This essential piece of hiking gear goes by various names including hiking poles, walking sticks, trekking poles, walking poles to name a few.
Have you ever been on an outdoor hike and casually wandered into the woods and picked up a stick where you then used as a walking stick? Most of us have and never really thought about it, but we are candidates for a hiking pole.
Why you need this piece of hiking gear?
- Like all hiking gear the purpose of to improve your safety or comfort. In the case of a hiking pole it does both
- Hiking poles improve your balance when crossing streams and walking on rough terrain and help prevent you from falling
- Hiking poles reduce the weight and relieve the stress hiking places on your knees, ankles and your back. In particular, when hiking down a steep hill there is a lot of stress placed on your knees and hiking poles help take off this pressure
- Hiking poles assist in pacing when climbing up or down a steep hill.
- They boost your confidence when on a hiking trails
How to use hiking poles?
Most hikers do not use the hiking poles correctly and therefore don’t always receive the advantages above. This piece of hiking gear has the look of ski poles and is thin and light weight so they don’t add weight to your hiking. First, always use two hiking poles for the best benefits, many hikers chose to only use one pole.
The wrist strap loop at the top should be snug around your hand with your thumb on top of the hiking pole. The hiking pole can telescopic to different lengths. When on level ground you should be able to stretch out your arms straight. When climbing a hills shorten the hiking pole and when descending lengthen the hiking poles. Many types of hiking poles also feature anti-shock springs to lessen impact with the ground.
When walking on the hiking trails remove the pole tip cap, it should only be used when in towns. If using this piece of hiking gear be careful around other walkers. Watch you do no hit their feet or swing the poles around and hit them.
Whether you call them hiking poles, walking sticks or trekking poles this piece of hiking gear can greatly enhance your comfort and safety on your need walk.