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How can we improve the design of hiking poles?

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Oct 11, 2022
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How can we improve on the conventional design of hiking poles?
Trekking accessories are a multi-billion-dollar industry, filled with gadgets and multifunctional tools. Still, the design of hiking poles seems not to have changed much over the years. While manufacturers focus on durability and weight, I could not find any examples of hiking poles with more than one function.
Things to consider:
  • Weight should be kept to a minimum.
  • Any additions/changes must not negatively affect the structural integrity of the pole.
  • Most hiking poles are collapsible to a size of between 13 and 30 inches.
  • Poles can be designed to work for a specific type of hike, i.e light & simple for fast hikes or sturdy & multifunctional for long hikes.
I have been able to find on example of a pole which also serves as a stun gun, but how else could we improve hiking canes to either be more effective or provide additional uses?


Creative contributions


Spook Louw
Spook Louw Oct 11, 2022
There are a couple of ways I can imagine incorporating hiking poles to build structures for shelter or to sleep on.
Poles can be fitted with a roll of lightweight/durable fabric which could be pulled out, by anchoring the poles and the end of the sheet, you could create a simple roof to protect you from the elements.
Alternatively, a pole could collapse into separate pieces, or a number of poles could be used to create the structure of your shelter, over which you would then simply fit material which can be carried in a backpack. This could eliminate the need of carrying a tent.
Two poles could have matching hooks, holes or brackets to which a piece of fabric can be fastened. This could then act as a stretcher to help transport an incapacitated hiker, or, if the handles could be adjusted to act as a platform, it could be a sleeping stretcher.
Alternatively, I can also imagine a stretcher made from only one pole, where the pole can be disassembled into the structure and the material may even be contained in the pole or the handle.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Oct 11, 2022
It would be easy to install a blade or a knife either in the handle or at the end of the pole. A cutting instrument and potential weapon are always handy to have.
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Personal locator beacon

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Oct 11, 2022
A hiking pole can be designed to contain a personal locator beacon transmitter.
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Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 11, 2022
Install a mechanism inside the pole to shoot out and spread the umbrella. That would perhaps be one of the most useful additions. The pole might have to be made thicker to contain the umbrella inside, but it seems worth the result.
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Oct 11, 2022
Modify either the handle or the body of the pole to include a set of lenses that can a section of the pole as a monocular that can be used for viewing things at distance.
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