Trekking Pole Splint

A broken trekking pole is usually an inconvenience rather than a disaster. However, if you are using your trekking poles to support your shelter (e.g. a Trailstar or Duomid), then a broken pole becomes a critical problem.

photo 1Now, I’ve never broken a pole, but there’s always a first time. After a short conflab on Twitter, Nigel gave me the idea of making a pole splint from some polypropylene pipe. So, today I nipped down to Homebase and bought some 22mm overflow piping. I cut a 15cm section and voilà, an almost perfect trekking pole splint, weight 12g.

photo 2 I always carry some duct tape, so both ends can be easily secured. It should be good enough as a temporary repair. When I was looking at pipes, I found that overflow pipes were lighter than ordinary polypropylene plumbing pipes and a lot cheaper. From now on, I shall be carrying one in my repair kit.

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11 thoughts on “Trekking Pole Splint”

  1. This should be compulsory for peeps that use their poles as an integral part of their shelters. I do often wonder how much such a shelter weighs including the poles, especially after reading a series of articles on ultra light backpacking. I know the Akto is a bit of a porker in the weight stakes, but that weight is everything – bath tub, mossy net, poles and outer. I’m guessing when everything is taken into account it’s not too far off 1 kg?

    1. My old Akto weighed 1.6kg. Trailstar plus Oooknest 1.075kg, pegs 140g, Fizan trekking poles (pair) 320g, total 1.535kg. So not much in it, however, I usually carry trekking poles anyway, so the weight saving becomes 385g for a significantly larger shelter. You pays your money and takes your choice.

  2. Good idea this. I see this as more as an issue for carbon poles that do snap clean (and that happens at least once a season in my world). Alloy poles tend to bend in the same accidental circumstances unless you are really unlucky. However, for carbons your sleeve is an absolute must.

    Re Rob’s comment I see his point (I own an Akto, Trailstar and Scarp). I think with the Trailstar you’ve got a flexibility that the Akto doesn’t have. I always walk with poles (so I am carrying them in my hands as opposed to the pack) and the bug net is really only a requirement part of the year (my oooktub for the rest of the year is negligible weight wise).

    1. I think the splint will be useful for aluminium poles as well. Even if you can bend the poles back into shape, there will be a structural weakness, which could be a problem when supporting a shelter.

  3. Ah Okies. It seems that it would only make sense for me if I started using walking poles. My knees get pounded the worst on a descent, but on many descents I feel I’d rather have both hands free to grab stuff when required. I do seem to be in the minority though, when I see other peeps out and about.

  4. Nice one Robin. So much to know about trekking pole before one ventures into trekking. Any job that we do needs careful planning but more so in trekking because of the adventurous nature of this hobby..

  5. Robin, I read each and every message from you so thanks for the idea for a pole splint. My poles are Peak Walker by Trekmates with three sections. The upper section has an unremoveable ‘stop’ at the base (to secure the fixing for the top of the middle section), which prevents a piece of pipe from sliding on. However, I imagine I could cut the pipe lengthways and secure with duct tape; what do readers think? The middle and lower sections, (although narrower and requiring a different diameter pipe) would probably be more easily repairable.

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