Using Hiking Poles

With trekking or hiking poles your will be able to hike faster, they are helpful in maintaining balance over rocky or uneven terrain and reduce the potential for injury on your next adventure.

I know many hikers pick up sticks along the trail but they can break, can be heavy and do not help reduce the stress on your knees.

They are especially useful in on rocky terrain or trails where leaves have fallen. These seemingly dry leaves can hide wet, decaying leaves underneath that are the perfect catalyst for a painful tumble down a steep trail. During one hike I was on a person slipped on a rock hidden under some wet leaves and was injured. We had to assist them to the closest road where we had called a car to take them to the hospital.

And hiking poles add stability when ascending hills as when you jab them into the ground, they provide a stable base with which to pull yourself to the next level.

What to look for when purchasing:

Grips – those made of cork do not sweat in hot weather.
Strap – is it wide and big enough for a comfortable fit
Adjustable length – for your height and to properly tackle the hills
Locking – a twist lock, flick lock or a folding type
Collapsed length – so it can fit on your backpack or during travel
Anti Shock – to reduce the stress on your knees
Tips – Carbide tip?
Shaft – needs to be strong. Made of carbon fibre, alaumium
Other features – compasses and thermometers are nice touches but rarely add much value. bAskets or snow discs are helpful in winter.

Using hiking poles
Many people when walking do not use these walking sticks  right and so they are not as effective as they could be.

2) When gripping the pole, put your hand ‘up’ through the strap and grip the pole such that the strap is in your palm and you are putting your downward force on the strap. This helps so that that you don’t need to keep a firm grip when pushing down on the pole.

2) The length should be such that when on a level surface, your arm should be at a 90-degree bend when gripping the pole. You can also adjust the pole longer for descents and shorter for ascents to help with pole placement.

3) When on a regular stride, plant the right pole with the left foot and the left pole with the right foot, so that your step and pole planting alternate. This is similar to your natural arm motion when walking and the poles just become an extension of your arms. As you shift weight to your other leg, push down on the pole, so that you reduce the weight on your knees.

People feel they are light, strong, and very helpful in maintaining balance over rocky terrain, So take a pair of hiking poles on your next journey.

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