My hiking poles have started making an odd, springy noise with every step. The noise sounds like the poles themselves are vibrating each time I plant them into the ground, and it starts about an mile or two into a hike. The poles work well, but this noise is slightly alarming. Is something in the poles about to give?

Information that may help:

I'm using a pair of Black Diamond trail ergo cork poles. They're aluminum, the locking mechanism is the latch/pressure type, and they don't have shock absorbers. I usually extend them to about 115cm. My usual hiking stride is a short nordic walk, to give me speed while supporting my knees a little.

  • 1
    Do the poles flex in length at all? Those BD poles shouldn't be moving based on their design. Or is it just the vibration of the poles hitting the ground? Aluminum poles won't suddenly splinter, that's not how the material fails, so I wouldn't be too alarmed. Might be you just hit your rhythm 1-2 miles in to the hike. Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 23:30
  • They do flex a little bit, what I assume is a normal amount. I had a pair of (I think) CF poles before this, and they never made a noise like this. Is this normal with Aluminum poles? I only started hearing this noise last year. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


Based on where the pole is striking the ground, the surface hardness, and the extension of the poles you can get some vibrations and noise (I do). My guess is since the poles aren't extended all the way the shaft surfaces (where the extra length is hiding inside the pole) are colliding and causing that noise. You might be able to add a small o-ring to the level locks to help dampen the movement. Or try extending the poles all the way to see if it still happens.

As far as safety goes I wouldn't be concerned. The material won't suddenly have a catastrophic failure and the vibration noise (either from the locks or shafts colliding) isn't unusual. That being said, if you don't like hiking to the sound of your poles vibrating it might be worth replacing the poles.

If you regularly use a 115 cm pole then just purchase a single length pole which would be lighter, cheaper, and eliminate the noise. You just won't have the adjustability. Or maybe going back to a carbon fiber pole would be better.

Some links...


Wrap scotch magic tape around the the pole that slides inside.One or two wraps is enough. Only wrap on the very end and just this side of "Stop".

  • 1
    This answer proposes a good idea, but should be fleshed out slightly to explain why/how this fixes the OPs question.
    – fgysin
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 7:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.