Trekking poles are a fantastic hiking companion—they help you stay balanced, save your body from abuse, and are useful for setting up ultralight shelters and tarps. Trekking poles with external locking mechanisms have the added benefits of being simple to adjust while wearing gloves and giving hikers visual confirmation that the poles are secured.
Occasional maintenance is needed to keep your trekking poles with external locks a reliable hiking partner, though; over time, locks can lose tension and fail to keep pole sections tight. Luckily, most locks are easy to adjust. Read on to learn how to maintain external locking trekking poles.
LEKI’s external locking system is called SpeedLock and comes in three versions: SpeedLock, SpeedLock 2, and SpeedLock+. While the properties between the SpeedLock systems vary, the adjustment remains the same across models. To adjust LEKI SpeedLock mechanisms:
The two external locking mechanisms Black Diamond uses on its trekking poles are FlickLock and FlickLock Pro. While there are some similarities between the two locking mechanisms, there are some differences in their adjustment.
To adjust FlickLock trekking poles:
To adjust FlickLock Pro trekking poles:
The external locking system found on Mountainsmith trekking poles is called Outerlock, or OLS. Making adjustments to the tension of Mountainsmith’s OLS is a piece of cake. To adjust OLS mechanisms:
Keep tension on the trail low with the occasional inspection of the external locking mechanisms on your trekking poles before entering the backcountry. And if your poles require a special tool to make adjustments, consider adding it to your first-aid or repair kit.
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