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Trekking poles are a great companion on hikes. But when you need your hands free, what do you do with them? Strapping them into your backpack is the answer! There are a few ways to do this, depending on your backpack’s features. This guide will show you how to attach your trekking poles quickly and easily, using either the built-in loops on your backpack or even some creative DIY methods. Let’s get those poles secured and your hands ready for new adventures!

Different Methods for Attaching Trekking Poles

Not all backpacks are created equal, and the way you attach your trekking poles will depend on what features yours has. Here are three common methods to secure your poles for a comfortable hike:

A. Built-in Loops (Most Common Method):

This is the simplest method for backpacks with dedicated trekking pole attachment points. Here’s how:

  1. Shorten your poles to a manageable length.
  2. Locate the pole attachment loops on your backpack. These are usually on the sides or shoulder straps. Look for two loops: a bottom loop for the pole tip and a top loop for the handle.
  3. Attach the poles:
    • Slide the tip of the pole through the bottom loop.
    • Secure the handle end by pulling the elastic loop on top of it.

B. Side Pockets and Compression Straps (For Backpacks Without Loops):

If your backpack lacks dedicated loops, don’t worry! Here’s an alternative:

  1. Find a side pocket large enough to comfortably hold your poles.
  2. Slide the pole handles down into the pocket.
  3. Use the compression straps on the backpack to secure the poles in place. This keeps them from bouncing around.

C. DIY Methods (For Extra Flexibility):

For a more personalized approach, you can try these DIY methods:

  1. Bungee Cords: Attach bungee cords with cord locks to your backpack straps or hip belt.
    • Loop the bottom bungee cord around the pole tip.
    • Use the top bungee cord to secure the handle end.
  2. Carabiners (not recommended for heavy poles): Clip carabiners to your backpack straps. However, this method requires caution. Ensure a secure connection by attaching the poles to the carabiners with loops or straps. Remember, carabiners are not ideal for heavy poles.

Additional Tips for Trekking Pole Attachment

Now that you know the different attachment methods, here are some extra pointers for a smooth hiking experience:

  • Match the method to your backpack and style: Choose the option that best suits your backpack’s features and your personal preference. For quick access, side loops might be ideal. If you prefer a cleaner look, consider bungee cords.
  • Security is key: Ensure your poles are securely attached to avoid them swinging or falling off. A loose pole can be a tripping hazard or get damaged on the trail.
  • Practice makes perfect: Before your hike, take some time to practice attaching and detaching your poles using your chosen method. This ensures a smooth transition when you need to switch between using and storing them.
  • Mind the length: Consider the collapsed length of your poles when attaching them. They shouldn’t stick out too far and snag on branches or rocks.


No matter your backpack or hiking style, there’s a way to keep your trekking poles conveniently out of the way when not in use. With the methods outlined here – built-in loops, side pockets with compression straps, or even DIY options – you can choose the approach that best suits your needs. Remember, a secure and accessible attachment is key for a comfortable and enjoyable hike. With your poles tucked away neatly, you’re all set to conquer any trail that comes your way!