Trekking poles or hiking poles are common accessories that avid hikers use in assisting them in conquering different types of terrain. These poles enable hikers to travel faster and safer while on rough terrain. Although some might say that having these poles is not practical, considering the benefits that you stand to gain, it’s still worth investing in these hiking tools.
However, aside from being just another piece of gear that you need to carry, these sticks offer several benefits. Here are some reasons you should consider trekking poles for your next trip:
Provide more stability and balance
Trekking poles provide an extra boost of stability and balance when you’re going up or down a steep slope, or navigating uneven terrain. Since you can put your weight onto the poles, the impact that you place on your joints and muscles is lessened. These hiking tools also help in keeping your balance. With the added contact points, the possibility of stumbling, slipping, falling, and hurting yourself while hiking an uneven and slippery terrain (especially during the rainy season) is reduced.
Make the uphill climb less stressful
Hiking an uphill terrain can be stressful both to your feet and ankles. Thus, using trekking poles can help distribute the pressure across your body. These tools also enable your legs and arms to stay fresh longer and help to make those uphill treks more enjoyable.
Lessen the effects of going downhill
Going downhill can impact not only your knees but your ankles as well. Most of the time, your knees and legs will recover within a few days of rest. However, for some, these muscle pains can escalate into an injury. Since these poles help in deviating some of the impact, you can delay the onset of fatigue and cover more miles in the process.
Keep your pace smooth
A common problem when it comes to hiking is the erraticness of the hiker’s pacing. Having a steady pace allows a hiker to cover more distance in less time while maintaining a healthy and sustainable speed. The contact points provided by trekking poles offer support and create a perfect rhythm for hiking enthusiasts.
Help you inspect bushes and branches from a safe distance
Apart from providing support and stability, you can also use your poles to check your path and brush prickly bushes or branches out of your way. You can also use them to remove spider webs and bugs.
Trekking poles can also be used to ward off animals like snakes, rodents, or even bigger game. Use your stick will help fend off these animals before you can surprise or step on them and risk a bite or sting.
If you’re still unsure, borrow a pair from your friends and try them out on a short hike. This way, you’ll know how it feels to use one and can decide whether it works for you or not. After all, there’s no one-way road when it comes to hiking.
Have you had any experiences with trekking poles? Share them in the comments below!