Did you know that the use of trekking poles allows the hiker a greater consumption of calories and prevents high blood pressure? Indeed, we have just discovered two of the benefits derived from 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 injury risk. 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 points about Trekking Poles
- 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
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 robust due to the shaft’s durable aluminum alloy. The locking system is carried out by twisting and is very quick and easy to carry out. The 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 tip’s folding 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 a 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. Besides, 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 a 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. Also, 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.
Trekking Poles 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, carry out maintenance, and stay! You will 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?
The trekking pole is a kind of bar that contributes to providing greater security and stability to trekkers and mountaineers. This accessory is made with very light materials, and its objective is to distribute the weight throughout the body, preventing the legs from being overloaded by the effort. Besides, trekking poles make the route more pleasant.
What parts is the trekking pole made of?
The trekking pole is made up of several parts made with different technologies, allowing it to be blocked. As a general rule, all canes are made up of the same elements, although in some instances, 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 hold, which allow you to change your hand position on long slopes.
- Dragonera: It is the tape tied to the wrist to grip the cane with more security so that it does not escape us. You must bear in mind that the leash’s adjustment should not restrict the movements of your wrist.
- Telescopic sections: They form the body of the cane divided into several parts. Typically, 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 pole’s length 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 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 wrong 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, you must 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 challenging to carry. The different types of trekking poles lie in issues related to folding, lightness, resistance, rosettes, leash, and kind 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 and 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 hand opposite the injured leg to unload both part of our weight and the weight we have. 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 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 landscape are relatively high. Snowy terrain with steep slopes is also included since self-arrest is practically impossible in the event of a fall. In these areas, where the possibility of falling is quite remarkable, you mustn’t 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 consider a series of recommendations to make proper use of them. Only, in this way, can you 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 size. 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 it is advisable to shorten the trekking pole a little when climbing slopes.
- 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 a leash because the poles would get caught in our hands in case of a fall, causing some 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 will walk on. You will have to remove the tips when riding in the mountains and put them on the challenging ground to not 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. Besides, 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 cane’s handle 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 your hand, while the thumb and index finger must be supported on the tape.
- The leash should fit snugly, but it mustn’t 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 we could suffer serious injuries such as broken wrists in the event of a fall.
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. It would be best if you put the trekking pole in front while also advancing the opposite leg. The arms movement should correspond to the same that you carry out when you walk without the help of poles. To relieve leg 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, the trekking poles should go along 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 maintain 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 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 some time, you will have to buy a new cane. It is recommended that you leave the closure systems open during extended periods when you do not use the rod.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the trekking pole?
Trekking poles have become a fundamental element for trekkers, hikers, and mountaineers. Their manufacturing materials make them very light and foldable parts. Characteristics that make them essential in the backpacks of trekking lovers. Next, we will see the advantages and disadvantages derived from its use:
- Distribute weight throughout the body
- Release pressure from joints and knees on the descent
- Minimize the risk of injury
- Greater security
- If we do not use the correct technique, the user may lose balance and see their muscle elasticity reduced
- Tips can leave a mark on rocky terrain
Trekking Poles Purchase Criteria
Before acquiring some trekking poles, you have to study a series of criteria that will help you avoid making a purchase mistake. If you are a beginner, we advise you to opt for a durable, adjustable aluminum pole where 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 rests on the ground. Most poles are height adjustable, but some are fixed in length. In these cases, you must consider your measurement 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 will explain the differences between one material and another so that you can see which one best suits your needs.
With a corrective angle of 15º, the ergonomic handles are the most comfortable since they 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 vital that, if you are a beginner, you value the mechanisms that can be much easier for you when blocking your trekking 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.
Some trekking poles include flashlights, 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 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. Also, 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 essential that, before leaving the route, you adjust both the length of the pole and the leash. It would also be best if you remembered 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!