10 Uses of trekking poles
- Trekking Pole Chair
There’s a couple of ways you can turn your trekking poles into a comfy seat. If you’re backpacking (every ounce counts) you can prop your pack against your poles to create a nice backrest. It’s a little comfier than leaning against a tree and the likelihood of being bit by ants is much lower.
Another option if you’re crafty with a sewing machine is to make your own slingback chair. The plus side of this option is you can pick a cute fabric in your favorite color or pattern. Just remember to make sure it’s waterproof, it’s no fun having a soggy bottom on the trails.
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.
Trekking Pole Tent / Shelter
Shelter is one of the “10 Essentials” and is something you should carry with you at all times when hiking, backpacking or camping. It might seem silly, but it’s always to good to be prepared. Having some form of shelter can protect you from the sun, rain, wind or any other unexpected weather or conditions that arise.
In a bind, you can use your trekking poles to create a tent using a tarp or emergency blanket. Use the poles to hold the tarp up at two ends creating a traditional triangle-shaped shelter. Rocks or logs can be used to hold the tarp close to the ground.
The Perfect Animal Deterrent
Trekking poles aren’t really a weapon, but they can be used as an early warning system. Tapping them together or on a tree can warn wildlife that you’re around. Most of the time animals will move on if they hear you coming.
If you do come upon an animal unexpectedly you can use your trekking poles to make yourself look bigger and a little intimidating.
Trekking Pole Clothes Line
There’s a couple of ways you 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 shoelaces, straps from your backpack or a belt.
Hiking 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. If you’re traveling with a partner, friend or in a group you can even recruit someone to massage the backs of your legs or shoulders.
Trekking Pole Tape Dispenser
Camping and hiking involve so many moving parts. There are 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 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.
Trekking Pole Flag Pole
I’m not sure how much explanation this one needs, but let’s just say that if you want to carry a flag, wave one for help or just celebrate in general you can tie anything ya like to your trekking pole and boom it’s a flag pole.
Trekking Pole Path clearer
Hiking in the valleys and cloud forests in Bolivia involve walking past spiky plants. Rather than being punctured over and over again I often used my trekking poles to hold back branches, overgrown grasses, and other plants that have started creeping into the path.
There you have it. Eleven alternative uses for your trekking poles. Have you tried out any of these ideas? Or better yet do you have another ideas 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.