If you like the outdoors, hiking must be one of the activities you enjoy. I didn’t realise how much walking poles can help during hiking until I tried them. I brought along walking poles for my recent trip to USA and Canada as I planned to do some hiking. I had no prior experience of using them, but I had the impression that they will help to distribute weight to the arm, and so provide relief to the legs. Besides, i thought they will make me look like a professional (OK I admit this was the main reason). Anyhow, they proved to be indispensable when hiking uphill, especially when carrying a kid.
I know i will not be using the walking poles much once my holiday is over, so i didn’t want to get expensive ones, so obviously i turn to Taobao. They’re called 登山杖 in Chinese. In fact i just went for 2 sets of the entry level ones, at 46 Yuan (S$10.50) per set. The design is like that of pull-up bars that you fix across a door frame, where you extend and then twist to tighten. Unfortunately, one of the two sets i received turned out to be faulty – one of the segments could not be pulled out from the enclosing segment. The design is inherently prone to this problem. Just to give you an idea of what it looks like, see the sample picture below. If you intend to buy walking poles, DO NOT buy this type!
I learned my lesson (thankfully not an expensive one) and bought another set with a different tightening mechanism (external). This was more expensive of course, but not by very much, at 78 Yuan (S$17.50) per pair. It had the added advantage of being slightly slimmer and lighter. I was very satisfied with this second purchase from 大漠户外 and highly recommend it.
The external locking mechanism – locking is done in one step rather than having to continuously twist the bar without really knowing when to stop.