Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

We suggest taking a good hard look at the products to choose the right hiking poles that best fit your needs and hiking style. You'll need to take the following into account:

How to choose your hiking poles ?

- Weight:

This is a key criterion. The more lightweight your pole, the easier it will be to handle and the less energy you'll use. Its weight depends on what it is made of. For occasional and regular hikers, an aluminium pole will be enough. For more intensive hikes or if you prefer a more rigid, lightweight pole, you should opt for carbon.

- Number of sections:

The sections are the parts making up the pole. The more sections it has, the more compact it is once collapsed. Generally speaking, you can choose between two or three sections. Choose your pole according to the collapsed length (rather than number of sections) for storage purposes. For hikes with many stretches where you need to secure your poles to your backpack, for example when climbing ladders, you'll prefer 3-section poles.

- Adjustment system:

Indispensable to ensure your pole is adapted to your height and the terrain you are hiking over, this criterion is very important. There are two adjustment systems. Clips are external. They work quickly and easily. They are also very safe since you can easily check whether your pole has been properly secured. Screws are internal, and rather harder to get used to, however they are more lightweight. You may tend to want to screw the poles up really tight to be sure they don't come loose, however you mustn't screw them too tightly, using tools for example, otherwise you may not be able to unscrew them afterwards.

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

Push-pin adjustment hiking pole

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

Clips adjustment pole

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

Foldable pole

- The handle:

First, take a look at the material used to make the handle. Plastic is a good bargain and is very rigid. It is fine for occasional to regular use, being fairly heavy and affording less than optimum comfort if your hands get sweaty. Foam is softer, as is cork. These are suitable materials if you hike regularly or intensively. These models absorb moisture and ensure a good grip even for those with sweaty hands. You do need to be careful about where you store them. If you leave your poles in your garage for example, mice might chew on the foam or cork handles.
Handle shape is another factor that affects your comfort. There are straight, fairly smooth models, and other more ergonomic ones moulded to a hand shape to ensure a better grip.
Lastly, you'll see that some poles have been fitted with grips, just beneath the main handle, making it longer. This means you can vary your hand position, which is especially useful on slopes.

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

- Wrist loops:

Wrist loops serve two purposes. Firstly: they prevent you losing your poles or having to put them down every time you reach for your water bottle or camera. Secondly: they provide dynamic support to help you use your poles properly. This results in less fatigue and relieves your hands. Some models have padded wrist loops, again with improved comfort in mind. As for wrist loop width: the wider the loop, the more support it procures.
Some medium- and top-of-the-range models feature a clipping system to adjust wrist loop size in a jiffy. This is much quicker and easier than standard buckles.

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

- Pole tips:

There are two materials on the market for now: steel, for a sturdy entry-level item but which gets worn quickly, and tungsten (a type of mineral) which is sturdier and lasts longer. In other words, you need to choose your tip depending on how intensively you'll be hiking and the type of terrain you'll be going over.

Hiking | How to choose your hiking poles ?

- Baskets:

The right basket depends on the season. For summer hiking over grass, dirt tracks, rocks and pebbles, you'll need a small one. Come winter, you'll prefer a bigger basket to avoid sinking in soft terrain like fresh snow for example. Baskets are interchangeable, so you can keep the same poles for summer and winter. We do not recommend large baskets in the summer because they can catch in pebbles and cause falls.

you may also like

choosing trekking boots

HIKING | HOW TO CHOOSE TREKKING BOOTS?

Choosing a pair of trekking boots can be tricky, and requires a good understanding of the type of trails you are going to walk on.

how to adjust your backpack

Hiking | How to adjust your backpack comfortably?

It is essential to know how to fit your backpack comfortably before a hike.

How do you measure the waterproofing of a hiking jacket?

Hiking | How do you measure the waterproofness of a hiking jacket?

AA product is recognised as waterproof when it has the ability to stop rain getting through, thus protecting the hiker from bad weather. It is worth knowing that there are different levels of impermeability, and different tests to measure them. On the one hand, we consider the impermeability of a fabric, while on the other, we prove the impermeability of an entire product. Check that in addition to using a waterproof material, your jacket has waterproof zips.

Tips for enjoying hiking in the rain

Hiking | Tips for enjoying hiking in the rain

During the summer rainy season in Hong Kong, the weather can be hot and sunny one moment, and get rainy and stormy the next. What should you do if you encounter a heavy shower in the middle of a hike? Should you continue or end your hike earlier? Here are some gear and apparel tips, to keep your hike happy and safe.

登山鞋和襪子濕了

Hiking | How to dry your hiking shoes and socks?

It is tricky to avoid getting wet when hiking in the wet season. Even if you wear excellent waterproof hiking shoes and rain pants, rain drops can slide into your shoes. Or you may step into a puddle soaking your shoes and socks. When we need to wear the same shoes and socks to carry on the journey on the next day, how should we dry the wet shoes and socks?

What makes hiking gear waterproof?

Hiking | What makes hiking gear waterproof?

There are so many waterproof jackets at different prices. To determine which one suits you the best, you should consider the following aspects.

How to choose a head torch - title

HIKING | HOW TO CHOOSE A HEADLAMP?

Check out our tips to help you select your head torch!

BENEFITS OF HIKING

HIKING | DO YOU KNOW LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLES?

“Leave no trace” (short form is LNT) is an international movement to protect outdoors environments by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly. To preserve the beauty and sanctity of mother nature giving you and your future generations the opportunity to enjoy your ground of practice for a longer time.

camping with tent chair table in campsite checklist - DECATHLON

Camping | Camping gear for beginners

Autumn and winter are cool and dry - a good season for camping! What to bring for camping? How should I choose camping gear? Let's take a look below!

how-to-avoid-condensation-camping-tents

Camping | How can I get rid of condensation in the tent?

What do I do if condensation has appeared inside of the walls of the inner part of my tent? Is it still waterproof?