By Ophelie Carpentier. Trekking Poles. Published at Tuesday, March 05th, 2019 - 10:42:43 AM.
To properly size your poles, stand upright and hold your elbows at a 90-degree angle. You should be able to hold the primary grip with the tip touching the floor. For difficult terrain and off-trail hiking, I prefer my poles shorter by a few centimeters. For long downhills, some people like to lengthen them.
Check out any hiking or outdoor store and you’ll see a dizzying selection of often brightly coloured, high-tech poles. Some, like my Black Diamond Distance FLZ trekking poles, fold up into a small package that’s great for travelling.
For many users—especially those on tight budgets—the Carbon Fiber Quick Lock poles offer enough functionality with a few justified trade-offs. I think most people will be happy with these poles and an extra $120 in their wallets.
I have broken several trekking poles, and I’ve witnessed other hikers break theirs. The common denominator was not the shaft material but user error. Specifically, the poles were being used on steep, loose, off-angle, and/or slick terrain, and the pole either became overly levered (like between two blocks of talus) or broke the hiker’s fall after they slipped.
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