When youíre out in the rough backpacking or hiking, sometimes you need a helping hand on the trail to get up those hilly spots, and Black Diamond Hiking Poles fit the bill quite nicely.
My best friend surprised me with a Black Diamond Access Trekking pole right before a recent backpacking trip, and I canít thank her enough. It was a life saver, especially coming up "Tom ĎKillerí" trail. I donít know that I would have made it up without my pole to take some of the weight and help balance across creeks and large rocks (Not to mention moving brush and spider webs... you Backpackers know what I mean).
Made of lightweight, aircraft grade aluminum, these little poles are very sturdy. They are fully adjustable with a cam-lock system that stays put when you lock it for height adjustment, and the tips come with a removable synthetic rubber grip for better traction on slippery areas, such as creek rocks. The Synthetic tips cover what looks to be a metal or carbide tip with rock biting little ridges in it (Actually used for Ice Trekking).
The grip is shaped to fit into your hand, and there is a wrist strap for your convenience. I have to admit I didnít use the wrist strap; I found it annoying myself, but another good friend liked it being there, and used it during the trip. Itís a matter of personal preference. The strap is adjustable, as well.
When not in use, the pole is compact and stores easily. The weight on the trail is miniscule, and worth every ounce.
The Down Side:
Until you get the cam-locks adjusted (very easy to do) the poles tend to slip down a bit when you push down hard on them... once the cam-locks are adjusted this stops.
The Black Diamond "Access" Series has TWO different kinds of poles.. one kind has ONE cam-lock on them, the other has TWO. The style with two camlocks is much smaller when telescoped for storage.
Would WE Buy It?:
Weight: 10 ounces
Length: 35-55 inches
Stored length: 35 inches (Single Cam-lock model, double cam-lock model is smaller)
Priced around $30 each
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