Who We Are
womenstrekkingpoles.com reviews trekking poles and other hiker gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work. womenstrekkingpoles.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
How do you choose what you recommend? How do you test?
It depends, but it usually goes like this. First, we find the best writer for the topic we can and pair them up with a team of hiking experts, researchers, and editors who are experts in the product. We study materials put forth by companies, read forums and user reviews on sites like Amazon, and study all the best articles and papers we can on the topic. We basically read everything of worth and talk to everyone of note on the topic.
One thing we’ve learned over the years is who the talent is in the review game. There are dozens of great review sites, and we know who is best at what. We avoid using inexperienced “experts” and questionable sites as sources. We reference all the data we can find and then we decide what to even consider testing.
Why only the “best?” What if I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the top of the line?
When we say best, we don’t mean the one that costs the most or has the most features. In many cases, top-of-the-line models are unnecessary for most people. It’s true that one of the best ways to find trekking poles and gear is to just find out which ones are on sale. But there are plenty of really amazing trekking poles at good prices, in case that’s the way you want to go.
Because we live in an age when most products are pretty good, we generally like to find the sweet spot of cost as balanced out by the features we really need and pick a model above and below that exact point. Another belief we hold, which helps us make editorial decisions, is that one can easily argue style but you can’t argue quality or value. Those things are evident.
What if I want something different?
That could happen. In that case, we like to recommend alternatives for different types of people who might need a different size or style or have a different kind of life that needs something not necessarily better but better for them. We think that might be easier than sorting through and comparing a few hundred trekking poles from scratch, like we do.
What’s with those buy buttons and those Amazon links?
Doesn’t getting affiliate fees create a conflict of interest and bias?
We think it does create a bias—a bias to write about a lot of things with affiliate codes threaded in them. But we think it’s less of a conflict of interest than traditional advertising. Affiliate pay does not, in our opinion, create a worse situation than running a site based on pageviews, because publishers still get paid for ads on stories that are hyped up, unnecessarily controversial, or broken into multiple pages. Even stories that are flat-out incorrect. We know from past experience.
All we can say is that the most important things to the health of this site are its reputation and its relationship with readers. Here’s why: We are going to recommend trekking poles and other hiking gear, no matter what, and we’re going to make our best efforts to recommend the things that we truly believe are worth the money. If we recommend something because we are biased or lazy and the pick sucks, you can return the piece of gear and we will make zero dollars. We also invite you to fact check any of our pieces, which outline the time, logic, and energy spent researching, interviewing experts, and testing gear. Often, this is more than dozens—sometimes even hundreds—of hours.
All the evidence on why our picks are the right ones are laid out plainly in each guide for you to believe or not believe. And the two times we got it wrong so far, we’ve written clear explanations and apologies on the front page of the site. We don’t enjoy doing it. But pride is less important than our ultimate priority of making sure we’re recommending good gear and doing the right thing for all our readers, who are ultimately the ones who pay for this research.