Though trekking and hiking poles can withstand some of the roughest terrain, they do still need a little bit of care and maintenance in order to ensure they continue to meet your needs. Hiking poles that are properly maintaining will last considerably longer, and since proper care of these poles is not too difficult, you should be ready to dedicate the time you need to maintaining your pole whenever necessary.
Check for Damage
The first thing you should always do with your pole is check it thoroughly for any damage that may have occurred on your trip, even if the trip was generally simple and not in rough terrain. Damage can occur at any point, and if you see signs of breaking, excess wear and tear, or anything that may cause the pole to break or weaken over time, you can see if there is a way to replace or repair the area. At the very least, you will be ready in case your pole will not withstand a longer trip.
Preventing Against Rust
The next thing you need to watch out for is rust/decay. There are a variety of ways to ensure your pole does not experience these types of problems. For starters, after a long hike in the wet outdoors it is a good idea to make sure that the pole is completely dry and stored in a warm, dry place after use. If your pole can be taken apart, it is a good idea to do so and let each piece dry separately in order to improve air flow. Also cleaning a dirty pole both inside and out is valuable.
Note: Never put any lubricants inside the pole unless the manufacturer recommends it.
You may also need to replace some of the parts of the pole as well depending on their degree of wear and tear. For avid hikers, the basket may need quite a bit of fixing up, as they can be most prone to breaking due to the degree of the abuse they receive on a hiking trip. Tips may also need replacement, especially rubber and aluminum tips, which is why it is always useful to have extra tips on hand for a quick replacement if necessary.
Fix any Bends
Should your pole have any bends in it, you will want to bend it back carefully. If possible, take apart the pole and handle only the bent section to avoid causing any harm to the rest of the pole.
Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean the pole. As mentioned, most poles are not designed to handle internal lubricants as these can cause rust and decay, while others are able to handle them without issue. The guide provided by the manufacturer will be able to tell you what you can and cannot use with your pole, and the proper way to clean and maintain your specific pole correctly (as well as what to watch out for and how to correct it).