Introduction: Bamboo Poles for Nordic Walking or Trekking

This instructable is for people who love walking, trekking and wood crafting.

I practise Nordic walking using specific poles with practical wrist-strap gloves. My project is not intended to make high performing poles that compete with the technical materials. Modern poles perform very well, are easy to use and maintain. Instead, the goal of this project was making a hand-crafted object, which is simple, functional and looks nice as bamboo wood does. I like very much this plant and its wood is an awesome material, beautiful, light and very resistant.

The materials for this insctructables are:

1 Bamboo stems

3 Drill bits and metal washers

4 Bicomponent epoxy resin

5 Cord or straps

6 Standard tools for wood crafting, such as saw, drill, and sand paper

Step 1: Step 1. Selecting the Bamboo Stems

The main criteria to select the bamboo stems are straight form and diameter. Bamboo stems are much longer than needed. Then choose the part of a bamboo stem in order to fit the handle width at top end and the tip at the bottom end. At this step cut the stems longer than necessary for subsequent trimming.

Step 2: Step 2. Preparing the Bottom End

I cut the thinner bottom end 5 cm distant from a node, which is a robust zone for mounting the metal tip. Just to ease the work, the opposite pole end can now be roughly trimmed at 130-140 cm of length, which is more than necessary. The final right length will be adjusted in the next steps.

Step 3: Step 3. Mounting the Metal Tip

To make the pole metal tip I used 6 mm drill bits for stone, which are made of hardened Vidia steel. This bit fits the bamboo inner cavity with small gap and touches the robust node wood. The drill bit was cut and the bamboo end was trimmed in order to have 4 cm of bit inside and 1.5 cm outside the cane. The small gap between the bamboo cavity and the bit was filled with bicomponent epoxy. First the bamboo cavity was filled with epoxy, then the bit was fully inserted and centred, with the metal washer to protect the bamboo edge. The excess of epoxy was wiped. The pieces were left hardening overnight. After this step the drill bit was glued in the bamboo tip in a solid manner.

Step 4: Step 4. Preparing Pole Handle and Adjusting the Length

In this step the handle is fixed at the right height.

For people who are new to Nordic walking, the pole length can be approximately estimated as your body height multiplied by 0.65. For example, I am 180 cm tall, thus my optimal pole is 120 cm long. However somebody can feel more comfortable with slightly shorter or longer poles, for example when varying the path conditions (hard or soft soil).

6 mm holes were drilled at opposite position along the cane to attach the wrist handle. I drilled multiple holes at three positions spaced 2.5 cm around the optimal pole length. In this way it is possible to adjust the height without any telescopic system. After the holes were done, I definitely trimmed the pole 5 cm over the last hole.

This two holes system is suitable to attach simple cords, standard trekking wrist straps or specific Nordic walking wrist gloves. In the picture, you can see how the Nordic Walking gloves were fixed to the pole with some cord.

Step 5: Step 5. Finishing and Testing

Finally, I smoothed all the bamboo nodes with sand paper, and the project was done. At the end I verified that my hand made poles are very light, about 160 g, similar to carbon fiber poles. For comparison, my cheap two-pieces telescopic aluminium poles weigh 205 g.

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017