You may be surprised to learn that your snowshoe poles don’t need to go into storage for the summer…
Most snowshoe poles (including ours) are designed with interchangeable baskets so they can be used in a variety of weather conditions and terrains. If you’re getting ready to hit the trail for some hiking this summer, for instance, a quick removal of the snow baskets means you have hiking poles that can help you balance better, and take a load off your knees as you hike!
In addition to various basket options, there are also a variety of optional rubber trekking pole tips that can be slid on over the metal tips to assist in grip and stability on different types of hard, rocky, or paved surfaces.
If these options are enough to make your head spin, here’s a simplified rundown of the various baskets and tips you can use along with your trekking poles, and how they can help you get outside year round:
Basic Tips (No basket)
Your simplest option, by simply removing the snow basket from your poles, you’ll have what you need for most dry trail conditions. The carbide tip will help you dig into the trail each time you strike it, improving both your traction and balance.
Not sure how to get those snow baskets off? Here’s an easy how-to video:
If you think you’ll be hiking anywhere there might be deeper mud, these baskets will come in handy. The small disks will help the pole from sinking too deep when conditions do get muddy. They can also help keep the mud from splashing up onto your clothing.
Most poles will come with these baskets included, and they’re small enough (not that much extra weight) that you may find it makes sense to slide these on for the entire summer, so you always have them with you.
Rounded Rubber Tips
Rounded rubber tips can be handy when the trail is especially rocky or hard packed. They help give you a little extra grip where the metal tips would normally bounce or slide out from under you.
Nordic Walking Tips
If you’re an urban walker, you may want to check out the Nordic Walking concept that these tips are designed specifically for. A popular sport in Europe, this can be a great way to burn additional calories when you head out for a walk. Up to 20% more, in fact, than without poles because you engage your upper body while walking.
Nordic Walking tips are designed to engage specifically on paved surfaces and have a longer body to help facilitate a longer push off each time you swing your arm backward. A common point of confusion is which direction these oblong tips should be pointing, but wonder no more. As you walk forward, the longer side of these tips should be facing behind you.
Once winter comes back around, you’ll want to be sure you re-install these to your trekking poles. They’ll help keep your poles from sinking in too deep in snowy conditions.