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January 2017 Issue
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Walking poles

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The benefits of walking poles are many: they reduce the stress on your knees, will help you cross rivers and provide stability on uneven or steep ground. 

How poles help
Over a day’s tramping, walking poles can reduce the weight put onto your knees by several tonnes. Correctly adjusted, they improve posture, breathing, speed and stability over most terrain. Ascents, descents and river crossings are safer. Fatigue is reduced.

One or two?
Two poles is best – they will help with balance, stride and reduce the load on both legs.

Shaft
Generally in three or four telescoping or folding shaft sections, made of aluminium.

Length adjustment
Some poles are fixed length – offering extra strength and durability, but requiring careful selection to ensure correct size is bought. Variable length poles can be adjusted to suit the terrain or the user. Each pole section is secured with external clamps or internal expanders. Clamps are more secure because expanders can sometimes slip in wet conditions or when there is a lot of twisting on uneven surfaces.

Shock absorbers
Spring-loaded shock absorbers reduce impact on elbows and shoulders, though the compromise is a slightly heavier pole and a less secure grip.

Grip
Made from foam, which is soft and grippy even when wet, grips should be ergonomically-shaped. Some grips extend to the pole – allowing a  quick change of grip without having to adjust the length of the pole.

Strap
Made from a breathable, moisture wicking material, the strap gives control over the pole without a muscle-tiring grip and can also help cushion impacts. They are easy to adjust and comfortable against the skin.

Baskets and tips
A hard-wearing carbide tip provides secure placement on all surfaces. However, these tips can damage tracks, so when walking on soft trails use the rubber end cap. A snow basket prevents the pole from sinking into soft ground or snow.

Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose a model.

bd-distance-flz-copy

Black Diamond Distance FLZ $199.99
Three-section foldable shaft with FlickLock adjustability, EVA foam grip and moisture-wicking strap, mini-grip extension, aluminum construction, rubber and carbide tips, stopper basket with shaft catcher to secure folded sections. Length 95-110cm, 105-125cm,120-140cm Collapsed length 34cm, 37cm, 40cm Weight 440g, 455g, 470g/pair.

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lbb135

Helinox LBB135 $195
Four-section pole with one-touch lever length adjustment, auto-locking lower sections, DAC TH72M aluminium alloy construction, foam grip with wicking wrist straps, extended grip tungsten carbide tips, rubber tip covers. Length 112-135cm Collapsed length 54cm Weight 476g/pair.

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tl-seriesHelinox TL Series Folding Poles $156
Fixed-length folding poles constructed from DAC TH72M aluminium alloy, one press button operation, foam grip with wicking wrist straps, extended grip, tungsten carbide tips, rubber tip covers. Length 105cm, 115cm, 125cm Collapsed length 33cm, 35cm, 37cm Weight 304g, 312g, 328g/pair.BUY NOW
gl145Helinox GL145 $168
Adjustable pole with ‘groove-lock’ system for better load carrying capacity, twist-lock operation, foam grips and wicking wrist straps, DAC TH72M aluminium alloy construction, tungsten carbide tips, rubber tip covers. Length 90-145cm Collapsed length 64cm Weight 432g/pair.BUY NOW