Preserving Your Poles

Trail-proven ways to keep your trekking sticks healthy and strong.

Your trekking poles will perform better and last longer if you periodically remove dirt and debris. Here's how, plus other recommendations for long life:

  • After each trip, wipe off mud and dirt with a damp rag. If your poles are submerged during a stream crossing, take the shafts apart and dry them.
  • After hiking in the salty environs of coastal trails, rinse and dry your poles thoroughly.
  • At least once a year, separate the pole sections and use a long wire brush (get a soft brass version at a gun-supply store, or fit a wire hanger with a swab soaked in soap and water) to scrub the insides of the shafts. While the pole is disassembled, clean the brake parts with warm water and a toothbrush. Rinse and dry everything before reassembling.
  • Don't hang heavy items, like a food bag, from a horizontal pole. They aren't designed to withstand perpendicular pressure.
  • Resist the urge to tighten twist-locks until you can't tighten them any more. This can damage the interior mechanism.
  • Don't lubricate your poles. Most adjustable-length poles lock with a friction mechanism that won't function if oiled.
  • Contact the manufacturer or your local outdoor retailer for replacement tips and brake parts.