Tuning your Trekker’s Friend for best performance

Once you are familiar with setting up your Trekker’s Friend you might want to check over this page to tune it to give you the most advantages. While it is a simple device, there are many possible ways to adjust and use it.

Take the weight off

The most important aspect of the Trekker’s Friend is its ability to take the load of your backpack off your body. You can maximise this by using the daypack to balance the load of your backpack. You do this by:

    • Putting small heavy items in the daypack and in the bottom of your backpack, and lighter items towards the top of your backpack
    • Moving the daypack down towards the axle (only possible in version 3.3 and later) – see here for more information on this
    • In the picture, while the backpack weighs around 20 kg I only have around 2 kg on my body.

    If you put too much weight in the daypack it can take the weight off your body completely. While this sounds good, it actually makes the load difficult to manage. It is best to adjust the balance so that you have about 2kg of weight on your body.

    Height of the pole tops

    The best height for the trekking pole grips seems to be at the height of the palms of your hands. This means you can easily grasp the trekking pole handles if you want to, for example to steady it when going down a steep slope.

    You can adjust this with:

    • Your shoulder straps, and
    • The straps on your trekking poles.

    Distance between pole tops

    I adjust the distance between the tops of the poles so that my body comfortably fits between them, with some space to spare. This can be done by moving the top piece up or down. I normally have the top piece around 55 cm from the axle, which means that the tops of the hiking poles are 61 cm apart. As shown in the photo, moving the top piece down so it is 48 cm from the axle, the distance between the tops of the hiking poles increases to 66 cm.

    Changing the size of the top piece also changes the distance between the pole tops. More information can be found about this here.

    Shoulder straps

    The cord that ties the shoulder straps together can be moved up and down the shoulder straps using the ladder arrangement. Choose a spot for it so that it prevents the shoulder straps from falling off your shoulders when they are fairly loose.

    This allows you to put the weight on the waist belt and loosen the shoulder straps.

    Weight distribution

    Experiment with configurations of the waist belt and shoulder straps. Sometimes have all the weight on the waist belt and loosen the shoulder straps or even remove them completely; sometimes have all the weight on the shoulder straps and loosen or undo the waist belt completely, as shown.


    Finally, don’t forget to maintain your Trekker’s Friend as described here!