Trekking Pole Replacement Tips – For What Terrain

Trekking pole replacement tips are one of the most useful things involved in hiking. There are four main types of tips, and we will touch on all of them here. It can be difficult knowing what tip to buy and why. But here’s believing that after this article you will have some starting places.

Why purchase a tip?

To start, a tip is an awesome accessory to attach onto the bottom of your trekking pole. A lot of poles, in fact all the ones I know of, are made so that it is super simple to switch one tip with another. The replacement tips are made for all different types of terrains. And, therefore you can always find one that is good for you.

The reason I purchase different tips is that I like to hike in all different terrains. Whether concrete, ice, mud or thick grass lands, there is a tip for you.

Everyday terrain

Usually when you purchase a trekking pole it comes with a rubber tip. This is the standard tip for all hiking poles, and there is a reason. It is an all around good tip. The rubber tip is sturdy and can with stand the rough surface of concrete and the sharp little rocks it often comes with.

The rubber tips help to protect the metal spikes on the bottom of trekking poles. They also help to protect the poles while they are in storage

Rubber tips typically come in two different sizes. Sturdy, and more sturdy. You can get a larger and more durable rubber tip. I recommend this if you either hike a lot, hike on rougher terrain or hike around wetter climates that require more protection for your poles.

Snow basket tips


These are my personal favorites. Mainly because they do their job seriously well. If you do a lot of trekking in the snow you should look into these snow basket tips. It’s a pretty straight forward concept. They are like little snow shoes for your hiking poles.

Snow baskets prevent your poles from sinking too deep into the snow. Seems like it wouldn’t be that necessary, but believe it or not hiking with poles that are more or less gliding on the surface (Well okay – an inch or two down, but still that’s WAY better than a foot down) makes the hike a lot easier.

These tips reduce fatigue in your arms and provide a smoothness when walking through snow.

Ice safety tips

Now when the snow starts melting and turns to ice, you come across a whole new scenario with hiking. The slippery, wet and slushy factor. My wife basically refused to hike with me during Spring. She was tired of falling and slipping. She had to watch her step so much that she couldn’t look around and enjoy the beauty of the nature we were hiking in.

This is where you actually do not have to purchase anything extra. You simply remove the rubber tip that your pole most likely came with and reveal the spike inside it.

The spikes at like a stake, and help you get your balance on slippery surfaces. You just walk with them and let them do the work for you; steadying you in the less steady terrain of Spring. They work well enough that you do not have to put much work into it – however if it is really slippery or a super slipper slope (I just wanted to use that phrase – haha) then you can put more weight into them and really stake them into the ground.

The metal spikes are your go to anytime you desperately need to keep control, stay on your feet and conquer the hurdles of mother nature.

Mud baskets

Now these ones, I have to be honest, I have yet to try. But I have them on order from amazon (because of there great pricing) as I am suspecting the ice outside to pretty quickly turn into mud. They act very similarly to snow baskets by helping your poles not to get lost in the mud.

One of the main reasons I am excited to try these is that last year, hiking without them was hard. I felt like the poles were constantly getting dragged deeper into the mud. Mud is thick and gooey and, well, muddy.

I will definitely have to update this when they come in, so I can let you all know my tried and true review of them. But I must say, I am also excited because I have heard that you can insert your pole and it’s basket tip into the mud, lift it gently and then forceably flick it at your hiking partners face. Which I deem to be a very effective use of this tip.

A tip for every season!

Summer: Hiking in summer is amazing. It is warm, beautiful and there are many lakes to be found. A rubber tip is best for this.

Fall: Hiking in fall is also amazing, it is insanely memorizing hiking around falling leaves, cool breezes and watching for signs of the animals prepping for winter. This season you often want a mix of either rubber, or spike tips.

Winter: It isn’t everyone’s favorite time to hike, but it sure is becoming mine. Bundling up and walking through snowflake filled trees – it’s magnificent. There is something so special, and, if I may, Narnian like, about the beauty of winter. Snow basket tips are obviously the best choice for this time.

And Spring: Spring is full of the fresh new smells, flowers peeking through and the sound of animals moving again. This is the season to hike and see new life; you can smell, see and almost taste Spring. This is where the spike tips and mud tips come into play.

Basically, I think it is an incredible idea to get all different sorts of tips for your hiking experience. Because, whether sun or rain, or a snowy wonderland, hiking year round is what I live for. All these different trekking pole tips make it that much more doable. If you are looking for a pack of all the different kinds of hiking tips click here.

6 thoughts on “Trekking Pole Replacement Tips – For What Terrain

  1. Hey man, as an avid camper I need to know the ins and outs to the different terrains, what’s best used for what, etc. I wholeheartedly agree that safety is #1 priority when you’re hiking and the ice is melting. A fun trip can turn into a tragedy but when you can pull it off correctly it is the best feeling in the world. You seem to know what you’re talking about so I’m going to share this page, thanks a lot.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement and I do agree that knowing the terrain you are planning to hike can make all the different in safety on the trail. Happy hiking!

  2. Hi Caleb,

    I often hike for several hours and should invest in a pole with a couple of tips. Thanks to your article I have learned about the different types available and which is best for the Summer and Fall seasons.

    I would definitely get one with changeable tips. I usually hike where there are rocky areas and forests as well, I don’t hike during the winter months.

    Thanks for the informative article!


  3. Caleb,
    Most of my hiking is done during the warmer months, I have only used the rubber tips. I like how you have detailed what tips to use in each situation.
    How easy is it to change from one tip to the other, mine does not have any thing under the rubber tip.

    1. Hello John, some hiking poles don’t have the option to interchange the tips. Usually the hiking pole tips can screw off and then just simply screw the other tip that you would prefer on and your good to go. Other ways hiking pole tips can be replaced if your tips don’t screw off would be heating up the tip of the pole and then simply just slipping them off and press fitting the new tip on.

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