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GEAR BASICS

        

Trekking Pole Styles and Designs



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Poles come in many different styles and designs. They can be as simple as a wood stick picked up at the side of the trail or a highly engineered tool in the hiker’s gear repertoire. Here is a quick tour of the different styles and options of hiking and trekking poles without mentioning brands or models.

·      shafts made of wood, aluminum, titanium, fiberglass, carbon fiber or some combination thereof;

·      ornate or carved wood walking stick;

·      carbon fiber or other substance manufactured to look like wood;

·      non-adjustable fixed length, adjustable and collapsible two or three section poles;

·      one-click, one-hand adjustment mechanisms for the adjustable poles;

·      contoured or straight shafts;

·      with or without adjustable wrist straps or security loops;

·      quick release wrist straps;

·      cane type handle, rounded palm knob or contoured hand grips;

·      ergonomically molded rubber, foam, cork or thermoplastic hand grips;

·      right and left hand-specific hand grips and wrist straps;

·      rigid or pivoting hand grips;

·      straight or contoured hand grips;

·      with or without anti-shock devices built into the shaft;

·      removable and replaceable baskets, tips and tip sections;

·      removable rubber tip covers (“paws”) for hard and slippery surfaces;

·      pair of poles designed to screw together to make an avalanche probe;

·      walking-stick with built-in umbrella;

·      removable or built in ice axe or camera tripod head.

As you can see from the above comprehensive list, a wide variety of trekking poles are available and manufacturers are regularly coming up with new designs. Which options work best will depend a lot on how the poles are used, as well as individual preferences.


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