Did you know that the use of trekking poles allows the hiker a greater consumption of calories in addition to preventing high blood pressure? Surely, we have just discovered two of the benefits derived from the use of trekking poles in the mountains. If you are planning a long route, do not hesitate. The longer your walk, the more performance you will get.
The cane helps that weight and effort do not fall solely on the legs, thus minimizing the risk of injury. Despite being widely criticized, the trekking pole is gaining many followers. More and more trekkers and mountaineers do not hesitate to have this accessory, already essential, in their backpacks.
The most important
- Trekking poles distribute both our weight and the weight we carry in the backpack throughout the body, thus avoiding overloading the legs.
- There are several types of poles, although telescopic are the most popular.
- Before buying some trekking poles, you should study their weight, length, grip and closing mechanism.
The best trekking poles on the market: our favorites
Trekking poles have become an essential tool for any activity related to the mountain. Next, we show you the most outstanding ones on the market. Some are lighter than others, made of aluminum alloy or carbon fiber. Do you already know which one best suits your needs?
- Canes trekking ultralight and very resistant
- Canes trekking mechanism with anti-shock
- Canes trekking carbon fiber
- Aluminum and carbon fiber trekking poles
- Canes trekking high quality and very resistant to wear
Canes trekking ultralight and very resistant
These trekking poles are made of 7075 aeronautical quality aluminum alloy, so they are very resistant. They are ultralight (280 g) and show great strength against impacts.
Its length is adjustable, reaching from 105 cm to 125 cm. The ergonomic EVA foam handle absorbs moisture and sweat, thus preventing our hand from slipping. The wrist strap provides additional stability as well as being adjustable.
Canes trekking mechanism with anti-shock
These poles turn out to be very light and strong due to the durable aluminum alloy of the shaft. The locking system is carried out by twisting and is very quick and easy to carry out. Anti-shock mechanism reduces stress on knees, thighs, shoulders and back.
Ergonomic TRD foam handles and adjustable wrist straps. They include the anti-shock mechanism , which facilitates the folding of the tip when it comes into contact with the ground.
Canes trekking carbon fiber
Each stick weighs 200 g, the equivalent of a mobile phone. Made of carbon fiber, these trekking poles are highly resistant to impacts. The length when folded (62 cm) makes both its storage and transport very comfortable.
Its height is adjustable up to a maximum of 135 cm. The ergonomic handle is made of high intensity EVA, so comfort is assured.
Aluminum and carbon fiber trekking poles
Light and resistant, these trekking poles are of high quality due to the mixture of aluminum and carbon fiber used in their manufacture. The EVA foam handle has an ergonomic shape that adapts correctly to the grip of the hands. In addition, it absorbs moisture and sweat from your hands.
Its length is adjustable (115 cm – 135 cm) and it is easily locked. This item includes rosettes for mud or sand, rosettes for snow and rubber protector for stone.
Canes trekking high quality and very resistant to wear
These trekking poles stand out for their quality, as they are made of 7075 aluminum alloy. In addition, the handle is made of EVA and the handles are made of cork. The adjustable length (110 cm – 125 cm) is ideal for trekkers with a height between 159 – 197 cm.
The sections of these trekking poles are connected by a very wear-resistant steel cable, which allows it to be folded into three parts until it is only 40 cm long.
Shopping guide: What you should know about the trekking pole
In this shopping guide we are going to discover everything about the trekking pole . If you don’t know how to use it, adjust it correctly and carry out maintenance, stay! You are going to learn a lot of things that will be of great help when deciding on one or another type of cane. We are also going to talk to you about the land where its use is not recommended.
What is the trekking pole ?
What parts is the trekking pole made of ?
The trekking pole is made up of several parts that, made with different technologies, allow it to be blocked. As a general rule, all canes are made up of the same elements, although in certain cases they may vary from one type to another. Next, we are going to tell you what the trekking pole is made of :
- Handle: It can be made of different materials such as plastic, foam, rubber or even cork. They are of different sizes and shapes. Ergonomic grips are usually the most comfortable. It is recommended that the surface of the grip is somewhat rough. Those made of plastic are not recommended, as they can cause problems with sweaty hands. There are some poles with an extended grip, which allow you to change your hand position on long slopes.
- Dragonera: It is the tape that is tied to the wrist in order to grip the cane with more security so that it does not escape us. You must bear in mind that the adjustment of the leash should not restrict the movements of your wrist.
- Telescopic sections: They form the body of the cane divided into several parts. Normally, the poles are divided into 2 and 3 sections made of aluminum or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber poles are much lighter and absorb vibrations very well, although they are less resistant than aluminum ones. Each section is a little narrower than the one above to favor its folding and optimal height adjustment.
- Locking mechanisms: These are the fasteners or assemblies that allow you to adjust the length of the pole and keep the sections securely attached. We recommend looking for quality locking mechanisms, as they are often the first item to break.
- Rosettes: To give you an idea, they are like a kind of plastic basket located at the top of the tip. Smaller diameter rosettes are suitable for summer as they prevent the tip from getting caught in roots and rocks. The large ones are the most recommended for snow.
- Tips: It is the part of the cane that is in continuous contact with the ground. As a general rule, they are made of tungsten (chemical element) to guarantee maximum durability. Today, trekking poles usually have interchangeable tips. Very sharp tips can scar rocks and are therefore not recommended. Avoid inserting the tips between the stones at all times, as they could be damaged.
- Contreras: This is an accessory that protects the toe and favors a soft footprint. It is usually made of rubber and rubber, so it tends to have a lower grip. They are used exclusively for marching.
- Regatón: It is the part where the tip is housed. They are usually made of interchangeable plastic.
- Mechanism anti-shock : This mechanism is not incorporated in all poles. These are shock absorbers or other elastic materials that cause the tip to fold every time we hit the pole against the ground. The anti-shock system adds weight to the pole. It is a bad choice if we have to climb slopes.
What types of trekking poles can I find on the market?
Before getting into the different types of trekking poles , it is important that you know that it is essential that you use poles with sections or folding. Single section poles (like those used in skiing) are not recommended as they are heavier and much more difficult to carry.That said, the differences between the different types of trekking poles lie in issues related to folding, lightness, resistance, rosettes, leash and type of handle.
Should I use one or two trekking poles ?
This doubt usually occurs frequently. Bear in mind that the use of two trekking poles contributes to saving energy on ascents, as well as helping to maintain balance on thorny terrain. The use of a single pole is only recommended for trekkers with a leg injury.In this case, we would carry the trekking pole in the hand opposite the injured leg with the aim of unloading both part of our weight and the weight we carry. This asymmetric use is not recommended in other cases, since the joints could be affected after a long walk.
In which terrain is the use of trekking poles not advisable ?
There are some areas where the UIAA (International Union of Mountaineering Associations) advises against the use of trekking poles . We are talking about terrain with narrow edges and climbing terrain where the poles do not touch the ground when moving and where the chances of tripping over them due to the narrowness of the terrain are quite high.Snowy terrain with steep slopes is also included, since, in the event of a fall, self-arrest is practically impossible. In these areas, where the possibility of falling is quite great, it is important that you do not use the leash and take the cane only and exclusively by the handle.
How should I use the trekking pole correctly ?
When setting out on the road with your trekking poles, you must take into account a series of recommendations to make proper use of them. Only, in this way, you can enjoy all its advantages. Ensuring your balance and safety, there will be no adventure that can resist you! Next, we leave you a series of steps to follow:
- Adapt the poles to your height. In this regard, you may have questions about how to adapt the cane to our height. Once we have grasped and supported our trekking pole on the ground, our arm and forearm must form a 90º angle. If you are a beginner, keep in mind that when climbing slopes it is advisable to shorten the trekking pole a little .
- Hold the poles firmly by the handle and tie the leash correctly. Remember that in areas with many accidents it is not advisable to use leash because in case of fall the poles would get caught in our hands causing some type of injury.
- When starting your route, start walking as naturally as possible. The arms should be stretched out following the beat of your walk.
You must bear in mind that the rosettes are interchangeable, so you can always put the most appropriate ones for the terrain you are going to walk on. You will have to remove the tips when riding in the mountains and put them on very hard ground where they cannot be nailed to reduce vibrations.
How can I adjust the strap of my trekking pole to my hand?
The leash is responsible for minimizing the impact of walking on the joints of our legs. In addition, this tape allows us to tie the cane to our hand, preventing it from escaping in any situation. An optimal adjustment is one that leaves our hand resting on the leash without any additional help. Let’s see how we should do it:
- Run your hand through the tape from the bottom up
- Firmly grip the handle of the cane using the grooves, which allow a better adaptation to our hand.
- You must bear in mind that the leash has to cover the back of our hand, while the thumb and index finger must be supported on the tape
- The leash should fit snugly, but it is important that it does not press our hand.
- Most trekking poles have a clasp that allows you to adjust the length of the leash. Adapt it to the size of your hand without restricting any movement.
It is recommended that, on long slopes or slippery terrain, you do not use the leash. Grab the cane directly by the handle, since in the event of a fall we could suffer serious injuries such as broken wrists.
Is there a movement pattern that I can follow with my trekking poles ?
If you are a beginner, you can start walking in the most natural way possible. It is a movement pattern that consists of alternating the legs. You must put the trekking pole in front while also advancing the opposite leg. The movement of the arms should correspond to the same that you carry out when you walk without the help of poles.To relieve legs and fatigue, you can practice the parallel leg movement pattern. The trekking poles go forward at the same time as the leg on the same side. When going up or down slopes, it is advisable that the trekking poles go forward together.
Should I take any special care with my trekking poles ?
If we want our trekking poles to last as long as possible, we need to carry out some maintenance. It is advisable that, every time we return from a route, we dismount them. We will have to wash and dry them as much as we can to prevent them from rusting. Finally, we will let it finish drying in a ventilated place.We recommend that you do not use oil in the locking systems, as they could slip during the route. If you see that any item has been damaged, replace the part. Otherwise, after time you will have to buy a new cane. It is recommended that you leave the closure systems open during long periods when you are not using the cane.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the trekking pole ?
Before acquiring some trekking poles you have to study a series of criteria that will help you not to make a mistake in the purchase. If you are a beginner, we advise you to opt for a durable, adjustable aluminum pole in which strength and lightness prevail. However, we are going to see the different aspects that you have to take into account:
- Fabrication material
- Locking mechanisms
First of all, you should study the length of the trekking poles . Remember that your arm and forearm should form a 90º angle when you have picked up the cane and it is resting on the ground. Most poles are height adjustable, but there are some that are fixed in length. In these cases you must take into account your height so as not to err in the purchase.
The weight will depend on the manufacturing material and the accessories that your trekking poles incorporate . In this way, those that include the damping system will weigh more than those that do not. In terms of the material with which they are made, carbon fiber ones are much lighter than aluminum ones.
Practically all trekking poles are made of some aluminum alloy or carbon fiber. However, the material with which they are made influences the different functionalities. Next, we are going to explain the differences between one material and another so that you can see which one best suits your needs.
The ergonomic handles, with a corrective angle of 15º, are the most comfortable, since they allow to relieve stress and excessive activity of the wrist joint. This is because they keep the hand in a neutral position. These types of grips are specific for the left and right hand, so you should not change them sideways.
It is important that, if you are a beginner, you value the mechanisms that can be much easier for you when blocking your treeking poles . You should also take into account how quickly you can make the block. Next, we explain the different types of locking mechanisms.
- External lever lock (speed lock): That facilitates a quick and easy adjustment.
- twist lock (super lock twist lock): That allows the cane to be locked by turning it clockwise.
- Hybrid blocking: carried out by mixing the above.
- Lock / Unlock Button: This is a steel pin that secures the segment after entering the hole.
There are some trekking poles that include accessories such as flashlights, to facilitate visibility during night outings, and compasses, so that you are always oriented. There are also cases in which the cane can be turned into a kind of tripod to anchor the camera and take much better photos of our adventure.
Trekking poles give much more security and stability to both trekkers, hikers and mountaineers. In addition, they distribute both the weight of our body and that we can carry in the backpack, preventing our legs from being excessively overloaded. There are many types of trekking poles , with the telescopic being the most popular.
It is important that, before leaving the route, you adjust both the length of the pole and the leash. Also, you must remember that in very rough terrain the use of the latter is not recommended. Study the different movement patterns, plan the route, and grab your poles. Endless adventures are waiting for you!