For those people who use walking poles linked together as a shelter support, the main issue has always been finding a simple and effective system which is quick, easy and reliable.
A system which will require minimal fuss or time, especially when the weather is against you and all you want to do is shelter away from it as soon as possible. Numerous people have tried various methods using cords, straps, velcro and luck, but these are never quick, simple or reliable in a storm.
There are various kinds of walking pole adjustment systems on the market. One is the traditional ‘twist lock’ system and the other is the newer flick lock’ system.
The ‘twist lock’ system uses an ‘expander’ attached to a pole. This is then slid inside a larger tube and when twisted ‘expands’ to lock the two sections together. For people looking for a solution for linking ‘twist lock’ poles together please see our two products 14mm expander (for the standard 14/16/18mm poles) and 16mm tube (for the slimmer 12/14/16mm poles) .
The newer ‘flick lock’ systems use a different technique where the ‘locking system’ is attached to the larger section and when a smaller pole is inserted and adjusted to the right length, the ‘lock’ is ‘flicked on’ and the grip is applied ‘onto’ the smaller section.
It has taken me 12 months of design and experimentation to produce this ‘Missing Link’ to work specifically with Flick Lock poles from various manufacturers which use a 12mm section as the lower pole.
Each manufacturer has slightly different tolerances on the lower pole. Which is usually somewhere between 12mm and 11.8mm. This is why every ‘flick lock’ pole has a small adjuster on the ‘lock’ which can be a screw, thumb wheel or similar. You have no doubt adjusted yours to grip each section as you wish. Therefore if you remove the lower pole section, you will NOT want to ‘readjust’ the thumb wheel when using this link.
Therefore the Missing Link is carefully tapered from 11.8mm to 12.2mm to allow for most pole adjustments to remain untouched and for your pole to slide on, then grip, before you ‘flick’ the ‘lock’ closed. (See photo)
Each tapered section is 100mm, which allows for a minimum of 50mm over lap for maximum strength. Therefore your pole lock should grip somewhere on the remaining 51-100mm before the central flat ridge section.
Due to the nature of the aluminium tube and the CNC’d taper, the result is a linking section which will not bend or buckle and which weighs a very respectable 66gms.
The Missing Link is another product designed and manufacture in the UK by backpackinglight.co.uk
Please be aware that there are various different ‘flick lock’ pole diameters on the market. To ensure yours will fit remove the lower section of your pole and wrap a small piece of paper around the thickest solid part of the pole nearest the plastic cap. Mark the paper with a crease or your fingernail, unfold and measure the gap between the two marks. If it is close to 38mm, then the Missing Link will replace your lower section correctly.