Introduction: Gentleman's Ski Poles

Picture of Gentleman's Ski Poles

Skiing can be a thirsty sport. Your extra large ski jacket may have many pockets to carry some quintessential quenching quaff, but it's already full with goggles, sunglasses, handwarmers, cell phone, MP3 player, headphones, and that amusingly-shaped stick you found when you went off-trail, so there’s no room for a bottle. Not even a flask.

Why not adapt something you’d be carrying anyway? Enter the gentleman's ski pole. Made with a few dollars worth of hardware store bits and pieces, you can make portable liquid container. For the refined gentleman, your schnapps is sippable even when you can’t reach your pockets. Also, by combining the pole with a flask, you're less encumbered when on the chairlift and far less likely to inadvertently drop a skiing accessory.

Forget bringing a St.Bernard on your next ski trip, all you need is the gentleman's ski pole! A discreet decanter for the discerning downhill gentleman

Enough talk, let's hit the slopes in style!

*this project is in response to the Cold Pole liquid reservoir ski pole. My version is about 1/10th the price.

Step 1: Tools + Materials

Picture of Tools + Materials
  • drill + bits
  • hobby knife
  • adhesive
  • clear PVC tubing
  • travel-size plastic bottles
  • ski poles

Step 2: Assemble Components

Picture of Assemble Components

Ski pole handles are typically friction fitted to the poles. I was able to get the handles off these poles with a little effort and by applying a rubber mallet to the underside of the handle, striking the handle from the pole. If you can't get your handle off try submerging the handle in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes to warm the plastic, then wrap the handle in a towel and try removing from the pole.

The size and length of your PVC tubing will be determined by the interior diameter and length of the ski pole you choose. I used a 7/16" O.D (11.1+mm) PVC tube with a length of about 2' (610mm). An opening was made in the top of the handle slightly larger than my PVC tubing, making sure to line up the opening with the cavity inside the handle. 

Next, I found travel sized shampoo bottles that had a similar sized opening as the outside diameter of my PVC pipe. I cleaned each bottle thoroughly and removed the neck off each bottle. The PCV tube was pushed inside the neck of the bottle and is held in place with friction. 

The bottom of the PVC tube was sealed with an acrylic plug. I cut mine using the laser cutter at work, but almost anything would work as long as it seals the bottom from leaking. I had originally envisioned using a small wooden dowel or scrap plastic. I'm sure the bottom of your junk drawer will produce something you could use. 

Step 3: Feed Tube Through Handle

Picture of Feed Tube Through Handle

After the opening in the handle has been made, feed the tubing through with the bottle neck on the handle top.

Apply a small amount of adhesive to the underside of the bottle neck and press into handle top. Allow adhesive to dry completely, then place tube into cavity inside the pole and reinstall the ski pole handle and press fit it in place.

Repeat entire process for the other pole.

Step 4: Fill

Picture of Fill

The last thing to do is fill your boozy ski poles with your favourite alcoholic alpine aperitif!
Carefully pour your liquor into each pole and seal it tight with the caps.

Step 5: Take a Break!

Picture of Take a Break!

With your poles all liquored up you're ready to hit the slopes in true class! Make sure to break out these ski poles the next time you're lost in the back country, or just taking a break after shredding gnar all day.

Have fun!

Did you make your own gentleman's ski poles? Post a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and earn a digital patch and a 3-month Pro Membership to Instructables!


zposner (author)2016-12-10

It would be cool to put something in it that you could use to light a fire

corradini (author)2016-11-30

A) I LOVE the concept, and nifty Making
skills. I've been skiing for 40+ years; old-skool was "Bota Bags", the
'hip-flask of skiers' if I can coin a phrase.

B) Saw the comments
below on safety of the vinyl -- funny timing, as I was just commenting
on another Inst'ble about using "vinyl" (=PVC) gutters for hydroponic
gardening, which I think is just fine. But: I'm gonna have to disagree, here.

I won't/can't say this is 'unsafe' -- but it concerns me, and I wouldn't do it.(Just FYI, I have a patent in hydrocarbon chemistry and some relevant knowledge.)
Here's the point: phthalates are used as plasticizers in PVCs to make
them flexible. This vinyl is clearly (ahem) quite flexible. And while polar solvents (i.e. water) don't tend to leach
phthalates (which are not bound, that's important) from PVC --
apparently alcohols are more efficient at that. Link to actual science
journal article below. I have no axe to grind (or commercial/employment
interest) about phthalates, but they are possibly linked to estrogen-like effects in mammals, which is why we don't use BPA in baby bottles any more, for example.

which makes the name "Gentleman's (Ski) Poles" somewhat amusing,
potentially. Or potently. Or not-potently.... >;-) There's just way
too much meat in there - oh, dang, there I go again - to chuckle about.


I think it'd just be far easier and possibly significantly
safer to just plug the bottom of a ski pole so that the libation won't
leak out, and use the crafty shampoo-bottle-thread solution from this
Inst'ble at the top. Ski poles are aluminum and, well, I'm pretty sure
beer cans are too, so probably safe enough, after a few good rinses just for fun. I'd imagine that pouring in
some food-grade silicone rubber would work just fine - better yet, just
pull off the ski-pole tip and squeeze in a bunch of clear silicone
sealant from the bottom; let it cure for a long time, more rinses. Added bonus: more
volume. :-)


P. Chatonnet, S. Boutou, A. Plana. Contamination of wines and spirits by phthalates: types of contaminants present, contamination sources and means of prevention. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2014.941947

grannyjones (author)2016-02-04

I can wait until later for my delicious adult beverage--preferably something very warm. --With my tootsies close to a roaring fire.

Pyromaniac2450 (author)2015-12-01

have you had any issues with the alcohol degrading the tubing? that would be my only concern with this project

bo88y (author)Pyromaniac24502016-01-27

My concern would be the way that the alcohol would degrade the skiing.

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-21

That is hilarious!

FlatLinerMEDIC (author)2012-02-28

Yes, this is illegal.

Medicinal use is ok.

TomasF1 (author)FlatLinerMEDIC2014-12-26

In Colorado, maybe, but we don't all live in "The Land Of The Free".

Alcohol IMPAIRED skiing is illegal but as long as you aren't above the legal limit for the state of Colorado there is nothing illegal about it.

bspeed (author)FlatLinerMEDIC2012-03-20

Sure but most ski resorts serve alcohol, some even mid-mountain ski-up. Not much different.

DoItOrDie (author)2014-12-26

Hmm, maybe one could make the other pole into a blowgun with sleep darts for bringing down small game as emergency food if you get stranded. Or perhaps other pesky skiers if they get in your way. The darts could be stowed inside along with matches. Which brings to mind the survivalist ski pole, loaded with the stuff often shown put into candy tins in other ibles. Heck, it could be used as a fishing pole, as well as, a pick for getting through the ice. The survivalist walking stick in summer? The possibilities abound.

Raitis (author)2014-11-02

Thanks for the inspiration! This tube method allows you to put drinkable liquids in almost anything. Like an axe!

Newmoongazelle (author)2014-02-06

Wow, really cool! This would be very usefull when I´m going out on a winter-activity, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobile ect. I´ll try to make this, looks fairly simple! One question though...How can you bore into the WHOLE lenth of the pole? Could you do this with more...handheld tools? I dont exactly own a whole workshop, although I will check if I can borrow my grandfathers worskshop sometime.

The poles are hollow, you're only boring through the plastic handle.

legogunsmith3 (author)2013-07-10

thats awesome:)

spark master (author)2012-02-25

I loved the concept but I must ask, all kidding aside, is this safe plastic and glue wize. My mom died of cancer from chemicals like those in plastics. It is devastating and horrid. I do like this concept though.

hope someone does on and sources food grade plastic parts..

didn't mean to be a bummer, but it took my mom 14 miserable years to die, from exposure in her 20's and 30's.


mikeasaurus (author)spark master2012-02-26

There's plenty of vinyl PVC tubing that is used for potable water, and shouldn't be an issue to use with many other consumable liquids (assuming you're not storing the liquid in the tubes for more than a few hours at a time). Look for tubes that are "NSF-PW", "NSF-61" or "ANSI" compliant for potable water use.

spark master (author)mikeasaurus2012-02-26

Cool breeze, but the soap bottles the glue, that is worrysome. I love this thing. I wanna make one in a walking stick.I have carved many many sticks so this is fine by me. And I would put a very nice adult beverage in mine.

Let me know what you find on the glues. I think olden fashions plugs might do for the one end (with a clamp, or spiral wound nylon line) and a plug at other end.........hmmm

sounds good to me

mikeasaurus (author)spark master2012-02-26

The plug and the bottle neck are friction fit to the tubing, the only glue contact id on the outside of the tube to the handle. Done correctly, there should be no glue contact with anything that contains consumables.

Sorry for back posting, I just thought this might be of interest from others. In the lab you can store 96% ethanol in HDPE plastic containers. HDPE (High-density polyethylene) is resistant to most solvents, and that strength of ethanol doesn't leave a mark - if you washed them out well enough you could even used HDPE milk containers to store it in! You can get hold of HDPE tubing [link:], although it isn't all that flexible, but with a bit of teasing you should be able to make this inspired ski pole with it. On the glue front there is a company called Master Bond that produces food safe glue [link:] that can resist a number of solvents. I suggest contacting them to see if it would be suitable, but I can't see why not.
Hope this is a little more reassuring! A

doctressjulia (author)2012-03-04

I was going to try this Instructable, but since it's only for 'gentlemen', I guess It's not for me (a woman). Oh well...


Or, you can see past the satirical naming convention used here and make one that's way better than mine. Maybe there's a ladies ski pole that would out this one to shame?

Yes- the ladies booze pole holds way more booze. ;)

iwantanto (author)2012-02-26

Genius idea, but how to avoid the liquid being frozen inside the poles?

Pfarmkid (author)iwantanto2012-03-02

Depending on whats inside (hehehe) it might not freeze

Meragness (author)iwantanto2012-02-28

this liquid won't freeze easily

FlatLinerMEDIC (author)2012-02-28

Isnt this illegal? Because consuming alcoholic beverages while operating anything that moves like a skateboard even could result in a DUI..

girvster (author)2012-02-27

Just as a bit of extra info:

This item is also known as a 'tippling stick' or (or rare occasion) a 'smugglers knob'

instruct39 (author)2012-02-26

that is so cool!

JSUTHERLAND8 (author)2012-02-25

Nice Idea...... But what did you coat the inside of the pole with so the alcohol does not eat into the aluminium. Like a beer can, if it is not lacquer coated it can make you sick.

mikeasaurus (author)JSUTHERLAND82012-02-26

Clear vinyl PVC tubing, as mentioned in the body of the article. Don't just pour alcohol inside the pole.

fjordcarver (author)2012-02-22

Proud to be a Canadian! Combine with a party toque and you are good to go. This is going to save so much time!! No more injecting oranges with vodka for snow excursions!

spark master (author)fjordcarver2012-02-25

Now wait just a dawggoner minute there mr fjordcarver, injecting oranges gets you a mixed drink on the slopes, so by having both you have a screwdriver AND emergency BACK UP!!!!!!!!!

As stick carver I love the idea enough to put one in a walking staff for excursions, just never let the Scout Master see it , (or maybe give him one, ....only kidding).Then add the party torque and soon you will be ejected from troop, but happy!!!!


LynxSys (author)2012-02-24

If the mallet approach doesn't work, I can tell you that many poles (at least of the cross-country skiing variety) tend to have their tips and grips hot-glued on. At the ski track where I work, we use a heat-gun to carefully heat the grip (wear gloves!) until the plastic is hot enough to melt the glue inside it without melting the grip itself. Some patience is required, and you'll need a stick of hot-glue to put the grip back on. Once you reach the requisite heat, the grip should twist-off fairly easily (requiring almost no more force than a friction-fitted part would).

tjk1939 (author)2012-02-23

Nice ible. When my kids raced we used to use compressed air to blow the grips off the handle bars. Might work on the ski poles.

tjesse (author)2012-02-23

I was just looking for hidden flasks on Amazon. Great idea!
I'm going to make a shotgun one for hunting... Now which barrel should be the flask?

mikeasaurus (author)tjesse2012-02-23

Whichever barrel is larger (obviously).

prof.keil (author)2012-02-23

I have the fondest memories of sharing a whiskey with a stranger on a lift. I've been looking for this off and on for years. Thanks!

archangl (author)2012-02-23

I love this idea! I'm going to do this to my hiking poles!

EHenningL (author)2012-02-23

My friend's Dad had a pair of these way back in the day, and have been looking for them for years. I can't wait to make my own pair. Also you could pay for your ski lift if you make a few extra and sell them out of the back of your truck.

bentcyclist (author)2012-02-23

I can do this for bicycle handelbars!

canucksgirl (author)2012-02-21

Very resourceful. I can just imagine next summer full of "gentlemen" walking around with canes and walking sticks. ;)

I already carry a walking stick with a glass phial inside :-) and purchased ski poles like this some years ago in Europe. Life is wonderful apres-ski or apres-walk

twistedsense (author)2012-02-22

This is soooo cool! How much fits into each ski pole, ounces, mLs, etc?

mikeasaurus (author)twistedsense2012-02-22

That really depends on the diameter and length of the tubing you use. For my ski poles I was able to fit about 180ml (6-7 fluid ounces).

M.C. Langer (author)2012-02-22

Great idea!!!! :-)

bertus52x11 (author)2012-02-22

Good thinking!

rkeyzer (author)2012-02-21

Genius , Brilliant ,mmm James bond never had whiskey in his ski poles

paganwonder (author)2012-02-21

excellent emergency supply storage- spirits can be used to fortify the soul...or marinate your neighbor if things get REALLY desperate!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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