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I have trekking poles that I need to store in my back pack for air travel. However, the manual says for long term storage -- in my case, possibly days to a few weeks before I need to use them -- the locking mechanism should be opened/unlocked. But if I do this and put it in my bag, I'm afraid that the lock will catch something in side my bag or get damaged as it's going through the infinite maze of airport baggage.

I'm also not quite sure how to prevent the tips from damaging anything else. For now, I've just duct taped them.

So how do I store them?

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Lock them, do not worry about it. :-) –  ppl Oct 12 '13 at 5:06
    
Put them in a carrier bag? –  stevemarvell Oct 13 '13 at 0:51
    
I was stuck in a similar situation with my trekking pole. I just tucked them in near the back support and duct taped the tip! –  Unsung Oct 23 '13 at 5:54
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1 Answer

You can fully collapse the poles inside your bag and lock them with no problem.

There are dozens of different locking mechanisms, but most operate the principle of friction*: either twisting an internal screw forces wedges apart, or flicking shut an external lever squeezes the outside tube down on the inside one. The manufacturer is worried that using this friction unecessarily will cause it to wear out sooner.

Two thoughts:

  1. It sounds like you have flick-lock poles (that compress the outside tube). Most of those you can tighten or loosen the flick lock by twisting it. This allows you to keep adding more pressure as the metal fatigues when the poles age. If you can, try loosening that micro-adjust before locking everything down for travel.

  2. Regardless, leaving them locked for a few days while traveling won't hurt them. If it does, then you should probably invest in higher-quality poles. (Remember, these should last for many months and thousands of miles of hiking... a few days of storage won't hurt them).

ProTip: place the poles as close to the rigid back-stays on the inside of your pack as you can -- this will help protect them from being bent or crushed during baggage handling.


*Sidebar: If you can find a pair of the button-hole locks that don't rely on friction, get them! They will never fail unexpectedly.

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I just stuff them right in my pack and toss it at the baggage handlers. No problems for many, many trips. For going into/out of a town for resupply, I will collapse them and strap them onto the outside of my pack. –  Michael Hampton Oct 26 '13 at 2:43
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