Hiking poles

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How to choose the right trekking poles?

Nowadays, many hikers consider walking and trekking poles to be essential accessories for reducing muscle fatigue and joint impact, and improving balance, stability and safety during their outings. To help you make the right choice, AlpinStore offers a few tips for selecting your walking poles.

1, 2 or 3 poles?

Walking poles are available in two or three shafts, offering the possibility of adjusting their length to suit your needs. These poles can easily be carried on your back pack when not in use. Their height adjustment allows you to adapt their use to the descents or climbs you encounter. Versatile, they're perfect for summer or winter hiking, whether on the plains or in the mountains.

Folding and telescopic poles have become very popular, especially at the top end of the market. They fold easily in one movement and take up little space in your pack. They are lighter than three-pole walking poles and also offer a height adjustment of +/- 20 cm. Walking and hiking poles are also available in single-strand versions, which are very strong but non-adjustable.

What type of clamp?

There are three main locking systems for folding or telescopic hiking or walking poles, as follows:
  1. External clip clamping: This system uses external clips to lock the poles together. It allows adjustment over a fairly wide range, from 70 cm to 140 cm on some models.

  2. Internal screw clamping: This system uses an internal screw to lock the strands. It is lighter and offers enhanced performance, thanks to a larger clamping surface. It also allows adjustment over a wide range of lengths.

  3. Tightening with reinforced inner rope: This system uses a reinforced rope inside the pole to ensure locking. It is a fast and precise system, but can have a slightly more limited adjustment range than other systems.

These different systems each offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your preferences and hiking style.

One puck per season?

All brands of walking poles offer the option of replacing washers. There are two types of pole washers:
  1. Winter washers: These washers are wider and have a larger diameter, giving them better bearing capacity on snow and preventing them from sinking in too deeply.

  2. Summer washers: These washers are designed for better maneuverability on rough trails. They prevent your poles from getting stuck between rocks and make your progress easier.

Depending on the conditions in which you hike, you can choose to use winter or summer washers to adapt your poles to your environment.

The tips of walking poles are essential components that ensure the connection between your poles and the ground. They must offer good grip and sufficient durability. It's important that they guarantee an optimum combination of strength and grip, whatever the type of surface you're walking on.

The leading manufacturers of walking poles use tungsten tips for their products.

What materials should your poles be made of?

Hiking and walking poles are made from two main materials:
  1. Carbon : Some poles are made entirely of carbon, which makes them extremely light, stiffer and less prone to vibration. In the case of winter hiking poles, the bottom strand can be made of aluminum to prevent damage from ski edges.
  2. Aluminum: Poles can be made entirely of aluminum, which gives them a certain strength, but they can be a little heavier than carbon poles. 7005 aluminum has undergone significant improvements, making it possible to find lightweight, reliable aluminum poles.

Wrist straps

Wrist straps on walking poles are essential for transmitting your weight and reducing friction. Their main function is to take the strain off your hands and forearms by allowing you to rest your wrist on them. Wrist straps are adjustable for optimum grip on the handle, and are generally made of anti-transpirant fabric for added comfort.

Which size?

It's essential to adjust the height of your hiking poles to suit your height and the type of terrain you'll be covering. Hiking poles offer the advantage of being adjustable over a wide range of sizes, generally from 70 cm to 130-140 cm. We recommend that you adjust the size of your poles so that they are comfortable and adapted to your walking posture.
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