The attitude towards trekking poles is rather ambiguous in the travel community. Some people never walk out without a pair of poles, while others prefer not to use them at all. In this article, we are going to present several great reasons to get trekking poles, but first, let’s find out what they are.
What Are Trekking Poles
Also known as hiking sticks, trekking poles are very similar to ski poles in their functionality: they are used to provide balance and rhythm to the hiker and help to get through rough terrain. There are lots of different types of trekking poles for different terrain types and needs. Choosing a proper pair might become an issue, so we suggest checking out a compilation of the best trekking poles on Clever Wander.
Why You Need Trekking Poles
Despite some people not being fond of using trekking poles, they actually are a must-have tool for most travelers and hikers. Here are the main reasons you need a pair of hiking sticks.
Rhythm. Hikes are always a marathon rather than a sprint, so having a proper rhythm is essential. Hiking sticks help you to set and maintain a consistent pace with stable and accurate steps. When you hike, it is natural that from time to time you change the width of your steps and the speed and it is rather hard to notice and track. Walking with trekking poles helps you pay more attention to how you walk and reduces the deviation from your average speed.
Balance. Walking through flat terrains is easy without poles, but when the landscape becomes hilly, things get difficult. First of all, the poles reduce the change to fall almost to zero. Moreover, they will save you from having to bend over and get your hands dirty while climbing up or descending. Hiking sticks are also great for unpleasant weather conditions: when it is slippery, having an anchor point is helpful.
Workout. It is important to outline that trekking poles do not always make it easier to walk. On flat terrains, they make you perform additional hand movements, requiring more effort and energy. However, they are great for your physical health as they make you use a lot more muscles. In case your legs are getting tired faster than the rest of your body, the poles will redistribute the load on the muscles and help you walk further.
Evasion. Poles are also great when you have some plants to avoid. Without hiking sticks, stumbling upon a poison ivy would require you to change your route or to find a way of avoiding it. However, when equipped with hiking poles, you can easily push the dangerous plants away and continue walking.
Testing the ground. Another great reason to have trekking poles is that they are extremely helpful on unstable terrains. For example, when there is a puddle on your way, you can check its depth with a pole before stepping in. Or if you are walking on a mountain trail and see a potentially dangerous step, you can investigate the spot with your pole, before applying the whole weight of your body.
Try It Yourself
If you are a hiking fan or enjoy camping with long walks, trekking poles are a great tool to have. Not only do they make your walks more stable, but they also do not weigh much and do not require much space. The only reason not to use hiking sticks is wanting to connect with nature better. However, you will never know if they suit you unless you try them.