Trekking poles are standard equipment for trekkers, backpackers, snowshoers, hikers and walkers. The reason why they use these poles is that trekking poles enhance their stability and they provide support on different types of terrain.
You should know that these poles will not decrease your energy expenditure because you will be using your arms when you are using these poles. This is not like when you are walking without a trekking pole. The good thing is that a hiking pole distributes your energy usage. This helps with your hiking endurance.
The following are the tips for picking the best trekking poles.
Pick a trekking pole that is adjustable. A good trekking pole should be adjustable to enhance your stability when walking on different terrain. Most of these poles adjust from 24 inches to 55 inches long. You can shorten the pole when you are climbing a hill and lengthen it when you are going downhill.
2: Shock-absorbing Trekking Poles
Shock-absorbing poles offer springs, which absorb shock when you are walking down a hill. You can turn this feature off when you do not need it. For example, you can turn it off when you are climbing a hill. Shock absorption is recommended for those people who have damaged or weak knees, hips or ankles. This may add a bit to the cost of the pole, but know that it is worth it.
3: Standard Poles
These poles are lighter and less expensive because they do not have shock-absorbing feature. Standard poles may not absorb a lot of impacts when you are walking downhill, but they provide the same balance as the shock-absorbing trekking poles.
4: Ultralight Poles
The advantage of ultralight poles is that they are very light, so it is easier to move them when you are walking. If you are going for a long hike, then you won’t get tired easily carrying this pole. They are easier to pack. You don’t have to carry a heavy trekking pole when you can get an ultralight trekking pole.
5: Camera Mount
There are some trekking poles that have a built-in camera that is mount under the handle. This enables the pole to be used as a monopod.
6: Materials Used
The material that is used to make the pole determines the overall weight and cost of a trekking pole. Here are some of the materials used to make trekking poles.
Aluminum – They are more durable and cheap. Poles made from aluminum weigh between eighteen and twenty-two ounces per pair. The actual price and weight vary a little bit based on the pole’s gauge. Aluminum can bend, but won’t break easily under high stress.
Carbon fiber – They are lighter, but they are expensive. Carbon fiber poles average between thirteen and eighteen ounces per pair. These poles are good for reducing vibration; however, they can break easily under high stress. You should take them if you are planning to hike in remote and rugged areas.
7: Grip Materials
Grip materials used is an important consideration.
Cork – It resists moisture from hands, which are sweating, it conforms to the shape of the hand, and it decreases vibration.
Foam – Foam is the softest to the touch, and it absorbs moisture from your hands when they are sweating.
Rubber – It insulates your hands from vibration, cold, and shock, so it is good for cold-weather activities. But it is not suitable for warm-weather hiking because it can blister or chafe sweaty hands.
These are the factors you should consider when you are searching for the best trekking poles. Make sure that you are buying a trekking pole that is light and that you can afford. You can use the tips above to make the right decision.