Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to field fix a trekking pole without tools

On day 30 one of my trekking poles failed me. The plastic tightening mechanism would no longer tighten...
and I don't carry a heavy duty Phillips screwdriver with me on the trail. When the thing won't tighten it flops around and alternately gets longer and shorter. 
I puzzled this one a while and came up with some complicated fixes but nothing that was easy to do. Then I looked at the ground and saw gravel and realized I could fill the cavity in the pole to the right height...
and tape that sucker tight. It worked!
I love fixing stuff!


  1. Ingenious, Shelly! Love reading about your adventures. You are amazing! xoxo Marushkie

  2. What a McGyver-Gal! So glad to keep us up-top-date on your doings! What a trip!!! Happy Trails-Cristie

  3. I know how you feel about anything that weighs you down, but that was ingenious. I'm happy to know that if you don't have some big ass screwdriver you at least have tape!
    xo – Rosie

  4. I think the surface of the plastic is sliding. In that case, I will extract the pole once, insert a little, and rotate keeping to bend two poles. I means keeping not to straight. Then the friction of the plastic parts become large. Then you can lock.

  5. Another technique. Rotate the plastic parts a little by hand to make the crevice between the plastic parts and pipe very small, Then insert it into the pipe.

    1. Thanks Hiro. I tried all of those fixes first but there was no adjustment that would expand the plastic parts without the tool. Normally what you suggest would work well but not this time. The poles were ten or more years old and a bit worn out I guess.

  6. Cool, Shelly! Ingenious! I had a similar problem with a Leki pole and ended up taking it apart on the trail and using a piece of string wedging it into a gap in that plastic gizmo to force it to tighten. After I got home I sent my poles to Leki for repair. Love reading your updates!! --julie o.