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HOW TO CHOOSE A TREKKING POLE

WHY USE TREKKING POLES?

Trekking poles are standard equipment for many hikers, trekkers, backpackers and snowshoers. The reasons why are simple: They enhance your stability and support on all types of terrain.

When shopping for trekking poles, your key considerations should be:

1. Weight

2. shaft construction

3. type of grip

4. shock absorption

5. price

To start shopping, consider

1. the health of your ankles, knees and hips

2. Keep in mind, too, whether you’ll be using your poles on rugged or relatively flat terrain

3. the amount of weight you typically carry in your pack

Poles can be categorized as follows:

1. Professional and Expert poles: made with high quality materials and high technological contents. Equipped with accessories lending the best in term of comfort and performance.

2. Antishock poles: these offer internal springs in the section or in case of Masters patented Kompressor® in the grip. With most poles, this feature can be turned off when it’s not needed such as when you’re walking uphill. The antishock feature is recommended if you have weak or damaged ankles, knees or hips.

3. Compact or women’s poles: These are shorter and have smaller grips. They are easier to swing because they weigh less and are also simpler to pack.

4. Standard poles: These do not have the antishock feature. They are made with standard materials but with a good balance between quality and price.

5. Walking pole: this is a single pole that’s most effective when used on relatively flat terrain and with little or no load on your back.

PROPER POLE LENGTH VARIES BY THE TERRAIN

When hiking uphill: Shorten the poles by a few inches to increase load-bearing pressure.

When going downhill: Lengthen the poles a few inches for better balance and control.

On level ground: Your forearms should be parallel to the ground when you’re holding the grips and the tips are on the ground.

On traverses: The down-slope pole should be longer than the up-slope pole (or you can simply grab the pole lower if it comes with an extended grip).