8 Alternative Uses for Hiking Sticks

Alternatively known as trekking poles, hiking sticks are used for support pretty much 98% of the time when we’re out hiking in harsh terrains, anything from some extra stability or a way to give yourself a push. Surprisingly though, there’s actually a hell of a lot of secondary uses for hiking sticks that can really come in handy if we get creative. You’d be surprised how versatile a pretty tough stick can be. Here’s 8 alternative ways you can use ‘em. 

1. Makeshift tent pole

If you’re a solo camper and on a budget, you can build a small tent enough to fit a person with just a flat tarp and 1 or 2 hiking sticks. If you hate sleeping with someone in a tent, this makeshift tent would be the perfect excuse!

Makeshift tent pole with a hiking stick
Image source: Average Guy Reviews

It’s much lighter to carry 2 hiking sticks and a tarp than an entire tent, which makes for a great option for solo and lightweight backpackers.

2. Probe

The thing about refraction is that the water will appear not as deep until you stick your foot in way too deep and regret it. A trekking pole right here will be super useful.

Hiking sticks as a probe
Image source: Wildland Trekking

Besides water of course,this also applies to mud and snow. This can make a huge difference between an easy cross to a wet, messy and uncomfortable one. 

3. Laundry

Yep. If you have a hiking stick and a rope, you can create a drying line system for your laundry. Stick the hiking stick to the ground, and tie the rope to a tree, another hiking stick or anything you can think of.

8 Alternative Uses for Hiking Sticks, PTT Outdoor, ,
Image source: CNOC Outdoors

Or if you’re looking to only dry a sock for example, simply fold it in half, hold the ends together, and use the hiking stick to twist the middle of the folded sock. It’ll wring out so much water, you’ll be surprised.

4. Lean-on chair

Shorten your hiking stick and use it to lean your backpack. Now you’ve got a nice little lean on chair! And for that extra dose of comfort, put a mat at the bottom.

5. Improvised stretcher

8 Alternative Uses for Hiking Sticks, PTT Outdoor, Screenshot 2022 03 31 113946 e1648698095396,
Image source: CNOC Outdoors

If you’ve got 2 strong and sturdy hiking sticks and some fabric like a tarp, you can make a makeshift stretcher in case anyone needs it while on the trails.

6. Splint

Any hiking stick can be turned into a splint if you have a fabric or anything to wrap your leg around with. Here’s an example:

8 Alternative Uses for Hiking Sticks, PTT Outdoor, SlishmanSkiPole4,
Image source: Pre-R

7. Crutches

Extend your trekking pole with fabric or foam at the top, and you’ll have a crutch if your hiking stick is long enough. Preferably, you’ll need one that has a grip that looks something like this:

TAHAN 3-Section Foldable Hiking Stick, hiking stick, hiking poles, trekking poles, hiking pole stick, walking stick
In image: TAHAN 3-section Foldable Hiking Stick

But if you’re on a basketball level kinda tall, this might not work for you. I guess that’s another win for short people!

8. Protection

Did you know that if you’re ever attacked by wild animals, it’s because you surprised them. Yup! By bashing your hiking stick to make sounds, most wild animals will tend to back away before they even see you. Or, you know, in case of a home invader, you can smack ’em with it too. Why use your hand? You ain’t no Will Smith!   So, can you think of other ways to use a hiking stick? Let us know!  

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