Collapsable Trekking Poles With a Plus




Introduction: Collapsable Trekking Poles With a Plus

About: Alan Walker a.k.a. "The Toolman" has been creative and worked with his hands all of his life. He has been employed in a wide variety of industries including a museum, a major power tool manufacturer, a natio...

I've always been intrigued with the idea of a survival walking stick or pole but the weight of all the possible components discouraged me. When I came across a cheap tripod at a thrift store recently, I got the idea of making collapsible trekking poles instead.

By combining the tripod legs, which collapsed and PVC pipe and threaded couplings, I could create a design that had lots of versatility. A value that I thrive on.

Step 1: Design and Use Criteria:


  • Adjustable to my height
  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible
  • Sturdy
  • Different grips and tips
  • Multiple uses


  • Trekking pole
  • Tent pole
  • Tent stake
  • Fishing pole
  • Fishing kit (inside handle)
  • Defensive weapon (spear)
  • Pack support
  • Depth gauge
  • Flag pole
  • Signal device
  • Laundry stick
  • Splint
  • Crutches
  • Animal deterrent
  • Camera support (selfie)
  • Pick up trash
  • Hat rack
  • Arm extension
  • Duct tape dispenser

Step 2: Materials and Tools

Materials for a Pair:

  • 4 1/2" PVC threaded caps
  • 2 1" black rubber cane tips
  • 6 1/2' threaded couplings
  • 18" piece of 1/2" PVC pipe
  • 4 1/2" non-thread couplings
  • 6' of 550 Para-cord
  • 2 2-1/2"x 5/16" carriage bolts
  • 2 5/16" nuts
  • 2 5/16" lock washers
  • 1 can rubber grip spray
  • Handful of 1/8" pop rivets
  • 1 can camo paint
  • 2 1"x 8-32 round head machine bolts and nuts
  • PVC solvent
  • Silicone adhesive


  • 1/4"x 18" steel rod (spear)
  • 2 5/16" "T" nuts
  • Small Can of Bondo


  • Hack Saw
  • Files
  • Drill and Bits
  • Wrench Set
  • Pliers
  • Sandpaper
  • Pop Rivet Gun
  • Utility Knife

Step 3: Assembly

Step 1:

  • Disassemble the legs from the tripod. You'll have 3 but only need 2.

Step 2.

  • Start cutting the PVC as noted in the drawing supplied.

Step 3:

  • Assemble all the pieces without gluing to make sure everything fits.

Step 4:

  • Glue up the sections as shown in the drawing. Attach the machine screws where indicated.

Step 5:

  • (Optional) If you are choosing the handle with the spear, you'll need to pre fit everything before filling the PVC pipe with Bondo as it dries very fast. While still wet insert the steel rod and let it dry. Drill 2 holes and insert the 2 pins (small finish nails) for extra strength.

Step 6:

  • Wrap and glue the para-cord around the outside of the handle.

Step 7:

  • Mask unpainted parts and spray the handle section with the rubber grip spray.

Step 8:

  • Mask and spray the camo paint on the other sections and let dry.

Step 9:

  • Assemble the tips and handles as shown in the drawing.

Step 10:

  • Once everything is dry, assemble all the sections and you're done. Don't forget the hand strap made from some extra para-cord.

Step 4: Different Configurations

Here are some photos of the different tips that can be mounted on either end.

The top can accept a rubber tip or a "T" bar handle

The lower end can receive a rubber tip or a pointed tip.

Step 5: Spear Option

If you choose, you can elect to build a spear that fits into the handle.

The clear plastic tube around the spear shaft helps keep it from rattling inside.

Step 6: Detailed Drawing

Here's a PDF of the construction.

Feel free to download and print to help you make your own.

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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago

    So the tripod shafts you found were 1/2 " I assume.


    Reply 4 years ago

    sort of. what ever diameter that will fit inside a piece of 1/2" pvc.


    4 years ago

    Well done :)


    Reply 4 years ago



    4 years ago

    Would like to build this (right foot broken) would you be more specific on the tripod? Thanks!


    Reply 4 years ago

    I'm not sure of the model number but it's a Slik brand with sort of round legs. It probably doesn't make any difference. The most important thing is the lever lock. Make sure you can put your weight on it and it doesn't slide closed. Good luck.


    4 years ago

    Pretty clever.


    Reply 4 years ago