Quick Fixes for Hikers: Fix a Collapsing Trekking Pole

Don’t let a minor malfunction ruin your big trek. Learn to patch a sleeping bag, glue together a boot, and make four more simple repairs that everyone should master before setting foot on the trail.

    Photo: jetalone/Flickr

The situation: Your twist-and-lock trekking poles keep slipping as you pick your way down a treacherous scree field. What do you do to keep the poles from collapsing?

The fix: Pull the poles apart and clean the screw threads with a section of fabric. Cleaning the lock mechanism and lubricating the threads with chapstick or bicycle grease might solve the problem, but if it doesn’t, scrape the exterior of the plug with sand or pebbles. Adding a little roughness can prevent unwanted slipping, Pacific Crest Trail Association Information Specialist Jack Haskel says.

If the main shaft of the trekking pole fails, splinting the pole with a sturdy stick and duct tape could work in a pinch, though it won’t always stand up to impact.

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