6 Trekking Pole Uses – of the non-traditional kind.
I’ll be very honest. It took me quite a while to admit I needed a set of trekking poles.
I used to feel like trekking poles were a sign of weakness, an extra couple of things to carry, and unnecessary to my kind of hiking. BUT the truth is whenever I came to a river crossing or was faced with a steep set of rocks I would often borrow someone else’s poles for extra support and balance.
Several years of this led me to the conclusion that I DO use trekking poles…just not my own. Realizing this I purchased my own set on Amazon and have been very happy with my purchase ever since.
There are plenty of blog posts, videos and tutorials on how to choose and use trekking poles. If you’re looking for that information I suggest you go here, here or here. Instead, I want to share a few non-traditional trekking pole uses.
Who doesn’t love a versatile piece of equipment that can multitask? Well, your trekking poles are one of those items my friend. Here are six non-hiking uses you can deploy with your own set of trekking poles.
Trekking Pole Torch
This one could come in handy in very specific situations. Say you arrive at your campsite and it’s already dark. If you need to shed a little light in a faraway place (and your headlamp can’t seem to throw the light far enough) go ahead and tighten the strap as much as possible and wrap it around your trekking pole.
Think of it as a fireless torch that you can use to light up far away places you don’t want to get too close to.
If you’re really committed to lighting up your trekking poles, check out this instructable that teaches you how to add LED lights to your poles.
Trekking Pole Clothes Line
There’s a couple ways your can turn your trekking poles into a clothesline. If you’re in a forested area you can extend a pole between two trees like a tension rod. Once in place, you can drape your clothing over the pole to dry.
If you’re in an open area with few trees you can attach a rope or backpack strap to each trekking pole and create a more traditional clothesline by staking the poles in place.
Trekking Pole Splint
Hopefully, you never need to use this one on the trail, but it’s a good bit of first aid to have in your arsenal.
Splints help prevent a broken or injured limb from moving around too much. You can turn a trekking pole into a splint with a few extra pieces of equipment you’re probably already carrying. To make one place the trekking pole along the injured arm or leg and tie it in place using shoe laces, straps from your backpack or a belt.
Trekking Pole Massage
Thru hikes can really take a toll on your body. It would be lovely for a massage therapist to follow you around, but sadly that could get pretty expensive.
In a pinch, you can use a trekking pole to massage out tight leg muscles. Place the trekking pole perpendicular to your outstretched leg and roll it up and down to help release some tension.
Trekking Pole Tape Dispenser
Camping and hiking involves so many moving parts. There’s lots of things that can potentially go wrong, but if you’re in a pinch there’s a good chance that a piece duct tape will fix your problem.
Sleeping pad with a hole, a broken tent pole or a busted sandal strap (remember Wild? it happens!) duct tape is your new friend. Instead of carrying around an entire roll of the stuff tear off a few lengths and wrap it around your trekking pole or your water bottle, like REI showed us in this 2014 tweet.
Trekking Pole Path Clear-er
As a southern California resident, many of my hikes involve walking past spiky plants. Rather than being punctured over and over again by robust desert plants I often used my trekking poles to hold back branches, overgrown grasses, and other plants that have started creeping into the path.
They can also come in handy when you’re dealing with heavily infested poison ivy or poison oak areas, just make sure you wipe them down afterwards.
There you have it. 6 Trekking Pole Uses that are completely alternative. Have you tried out any of these ideas? Or better yet do you have another idea for a clever way to use your trekking poles? If you do drop it in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it.