Ski season is around the corner, and while everyone is going “gear crazy,” we’ve decided to make our gear crazy. Move over South American ski edits, it’s time for another installment of Hack Your Gear, the semi-regular column dedicated to making the most of your gear.
This week we’re combining two of our favorite pastimes—skiing and drinking—as we turn our ski poles into personal beverage carriers. Flasks are cool, but ninja flasks hidden in plain sight? Now that’s a winning candidate.
“Sometimes, when you’re just standing around, or it’s raining on the lift, a ski pole flask is just a way to make everyone feel good again,” says POWDER Editor John Clary Davies, who used a pole flask to survive a Siberian winter (read more in the September Issue). “Plus, poles are about as utilitarian as they come. Why not add to their utility by putting booze inside?”
While Leki and a couple ski novelty companies have marketed their own versions of the pole flask, it’s possible to make them at home and save $100 for…like…socks? Seriously, buy some new socks.
OK, now let’s get flaskin’.
Tools: Ski pole, 2 feet of 1/2-inch diameter clear plastic tubing, 1/2 inch plastic plug, heat gun, multi-tool, power drill with 1/2-inch-sized bit, Phillips screwdriver, plastic epoxy, travel shampoo bottle.
1. Remove the pole grip from the ski pole (usually twists off, but might require a little soak in some hot water to loosen it up). Then take off the pole strap with the screwdriver.
2. Using a clamp to hold the handle in place, drill a 1/2-inch hole through the top of the grip and feed the tube up through the hole. Use your multi-tool to clean out any debris, and make sure the hole is a little bigger than the plastic tubing.
3. After sizing up how much tube you can fit (or want) in your pole, make sure the bottom of the tube is even, heat with the blow dryer, and insert the plug. If plug isn’t flush enough to keep liquid from leaking, seal with epoxy or hot glue (an educated DIY-er would then test the seal with something cheap, like water, or Burnett’s).
4. Making sure the top of your travel shampoo bottle is a little bigger than the plastic tubing diameter, cut the neck of the bottle and push the tubing into the neck (Tip: Use some of that shampoo to lube up the outside of the tube). Use heat where necessary to make the fit secure.
5. Though Fireball will erode the epoxy like it’s eroded your dignity, add any other liquor of choice, screw on the bottle cap, and go show off your new stick.
6. For those that believe in symmetry, repeat steps 1-6 on your other pole for maximum results.
That’s it for another gripping installment of Hack Your Gear. Have a hack you think we’re missing? With ski season around the corner, submit your hack to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on Powder.com and a wicked lift-line high five.