6 Trekking Pole Uses

6 Trekking Pole Uses – of the non-traditional kind.

By Kristi Westberg

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

6 Trekking Pole Uses 1

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

6 Trekking Pole Uses 2

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.

 

Blogger & Multiple Contributor at | Website

Kristi Westberg is a writer, indoorsy camper, hiker and bookworm living in Pasadena, CA.

She is the creator of “Indoorsy Camper” a blog that helps scaredy-cat’s like herself gain the confidence and bravery to get outside.

A self-professed “indoorsy” person, Kristi tries to make camping, hiking and backpacking approachable for everyone.

42 thoughts on “6 Trekking Pole Uses

  • March 4, 2019 at 8:53 pm
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    Wow way more uses than I would have thought! such interesting info

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  • February 27, 2019 at 10:51 pm
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    I’ve been with people who have had poles, and I always envy them. I never really know what to use them for, but wow – what a great list!

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  • February 23, 2019 at 11:34 am
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    Those are some creative uses of a trekking pole. For one, I never considered using it as a foam roller for your body. A good suggestion on the duct tape. That actually can be quite a saver. And yes, a little light would go a long way too.

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  • February 23, 2019 at 11:11 am
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    I never been to trekking but one day I will refer to all your posts as they are very useful. I too agree these all 6 trekking poles are very important. For me, trekking pole Path clearer is the most important one as trekking is done on rough patches. Pole Torch is another big useful stuff as in darkness it is a savior.

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  • February 21, 2019 at 1:10 am
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    You provide a lot of important information about trekking and particularly this one, I find very useful. The advantages of trekking poles are unmissable. I would definitely prefer to have this while I go trekking.

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  • February 20, 2019 at 9:01 pm
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    Trekking pole is such a blessing and helps to walk faster and makes us less tired.
    I honestly did not know of such varied use of trekking pole. Esp., its genius to use it as a torch for faraway distances.

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  • February 19, 2019 at 12:33 am
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    Great stuff here, thanks so much for putting this together. I feel like my wife is going to love this site in general!

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  • February 18, 2019 at 9:53 pm
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    I found three new uses of the trekking poles here. I knew and used the last 3 during our family hiking. Just like you said, I hope I don’t have to use it as a splint though.

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  • February 18, 2019 at 6:10 am
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    this is such a cool list! I don’t really use trekking poles that much. But knowing that now it has so many possible benefits, would get add leds to my pole and use it for some think other than ‘the stick i use to rest on’. 😀

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:10 pm
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      I know! They are way more versatile than I thought too!

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  • February 17, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    I pretty much rely on trekking poles – but now I have a new perspective of other optional uses for them. Thanks for that and the links too .

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:12 pm
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      It took me a while to get on the trekking pole train, but I’m on it now :). Glad you enjoyed the post and that the links were helpful.

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  • February 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm
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    Interesting ideas here. Definitely given me food for thought. I have never thought of uses of trekking poles before.

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  • February 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm
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    I haven’t experience trekking yet but I think I’ll be using these support when I will decide to trek one day. It’s better to use these for safety too.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm
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      I completely agree! They really help with balance and give you support when you go up or down hills. Hope you are able to get out there soon!

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  • February 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm
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    “Trekking poles are sign of weakness” – a very honest confession as I’m sure a lot of us think so. thanks for showing how multipurpose it is. And I really don’t mind trekking with some support as I am no sportsperson. It’s better to be safe and enjoy the trek using the trekking poles than falling off or putting oneself under unnecessary physical stress.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:14 pm
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      I completely agree! I don’t know why I resisted for so long, but once I committed and bought a set of my own I was so much happier and felt more physical support.

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  • February 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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    I will have to get one of these Trekking poles. I didn’t realize there were so many uses while out hiking.

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:15 pm
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      Definitely worth looking into! As the post suggests I highly recommend :).

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  • February 16, 2019 at 11:01 am
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    The chief benefit of trekking poles is to provide extra stability, while the purpose of Nordic walking poles is to use a technique that burns more calories and provides an upper body workout. Trekking pole technique is not meant to add any more exertion or calorie burn.

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  • February 15, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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    I’ve seen these for sale at our Sam’s Club. Didn’t think I’d use them either, but you now have me re-thinking that!

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:18 pm
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      Excellent! I bought mine on Amazon. I decided to go for a cheaper set and have been very happy with them. Sam’s is a great place to pick up hiking and camping gear!

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  • February 15, 2019 at 10:39 pm
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    I do not even own a trekking pole. Now that I know that the pole has multiple uses, I will be ordering some.

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  • February 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    This is cool. I had no idea you could do all this.

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    • February 15, 2019 at 11:17 pm
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      I know right?! The funny thing is once you start thinking of new ways to use them the ideas keep coming 🙂

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    • February 18, 2019 at 7:20 pm
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      Yeah, I didn’t either until I started researching and brainstorming. Glad you enjoyed learning more about trekking poles!

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  • February 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm
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    Wow! I hadn’t thought of using these poles for these things. This is great! Thanks so much.

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    • February 15, 2019 at 11:17 pm
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      You’re so welcome! Glad there are some ideas in there that you enjoyed.

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  • February 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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    This is so interesting – I never knew it would have so many uses! Love the clothes line idea

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  • February 15, 2019 at 7:29 am
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    I had no idea you could so so much things with a trekking pole! Amazing!

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    • February 15, 2019 at 6:54 pm
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      I know! Once I started researching and thinking about it I came up with lots of ideas! I’m sure there’s more out there.

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  • February 15, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    What a great tips! I’ve never heard of these ideas sounds cool! I love trekking adventure.

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    • February 15, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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      They’re a great piece of equipment to add to your collection.

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  • February 14, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    Oh, gosh, too funny – I LOVE this!!! Since I was ready for my first knee replacement at age 25, I’ve never had any qualms or embarrassment about using trekking poles for their intended purpose. BUT, I will agree with you, they are handy brush-getter-out-of-the-way-ers. Thanks for the reminder that I need to pack them when I go to Hawaii in a few weeks (when I expect hiking the Na Pali Coast of Kauai will be a lot easier WITH them, now that I own a pair, than it was last time I did this nearly 2 decades ago WITHOUT them!) 🙂

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    • February 15, 2019 at 6:57 pm
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      Wow! Sounds like you have a great trip ahead of you! I’ve heard hiking in Hawaii can be fairly slippery so make sure you have the right ends on your poles. Have fun!

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  • February 14, 2019 at 8:58 pm
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    I had not thought that trekking poles could be used for other uses. We did not think we needed them when we did the trek at Machu Picchu but we were advised the night before the trek that they were mandatory. I am so glad we rushed out a bought them. Thanks for the information.

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    • February 15, 2019 at 6:58 pm
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      I have to say it took me a while to get on board with purchasing them, but I’m so glad I did. Machu Picchu sounds like an amazing trip!

      Reply

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