A common hiking gear accessory is the trekking pole, also known as a hiking pole. Trekking poles are generally used to provide stability on uneven terrain and to assist walkers with the rhythm of the walk. They can also be used to probe the depth of water, and to assist narrow crossings. Many hikers and backpackers consider the trekking pole to be standard equipment. Now let’s learn more about how to choose a trekking pole.
Most trekking poles are sold in pairs and have adjustable lengths. The lengths can be adjusted from about 24 to 55 inches long. You’ll want to shorten the poles when traveling uphill, and lengthen them when traveling downhill. There are four different locking mechanisms that are used to secure the length of the pole after you adjust the length. There is an external lever lock, a push button lock, and a twist lock. Some trekking poles use a combination of the locks for better balance and ease of use. A feature of some poles is that they can be shock absorbing. These poles have internal springs that absorb the shock. This feature can be turned off on some poles, and you can obtain poles that do not have this feature. You can also obtain trekking poles that are ultralight, meaning they weigh less than a pound per pair.
The shaft of the trekking pole can be either aluminum or carbon fiber. The aluminum poles can bend but usually don’t break, where a carbon fiber pole could break under high stress. The grips for trekking poles can be rubber, cork, or foam. Rubber grips are suitable for cold weather hiking, where the cork or foam grips are more suitable warm weather hiking. Most poles have wrist straps that can be adjustable for a better fit. The pole tips can be made from carbide or steel and are commonly used for traction. There are rubber tips protectors available to minimize wear and for usage in sensitive areas. Also, trekking poles usually include a small removable trekking basket that attaches at the tip end of the pole. Now that you have learned how to choose a trekking pole, you can go ahead and get a pair for your next hiking adventure.
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