A Guide to Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are a common sight amongst the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Hiking poles provide added support and balance when walking across uneven terrain or wading through flowing water. Hiking poles reduce the amount of stress placed on the knees during long hikes; the additional contact with the ground distributes the loading placed on the knees, spreading the load into the arms and shoulders. More experienced hikers, or those aiming for a specific time, may use the poles to increase their average walking speed. The hiking poles are used to propel you forward with the assistance of your arms.

The extra ground contact improves balance. It is a lot harder to fall over with 4 points of contact – 2 from your feet and 2 from the poles – with the ground compared to walking without hiking poles. The extra points of contact also increase your traction on slippery surfaces.

Some hikers pack away their poles when trekking flat terrain as hiking poles are most beneficial during inclines and declines. Since the Yorkshire Three Peaks involves 3 separate climbs, hiking poles will be a useful tool during your climbs.

Hiking Pole Specifications

Hiking Pole Materials

Aluminium

Aluminium is a robust material. The disadvantage of aluminium’s toughness is the increase in weight. The weight difference is usually a couple of hundred grams between aluminium and carbon, but this can make a difference on long hikes. Aluminium poles can take more impact damage to the surface but can corrode and seize up after a period of time.

Carbon Fibre

Carbon fibre is lighter than aluminium but it comes at a price. Carbon poles are more expensive than aluminium poles but come with other desirable features, such as a lever-lock system and improved grips. Carbon poles are very strong poles but are more prone to damage from impacts.

Locking Systems

Carbon poles are often accompanied with lever-lock systems whilst aluminium poles are usually twist-lock.

Hiking-poles-twist-lock

Twist lock

The twist lock is a basic locking feature that involves twisting the mechanism to tighten the pole at the desired length. The twist lock can become loose during a hike. Impacts, turning and twisting of the pole can cause the twist lock to release.

Hiking-poles-lever-lock

Lever lock

The lever lock is a more secure method of locking hiking poles to their desired length. Lever locks are usually more expensive than twist locks and do add an extra bit of weight and bulk to the hiking pole.

Choosing your hiking poles comes down to personal preference. If you are on a budget and don’t mind the additional weight, choose aluminium. If you prefer a lighter walking pole with an improved locking system and superior grips, choose carbon fibre.

What are the wide plastic objects near the bottom of the poles?

Hiking-poles-basket

Hiking pole basket

The wide plastic object is called a basket. The basket’s function is to provide a large surface area above the point of contact with the ground. The increased surface area stops the pole sliding too far downwards in deep snow or wet and boggy areas.

Recommended Hiking Poles

The recommended hiking poles are from Amazon. They have been selected based on their reviews, functionality, brand and competitive pricing. There are three poles depending on how much you wish to spend: Budget, Mid-Priced and High Quality.

Budget Hiking Poles

Andes Pair Of Telescopic Extending Adjustable Antishock Hiking Poles

The Andes Hiking Poles are great for anyone walking around the countryside and mountains. Priced under £10 they are a perfect introductory hiking pole. They have an anti-shock feature which is particularly useful when descending steep hills and to reduce elbow strain. These poles are lightweight but extremely strong.

Andes-Pair-Of-Telescopic-Extending-Adjustable-Antishock-Hiking-Poles

Price: View on Amazon
Available Colours: Black (pictured), green, red, silver
Features: Anti-shock, wrist straps
Weight: 700 grams
Length: 65-135cm

Review-Andes-Pair-Of-Telescopic-Extending-Adjustable-Antishock-Hiking-Poles

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Mid-Priced Hiking Poles

Pair of VOROSY Carbon Anti-shock Hiking Poles – 1 Year Warranty

The VOROSY hiking poles are a popular choice and provide a hybrid of carbon and aluminium for a desired lightweight and sturdy experience. The foam handle is sweat absorbent and ergonomically designed for comfort. The bottom of the pole is tipped with steel for durability amongst uneven, rocky and challenging terrain. Rubber feet are also included for flat terrain.

The anti-shock feature reduces impact through the knees and elbow during long, strenuous hikes. Fitted with the advanced lever lock mechanism, the hiking poles are durable, sturdy and will provide ample support during the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The VOROSY poles are 300g lighter than the aluminium Andes poles and come with a 1-year warranty.

Pair-of-VOROSY-Carbon-Anti-shock-Hiking-Poles

Price: View on Amazon
Available Colours: Blue (pictured), green
Features: Anti-shock, wrist straps, 80% carbon fibre, 1-year warranty, flip-lock system
Weight: 410 grams
Length: 62cm-132cm

Review-Pair-of-VOROSY-Carbon-Anti-shock-Hiking-Poles

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High Quality Hiking Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Hiking Poles

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Hiking Poles won the Editor’s Choice Award from Outdoor Gear Lab. The poles came in first place in a review of 18 high-quality hiking poles judged on their weight, locking mechanism, ease of use, comfort, ergonomics, materials, grip diameter, packability, pole tips, baskets and shock absorbing ability.

The Alpine Carbon Cork is our overall favourite adjustable pole because it’s the most durable, super comfortable pole featuring some of our favourite handles and an awesome locking mechanism. While there are lighter and more compact poles, few are as versatile as this. – Outdoor Gear Lab

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Hiking Poles are compact, durable and are the lightest pole provided by the Alpine Carbon Cork, thanks to the 100% carbon fibre shafts. The natural cork grip moulds to your hand’s shape and size and doesn’t absorb water; no rain, snow or sweat will collect in the grip. The cork grip is highly durable and continues to provide comfort and quality after years of use. The double lever locks provide fast and easy adjustments, along with added support and strength to the shaft of the pole. The poles are a perfect piece of equipment for avid hikers or new hikers looking for additional comfort and support.

Black-Diamond-Alpine-Carbon-Cork-Hiking-Poles

Review-Black-Diamond-Alpine-Carbon-Cork-Hiking-Poles
Price: View on Amazon
Available Colours: Black (pictured),
Features: Wrist straps, cork grip, 100% carbon fibre, flip-lock system, compact when collapsed
Weight: 492 grams
Length: 62.5cm-130cm

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