and was much less fatigued than previous hikes.

So, uphill = shorter pole.

Coming down steep slopes

Going up a hill or mountain may be more tiring, but coming down can be a whole lot freakier. For instance – walking down a slope with loose pebbles, needing to side hill and zig zag back and forth like a sheep. Yes, we are talking the steep ones. Having a longer hiking pole makes a world of difference in these situations.

Going down hill requires a longer pole.

If the pole is longer you can place more weight on it without awkwardly twisting your body. You are more stable as you have something to lean on. Whether it is a long and gentle incline around town, or a riveting mountain slope, a slight adjustment of your pole to a longer length will help greatly.

Unconventional hiking pole length uses

Now, you may see an article about hiking poles and their lengths and think that there are three options: flat, up and down. But alas, hiking poles have some unconventional uses.

Tent poles: If you happen to be one of the brave souls that camps with just a tarp, and your sleeping bag (crazy but we do it!) than your hiking poles will become your best friend. Stab those suckers nice and steady into the ground and adjust them to what ever height you prefer – and you have yourself a home made tent. Seriously, it helps.
Testing foundations: When going for a nice walk, sometimes you come across mother natures random surprises. She throws all types of stuff at us, be it some nasty mud, ice with an unknown thickness or tall grass and you can’t quite see your footing. Adjusting your poles in a face off with mother nature is extremely helpful.
Maneuvering objects: Often when walking in the forest you come across fallen logs. You can adjust the height of you poles and use them to vault right over the logs. If you are scaling up some rocks and boulders you can shorten them a bunch and then get them in a nook and pull yourself up. These are just a couple examples, but there are tons of situations when a quick switch from longer to shorter can give you the power you need.

Helping your partner: My wife’s all time favorite – when you are right at the brink of getting to the top of a steep slope, and just need a little help, and your partner shortens or lengthens their pole, locks it in place, and lets you grab hold as they help heave you over the finish line. Yes, that my friends, is one of the most rewarding ones.

Variety of lengths

All in all, the best thing about poles is that you can make them what ever length you need them to be. Standard, long, short, it all has its uses. Hiking pole lengths can be as versatile as necessary to get you through your walking, hiking of gallivanting experiences.

 

 

 

 

Best Collapsible Hiking Poles – What Makes Them The Best?

Really what are the best collapsible hiking sticks around? There are many hiking poles but the most reliable and the most sturdy are truly hard to find. In this article I will go over what makes the most sturdy and reliable hiking poles, and also I will explain what makes them the best. From the stiffness of the shaft to the hand grips and what are the most comfortable with specific body types and weight that each pole can withstand.

Sturdy Sticks

We all know that feeling when you grab an object for stability and then that object you briefly grabbed doesn’t hold the weight that was applied to it and it gives way. This same idea goes with hiking sticks, you don’t want a hiking pole that is to thin at the shaft for the amount of stress that will be applied to it. Also, with saying that, having a hiking stick that is over qualified for the task can also be a problem because the added thickness the shaft has can play a big part with weight, even if it is a carbon fire shaft. Any bit of extra weight can throw off the internal balance of the body when walking, hiking or just out for a stroll. The longer the hiking stick is the thicker the shaft should be and this is also true if the pole collapses (folds up). The example behind this is if you have a 1/4′ shaft on your hiking stick and the total length is 3ft then this stick is reliable and sturdy but if you have a 1/4′ shaft and the pole extends to 6ft then the hiking stick would be 50% less sturdy than when it is at 3ft.

Weight to Pole Ratio

Like I was touching on in the previous paragraph the weight that is applied to the hiking pole determines what poles you should purchase. Some poles are ratted for lighter loads and are ment for light walking or hiking where there is no extra weight distribution as a backpack or steep hill climbing. If you are going for hikes where you are definitely going to be packing weight on your back or using these hiking poles for some extreme hill climbing or steep hill descending then you should look into special grade poles that are ment for such applications. Remember also that when using hiking poles one of the great advantages is when needing to jump over water or logs you can use the collapsible poles to extend or shorten, then use them as a swivel to jump over these obstacles and the weight to pole strength ratio can play a big part into being able to use hiking poles for these applications.

Reliable poles

There are so many hiking poles and sticks out there for different types of walking styles, how do you know if the hiking poles your looking at or have purchased are reliable? I would just like to start saying that the carbon fire poles are going out of style sort of speak. The aluminum ones are much more popular because they are stronger but with saying that they have less flexibility. Aluminum isn’t as light as carbon fiber so if your looking for a light walking pole for trail walking or just walking around the neighborhood then carbon fiber is your best bet giving you a great amount of stability with being easily carried for the average walker. If you are more of a hiker and like more of an extreme trail or even off-roading then I highly recommend using the hiking poles that are made out of aluminum, although aluminum is heavier it is still 1/3 the weight of carbon steel and has the same strength ratio as steel. When it comes to reliable hiking poles there is quite a bit of variables to weigh, for instance what kind of torque are you going to apply to the pole? Will you be using it as a packing stick or as a tent pole or even as a bush hacking machine to get through that tough terrain where you can hold the vegetation back with the hiking pole to be able to easily walk your next step.

Which Ones Are The Best?

When walking around the neighborhood or on maintained trails when the strain of the pole is going to be kept at a minimal the best pole would be a carbon fire one such as the Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Adjustable Lightweight Trekking Poleswell the weight of the pole is kept very low but the strength is still plenty enough to put a full amount of trust into. When choosing a hiking pole another recommendation is to choose one that can be collapsed so that you don’t have to worry about where you are going to place or store these tools when not in use. Collapsible poles are a must have because I myself have used hiking poles that didn’t collapse and it was always a headache when trying to store these poles that really just take up too much space.

When walking on mountains or on more extreme trails or not on trails at all the aluminum hiking pole would definitely be your best bet such as the Hetto 1 Pair 7075 Aluminium Walking Sticks Hiking Poles Trekking Poles because of the amount of strain and torque that will be applied to it. For instance, when using a hiking pole as a tent pole, you would need a pole that can withstand the full weight of mother natures force like wind, snow, and heavy rain to name a few. This weather is usual when hiking or camping and having a hiking pole that is strong enough for these applications is a must. I wouldn’t want my tent to fall down when I’m fast asleep in the middle of the night (yup, it has happened to me). Also, it sure would be tough to use a hiking stick as a tent pole if it doesn’t collapse. If you did the tent might not even be able to stand or be positioned properly. Number one rule to setting up a tent is to do it properly and to the right dimensions it was designed for, if it isn’t then you might just wake up soaking wet in the night. Oooaa….. I’m getting shivers just talking about this. Yes, so definitely get the collapsible hiking poles when planning to use the poles for more than just stability on the trail.

Pole Conclusion

We just learned quite a bit about hiking poles in this article. We know that a hiking pole needs to be sturdy enough to trust for keeping you upright on the trail. Now you can choose a hiking stick that you know can support the weight that will be applied to it with different hiking maneuvers and uses that these poles can help out with such as jumping over logs or rocks and even hiking up and down different kinds of challenging terrain. If you’re planning on going for some pretty mild walks, then a lighter carbon fiber hiking pole will be approved for that use. However, if you’re planning on going for more of an extreme hiking path then aluminum is stronger to support the different applications that these poles can be used for.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Caleb

sturdyhikingpoles.com

About Me

Hello and thank you for checking out what this site has to offer.

My Story

I grew up in the central of BC just east of Smithers. My family was and still is into the outdoors and I mean everything with the outdoors, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, exploring, just to name a few. As I entered my teen years I found that I had more of a passion for hiking than most of the other outdoor activities. I was starting to understand the real importance of knowing how and where to walk on different kinds of terrain.

As I aged into a young adult with many hiking trips behind me and being well experienced in the outdoors, my passion for hiking seemed to go in the direction of hiking/walking mountains tops. This I really fell in love with because of the fact of the beauty that the mountains have to offer and such a feeling of being part of the untouched landscape that you can feel to your core, smell and touch. I came to realize very quickly on uneven terrain that stability is of the utmost importance and because of this I invested/purchased adjustable hiking poles. The many times these poles have saved me from injuries such as sprained or broken ankles and knees are countless.

 

WHY I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE?

 

Helping people is how I feel accomplished and makes me feel like I’m making a difference in this world. This site is how I want to get the word out that hiking sticks not only help you with enough grip to hike up and down your favorite trails but also (the main reason) is to decrease the amount of injuries caused by lack of stability that the person has when on uneven terrain.

I’ve seen more than a few people sprain and break ankles when hiking, that is why whenever I’m out for a hike with my dog or a walk around the block with my wife, the first thing I grab is my trusty hiking poles. This is why I want to help you with keeping the trail under your feet instead of your feet pointing to the sky.

THE GOAL OF YOUR SITE

I touched on this briefly in the above paragraphs but the goal or forecast I see for this site is to lower the percentage of slips, trips and falls that can naturally happen when walking outdoors with no source of stability other than your own two feet that…. lets face it, don’t do what you want them to do all the time. My second goal is to help get more people in the outdoors all year round to enjoy the beauty that so many of us are missing. That’s right, going for a walk or hike shouldn’t be a couple months every year but should be a 12-month hobby that can be done safely with all the different types of hiking poles. Stay safe when walking on snow, ice, mud, dirt, grass, pavement, and steep slopes.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Caleb

sturdyhikingpoles.com