Hiking poles

Hiking poles

Trekking sticks (or more commonly called "hiking sticks") until a few years ago were not used very often, nowadays, however, there are more and more hikers who have started using them during afternoons in company among the green mountains.

Trekking poles are used to have more help while walking in the mountains. They are made of completely light materials and are used in pairs.

Which are the most suitable for each situation?

The hiking sticks, on the market, are available in many types, precisely to ensure perfect functionality in every possible situation.

The most famous models in this area are: telescopic and fixed.

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Telescopic sticks

The telescopic handlers are made up of two (minimum) or three (maximum) easily modular and separate parts and these functions make them slightly more fragile, and furthermore, a great point in favor is that of regularity, as they can be adjusted according to to the height of the person using them, which makes it much easier to use.

Fixed sticks

The fixed ones, on the other hand, compared to the telescopic ones, are defined as more robust but, at the same time, they are also more uncomfortable since they can be placed in the backpack, but cannot be adjusted to your liking.

Features to evaluate

material and weight

The weight of trekking poles is an important factor to consider when choosing a pair of poles for walking in the mountains and depends on the type of material they are made from.

Lightweight poles are easier to handle and less tiring to use for long periods of time, but may be less durable. While heavier poles are stronger and more stable, they can be more tiring to use on long hiking days.

Aluminum trekking poles: they are the main choice because they are affordable. Aluminum is a fairly sturdy (but not indestructible) material that resists corrosion and rust, making it ideal for a while in all situations. If you are an entry level in the world of hiking, they are certainly the best choice.

Carbon trekking poles: they are even lighter than aluminum and offer greater stability and resistance. Carbon is an extremely strong material that is also very light, making it ideal for long rides. However, carbon poles have a very high cost, this important price difference makes them an ideal choice only for those who often go to the mountains.

Handle

As regards the characteristics, however, the handle can be of three different types of materials, namely sponge, rubber or cork.

Le sponge grips they are extremely light and breathable, adapting perfectly to the shape of the hand, offering a secure and comfortable grip. However, it is important to note that they can tend to absorb moisture and become slippery when wet.

Le rubber grips they are highly resistant and durable, offering a secure grip even in humid conditions. However, they may become uncomfortable when used for a long time due to their stiffness.

Le cork grips they are naturally insulated and breathable, adapting perfectly to the shape of the hand. Furthermore, they are also eco-sustainable as they come from renewable sources. However, they can be heavier than the other options and can absorb moisture like sponge.

The snare, or the main object that allows you to insert your hand at the height of the handle and which helps a lot in pushing for the walk, especially if you find yourself in a rapid climb. However, it should be reiterated that on rocky terrain it is of fundamental importance to remove the leash from the wrist and, if the tip gets stuck between two rocks, it could cause a bad fall, while if the hand is free from the leash, only the stick will get stuck and problems will be avoided.

Locking System

The trekking pole locking system is a key feature that should not be overlooked when choosing a pair of poles. There are many models of locking systems on the market, each with their own unique features and benefits.

The first common locking system is the lever, which is extremely comfortable to use even with hands wrapped in gloves. In addition, the lever allows you to adjust the length of the poles quickly and easily.

The second one most famous locking system is screw, equally comfortable to use without a doubt, however there is a risk that it can break easily. Also, during the winter, the screw system can freeze, thus preventing you from adjusting your poles smoothly.

The choice of locking system depends mainly on personal preferences and the conditions in which the trekking poles will be used. You could also evaluate the use of aluminum or carbon locking systems, the latter are extremely resistant and light, but usually have a higher cost than the others.

Washers and feet

There are two types of washers: the smaller ones are the most used in summer while the larger ones are usually used in winter on snow or alternatively in summer on muddy ground.

I trekking pole feet they are a crucial feature to ensure stability and security while hiking in the mountains. They are placed at the base of the poles and provide support on different surfaces, such as rocks, mud, snow and asphalt.

Many modern trekking poles have a complete kit with interchangeable feet. This means that the feet can be replaced according to the terrain conditions and the hiker's needs.

The interchangeable feet come in different shapes and are chosen according to the terrain conditions during a hike, without having to buy new poles every time.

Why use trekking poles?

Like everything, hiking sticks also have two downsides and the positive part is the benefit to one's person that they are able to give. In fact, recent studies have testified in favor of the fact that they help to maintain balance better.

This benefit turns out to be very true especially downhill and, indeed, on rocky or uneven terrain, or even if you have to walk on very slippery and wet surfaces.

The important thing is not to put too much weight on the sticks as, if loaded incorrectly, they could suddenly break causing the person to fall.

Another fundamental point: they help a lot distribute your body weight easily. In fact, walking with these sticks helps to unload part of the weight concentrated on the legs and transfer it directly to the arms. By doing so you avoid overloading the underlying part of the body (especially the knees), making these objects particularly suitable for those suffering from some problems related to the joints of the legs, or even for those with generalized health problems.

They strengthen the muscles! While the person in question walks, the muscles inevitably work, especially if it is the upper part of the body (bust, arms, upper arms).

Thanks to the arm movements that are made to move the trekking poles, the ribcage is opened facilitating breathing, in doing so the blood will be more oxygenated and you will feel less body fatigue.

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