Trekking poles can be a hiker’s best friend out there in the wilderness. These are multi-purpose instruments that everyone should consider. They can reduce the stress on joints, help out when hiking up steep inclines, provide balance on gnarly terrain, prop up a tent, shoo dangerous animals, and many more. Here are some tips if you are buying poles for the first time:
Always Buy a Pair of Poles
They are usually sold individually so you can get a single piece to try out on a hike. However, it really is best to purchase a pair since you can never be sure when stocks will run out. It would be difficult to use non-matching poles in the future due to lack of foresight. The feel will be different and it would be hard to get a good balance. You will need to use two on longer hikes anyway so better get a pair while you can.
Mind the Weight for Long Hikes
The thing about poles is that although they make the journey easier on your legs, they transfer the load to your arms. You need to have a pretty solid upper body so that you will not ache after constantly carrying these pieces all day. They may seem light but the repetitive motion does take its toll. Find the lightest ones you can afford. Those made of carbon fiber and similar materials are worth their price.
Find Out the Range of Lengths
Most poles are height-adjustable. The majority of hikers will have no trouble setting things up to a comfortable length. Those who are on the opposite extremes when it comes to height might want to check out the specifications just to make sure that they are buying the right poles. This is even more critical when getting collapsible pole which are non-adjustable.
Get a Suitable Basket
The attachment near the end of the poles is there to keep them from submerging deep into mud and snow. Winter hiking will require a basket of larger diameter.
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