Tuesday, 8 September 2009
MYOG, Lightweight Trekking Poles
My normal trekking pole are old Highlander Mountaineer ones which have been reliable and not too heavy at 558g pair but obviously I'd like something lighter. Surprisingly you can spend quite a bit for poles that are only fractionally lighter and the lightest I've found were Leki Thermolite at 430g pair, Alpkit Carbonlite at 400g pair and Khola Evo X-lite at 360-380g pair. The cheapest are the Alpkit poles at £60. It seemed quite expensive to save around 150g but I was tempted by the Khola Evo X-Lite, unfortunately I can't find a supplier.
The other alternative are the very light poles made from what appear to be tent pole sections such as Raidlight At 280g pair they're really light but still expensive.
I had some damaged poles from a large family type tent and decided to try and make a set of lightweight poles. The poles were 13mm and I managed to salvage 6 sections that weren't damaged. I cut them down to length and used a length of 2mm guyline with a short length of paracord to hold them together, a set of tips/baskets from an old set of Lidl trekking poles were added and I used a roll of handlebar tape for the grips. To make the grips thick enough I used 2 layers of tape. I haven't come up with a suitable wrist strap yet and The handles still need some refining but so far they seem ok. Unfortunately they aren't much lighter than the Khola Exo X-Lite poles as they weigh 348g pair without straps but they haven't cost anything so I suppose I should be happy enough. I'll try them out and see how they perform. As they are it saves 200g over my Highlander poles.