Should I Use Hiking Poles?

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Many hikers debate whether or not to use trekking poles for years. Some people love them, others don’t.

Although hiking poles can make walking safer and more enjoyable, it is not a recommendation to use them. They don’t need to be used, but they can make your walks safer and more enjoyable.

This article will explain the history of hiking poles and tell you how to use them properly.

The history of the hiking pole

These trekking poles have been around for hundreds of years. Often, they were just ordinary sticks. They might have metal reinforcements or be more crudely carved.

They were used by mountain guides to test their footing and protect them from predators while trekking in Europe’s mountain ranges. These poles were useful when it was impossible to see the ground due to snow cover.

Over time, trekking poles have evolved. Today, the pole can be extended or shortened to fit each individual’s needs. These poles, which are based on ski poles, are well-designed and made of metal, plastic, and carbon fiber.

These trekking poles are now called hiking poles, and they’re becoming increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts and casual walkers.

Mauri Repo published “Nordic Walking” in 1979. These specially designed hiking poles are used for casual walking. This sport is accessible to anyone and is becoming more popular. Although originally ski poles were used to do this sport, hiking poles have made it more popular.

 How to properly use hiking poles 

Make sure you get the adjustable hiking poles when you purchase your hiking poles. There is nothing worse than realizing that your new hiking poles are too high for you after just an hour of use. Your poles should be adjusted when you go uphill or downhill.

To avoid leaning too far back when going uphill, it is a good idea to reduce the length of your poles. Walking uphill with your poles at their full length is dangerous. You want to lean into the hill for safety and comfort. This is impossible if you have long hiking sticks.

When walking downhill, you should lengthen your poles as long as possible. You can use your poles to support you as you walk. This will make it less likely that you slip or fall downhill.

 

Hiking poles have many benefits

 Take care of your knees 

Hiking can be very hard on your knees. If you have a heavy pack, this can make it more difficult. Your poles can help you move your weight while walking, which allows your arms and poles to manage your load. Going downhill is the best for your knees because there is less strain on them.

 Safety and balance 

Adjustable hiking poles are a great way to maintain your balance when climbing or descending steep hills. Because they can be adjusted to adjust for the level of incline, it makes it easier to stand vertically. Hiking poles are a great way to keep your feet on the ground when you’re walking in shallow rivers and streams.

 Tracking 

Some trails can be dangerous or slippy. You can use your hiking poles to check for potential hazards on the trails you are taking. This is especially useful when you are scrambling up and down rocky trails.

You can check if the rocks are strong enough to support your feet or if they will give way beneath your feet by prodding them with your poles. These poles are great for finding your way and can be used to balance you when walking along streams or rivers.

You can use the poles to test footing underwater. This is particularly useful when the water isn’t clear or you don’t know what may be below the surface.

 

Hiking poles have their drawbacks

 Heavy 

While having poles around can have its advantages, there are also drawbacks. The main disadvantage is that poles can be heavy, even carbon fiber ones.

This can cause you to become tired over long periods. They may not be suitable for flat trails, so you will just be lugging more weight. Although hiking is not something most people associate with tired arms, it can happen when you use hiking poles.

You can prepare by working out your arms with small weights of 10 pounds. You can do this while you watch tv 15 minutes per day. Although it may seem a little inconvenient, this will make your next hike easier.

 It’s inconvenient 

Long treks can be difficult for poles to maintain. While you won’t use them all the time, they will still be necessary to have. You have another responsibility when you camp with them.

They can be easily lost so it is important to keep an eye on them. You can solve this problem by tieing them together and attaching them to your backpack.

They can be difficult to maintain and even more frustrating to use. When walking along overgrown trails, they can catch on branches and brush. It is a full-time job to catch your poles on branches and avoid falling over.

 High-end 

Hiking poles can be expensive. You can spend quite a bit on the more expensive, carbon fiber ones. It is not ideal to suddenly feel that you have to buy two expensive hiking poles if you choose hiking as an easy and cheap hobby.

While there are cheaper options, you’re not saving money if the ones you choose aren’t adjustable. You will also need to spend more money if you want lightweight poles that you can carry. They are heavier than the ones that are cheaper and made of metallic material, not carbon fiber.

You are more likely to damage them if you buy cheap ones, like plastic ones. This is not only a waste of money but it can also lead to serious injuries if the shoes fall while you’re walking downhill.

 Injuries 

While hiking poles are a great way to prevent injuries, they can also cause some. To ensure you don’t lose your poles or drop them, you should always have your hands in the loop.

This is a good idea, but it can lead to potential disasters. You may fall if you have your hands in the “safety belts”, and you might end up on your face.

This can not only be embarrassing but also potentially fatal. Head injuries are not the only danger. You can easily injure your wrists or hands if your hands get stuck on the pole and catch it during a fall. If you’re more than 10 hours from civilization, these injuries can be even worse.

 

Nature is at risk of being damaged

Respect nature is one of the most important rules for outdoorsmen. Don’t take anything with you, and try to leave it as it was found. This is an important rule that should be followed by everyone.

These hiking poles are often very sharp and made from metal underneath, which can cause damage to the environment. This is not only for your grip but also because it could cause damage to the plant life you are passing. Although you could argue that your feet would cause damage, it is far less likely that your steps will cause damage than sharp metal poles.

Bottom line

Do you really need to have hiking poles? It’s up to you. They have many advantages, especially if your plan is to walk over long distances. Hiking poles make it much easier to navigate difficult terrain, particularly rivers and streams.

These poles are especially useful for climbing up and down hills. They can also be costly and more likely to cause injury than prevent it. Hiking is a great hobby with no entry costs.

However, you won’t be able to afford to buy hiking poles for more than a few hundred dollars. I would suggest that you don’t have to purchase hiking poles.

They are unnecessary and you will be fine without them. It is up to you to decide whether or not to use them. I hope that this article has provided the information you need to make that decision.

Good luck!

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