How to Link Trekking Poles For Your Shelter
One of the ways ultralight and lightweight backpackers and hunters save weight is by using trekking poles to support tarps and tents and thereby getting double duty out of the poles and not needing to carry separate tent poles. Depending on the shelter, you may need to link poles to get the desired height. There are several ways to link poles, and there are advantages and disadvantages of each method. Some advantages or disadvantages are dependent on the types of poles. Overtime we (Seek Outside) have settled on our trekking pole hitch as the most adaptable and failsafe way to work with several pole types.
- Trekking Pole Extenders: We have used this method, and it is simple and works. If you have heavy duty poles, this can work well. If you have lighter duty poles, extenders can cause them to bend or break near the tip.
- Trekking Pole Combinations: With certain poles such as some of the Black Diamond adjustable poles you can simply take the handle off one end and add it to the rest of the pole. This has the same advantages and disadvantages as extenders mentioned above.
- Trekking Pole Linking: This can be done with cordage or webbing or similar. Cordage is the lightest. The drawback is lack of adjustment and fiddle factor. When used like this, it is best to have the tip ends toward the middle (since they are the weakest). This is because the two end sections will add strength in the center.
- Trekking Pole Hitch: Over Time, we have settled on our trekking pole hitch. The reasons are simple. The Trekking Pole Hitch is lightweight, simple and can be used with all types of poles (even Black Diamond Carbon Z non adjustable poles) .
That being said, there are limitations with using trekking poles. First, you should not have a shelter that is too tall as it adds undue stress to the poles. Generally, above 6 ft tall, your milage may vary.