Friday, March 12, 2010

Trekking Poles: Outdoor Products Hiking Poles

While searching for some trekking poles for our upcoming Appalachian Trail section hike, I discovered Walmart carried some hiking poles by Outdoor Products for a mere $13 each. I initially bought just one and took it home to examine.

Outdoor Products trekking poles are constructed in three major sections. The ends of the upper sections have a keyhole cut on two sides. A wrap around clamp squeezes the two "wings" against the bottom telescoping section. The clamps are adjusted by a single cross-point screw. Recommend carrying extra screws and a small crosspoint screwdriver on a multi-tool or keyring.

The bottom two sections are marked with various lengths in centimeters. I found 133 about right for 6-foot tall hikers.

The top of each trekking pole has a molded hand grip that was comfortable. An adjustable wrist strap is attached at the base of the hand grip.

Just prior to a weekend shakedown hiking trip, I bought a second matching trekking pole. Both trekking poles performed well with no bending. While hiking, we used the tips to flip small branches off the hiking trail. We'll have to take these hiking poles out to a nearby mountain with a boulder field to see how they do in steeper and rougher terrain.

Tip 1: Get some fingerless cycling or golf gloves to wear when using these trekking poles. By the end of a day of walking, your hands may become tender from the constant friction of the handles.

Tip 2: Wrap some duct tape around your hiking poles.  A water bottle developed a hairline crack after 20-years of service. We quickly patched the area with duct tape from our hiking pole.


We used our Outdoor Products trekking poles from Walmart for our first Appalachian Trail section hike. The poles held up wonderfully. Don't know how we would have made it through some of the rocky, bouldering sections without them. That said, the basket on one pole did shatter, but only after repeatedly being jammed and caught between rocks throughout the trip. The other pole does have a very slight bend from a fall that took more of our body weight than designed, but the pole collapses normally and works fine extended.

We took along a mini fishing multi-tool that included a screwdriver for tightening the clamps. Only one pole needed adjusting and then just once during the two weeks.

We plan to add another set of Outdoor Products hiking poles to the family gear cache over the coming year.


  1. Love mine. I was skeptical at first because of the price, but it's held up rock-solid. Quality item, great buy.

  2. Really like mine, but lost a basket from one & can not find a placement. Even the company doesn't have or sell replacement parts. Any ideas about where I can get replacement baskets, or what other brand would work well on the Outdoor Product poles?

  3. I have long since shattered the baskets on mine, but haven't looked into a replacement or whether any other brand's baskets are compatible. I know the baskets are to prevent the poles sinking in mud, but I seem to use mine most on rocky ups and downs. If I ever find out, I'll comment here, but its not likely to be anytime soon.

    I did buy a second set of poles and need to buy a third set so both my kids have a set should they ever join their dad on the trail.