How To Take Care Of Hiking Poles
Text By Philip Tulin © All rights reserved.

It makes absolutely no sense to purchase an expensive pair of hiking poles if you don't know how to keep hiking poles your hiking poles safe. Take care of your hiking poles and your hiking poles will take care of you. There are a few different types of hiking poles and each type has its own maintenance. The following are some helpful hints and tips to help you maintain your hiking poles.
 
Expander Pole Type (Twist to lengthen and shorten the hiking poles)
This is the most popular type of hiking poles. As you twist the pole tight, the plastic plug expands against the inside of the pole to lock the section of pole in position. When you twist the pole the opposite direction, the plastic plug loosens so that the pole length can be adjusted. The hiking poles might malfunction (don't stay tight or tight to adjust) when the inside of the poles become oxidized, dirty or possibly wet.
 
1. Read the manufacturer's directions on maintenance
Follow the directions outlined by the manufacturer.
 
2. Buy extra parts
All parts of the hiking pole can be purchased - plug, tip, basket, etc. If the hiking pole is damaged and can't be fixed, purchase the part that needs to be replaced.
 
3. Take apart the poles
After each hike, take apart the poles and wash the exterior, the baskets, etc. Don't wash out the interior of the poles and DON'T use any lubricants (oil) on the inside of the pole. The poles usually have an anodized interior and a special coarse brush can be purchased to clean the inside of the poles. The coarse brush screws into one end of a pole and the pole becomes a cleaner for all the rest of the poles. Always let the poles dry thoroughly before putting the sections back together. Clean the plug (if necessary) and if the sections of the poles slip, replace the plug with a new one.
 
4. Bent pole
If the pole is bent, take apart the section that is bent. With a slow and gentle motion, bend the pole back to approximately straight. The section will become relatively straight when the all the pole sections are shortened together and the pole remains closed for a while. As long as there isn't a crease in the pole, the pole should still function properly. Check closely for hairline cracks.
 
Push button Pole Type
These poles do not have plugs to adjust the sections.
 
1. Read the manufacturer's directions on maintenance
Follow the directions outlined by the manufacturer.
 
2. Lubricate (if manufacturer suggests)
The push button poles do not have a plug and can use lubricants for cleaning and helping the poles perform properly.
 
3. Dry and clean
Dry and clean the poles so the poles remain free from dirt and cracks in the adjustment holes.
 
Snap Lock Pole Type
Do NOT use a lubricant on this type of hiking poles. Clean similar using the above instructions. If the locking mechanism does not perform properly, replace the locking system.
 
Have fun backpacking and don't forget to take care of your hiking poles when you return from your hike.




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