How to Get Trekking Poles Unstuck (Read This First!)

Trekking poles are an essential piece of equipment for hikers. However, there may come a time when your trekking poles get stuck. Getting a trekking pole stuck can be a frustrating experience, but don’t worry – we’re here to help! This article will teach you how to get your trekking poles unstuck in no time. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way!

What Are Trekking Poles, and Why Do You Need Them?

Before we get into how to unstuck your trekking poles, let’s first talk about what they are and why you need them.

Trekking poles are long sticks that hikers use to help them balance while walking. They provide support and stability on uneven or slippery terrain. Trekking poles also help reduce the impact on your knees and joints.

If you’re an avid hiker, then you know that trekking poles are a must-have item. They genuinely do make hiking more manageable and more enjoyable.

How to Get Your Trekking Poles Unstuck

Older trekking poles were notorious for getting jammed, but even current ones can suffer. Preventative maintenance is beneficial, but what if your trekking poles are already stuck? How do you fix a stuck trekking pole when it’s already occurred?

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It is usually simple to fix a jammed trekking pole. However, if that doesn’t work, try using your hands to pull it out. Then you may need to apply penetrating oil to the poles and leave them for a few weeks.

Freeing stuck trekking poles shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. However, if the insides are corroded, or the pole’s joints have gotten out of alignment in the shaft, you may encounter difficulties. I’ll go through all of the techniques for freeing jammed trekking poles in greater detail later on.

Trekking poles can sometimes get stuck if you put them away wet or store them in a place without much temperature control. The metal pieces can start to rust and stick together partially.

Stuck trekking poles are usually easy to fix. You may generally push the sticks apart, but they may need to be sprayed down with penetrating oil.

If that doesn’t work, pull out a pair of pliers and carefully pry apart the poles from both ends. Then, let’s dive into how you can get your trekking poles working correctly.

Make Sure You Turn The Poles In The Correct Direction

Trekking poles are similar to screw or telescoping rods in that they tighten and loosen in one direction. The bar tightens and loosens in one direction only. Remember the old saying, “Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey”

When it comes to trekking poles, this is also true. If you’re holding the pole’s tip on the left, you should screw it away from your body with your left hand.

To Free a Stuck Trekking Pole, Use a Hardwood Dowel to Knock on The Top

To remove corrosion and oxidation from your trekking poles, use a wood stick to whack the tops of the poles.

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Take a chunk of wood and strike the top of the stuck trekking pole. That should be enough to dissolve any rusted or oxidized spots on the bar. To prevent damaging the grip, use wood.

With Your Hands, Try Freeing the Stuck Trekking Poles

Person's Right Hand

You can always free stuck trekking poles without the need for any additional equipment. I recommend spraying penetrating oil into the trapped area first to decrease friction, but this will be unlikely to be required.

Don’t be scared to put some muscle into it. Trekking poles can take more punishment than you might expect.

On Both Sides of The Stuck Portion, Try to Use Pliers

Take two pairs of pliers and place them on each side of the sticking area. Because you do not depend on your grip strength, you should be able to develop more leverage. To create a firmer grip, attach the pliers to the plastic parts of the pole.

Loosen up The Screws on Your Trekking Pole and Give It Another Try

If none of the above suggestions work, loosen any screws in the pole sections and try again. That isn’t very successful, but it’s a quick fix that is less messy than soaking your poles in penetrative fluid, which I’ll get into next.

The Inside of The Shaft Should Be Soaked in Penetrant Fluid

Corrosion on trekking poles can be treated with penetrating oil.

Ninety-nine percent of stuck trekking poles should be freed up using the techniques listed above. The only time you may have problems is if the expanders within the shaft become misaligned. After that, pouring penetrating oil down the shaft typically breaks it free.

Remove the pole from the hole and knock on it a few times. You may be able to fix the problem with this, but you should probably sock the shaft in penetrating oil for a few weeks to help it work through corrosion.

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If You Can’t Get Them Free

Sometimes your expanders get stuck in the shaft, and no matter what you do, the poles won’t come free. This occurred to me a few summers ago. Fortunately, only one pole was affected, but I had difficulty removing it.

I used Liquid Wrench to loosen the shaft and let it soak for a few weeks. I almost gave up, but then it suddenly came free. If you’re having problems with any of the steps above, greasing your bearings may be beneficial on rare occasions.

How to Properly Take Care of Your Trekking Poles

Now that you know how to get your trekking poles unstuck, it’s time to learn how to take care of them, so they don’t get stuck in the first place

Here are a few tips:

  • Store your trekking poles in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them.
  • Avoid leaving your trekking poles in direct sunlight for extended periods.
  • Don’t use your trekking poles on saltwater beaches. The salt will corrode the metal parts of your poles.
  • Clean your trekking poles after every hike with a soft cloth and mild soap. Rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Dry your trekking poles with a clean towel before storing them.
  • Check your trekking poles for damage before each hike. If you notice any damage, don’t use the poles until you’ve had a chance to repair or replace them.

Now that you know how to get your trekking poles unstuck and take care of them, you can hit the trails with confidence! Be sure to follow the tips above to avoid using any of the unsticking methods.


Now that you know how to get your trekking poles unstuck and take care of them, you can hit the trails with confidence! Be sure to follow the tips above to avoid using any of the unsticking methods.

Trekking poles are a valuable tool for hikers, and by following these simple tips, you’ll be able to use them for years.