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How To Maintain Internal Locking Trekking Poles

This video shows you how to lock, unlock, adjust and clean internal locking trekking poles and walking staffs.

How To Maintain Internal Locking Trekking Poles

Trekking poles, like any good piece of gear, require some regular care and maintenance. If you’ve been a long-time user of internal lock trekking poles, you probably know that every once in a while your trekking pole may stick or not lock in. It’s not typically a big problem and it’s something you can fix in a few easy steps.


It’s good to understand what’s going on inside your trekking poles so that you understand what you’re fixing or what the issue is. An internal locking trekking pole has a mechanism on the inside. This mechanism basically expands out to put pressure on the inside of the pole wall to lock the pole in place and keep it from sliding.


If your trekking pole is not locking in as you turn it, the easiest thing to do first is to pull the section out that isn’t locking all the way. You’ll see a stop mark on many poles made by the most popular trekking pole brands, and you’ll just need to go a little bit beyond that. What you’re doing is pulling the locking mechanism down to the thinnest part of the pole. That way the locking mechanism is making as much contact with the pole wall as possible. From there you can start to turn your pole, just like you were locking it in. You’re going to feel it start to tighten up and you can simply back your pole off and lock it in where you want to.


In very, very rare cases, if your pole doesn’t lock in after trying the technique above, you might have some debris or dirt caught in the pole. In those very rare instances, the easiest thing to do is actually separate the two parts of the trekking pole. When your pole sections are apart, you want to clean the locking mechanisms and clean the threads at the top of the post with a damp paper towel. Reassemble your pole following this cleaning and test the locking mechanism again.


No matter what your locking mechanism type (internal or external), it’s important to remember to never lubricate the pole behind the locking mechanism. This will only cause slippage inside the pole. If you continue to encounter problems, remember that Backcountry Edge Gear Specialists are always happy to assist you over the phone with trekking pole questions to help you get your poles back up and running. Just give them a call at 1-800-617-0643.