Get a Grip!

About 2 weeks ago, I wrote a post on Waterproofing Your Backpack. In that post, I mentioned Rust-Oleum Leak Seal Flexible Rubber Sealant to waterproof the bottom of the pack. In this post, I am going to show you another way I put this miracle stuff to use…

Midway through the winter season, I dropped into my local REI in Cranston, RI. While I was in there picking up some odds and ends, I wandered over to the “Ice Axe Section”, and saw they had a Petzl Snowalker 60, and as luck would have it, I was looking at that axe along with a few others. As even more luck would have it, it was on sale for about a buck a centimeter, so I walked out of there with a $90 axe for $60. I was pretty pumped and possibly, even purportedly pickled pink.

I liked that this had a leash, was lightweight, and it was cheap. Three things that worked well for me. One thing I did not like however, was it did not have a grip. I also knew however, I had a can of the Rust-Oleum rubber sealant at home which I used on my pack, so, I knew I could fashion a durable and comfortable grip, and, no worries if anything happens to it, I could always replace it!

Used to play hockey back when I was a youngin’, so the taping skills there still stayed with me. I used some Gorilla Duct Tape, and made a subtle hilt on either end to stop movement of the hand on the grip, as well as a surface for the rubber to bond to.


Next, I taped her up, and let it go. I did two or three coats to get it as even as possible. This stuff sprays like… you are spraying rubber. It does not have the consistency of paint, so it is tough to get it factory smooth, but, it does indeed get the job done!


I did one side a day, as it needs to cure for a few hours, 24 was more than sufficient. It does build up quick, so, you need some skill applying it (which I did not have!).


The finished, and still curing product above.

NOTE: Try to use this all at once on a few projects. Rubber cures in the innards of the nozzle, and will block it up.

So, there you have it. Was able to customize this easily to my needs, with a bit of ozone destroying* aerosol rubber.

*This mostly affected my lungs as well as my mental state for the next couple of hours, and not so much the ozone, I absorbed most of it! DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE! You review the before/after brain cell count if you’d like evidence. I’d think it might be useful to skim the instructions first, before use.


3 thoughts on “Get a Grip!

  1. I’ve been using a Snow Walker for a couple years. It’s a good ice axe. Don’t trust the leash for much, though. Most people tend to buy a length of webbing and make their own leash, sized to their needs, and drastically more secure.

    What does someone in Rhode Island need with an ice axe…?

    • Good call on the leash… I think I have a new project for my axe. And no, it’s not for hiking around RI, but, winter hiking in states with larger mountains with snow… VT, NH, and ME are relatively short drives from Massachusetts.

      • I thought maybe you wanted to tackle the Boston Glacier. 😉

        Does the snow in northern New England get hard enough for an axe to be of use? (I’m assuming your plan is to use it for self-arrest, as opposed to as a heavy tent stake?)

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