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When you hit the trail, the one accessory you must take without is a Trekking Poles for Hiking. Ok, you can hike without one too, but once you start everything changes. Immediately, your circulation and posture improve, as well as your stability as you navigate through rough terrain. Budget Trekking Poles are the perfect place to start.
If you’re an avid hiker, you understand the importance of having the right gear to make your outdoor adventures as enjoyable as possible. From the right shoes to the right clothing, having the right equipment makes a world of difference. But what about trekking poles?
Having the right pair of trekking poles can make your adventure even more enjoyable. But finding the perfect trekking poles can be challenging – especially if you’re on a budget.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the best budget trekking poles for hiking that will make your adventure even more enjoyable. So, check out our list and find the perfect trekking poles for your next outdoor adventure!
What Is A Trekking Pole And Why You Need One?
A hiking pole is much like an extra leg, and with two, you essentially have four legs, permitting you to make headway rapidly and regain your balance have to you lose your footing.
A trekking pole also distributes your weight to your upper body, meaning less strain on your ankles, knees, and hips. Besides the hiking benefits, the Trekking poles have become so popular, ultra-light hikers are incorporating them into their gear with trekking pole chairs and a pole tent.
However, like with all merchandise, not all the best trekking poles for hiking are created the same. Among unique manufacturers, models, types, and rate stages, the plethora of alternatives for trekking poles inside the market can be overwhelming. I’m sharing some of my favorite budget trekking poles for hiking.
Do you need to spend a lot of money on Trekking Poles for hiking?
In the hiking world, there are so many options out there. When it comes to gear, people will drop an entire paycheck on a single item. While I believe in good quality gear, there is some great gear that fits the budget category.
The Top 5 Budget Trekking Poles under $60
New Balance Trekking Pole
Telescoping Aluminum Rubber 29.6 oz $$
They are a great starter set for a casual or weekend hiker. I’ve even taken them on a few weekend backpacking trips. They are sturdy and give you the little bit of extra contact you need!
I picked up two pairs of these for my first winter hike at Target. I had little time to go anywhere sophisticated and was also on a budget. Needing at least one pole for every member of the family, these worked great.
Trekking Poles By Hiker Hunger Outfitters
Telescoping Carbon Fiber Cork/EVA Foam 7.6 oz $$$$
Hiker Hunger Outfitters Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are some of the lightest and strongest on the market.
If you are looking at dipping your toes in the water to a higher-quality pole, this is the one to spend your money on.
Trekking Pole Types
Trekking poles have three categories; telescoping, folding, and fixed length. Poles are made of two materials primarily; aluminum or carbon fiber.
And the last thing to look out for is the handle type. They are rubber, cork or EVA Foam. Each has variation has its own set of features and while there is no correct version, people can get very particular about the ‘best one’ to choose.
Let’s break down some pros and cons of each type of trekking pole.
Telescoping poles are terrific when you want a shorter pole, but they aren’t great if you want to go really long on your trek. They are cost-effective and are easily adjusted on the fly. They work great for family hikes.
I often set it up for my kids, then when they get bored with the pole on the trail, adjust it again. Telescoping poles have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to use. They are also easy to store.
Folding poles generally are fixed in length. Inside the pole is an electrical cord-locking mechanism, similar to a tent pole. This feature allows them to be broken down small.
They are usually lighter because manufacturers use thinner and weaker shafts. This is great for making them lighter but is not as durable.
There are a limited number of fixed-length poles out there. Because of its design, it is the most durable of all the poles. I recommend purchasing in person to confirm the size is correct. With the size staying consistent, it doesn’t work with all the hiking gear out there.
Aluminum trekking poles are what you’ll find most budget poles made of. That’s because it’s light and relatively stiff. Universally, it has the best overall ratings for dependability, though it has a higher weight than carbon fiber poles.
Carbon Fiber is the latest and greatest technology. Made from a super light material, it’s considered stiffer, durable, and better at shock absorption. This is why more hikers are leaning towards this innovation.
But reports also show that under high stress, carbon poles are more likely to snap than aluminum poles. When hiking in cold weather, look for a reinforced carbon pole to avoid it.
Cork is the higher end and preferred hiking grip. The natural material reduces precipitation building on the hands making them more comfortable. It’s lightweight and thermoneutral. The material is elastic in nature and forms specific shapes with pressure, including your hand.
A lot of budget trekking poles are made from plastic material. They are tough, but also heavier. It also doesn’t neutralize the moisture and can feel slippery at times.
EVA Foam is another option. It is light and strong, with a high crack and abrasion resistance. It dries fast and holds its shape over time. In some cases, the foam may seem like an affordable alternative but compared to cork it has more longevity.
Safety Considerations for Hiking with Trekking Poles
Safety considerations when using trekking poles are important to keep in mind to prevent falls and overuse injuries. When using trekking poles, it’s important to maintain proper hand placement and grip on the handles to ensure that you have a secure hold and can use them effectively for balance and support.
While wrist straps are great, I’ve seen more injuries with people wearing them. If your pole gets caught and you have the strap around your wrist, it can take you down.
It’s also important to adjust the length of the poles appropriately for your height and the terrain you are hiking in, to avoid straining or overextending your arms and shoulders.
Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of your technique when using trekking poles, to avoid overuse injuries such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Finally, it’s a good idea to inspect your trekking poles regularly for any signs of wear or damage and to replace them if necessary to ensure they are safe to use.
Which type of budget trekking pole for hiking is best for you?
Remember: Your trekking pole must meet the following requirements:
1) It must be light enough so that it won’t add much weight to your load.
2) It must be strong enough so that it won’t collapse under heavy use.
3) It must allow you stability while moving, but also allow enough movement at the end of your trek so you can pivot easily.
4) It must have an ergonomic grip for optimal balance during travel (for stability during travel), but also have enough protection from rocks and sticks on the ground so you don’t lose balance on top of them.
When it comes down to it, there is always a level of personal preference. I still love my original set of New Balance Aluminum poles and will use them until the tips wear off completely. The next set I get will be the Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber pole set, in the brightest color I can find.