How To Attach Trekking Pole To Backpack (Steps To Avoid Damage)

man wearing a backpack and holding trekking poles

Young and seasoned hikers alike are turning to trekking poles for their travels.

These adjustable walking sticks are a handy tool on the trail, with many benefits. But do you really need another item to carry?  

In this guide, we'll discuss how to attach trekking poles to backpacks of various styles easily.

In fact, there's a good chance that your hiking backpack is already equipped for this accessory.  

Why Do Hikers Bring Trekking Poles With Them?

Trekking poles are a more advanced form of walking stick. They are typically sold and used in pairs – one for each hand – and can retract down to smaller sizes, making them quite travel-friendly.

Most trekking poles are made from aluminum or carbon fiber and are extremely lightweight. 

These poles aren’t just an accessory to make you look like a serious hiker. 

There are many benefits of using a trekking pole, including: 

hiker climbing a mountain with trekking poles
  • Added Stability On Various Types Of Terrain
    No, you cannot use the ski poles hanging in your garage. Ski poles are flexible, and trekking poles are strong and firm, meant to give you extra stability. Depending on what type of terrain you’re crossing, you may find that adjusting your trekking pole slightly is helpful. 
  • Knee Protection
    Trekking poles allow your upper body to do some of the work and remove the stress from your knees. 
  • Increase Endurance
    If you are traveling a long distance, a trekking pole can not only help you stay balanced and focused, but the rhythmic use can also help increase your speed and endurance. 
  • Helps Posture
    Trekking poles naturally help you stand up straighter, which, when hiking with a large backpack, helps both your muscles and your breathing. They will help your posture so that you can avoid unnecessary back pain.

How To Attach Trekking Pole To Backpack (Proper Placement To Avoid Damage) 

1. Using Trekking Pole Loops

teton sports hiker 3700 backpack

Many hiking backpacks, such as Teton hiking backpacks, have loops and bungees put especially in place for holding trekking poles. 

These might be advertised as "attachment points" because you can use them for various different hiking items. You can locate them on either side of the backpack, towards the bottom and the top. 

You want to insert your trekking pole vertically so that the point is facing down and the handle sits at the top. The shape of the trekking pole is designed in a way that will naturally allow it to sit in the loop without falling through. You should be able to secure or tighten the loops around the handles. 

2. Use The Side Pockets

If you’re carrying a more basic backpack, you may have to use the backpack's side pockets or water bottle holders to store your trekking poles. The most important thing here is to make sure that your trekking poles are stored in their smallest folded-down state.  

Which end you keep in the pockets is up to you. You may choose to put the handle side down into the pockets because the points could have the opportunity to damage your bag. On the other hand, you don't necessarily want the ends sticking up into the open, either.  

However you choose to store your trekking poles in the side pockets, I recommend putting trekking pole caps on your poles to protect you and your bag. They are pretty cheap and usually come in packs of multiples.   

3. Use The Compression Straps

In many cases, you can use the compression straps on your hiking backpack to attach your trekking poles. Simple insert your poles and tighten the straps as necessary until they are completely secure. 

4. Use The Top Carry

Should all else fail, nearly all backpacks have a top carry handle that you can use to attach your trekking poles. To do this, you may need to use some small tie-down bungee cords made for hiking in order to keep your poles secure.

Attaching Trekking Poles To Your Favorite Backpack Brand

To Osprey Backpacks

Osprey backpacks are a favorite among hikers for their versatility and easy-to-use features. Many Osprey backpacks have trekking pole holders built right to the pack that include small insert loops for the bottom of the poles, and straps to hold them in. This makes it both easy to access your trekking poles while you’re wearing your backpack, and the attachments are hardly noticeable when you’re using the backpack for other activities.  

osprey backpack with trekking poles attached

To Gregory Backpacks 

If you’re wondering how to attach trekking poles to a Gregory backpack, it’s fairly straightforward.

Most of their packs, including the Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 40 Liter Men’s Hiking Backpack, have two small loops on the side that are made fold holding folded down trekking poles.

The tops can be secured with the small attached bungee cords.  

gregory backpack with trekking poles attached

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the difference between a walking pole and a trekking pole?  

A walking pole (sometimes called a walking staff) is usually a heavy material such as an old branch. Trekking poles work similarly but are often made of lighter weight materials, used in pairs, and are adjustable. This makes trekking poles better for taking on long hikes and also more suitable if you’ll be crossing multiple types of terrain.  

What size of a trekking pole fits inside a backpack? 

When shopping for a trekking pole, you want to may sure that you are purchasing first for your height, not whether or not the pole will fit in your backpack. In most cases, you will need to attach the trekking pole to the outside of your backpack using the methods we've shown in this article.  

Do trekking poles damage your backpack? 

A pole securely attached to your backpack will likely not cause any damage to the bag. The real concern is if you shove them in your bag and they shift around, scraping the insides and potentially poking holes 

Can you attach a trekking pole to any regular backpack? 

Using the techniques in this article, yes! There are several creative ways to attach a trekking pole to a regular backpack.  

Can you attach both a trekking pole and sleeping bag to a backpack? 

Yes, using the attachment points on your hiking backpack, you can definitely carry both a sleeping bag and a trekking pole on your backpack. Just ensure that the trekking pole’s points aren’t rubbing up against your backpack as you walk. This could lead to tears or further damage to your sleeping bag.  


You want to be prepared for your next hiking trip, but do you really need another accessory? Don’t leave your trekking poles home on our account. We’ve shown you several ways to attach hiking poles to hiking backpacks. All that’s left to do is to hit the trails! 

  • Updated November 7, 2021