Unlocking your trekking poles

Twist-lock trekking poles have a nasty habit of jamming. The slippery shaft of the pole can make it difficult to get a firm grip to unlock them, especially if they are wet. Here’s an easy way to overcome that problem.

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Cut two rectangles from some rug anti-slip underlay (available from places like Dunelm) or from a car boot anti-slip mat (from places like Halfords). In the picture, the rug underlay is white, the boot anti slip mat is grey. Wrap one piece around each section and twist. They give a far better grip than using bare hands. Weight? Rug underlay 2g, boot mat 7g. The rug underlay is now in my repair kit. Of course, you could use flick lock poles, but they are heavier.


10 thoughts on “Unlocking your trekking poles”

  1. That’s a great tip, Robin! I bought a rectangle of this stuff in Wilkinsons, to put under my self inflating ground mat to stop it sliding around my inner tent. But I never collapse my poles, I don’t want to have to refind the precise length each time I want to use them. One joint persistently used to loosen slightly during a walk, till I got two of the builders working next door to tighten it for me. I don’t think it will ever come undone now!.

  2. I find my map case is fantastic at providing that extra grip when dealing with stuck poles.
    My new Pacer poles have a textured section on each part to help with grip when they become stuck.

  3. Good idea, thanks for the tip.
    We left our Fizan poles extended for a couple of days after a walk in the rain and it took a lot of effort and WD40 to get the sections loose. Looks like the aluminium corroded slightly and jammed up. Now, we take the poles apart to dry them out.

  4. That’s a good tip that I will need to use on my old pole set as one of those got jammed and I haven’t been able to free it. The poles I take out with me these days (Black Diamond Carbon Corks) are very light and use clip-locks which don’t jam and are far easier to deploy.

  5. I have a lighter alternative, I use an elastic band in the same way. When not in use I leave it wrapped around the shaft of the pole. An elastic band it useful for other things too.

    This also serves a more frequent use as a place to attach socks to dry them. I put the band just under the hand grip and trap the sock under. It works better than just hanging it off my bag. I do look a bit odd though.

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