Paint for trekking poles?

3:17 p.m. on April 21, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Anybody got time for a silly question?

I've just ordered my first pair of trekking poles. I did my research (thanks, Trailspace!) and decided on aluminum over carbon, flicklocks over twist, cork over foam, and angled grip over straight. The Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork are all that, and only $91 at MEC (cripes these sticks get expensive! why is that?).

Except they are 'Fire Red,' a very bright and very orange red, if the pictures are accurate. It's a First World Problem (Outdoors Edition) for sure, but this will bug me. I like calm and quiet colours and I'm going to want to paint these poles if I'm looking at them all day long. I know, I told you it was silly.

I'm not worried about the warranty, because of MEC and their in-house repair service. I don't think tape or stickers would be a good idea on an often-wet telescoping pole (but tell me if I'm wrong).

So, paint? What am I not considering properly? Am I going to wreck a coating I shouldn't? Any recommendations for an aluminum paint with good scratch resistance? Not your typical outdoor-gear question, I know :) but you guys seem to know something about everything, bless your hearts.

12:32 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

I think you are dead in the water on this one. That red is hard anodized, a chemical coating that will act like no stick to about everything else. To make matters worse anything you do get to stick not very well,  will make sliding the poles sections into each other harder to do, and then the paint you add will be breaking up in little chips inside the sections, and really mung things up, until you can't push or pull the sections at all.

At best you will still see red....... i think the only choice you have would be to take these apart and send them to a platter and have them anodized in another color. The only other way would be go ahead and paint them but never collapse them again.

AND yesterday my wife fell thru the snow and bent one of hers pretty bad. After the last hike i thought the snow basket time was done. I was wrong.

I think I can straighten this one.... and these we have are far from expensive. These were made for snow shoeing, and came with cheap snow shoes while our Tubbs are in the shop getting warranty repairs.

These are my first trekking poles ever too. 

So I think you better learn to like that color. You will find the brighter color helps too, and because of the size poles are they will be invisible at a short distance.

In my slides I have a pic of my brother in a bright red down coat 10 ounces of TNF up on the rock pile, and I took the shot at some distance.

 When the picture is shown on a larger screen you still wonder why I took a featureless picture of the rock pile.

Oh well the last bit is to cancel the order and get drab colors to start with.

1:05 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
733 reviewer rep
1,381 forum posts

Islandess, Lodgepole is correct in that there is little you could or should do for these poles in terms of changing the color. They are anodized, which is a chemical and electric process that changes the surface of the metal, making it harder, though wear resistance is not that great. It is mostly done to protect aluminum from corrosion. There is no color at this stage. Then the surface can be left natural, dyed or painted. Your will be dyed, just like on I Pods. Then they are sealed. Painting is possible, but getting paint to stick would require removing the sealer and dye, another acid process. And paints will wear and are thicker than the dye, so I don't know how that would affect adjusting the poles.

Learn to live with the color, you might find that it keeps you from losing them on a dark stormy night.

7:20 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

Erich, there is thickness to anodized but not much. The coating can vary too. i would assume walking sticks to have one of the thinnest possible anodized coatings.

Machines we build here with any alloy parts we make,  are sent out to be anodized. When they come back even if we used a over size tap each threaded hole must be checked with a proper bolt and if the hole is too tight it gets tapped with a standard tap. The coating we get is either govt gray or black, and the build thickness will be about 0.0005' (inch) but that will be counted 2 times inside a circle.

Unless she is very good at magic tricks, these walking poles will remain the same color forever.

Powder coat would be my next choice but that is thicker yet... Ain't gonna happen. She must live with it, sell them, cancel them and order what else is the right color......

9:15 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Well, poop. Excuse my language. I had high hopes I could just take a fine sandpaper, rough up the coating a bit, and go at them with a can of spray paint. 

I looked at the pictures again, it's not so bad, just colour on the top portions of the top two sections. At least they'll be easy to find when I retrace my steps after walking off without them...and it'll be an advantage during hunting season too.

Thank you, gentlemen, for setting me straight!

10:13 p.m. on April 22, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

I didn't think of that..... You can do what you please with the top section.

may we have a link..... I ran a search and don't find any at that price. Tough to see them well on a google search too.

We have a store near by for over stock items and for 5 bucks i bought a single pole. it's junk and was junk when i bought it, but yesterday back up at Champney Falls I found a cane rubber tip larger than a walking stick rubber tip in the water.

I grabbed it as trash to just get it out of there. This morning i discovered it fit on the 5 dollar waking stick where I think there was a lamp/light of some sort on a 90 degree swivel.

I really have no idea what is missing from the top of this stick but there are instructions to replace batteries LOL and that 90 degree swivel.

So I spent about 15 minutes drilling a number 7 hole in the rubber end and then tapped it to be 1/4 inch by 20 threads and ran a bolt up from the inside. With a nut on the other side, the part that used to be in ground contact cut off and polished to fit any camera mount, well there it is.....

A walking stick for 5 bucks that can collapse and hold a camera in 2 places. This one's black........ wanna trade  ;-)

If you like the shots from yesterday are here and end with the bridge off it mounts.. Ice Dam got it.

7:59 a.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

This is them. I'm not sure why they're (relatively) cheap at MEC, they seem to be 109.95 everywhere in the States, even direct from BD (I did find them on sale for 89.95 somewhere). I think it's because MEC is a co-op that doesn't issue dividends to members. All the profit either goes back into the business or to educational and environmental initiatives. Their business mandate is getting people out there, not profit, so they often reduce the markup on their best-selling gear. And these are their best-selling poles.

Your pole sounds like a lucky find, somebody wants you to have a good stick. Have you tried putting batteries in? Maybe it has a turbo mode! I came very close to buying a mop handle, putting a screw in one end and wrapping foam tape around the other, but the problem of folding it up sent me shopping after all.

Still looks a lot like winter in your woods, Lodge Pole! The last few days have beaten our snow back to the shadiest places and a lot of the pack ice has melted. Next up, the iceberg show!

10:38 a.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
733 reviewer rep
1,381 forum posts

Lodgepole, yes, anodizing does have a thickness associated with it. The process increases and reacts with the natural oxide on the surface of the metal. The thin coatings are less porous, so, if a dye is used it is usually the thicker more porous coating, that should be sealed after the application of a dye. I don't doubt that the hard gray anodizing you work with is quite thick. Either way, Islandess needs to get comfortable with the color.

2:48 p.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

islandess there is just a bit of red.... leave it.... You must have maple trees that turn red in Fall and assorted other plants like labrador tea that turn red too, even witer green berry and or partridge berry....

Don't mung up a nice stick. What i found was a rubber cane end as lost and or trash in my woods.... yeah My woods and it gooes all the way to your woods too. It's mine ;-)

I was at the discount store today looking for sterno.... They didn't have any, but they had another same stick for another 5 bucks and i didn't buy that one. This one had a paper tag still and it was a led flash light gone missing..

This discount store gets over stock and damaged items that might still have some value. These are not Black Diamond Brand Sticks and far from it......

 I bought the first 2 sets with El Cheapo snow shoes... They came with the snow shoes in a cordura bag with netting even and had rubber ends and snow baskets.... Each of the 2 set i bough on steep discount we 35 bucks.

I used to down hill ski and even taught it. I still xc ski in the back country so I have used poles farther back than i can remember, but i never used poles to walk before.

The lesson my wife got Sunday falling and sticking one of her poles into snow too deep bent the pole, but not too bad. Right now that section can't collapse but i can fix that.

It was a good lesson.

The odd pole out used to have a flash light mounted where i mounted the lost cane end re-made to hold a camera. This pole has a cheap compass that won't point north ever! it is of that poorest possible Chinese quality ya know?

Maybe you don't know.. Here in the states a few Presidents back we were sold out to China. We don't make much of anything any m ore here in the USA unless the Chinese can't build it and then what I build mostly goes to china.

I buy things at deep discount to see if i may want the real thing, or i buy broken items because i can buy them at a very steep discount, from both personal sales or stores.

I have a garden too and i bought a tiller that didn't run. i was looking for a Troy Built Pony Jr that didn't run on purpose because i know i can buy something like that for a song and fix it.

I have a very nice better than new IMO 1981 XS 850 Sh Yamaha motorcycle

That i traded truck parts to the owner of a junkyard, to get the bike off a scrap heap. It didn't look like it does and of course it didn't run...

I took it all part and fixed it, then I rode it a few years until i decided to paint it and paint it i did. My wife helped with the design.

3:01 p.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

Erich, Yeah I know.... We do industrial ergo shoe machines that are sold by Exeter Scientific. These machine are used to test the closed cell foam in shoes, sneakers and assorted other materials, to pound scuff and scrap, test traction and etc etc... These are all boring black where any alloy is, and carbon steel parts get blued or blacked like a gun is.

The stainless parts are just left stainless.

The boring govt gray is use to cover parts that are going to move for a little better contrast. These may spin or reciprocate, and the lighter color is better to see.

We also send out parts to powder coat, and these colors are the same 2 colors for the most part. Carbon steel parts that might rust get powder coated. Of course powder coat is thicker than anodizing and even after using a +1 over size tap you still have to re- tap every threaded hole there is.

I can't show any of the boring machines I work on as they are all bound by legal terms and are not my intell property. It pays better than auto tech and isn't as difficult or hard on a human body. I do the parts no robot can do.

As of late there hasn't been enough work either, and i am looking for something else out doors to do PT or FT.... May even look into sale clerking at EMS for evenings and weekends for just something to do.

I can spin a wrench on a pedal bike as easily as i can a car or a motorcycle.

5:00 p.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Well, this started silly and now it's going to end silly.

The poles came and I have to send them back. It's not the colour! The grips are too big for my hands. Perils of online shopping. I don't know why I didn't think of this possibility. I should know how big my hands are by now; I've had them for years. Been wearing extra-small gloves the whole time, too.

So. I'll have to look at the women's models, maybe even youth sizes. There are a couple of pairs on the short list already, and these are blue or purple, so that'll be that solved at least. I'll have to give up on the cork option at MEC if I insist on flicklocks and an angled grip in those sizes, but I can live with that.

In summary: Nevermind! But thank you! I still learned new things, and you can't go wrong with that.

7:08 p.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

I wonder how much cork there really is........ 

Guys into fly rods and fly fishing often times power wire brush down cork grips on some elite and expensive cork fly rod grips..... Jus' sayin'..

10:39 a.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,220 forum posts

Much ado about nothing.  Sand the grips and paint the anodized finish.  It will not grip very well and may have to be touched up.  So what?  I like old ski poles for backpacking because they are cheap and they never fail.

11:12 a.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Well now you boys have me reconsidering things...I do like these poles, they're solid, compact, have four-season attachments, and the angled grip is nice. I wouldn't have to take off that much of the cork, really...and a paint job wouldn't have to be perfect, they're tools, not antique cars after Hm.

11:41 a.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

Leave the poles as they are make the corks fit your hands. That little bit of red isn't going to give you away.. There is red in nature.

If you want to sand these use a white or light color sand paper better a emery cloth and fairy rough fir the first shaping.

Any stick with a bit of rope tied on so the stick will cross both knees sitting and the rope will fall to the floor with some left over will do.

You can tie on another smaller stick to step on.

So what you do is wrap the pole no less than 3 times with the line perhaps a rag on the poles too, and then step on the stick at the ground.. That leaves the pole held tight and both hands free. The stick can be drift wood, and in some cases drift wood is the best of sticks.

The line can be cotton cloths line or split leather like a car chamois. If it is a car chamois then you would cut it in a circle about 2 inches wide after rounding the 4 corners some first.

Just round them,  and start cutting at 2 inches wide and go around and around until you have a long car chamois. I make leather thongs that way for laces and strings for lashing all the time. Little scraps can make long laces for boots that way too.

12:32 p.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

Thanks! No shortage of sandpaper and grit cloth around, so this should work. Nice way to spend yet another rainy April day, too.

10:00 a.m. on April 25, 2013 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,220 forum posts

You could also wrap some tape around the part of the finish you don't like.  It now comes in all sorts of colors.

8:20 a.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
69 reviewer rep
270 forum posts

ppine, I think you are right.

That superthin metallic mylar tape, specifically, put on in vertical strips so no overlapping. There's seems to be enough wiggle room between pole sections to do that without interfering with the telescoping. And I could always take it off again with some GooGone, so it's worth trying, for sure, before I go making a mess with paint.

(I looked at ski poles, they sure are cheaper and lighter, but I needed something to fold up for travel. I would still like to know why these things cost so damn much, looks like thirty dollars worth of materials and workmanship to me, but what do I know.)

11:21 a.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
437 forum posts

I don't know about that tape.. I am not deep into tape fixes or stickers.

In life so far i have had 3 stickers...

The first came with a Hurst Shifter for my 1967 Pontiac Firebird. That was something of a hot rod car back in the day. 400 cubic inch engine modified for more ponies somewhere in excess of 400 of them..

That stick said : "Shift as hard as you please, but don't break your arm."

The next sticker I got in around 1990 and placed it on my Liberty Bike centered to the tail light. My leather like saddle bags don't lock so this was an effort is my personal security. 

This sticker says: " A gun Society is a Polite Society"

The last sticker in life so far says "Trailspace" LOL

I think you know already i would have a hard time to justify the cost of these walking poles. Here i can get far lower quality from the discount store at 5 bucks each, and then at walmart for around 15 each or 25 a pair.

These don't have that nice cam lock device though and screw to tighten and loosen a device inside that swells up or shrinks with a wedge.

June 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Water Filter Newer: Has anyone added a vent to a rainfly?
All forums: Older: Door County WI In May Newer: FS: Tarptent Single Rainbow