Bas Pro Shop Aluminum Trekking Pole
While we initially viewed trekking poles as a superfluous glorified walking stick, our relatively short (3.5 miles) but steep vertical ascent to Gem Lake in Estes Park (and descent for that matter) suggested that a bit of added stability and support might come in handy. While a bit skeptical, we opted to try out a budget level Bass Pro Shop Aluminum Trekking Pole to try it out.
This trekking pole was quite a steal. For a inexpensive 19.99, we got an adjustable aluminum unit constructed from durable 6061 aluminum alloy. It is constructed of three sections and extends from 24 to 53 inches, so either of us could make use of the pole. While it has an on/off locking system to keep the pole in place, we noticed that if you tighten it too strong, even just a bit, it can become impossibly stuck which was quite irritating. The handle on the pole has a nice contoured grip as well as a nylon wrist strap. It works well for those with larger hands, but not so perfect for smaller hands. Additionally, the pole provides a carbide steel tip which was nice for digging into dirt and provided a solid grip. There was also a tip cover and basket which provided support on boulders and rocks. In addition, the pole comes with a built in compass on the handle. However, we noticed that you have to tap it a few times for accuracy and even then it was hit or miss. We highly suggest using a more reliable compass.
Overall, the trekking pole is a great value. (Prices on these can go all the way to 225 dollars). Will (sibling/brother in law) chose to just pick up a stick in the woods…. Nonetheless, It is relatively light weight and grips the ground well. After a recent hike through Cascade Canyons, I noticed that the pole may have given us extra endurance due to less strain on the lower body and more redirect to the arms and upper body. However, an even lighter model would have been preferable which are available at higher price points.