Hiking poles are a massive asset when you are hiking. They can help you with stability, which can be really handy if you aren’t great on your feet! Of course, it’s really important that your hiking pole is also comfortable, rather than buying the first thing that you see on Amazon.
Now, there are a lot of things that you need to think about when buying a hiking pole. One thing is the height of the pole, and using a trekking pole height calculator can often be beneficial for this. Of course, that’s not the only thing that you need to think about either. With that in mind, here’s your guide to how to choose the right hiking pole for you.
Getting the size right is one of the most important things that you can do when you are trying to use a hiking pole. Thankfully though getting the right height usually isn’t too difficult. Ultimately you just need to ensure that when you are using the pole, your arm is at a 90-degree angle. It’s a lot like ski poles in that respect. You can use a trekking pole height calculator to help you to find the right height too, which will make it a lot easier for you. Some hiking poles can also be adjustable, so it’s worth thinking about getting an adjustable option too.
The grip is also important to think about. When you are hiking, you need to make sure that you are making the experience as comfortable as possible, and the grip on your hiking pole can play a large role in this. There are a few types available – plastic, foam, and cork grips. Plastic grips are usually the kinds that you will find on your most basic poles. Foam poles are designed to be more ergonomic and are more comfortable for your hands in particular. Finally, people often like cork grips because they feel good and they are great for wicking moisture away from your hands as they get sweaty from the exercise. It’s up to you which one you choose.
Do you want a pole that can be adjusted? If not, then you can simply go for a single-piece pole. These are usually quite stiff and lightweight but the lack of adjustability options may be off-putting to some people. Alternatively, you can also get hiking poles with a lot more adjustment options. 2 piece poles are usually telescopic, allowing you to adjust them yet they are still rather rigid. You can find 3 piece telescopic poles quite easily too, and you can fold these down when you aren’t using them. Finally, there are z folding plates that you can use too, where all of the parts of the pole are linked together using a cord.
It’s always worth looking for a hiking pole that has straps attached to it since it can give your hands a lot of relief which is definitely going to be needed when you are hiking. There are a few straps available too. You can get the most basic straps – these are nothing special, but they are usually adjustable. You can also get slightly more advanced versions where there are a lot of thicknesses and widths available for the sake of your comfort. Finally, you can have releasable straps that will let you take the pole out of your hand in a flash but you won’t have to manually pull your hand out of the strap itself. This is a feature you may often find in ski poles or trail running poles too.
It’s worth looking for a hiking pole that has a steel or carbide tip. This is because they are usually the best for traction, no matter what environment you are hiking in. They are even suitable on ice. Your tips will last a lot longer if you have rubber tip protectors too, which is ideal if you don’t want to be replacing your poles every single year. If you are going to be walking on asphalt or on other surfaces that are particularly hard then it’s worth getting angled rubber walking tips that you can use too.
Buying the right hiking pole doesn’t have to be a difficult task! It can be a bit confusing if you have never bought a hiking pole before, but if you follow the guidelines above you are sure to find the right option in no time.
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