Hiking Basics

Hiking is a healthy activity for both the body and mind.

Hiking trails for all levels of expertise are found in every country. It is truly a global pastime, enjoyed by individuals, friends, hiking clubs, and families.

Some level of hiking is possible for everyone who can walk, making it the perfect hobby for every age, as well as for groups and families of mixed ages.

To experience a safe and enjoyable hiking experience, it’s important to know the basic “rules” of hiking.

Picking The Trail

There are hiking trails everywhere.

Some trails are difficult and only for experienced hikers, but many are easy hikes that don’t contain steep inclines or require climbing over rocks.

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, in the USA or abroad, for brochures and maps of hiking trails in your area.

Many state parks have hiking trails, perfect for day trips, family hikes, or overnight camping. Some trails are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers.

If you live in a state full of woods and mountains or live where you are surrounded by blacktop and high rise office buildings, there are trails nearby where you can enjoy hiking.

Girl Pair of Hiking Poles Grand Canyon

Choosing Your Hiking Trail – Grand Canyon

Hiking Rhythm

Whether you pick a gentle trail or a challenging trail, it’s important to learn to pace yourself.

Develop a rhythm (cadence) that is comfortable and allows you to go a considerable distance without feeling strained or needing a break. As your endurance builds, hiking will tire you less. Plan short breaks at specific intervals.

When you are a new hiker, plan a ten-minute break for every 20 minutes of hiking. As your body conditions itself, you can increase the length of time between breaks.

Shoes for a Day Hike

Hiking Shoes

It’s necessary to have the proper hiking gear to avoid as many problems as possible.

Top on the list of gear is the right hiking shoe, and the right sock.

To avoid the hiker’s nemesis, the blister, wear properly fitted shoes and break them in before embarking on a hike. If you are wearing leather shoes, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation, which can mean rubbing with saddle soap or mink oil, and sometimes a specific brand of boot treatment is suggested.

Regular care will keep your boots pliable, prevent them from drying out, and be kind to your feet. Cotton is not the best material for your boot sock liners.

Purchase specially designed liners made from a wicking material such as polypropylene or Thermax and wear a good wool sock. Always carry moleskin to apply in the event a blister starts to form.

Hiking Shoes with Walking Poles on top

Food And Water

Because food is your body’s fuel, it’s especially important to plan your food carefully for the length of your hike.

For day hikes, dried fruit and nuts, pre-packaged instant oatmeal, and instant noodle and pasta dishes can meet the need. Water is required to keep the body hydrated, but water is also heavy.

You can probably carry enough for a day hike, but if you plan to do longer hikes, purchase a water filtration system to purify water from lakes and streams and carry an insulated water bottle to keep your drinking water cool in warm weather.

Food and Water for hiking

Safety And First Aid

A first aid kit and manual are important for even the simplest hike.

Many outfitters have first aid kits you can purchase containing most of the supplies needed for minor injuries. You can also build your own first aid kit.

The Washington Trails Association website offers excellent instructions on building a hiker’s first aid kit in the hiking resources and hiking basics section at www.wta.org.

First Aid Hiking

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, while staying healthy and fit.

Remember to plan your hike carefully and bring sufficient food and water to enjoy a fun-filled hike.

When you’re ready to got further, you may want to use hiking poles to keep your energy levels up, see reviews of walking poles for hiking here.


Trekking Pole Dog Icon

Getting Ready For the Backpacking Season

When the call of the wild is hitting you hard, you need to start thinking about your camping gear and the supplies you need to make backpacking a great experience.

It is time to check your tent, pack, sleeping bag, and emergency supplies to make sure the key components for your camping comfort and safety are in order.

Your Tent

Camping Tent

Your tent serves more than a way to keep the rain off your head (or snow, if you are a winter camper).

If properly sealed, your tent will not only be waterproof, but will also help contain your body heat.

Tent Checklist

  • Make sure your vents, fly, and entry are all cleaned and tear-free.
  • Use a mild mix of bath soap (unscented) to wash off any dirt or debris on the fabric, and
  • Use clear water under mild pressure to clear any dirt, debris, or sand in your zippers.
  • Never use any harsh chemicals – the man-made fibers can be damaged by any chlorinated cleaners.

Anything in the zippers will cause them to wear out faster as a natural course of using them, so keeping them clean is critical.

Winter Camping

For winter camping, you want those zippers to close snugly to keep out the cold and blowing snow – and in the summer you want them to open all the way so the moisture and heat released from your body while you’re sleeping can escape.

Check the siding material of your tent to make sure they are free of tears or other openings. You can usually patch most man-made fibers with kits readily available from a variety of sources.

It is a good idea to apply a coat of sealant to the exterior of the seams of your tent and fly with the sealant appropriate for your tent’s material.

ONLY apply the sealant in a warm dry place, making sure you give it plenty of time to dry properly.

In order to apply the sealant, it is best to pitch your tent with all sides taut, which will help ensure the sealant gets into the nooks and crannies.

Lastly, check that all of your supplies – poles, straps, and stakes – are intact, then set up the tent completely one time before packing it and going out into the wild.

Your Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag Example

Your sleeping bag and ground pad should be relatively maintenance free, other than the same cleaning of the surfaces and zippers for the bag apply.

You need to clean your bag inside and out, but not get the insulation wet. You also want to make sure the skin of your bag is clean and free of any oils or greasy substances.

Check the insulation. If it is becoming bunched, or lumpy, it may be time to replace your sleeping bag.

Ground Pads

Ground pads come in a variety of materials and comfort levels.

Their primary function is to insulate, to keep your body heat from being radiated into the ground through your sleeping bag. Your ground pad is also your last defense from ground water getting to the skin of your sleeping bag, drenching you.

Both situations can lead to hypothermia, a dangerous condition in which your core body temperature drops below 93 degrees.

A self-inflating ground pad offers a great combination of comfort and protection.

These foam-core pads are a relatively new development, are very light-weight, and compress for easy attachment to your backpack.

Your Backpack

Taking Care of Your Backpack

Your backpack is your greatest asset for wilderness camping, and maintaining it so it will withstand several kinds of constant abuse is critical.

1. Check that there are no threads hanging or tears in the liner.

Snags and tears can quickly spread, dumping your supplies into a creek at an inopportune moment, or the entire bag coming undone if you are using it to suspend your food supplies for safekeeping during the night.

Clip any snagged threads, and patch any tears. You also need to make sure you keep your pack water-tight. Seal the seams, and if the material permits, coat the entire bag.

2. Check all the grommets and clips on the straps.

If you are using pack with an external frame, make sure the clips holding the bag to the frame are secure.

Make sure there are no rips or tears in any of the straps, and that the fastening clips that hold the shoulder straps and waist strap in place are free of chips or cracks.

Readjust the straps to fit your body as it is today.

Let’s face it, we all tend to gain a little weight over the winter, and an improperly balanced backpack can overbalance you, or chafe in very uncomfortable ways.

Your tent and bag came with stuff bags. Use them – but make sure the bags are clean and dry before stowing away your equipment.

TIP: Packing Your Tent

When loading your tent, put in the fly, then the poles, then the tent itself.

This is the reverse order in which you will need them, and the proper order when you unpack it.

You should never store the stakes with the tent, even if they are in their own ripstop bag, the edges could puncture the tent skin, forcing an emergency repair out in the field.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency Preparations

Duct Tape

One of the backpacker’s best friends is duct tape.

It is strong, water-proof, and multi-functional. You can use it to make temporary fixes to any torn material, and if you combine it with the extra tube sections that came with your tent, you can even temporarily fix the poles on your tent.

You can also use duct tape for emergency first aid, because it makes a great way to tightly secure bandaging material or splints.

Gallon Zipper Sealed Plastic Bags

Bring along a few gallon-sized zipper-sealed plastic bags.

You can use them for a variety of purposes, from collecting specimens to storing your wet socks until you can set up camp and get them dry.

Keeping your supplies (and feet!) dry is critical. In a pinch, you can use them to catch and store water.

First Aid Supplies

Check all of your first aid supplies, and make sure you still have a proper assortment of bandaging materials, disinfectants, scissors, and other supplies.

Toss out the antibiotic ointment you have in your first aid kit from last year and replace it. It has lost its efficacy. If you carry hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, it needs replaced as well.

You can find the components of a good “do it yourself” first aid kit by checking with the Boy Scouts or the Red Cross.

Water Purification System

Check your water purification supplies, and make sure the iodine and/or filters are ready for use.

Make sure that your purification kit’s components are free of cracks. Get your canteen, waterpack, bladder, or insulated water bottle cleaned and ready for use, too.

Signaling Devices – Mirror & Whistle

No backpack is complete without two signaling devices – a mirror and a whistle.

Obviously a mirror only works when there’s a light source, but if you become disabled and a search party is looking for you, the reflection from the mirror gives you better odds of being spotted from a great distance.

The whistle is a vital signaling device. You can only yell for help for a few minutes at a time, while you can blow a whistle for hours.

GPS Locator

Another signaling device becoming more common in our high-tech world are GPS emergency locators.

Many are solar-powered, some are coming with Farraday generators, or they come with batteries.

No matter how they are powered, they only work if there is a satellite overhead, and a means of triangulating on your position. When you intend on going into extreme wilderness, rugged terrain, or into mountainous areas, you may want to invest in one of these gadgets.

Do NOT rely on this as your sole signaling device. If you’re breathing, you can still use a whistle. If the batteries go dead on the GPS unit – you could be as well shortly after.

Miscellaneous

Other stuff

Matches

Always have at least two different means of starting a fire in your pack.

Waterproof matches and a “permanent match” are easy to stow away, and work in a wide variety of weather conditions.

Knife

Always have a knife. A good multi-tool with a knife blade and other gadgets, can be found in most hardware and sporting goods stores, and can be handy.

Patch Kit

An emergency patch kit for your tent and backpack could also prove handy – but keep in mind for every ounce you add, you are losing food!

You have duct tape (featured above), which is a great permanent patch.


There are a wide assortment of other supplies you might consider bringing along for your camping expedition, but these suggestions cover most contingencies, in lightweight materials suitable for backpacking.

The best preparation if you’re a novice is to pick up any of the various books available for backpacking in the type of environment you plan on trekking in, or to pick up a copy of the Boy Scout manual on camping.

More Backpacking Season Tips

Essentials for a Safe, Enjoyable Hiking Trip

If you’re like most people, then you don’t prepare to go for a walk. You just put your shoes on and walk out the door. Unfortunately, many people treat a hiking trip as little more than a long walk, and that can be a bad idea.

Think of it this way: When you go for a walk, you stay in your neighborhood. That means that you’re never far from help in the unlikely event that you get too tired to walk home.

When you go hiking, you’re in a completely different environment.

Carrying the proper hiking gear will not only keep you safe but also allow you to have fun. What are the essentials that hikers need to carry?

1. Food and Water

Food and Water

One of the aspects of hiking that is often underestimated is the potential for dehydration. When you hit the trail without carrying enough water, you can quickly find yourself in trouble.

Whether it’s hot out or, when you’re hiking in one of the cooler months of the year in your region–an insulated water bottle for water can stabilize your liquid intake for hot, cold or temperate no matter the outside climate.

Depending on the temperature outside and the distance you plan to cover, you’ll need at least a couple of bottles per person.

Since hiking can wear you out if you’re not careful, remember to eat before setting out. You’ll also want to pack a nutritious lunch.

2. Hat

Wear a Hat or Beanie

Hiking on a hot day can not only put you at risk of becoming dehydrated but also increases your chances of getting heatstroke.

Wearing a white hat is a good way to keep from overheating and will allow you to stay on the trail longer.

If you don’t own a hat, then pack a white towel instead.

When you are hiking in winter weather, of course, a snowcap or beanie will serve to keep you warm.

Bottom line: wear the hat that will protect from the exposure no matter the season of  the year.

3. GPS, Cell Phone, Map and Compass

GPS, map, compass, satellite

No one plans to get lost when they go hiking, but it continues to happen nevertheless.

Taking a GPS device or cell phone can be a big help. In case they stop working, be sure to take a map and compass as well.

4. First Aid Kit and Walking Stick

Hiking Pole Women Horizon

In addition to getting lost, hikers are frequently injured, so it makes sense to carry a first aid kit every time you hit the trail. Since sprained ankles are common, it’s also a good idea to carry a walking stick.

Walking sticks, also popularly known as trekking poles, or Nordic walking sticks come in foldable, i.e. packable, styles, you can see more about them at the Walking Stick Buyers Guider here >>>.

5. Insect Repellent

 

The whole point of hiking is to have fun, but insect bites can quickly make you miserable. Carrying insect repellent is a good way to ensure that you enjoy your outing.


Hiking can be an unpredictable activity. Being prepared for a variety of different situations will allow you to get the most from your trip. You wouldn’t go on vacation without packing the essentials, and hiking is no different.

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The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Hiking

Hiking enthusiasts around the world know that regular romps in the wilderness are not only good for physical health, but for mental health as well. 

As hiking requires physical movement over varied and challenging terrain, it provides a great workout for your body.

Meanwhile, the social and stimulating aspects of hiking, such as taking in beautiful scenery while accompanied by friends and family, provides a workout for your mind 

Few other exercises can so effectively benefit your body and mind at the same time.

When you’re ready to learn about these benefits in greater detail, then read on below to find out about three physical and three mental health benefits of hiking.

Hiking’s Physical Health Benefits

Hiking and Health Benefits Physical

1) Arthritis prevention and relief

Walking is one of the very best activities for relieving arthritis pain in the knees.

Sure, you could walk around your neighborhood or around the mall, but hiking provides the varied terrain necessary for building up all of the muscle groups in your legs.

Recent studies have shown that taking 6,000 steps a day may not only prevent and relieve arthritis, but may even reverse it.

What better place to get these steps in than out on the trail?

2) Weight loss

As it is a form of physical exercise, regular hiking can definitely aid in weight loss (which, incidentally, can further aid in reducing arthritis pain).

You can easily burn around 300 calories an hour at a gentle pace, and you can increase your pace and trail difficulty as you feel yourself becoming fitter and healthier.

Plus, it is very difficult to get bored when surrounded by the great outdoors, as opposed to when running or walking indoors on a treadmill.

3) Diabetes prevention and reversal

Hiking can be a great way to manage both Type I and Type II diabetes*.

Not only can it lower your risk for Type II diabetes by keeping your body in great shape, but it can actually contribute to the reversal of Type II diabetes for those who are already suffering from it.

Furthermore, while there is no known cure for Type I diabetes, hiking can lower the amounts of insulin that your body needs, making symptoms easier to manage.

Hiking’s Mental Health Benefits

Improve Mental Health with Hiking

1) The strengthening of social ties

Humans are social creatures, and while some of us may be more introverted and prefer to spend time alone, we all nevertheless need a network of close relationships in order to feel happy, secure, and loved.

Hiking is a fantastic way to renew and strengthen these relationships, as it allows us to get closer to friends and family while away from the usual distractions of life.

One afternoon out on the trail with a close friend can be worth more than hundreds of text messages!

2) Reduction in feelings of depression

Renewing and strengthening social ties can also be a big part of helping the symptoms of depression, but the benefits of hiking for depression don’t stop there.

Researchers have found that spending time out in nature is actually a much better strategy for reducing the symptoms of depression than, for example, walking around a shopping mall.

While depression is a complex mental illness with no simple cure, hiking can definitely be part of a strong depression treatment plan.

3) Stress relief

Just as hiking can help fight depression, it can also help fight anxiety and stress.

When school, work, or your home life have you down, then it is healthy to take a breather now and then to spend some time far away from your worries and stresses. Moreover, hiking can even serve as an upper body exercise when you utilize trekking poles on your journey.

If you give yourself a break and surround yourself with some natural beauty for a time, then you will likely return to your life ready and able to successfully handle whatever it throws at you.


Ready to hit the trail? See the Heroic Adventures side-by-side comparison of the most popular trekking poles here >>>


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Foxelli Trekking Poles Review

Foxelli is a company that is famous for manufacturing quality outdoor gear and has produced a trekking pole that is made of carbon. The product only weighs seven ounces and is very easy to use.

The collapsed length is 55 inches from a folded 24 inches, which makes it fit any suitcase or backpack. The pointed tips come with a detachable rubber boot. The product comes with different types of tips for rugged or muddy terrain that will not slip off.

Extending the product is easy because it is released by a single switch. The Foxelli Trekking Poles lengthens fully in one release. Traction is better with the product because of the pointed tip which can be used without the covering and still remain intact.

The tips are made of tungsten and can pierce through hard soil or snow. Traction is increased when the rubber coverings are used and surface tension is increased.

Foxelli Trekking Poles

Features

  • Made of 100% carbon
  • Only weighs 7 ounces per pole
  • Length is 24 inches and extends to 55 inches
  • Traction is increased
  • Easy to retract or release with one switch
  • Grip is made of cork with secondary grip made of foam
  • Comes with rubber tip, snow and mud baskets
  • Has 120-day product return window or full cash refund
  • Has 3-year limited warranty

This product provides good support to the user and lessens the stress on the arms, knees and legs. The user will exert less energy and will finish the hike in a shorter period.

The user can also maneuver quickly and extend the length of the poles with one switch. The cork grips are sweat-absorbent and are supported by a foam grip for a stronger hold when the incline becomes more difficult.

Advantages

Foxelli trekking poles are a durable and trekker-friendly product that is designed to adapt to the terrain. The material of the poles is pure carbon and ensures the durability and strength of the product when it is used with great stress.

Large-sized hikers can use the product as it can support big weight and the length can be adjusted to fit the user. The product is reliable to catch the balance of the user and will help in relieving pressure on the back, knees and legs.

The tips of the pole are pointed and are made of tungsten. The shape and solid structure of the tip will provide ample support and will pierce through soil or snow.

The baskets that come with the product act as reinforcements so that the poles will not sink into the mud or add traction to the poles as they run on the ground. The tips are also designed to absorb shock and will give the user added comfort.

The grips on the pole are made of cork. The material follows the shape of the user’s hand and will not cause arm or hand strain when the product is used for a long time.

For added support when going uphill and for the user’s added security, a grip made of foam is attached underneath. The wrist handles will ensure that the pole is not dropped and stays within arms’ reach.

The handles are useful to people with knee problems or who are recovering from a muscle injury. The cork grip has more gripping power than foam or rubber.

When the product is used for long distances, the product will not break or corrode. The carbon material makes the product impact resistant and will be able to withstand extreme weather.

Aside from the sturdiness and the secure grip of the pole, the product is covered by a three-year warranty to ensure that the product will last for a long time. The manufacturer guarantees full cash refund or a product exchange in 120 days.

Disadvantages

For trekkers who go on light hikes, the product will appear as if it is similar to other poles in the market. The durability of the product will be tested if it is used in extreme conditions and on challenging hikes.

Verdict

Foxelli Trekking Poles is known for its reputation to build quality products and these poles stand true to its good name. The product is reliable and durable because it is made of pure carbon.

The product will not break or corrode if it is used in summer or winter. The product can even be submerged in water and will not rust. The carbon material makes the product light and easy to carry.

The handles are firm to hold and will stay secure in the hikers’ grip. The cork material of the handles will absorb sweat and will not be slippery even when used in rainy weather. The product can be easily retracted or released with one switch. Adjustment of the length can be done in a short span of time which will help the user gain balance.

The product performs well in aggressive terrain and is even proven dependable for users who are disabled or injured.

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Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles Review

Hiker Hunger poles are made of carbon fiber that makes them lighter than aluminum poles. They weigh only 7.6 ounces per pole and can stretch as long as 54 inches from a 24-inch folded length. The poles are strong and resist shock and the tips are pointed for greater ground impact.

The tips come with interchangeable accessories such as rubber pads, rubber tips and snow baskets. The grips are made of cork that follows the contour of the palm and fingers and are supported by foam to sustain hold at challenging terrain. The tips are made of tungsten which makes them very solid when hitting tough surfaces and will not chip or corrode.

The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles comes in three layers of metal that can be extended and retracted quickly. The joints can be locked by an easy switch mechanism. The folded size is compact and travel-friendly because it can easily fit in a backpack.

The light weight of the product makes it easy to transport. If the poles are to be transported alone, they come in a sling bag that makes it easier to carry.

Hiking Hunger Poles 

Features

  • Made of 100% carbon
  • Can be folded and extended smoothly
  • Lightweight at 7.6 ounces per pole
  • Has folded length of 24 inches and extends to 54 inches
  • Can be easily collapsed and locked at desired length
  • Easy to pack in a suitcase or backpack
  • Grip is comfortable and made of cork
  • Has one-year limited warranty

These poles are built to last and come complete with accessories to cater to any kind of hiking at any type of climate. The poles can withstand and will not break in extreme hot or cold weather. The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty.

Advantages

These are highly dependable poles and can bring reliable support to users who are hiking on light to advanced terrain. The poles are made of pure carbon which makes the structures sturdy and will not break when hit on hard surfaces.

The carbon material can also resist heavy weather like snow or rain and will not sink into the mud because of the sturdy mud baskets. The product offers good support when snowshoeing and will not bury deep into the snow. The length is appropriate for tall or short hikers.

The product is easily folded and extended and will easily adapt to the needs of the user. When going uphill, the poles can be extended quickly to support the weight of the hiker. The support is stable even when the path is muddy or slimy because the rubber grip of the tips provides good traction.

The tips of the poles are pointed and can pierce through dirt more efficiently. The poles offer a good balance to the user and will help prevent slipping on loose gravel. The support that they give is tremendous so that even large-sized users can depend on them.

The sturdiness and reliability of the product are highly rated. Users with poor knees and with balance dysfunction can use the product for support when hiking.

The pole can help hikers cover great distance with less effort and in less time. The support is useful when the trek becomes exhausting and going downhill becomes a challenge.

The locks on the product can be easily flipped and switched to fasten. The locks are reliable and will not lose hold even under extreme pressure. The product can be extended or folded quickly.

The hold on the product is firm because of the comfortable cork grip and supported by foam lining underneath. The wrist straps are made of foam and mesh and will not slip from the users’ wrists.

Customer support is efficient and will replace the product or parts right away. The one-year warranty is honored by the manufacturer.

Disadvantages

The product can break when subjected to extreme stress. The carbon material has a tendency to malfunction if the stress applied is stronger than what the design can tolerate. The pole is not supposed to be used as a stand for heavy equipment and is not meant to be a lever to lift heavy objects.

Like all poles, the product will break if subjected to extreme pressure. It is not to be used as a construction tool or support for heavy lifting.

Verdict

The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles is reliable and the carbon material makes the pole fit the need for support and balance during a trek. It is portable and very light. The poles can be easily extended or folded because they easily slide through the shaft.

The product is complete with all the necessary accessories to fit any kind of terrain. The grip is firm because of the cork material and there is a foam support underneath it when the added strength is needed.

However, the pole has a capacity only for support for hiking and will break if overwhelming pressure is applied.

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Black Diamond Distance Poles Review

The Black Diamond is a product that uses high technology and a design that is made appropriate and suitable for the use of any trekker. The poles are structurally sound and are made of light but strong aluminum; each pole weighs 14.4 ounces and is 13 inches long.

When extended, each pole reaches 43 inches. The retraction of the poles is dynamic and can be extended by pressing the grip. The lock snaps in place immediately as soon as the desired length is achieved.

The tips are coated with rubber and can be changed depending on the terrain. The Black Diamond Distance Poles comes with baskets that can be attached to stop the pole from sinking in snow or mud. The tips are cone-shaped and are faster to extend than poles with flat tips.

The grip is made of mesh and foam that will absorb sweat and is comfortable to the hands. The foam on the grip will make handling more secure. The wrist straps reinforce the hold on the pole, ensuring that the poles are always within reach.

Best Distance Poles Black Diamond 

Features

  • Durable and stable
  • Made of aluminum shafts
  • Have a 3-folding design and easily extendable
  • Very compact at 13 inches when folded
  • Weight is 14.4 ounces
  • Length extends to 43 inches
  • Wrist straps made of mesh
  • Comfortable and secure grip
  • Have interchangeable tips

The product is dependable under extreme weather conditions and for use on rugged terrain. The shafts will not bend or break when hit on hard surfaces and will not corrode or chip apart.

Advantages

The product is made of aluminum and is very dependable on long distance trekking. The product can be used in any kind of weather and can even withstand the extreme temperature in the Swiss Alps.

The structure will not bend or be scraped when hit on hard surfaces. The user is secure and can rely on the product for support. The poles adjust to the size of the user because the poles are readily extendable.

Black Diamond poles have grips made of foam that is soft to hold but keeps the hands from slipping. The product remains stable in the hand when going uphill and is a firm support when going downhill. The wrist straps are made of mesh and keep the poles from slipping from the user’s hand.

Aside from being firm, the pole’s tips grip well on any kind of surface. The poles will hold well on rocks, snow or mud and will keep the user from being knocked off. The retractable poles are easy to maneuver. The product extends and locks with a push from the handle. The cone shaped poles make it easy to glide through the shaft.

The poles’ length is not only usable by tall hikers, but the quick release is dependable for use on challenging terrain. This feature is great especially during emergencies when the user is out of balance and needs instant support.

The poles can be extended to 46 inches and are long enough to build a stable footing for the user at any time that it is needed.

The poles have three shafts that are adjustable. They are connected by rubber tubing that is sturdy. The connectors are a plus because they will not rust or corrode when wet and stop the poles from extending smoothly.

The product is reasonably priced for the quality and the high performance that it delivers. The product can be used in singles or as a pair because the handles are not specifically designed for left or right-hand use.

Disadvantages

Because of the rubber connectors, the poles tend to retract under extreme pressure. The connectors do not support the poles well and at intense impact, the poles fold unexpectedly.

The locking mechanism is not tight to give way for easy extending, which makes the product unsafe and can pose a potential danger to the user. The poles frequently unfasten even when used on muddy surfaces. The joints are not strong enough to withstand extreme stress and unlock for several times during a hike.

Verdict

The Black Diamond Distance Poles is handy and lightweight. The poles are easy to carry and pack in a bag and will not cause arm or hand strain because of the stable and comfortable rubber grips. The length of the product is adjustable and is done easily with a push of a button.

The cone-shaped shafts make the shafts extend smoothly and without any problems. The wrist straps are good and hold well when the user is sweating. The product will not bend or break when hit on hard surfaces. The tips of the poles have good surface traction and slipping is avoided.

However, the product has a weak locking feature. The connectors of the poles give out when extreme pressure is applied. The lock disengages unexpectedly when the poles are used with force.

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Montem Trekking Poles Review

The Montem trekking pole is 24 inches in length and can stretch to 53 inches. It is a stable product that has a body made of aluminum and tips that are made of titanium. The straps are made of nylon and provide security to the user while trekking. Each pole weighs 9.6 ounces and they are very light. They can fit the user’s backpack easily.

The grips are made of foam that is durable and will not tear, even after years of use and are comfortable to the hand even on long treks. The retractable body will fit any trekker’s height and will be very useful on soft surfaces. The Montem Trekking Poles can even be used to move blockages along the way because the poles will not bend when hit on hard surfaces. They are well-made and will not be scratched.

 Montem Trekking Poles Set 

Features

  • Length is 24 inches and can be extended to 53 inches
  • Weighs 9.6 ounces each
  • Made of aluminum and tungsten
  • Easy retraction for height adjustment
  • Have nylon straps for users’ security
  • Grips made of foam
  • Easy to pack
  • Has one year limited warranty

This product is safe to use and will not bring instability when used in treks. The poles will bring a better and more enjoyable trekking experience.

Advantages

In very rugged terrain, the poles are reliable and can support trekkers of large size and weight. The poles are sturdy and will not bend when pressure is applied. The aluminum and tungsten composition makes the poles stable and at the same time lightweight. These poles will not create an additional burden in the backpack while trekking for long hours.

The product is reliable for long walks and is very reliable when going uphill and downhill. Slippery surfaces can be handled with much ease and will make the user safe from falling or losing balance while hiking.

The poles’ retractable length makes it easy for the user to adjust during the hike. If the user is tall, it will be easy to adjust the poles to match the user’s height. The poles can also be shortened to adjust when going uphill.

Going down the trail is manageable because the poles can be easily extended while walking. There will be no need to stop to readjust which saves time when reaching the peak. The poles can be used to move tree branches, tall grass or rocks. The poles are sturdy and will not bend at impact.

The product is easy to store and is very light at 9.6 ounces. They will not occupy too much space in the bag and will not add weight to the backpack. The poles are easy to carry on long hikes and will not cause the arms to strain while carrying the poles on the road.

The tips of the poles add to the secure and non-slip feature. Users will have a more secure support because the grips hold well on rough or slippery surfaces. The baskets are detachable but will keep the poles from sinking in mud or snow.

The grips of the poles are easy to grasp especially because they are made of foam and not cork. Eventually, the grip will follow the user’s grip and will be more comfortable to use over time. The grips are also comfortable to use with both hands and can be easily interchanged.

One pole can be given to another user if needed. The firm hold on the poles is useful when going downhill and reaching is done more securely. The grip is safe to the skin and will not cause blisters or rashes.

This product is good to use for any kind of weather. Crossing rivers will not be a problem as they will not rust if submerged in water. The poles are also efficient in walking through deep snow. In hot days, the poles will not tarnish if left out in the sun.

The nylon straps hold well to the wrist and will not wear out from the user’s sweat or when submerged in rain or snow. They will fit even if the user wears gloves or a thick jacket.

The manufacturer guarantees a year of warranty and responds quickly to email queries.

Disadvantages

There are defective poles that do not lock when extended. The result was a user losing balance and a potential accident was in the offing. The screws have to be re-tightened to make the lock secure. If this happens, the product should be sent back for exchange.

The product also makes noise when it is hit on surfaces. This can be annoying during a long trek.

Verdict

The Montem Trekking Poles is reliable and durable. It will not give out or bend during the trek. The poles are sturdy and give stability when walking on uneven surfaces. The rubber tips will provide the needed traction when walking on rough or slippery roads. However, there is always the risk of receiving defective products and if this happens, they should be exchanged immediately.

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BAFX Hiking Poles Review

Hiking poles made by BAFX are made of aluminum and are lightweight. The structure of the poles is sturdy and will not bend even as pressure is applied to support the user’s weight. The poles are 26.5 inches but can extend to 53 inches, while containing shock for a more comfortable trek. The grips are made of a rubber lining and make holding firm.

The BAFX Hiking Poles also have wrist straps to firmly secure the poles to the hands and will not slip off. The tips are supported by rubber and will ensure stability while climbing or going down the trail. The product comes with mud discs that will prevent the pole from sinking in the mud or snow. The poles are ergonomic and can fit in any suitcase or a backpack.

Best Trekking Poles BAFX

Features

  • Have sturdy structure and made of aluminum
  • Poles are 26.5 inches and stretch to 53 inches when extended
  • Tips are covered with rubber
  • Have anti-slip mechanism
  • Tips of poles have springs to absorb shock
  • Comfortable but firm grip
  • Have wrist straps to protect from slipping
  • Come with mud baskets to prevent sinking in mud or snow
  • Has 1-year warranty

These poles can be used in any type of weather and will not rust or corrode. They will provide the user with stable support when going uphill or downhill and even on slippery or soft surfaces.

Advantages

The hiking poles are durable and provide stability to the user while trekking in various types of terrain. The poles are weather resistant and can be used in all types of weather. The poles are made of aluminum and will not bend or break if subjected to extreme cold or heat.

The poles can provide support in the snow or on other soft surfaces like mud because the rubber tips grip any type of surface. For hard surfaces, the poles have an embedded spring that absorbs shock.

The product is designed to prevent the user from losing the poles while walking. The grip of the poles is lined with rubber that absorbs sweat and remains comfortable and stable to hold. The handles have wrist straps that will securely attach the poles to the user.

Hiking will be more manageable because the poles can support the user’s weight. Even heavy trekkers can rely on the product and they will not bend when the user leans on them. The length of the pole can be adjusted as far as 53 inches. The pole can be shortened or stretched easily by a turn locking system.

The poles are easily transported and will not occupy space in a suitcase or backpack. The poles only weigh 12 ounces each and will not create an additional burden to the user.

The product is also durable and can even be used for hiking in cold weather. The poles will not corrode and the coating will not chip if hit against rocks or trees. They can endure long hikes that can exceed more than 25 miles of trekking. The poles will not break even when extreme stress is applied to them.

For tall users, the height of the pole becomes appropriate and can be adjusted to fit the user. The length is long or can be shortened for smaller users.

Because of the product’s stable construction, users with disabilities can use the product for everyday walking. The poles hold well on concrete and the surface tension is adequate to create stability on concrete. The grips on the poles do not slip even as the user’s hand perspires. The wrist strap makes the poles stay within the user’s reach.

The poles are reasonably priced and provide long term support on and off rugged terrain. Aside from the product’s long life, the manufacturer guarantees a warranty for an entire year.

Disadvantages

The wrist straps appear to be too short if the pole is not properly handled or when the user wears thick gloves and a jacket. The rubber tips tend to decrease in friction and thin out over time. The pole that absorbs more stress tends to have a thinner rubber tip. The twistable adjustments tend to lose hold and the pole extends unintentionally.

Verdict

The BAFX Hiking Poles is reliable and durable when used on hard and soft surfaces. The poles will provide support and stability to the user when trekking on difficult terrain, whether going uphill and downhill. The product will not bend and provides shock absorption if used on hard surfaces.

The rubber-coated tips make the product support the user well on uneven surfaces or to gain control on slippery roads. The grip of the pole is firm and will not cause wrist strain even after 25 miles of hiking. The wrist straps are helpful to keep the poles within reach.

The wrist straps can feel short if the user is wearing a jacket. The poles will break if they are used as a cane or a tent spike.

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The Story of the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Walkway’

El Caminito del Rey, which means “The King’s Little Pathway” in English, is a small pathway located in Spain.

Built over a hundred years ago to join two power plants in Malaga, the path stretches across beautiful scenery, inviting many people to walk across it.

This seemingly innocent road, however, has actually led many people to their deaths, and is treacherous to the extent that many now call it “the world’s most dangerous pathway.

Cliff Hanging Route of El Caminito Del Rey Spain

Workers began to build El Caminito in 1901 to connect two hydroelectric plants in Malaga.

When the pathway was completed in 1905, it was constructed of concrete and steel beams but had few safety features like handrails.

Over the years, the pathway became even more dangerous as it deteriorated.

In some places, the concrete had completely collapsed, leaving only metal beams hanging over 330 feet in the air.

Over time, blogs across the world picked up on the poor condition of the walkway.

When several people died in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they gave it the honor of being ‘most dangerous in the world‘ and dared adrenaline junkies to travel to Spain and walk across it.

Most Dangerous Walkway in World El Caminito Cliffs

Hundreds of people took on this dare, and many of them did not survive their trip.

The Spanish government, horrified by the deaths, closed the path in 2011 and began renovating it.

Using modern construction tools and techniques, they refurbished the walkway and installed handrails.

In 2015, the walkway was reopened to the public, now much safer for tourists to traverse.

Bloggers, however, did not realize that the pathway was now nowhere near as dangerous as it had been before.

King's Pathway (english) Spain Dangerous

Many webpages continued to call El Caminito ‘the most dangerous pathway,’ and daredevils continued to travel to Spain to see it.

Luckily, though, now tourists can test their bravery without risking their lives.

Are you heading on trek? Can you benefit from a professional trekking pole? Find out here>>>

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