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Using hiking poles as a tent center pole
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Paul Cronshaw
(beemancron) - F

Locale: Southwest US
Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 00:17:28 MST Print View

Getting ready for a 6 day spring trip at the end of this month with my scout troop to test some lightweight gear.

My tent of choice is a BD Megalite with a nice shiny gold center pole (10 oz). I also use BD hiking poles (Contour - 16 oz).

I got to thinking that I could save weight and use the hiking poles as a center pole to hold up the Megalite.

I was wondering how join the two hiking poles together....duck tape, special clips?

I note that Golite has a pole extender (2 oz):

http://www.golitestore.com/store/NS_proddetail.asp?number=SH6206

How well does this work?

Thoughts or comments on connecting two hiking poles together....

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 01:57:46 MST Print View

1. Like you said, you can buy from GoLite (and maybe also BD) an item that binds the two trekking poles together. Haven't used it so I can't testify as to how well it works.

-OR-

2. What I use for the similar pyramid/tipi-type shelter, GoLite Hex3, is 3 velcro loops. Two are relatively short. The third velcro loop is long for vertical height adjustment purposes. I bought the velcro in bulk from REI. REI is a good source of velcro, webbing, toggles, buckles, etc.

Each loop consists of a hook and a loop section sewn together so that minimal overlap is required to connect them together securely. The other ends of each loop are loose and are used for adjustment and binding purposes.

I use fixed length CF poles (more on this later). Though you could do the same with adjustable sectioned CF or Al poles. The only difference will be in dealing with the third velcro loop which is responsible for adjusting the vertical height of the trekking poles bound together by the first two velcro loops.

Two of the velcro loops bind the poles together axially at any location at which the two poles overlap. The third velcro loop is passed through the wrist straps of the trekking poles after the two poles are bound together by the other two velcro loops. The third velcro loop is long and allows height adjustment, though if you are just pitching to one height you could make this third velcro loop the apppropriate length and mark it (e.g. by sewing contrasting colored thread through it so that you can easily see how much overlap the velcro requires for the proper pitch height. In any case you will experiment at home to get the pitch height proper. You will slide the poles until the third velcro loop through the two wrist straps is taught and bearing load vertically.

If you use trekking poles without wrist straps, then the third velcro loop will have to be long enough to reach the top of each pole handle. Bind the third loop tightly near the top with the two shorter binding/joining velcro loops. I haven't tried this yet for a full night. Just a test setup in the yard. So, I can't say how this will hold up throughout a night of wind gusts. As long as that long third piece of velcro stays on top of the trekking pole handles, then it should work - that's the point of binding it close to the grip tops with the two shorter pieces of velcro. The velcro is wide enough that I'm guessing that it won't wiggle off of the top of the pole handles. I try to bind it so that the distance from the tops of the pole grips is less than the width of the velcro. This should make it extremely difficult for the velcro to slide off of the tops of the grips during a night of gusting wind.

Edited by pj on 03/14/2006 02:02:18 MST.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 05:33:28 MST Print View

You can see a photo of the two-trekking-pole method Paul describes here. The webbing and tri-glides might make a more secure fit. The concept is the same, though.
-Mark

Edited by mlarson on 03/14/2006 05:35:26 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 10:25:30 MST Print View

Mark, guess i'm too fixated on veclro. I've got some of those webbing straps that i could have used. It sure is easier to pull the webbing straps tighter than the velcro. I'll have to give them a go. Thanks for the suggestion.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 10:35:49 MST Print View

Paul,

Another MYOG extender can be seen about 3/4 of the way down here.

BD calls their extender "PoleLink". I'm surprised you didn't get one with your Megalight. The PoleLink works well and is a nice place to store your stakes.

I located a PoleLink for $5 here. No pictures though.

Robert

Edited by procab on 03/14/2006 10:38:32 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 03/14/2006 10:45:35 MST Print View

Robert, I'll have to give the cord approach a go also. I had thought of that, but thought that the velcro might make adjustability easier.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Trekking Pole Extender on 04/08/2006 02:21:56 MDT Print View

I've never seen an extender advertised by GoLite, but the 1oz. one that came with my BD Megalight works fine.

William Wright
(FarStar)
Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 04/08/2006 03:43:44 MDT Print View

Obtain a Boy Scout Handbook or search the internet for how to tie a shear lashing. Two will do the job.

Curt Peterson
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
GoLite solution is much simpler on 04/08/2006 10:07:42 MDT Print View

I've used nothing but Megamids, Megalights, and now Hex 3 for the past 4 years. Having used all pole setups, GoLites solution is far and away the simplest and most effective in my opinion.

Especially with a BD pole, it's incredibly quick and very simple to readjust tension in the middle of the night if needed. The GoLite pole piece and a FlickLock pole is about as good as it gets. I actually prefer it to the "super pole" that comes with the shelters.

It's just a simple aluminum tube sized to fit a trekking pole tip and capped at one end. I got mine for free when I bought the Hex 3. I think it's only $10 full retail, though. You can probably piece it together at a hardware store for $2, but finding the exact size and figuring out how to cap it effectively might not be worth $8 worth of hassle.

I also have BD's pocket and Velcro adapter. Much simpler than the homemade things people posted above and holds the grips of the poles nicely, but I never use it anymore as the GoLite thing just works so much better. Funny thing is they weigh almost the exact same even though one is just fabric and webbing and the other is metal. 1.5oz IIRC.

-Curt

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Golite Pole Extender on 04/08/2006 10:11:36 MDT Print View

For those that didn't notice that the first posted posted a link, it can be found here

Edited by jdmitch on 04/08/2006 10:12:16 MDT.

Carol Brown
(brownwetdog)

Locale: Idaho
Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 04/08/2006 10:37:36 MDT Print View

Paul C., thanks for posting the original question. My nice shiny gold center pole for my BD Megalite weighs almost 13 ounces. Hadn't even thought about using an extender with hiking poles as an alternative. I'm ordering the Golite extender. You just saved me 12 ounces! Carol
(edited for typos)

Edited by brownwetdog on 04/08/2006 10:38:49 MDT.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 04/11/2006 09:27:26 MDT Print View

I like to "fiddle" and have come up with several ways to join 2 trecking poles together to support my pyramid tent. I tried the Golite pole extender once and switched. Its quick, simple and easy which is nice at the end of a long day or when you are pitching the tent in the rain.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 04/11/2006 10:41:39 MDT Print View

I wonder if you could just find a peice of tubing about 6" long and the right diameter to just put the tips of the trekking poles in, one up, one down. The baskets would form the stop. The poles don't really have anywhere to go once the fabric is taught.

The pole manufactures should get on the bandwagon and make a section that is the same diameter and locks as the lower sections so you could just pull them out and join them together. Don't they do something like that for avalanche probes?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
BD poles on 04/11/2006 16:47:46 MDT Print View

As Curt stated" Especially with a BD pole, it's incredibly quick and very simple to readjust tension in the middle of the night if needed. The GoLite pole piece and a FlickLock pole is about as good as it gets. "
One of the reasons I like the BD poles.With my limited experience using a pyramid style tents, I find that I usually have to retention it after setting it up and the Flick Lock works well with that.
Franco

Paul Cronshaw
(beemancron) - F

Locale: Southwest US
Re: Using hiking poles as a tent center pole on 04/16/2006 21:27:45 MDT Print View

Thanks to the input from this thread, I purchased the Golite pole extender and Black Diamond Pole Link converter.

Just got back from testing these two pieces of equipment on a quick overnight trip to my playground, the Los Padres National Forest.

I tested them both on my BD Megalite.

Of the two, the 2 oz Golite pole extender is easiest to set up; just slipover the pole tip and prop the meglite up. However, the plastic tip end does not set well in the apex pole cradle of the BD megalite, it tends to slip off. This cradle is best suited for a trekking pole tip.

The BD Polelink takes a little longer to set up. Three straps hold the two handles of the pole together. However, its design does provide adequate support. At 1 oz, it packs very easily.

You can check out a picture of the BD PoleLink set up at:

http://photos.sb-outdoors.org/album153

Another advantage of either of these two devices: I do not have to carry the BD Megalite poles that weigh in at 13 oz.