I am a notorious stick hiker. I often leave my poles at the morning camp or at various resting places. It is rather the rule than the exception that I have to go back and get my forgotten sticks somewhere during a hiking day. But still I can’t help but have them – because they really facilitate hiking, especially with heavy packing and in bad weather when it can be slippery.

5 reasons to use hiking poles

  1. They take the strain off your feet and knees
  2. They help you maintain balance
  3. They promote safer walking, especially on tricky terrain
  4. They can help propel you uphill
  5. They make going downhill easier

Today there are many kinds of poles available to buy on the market. From lightweight carbon fiber to telescopic poles. The most important thing is to find a pair that suits your needs. With most hiking backpacks there is the capability to fasten walking poles to the back of the backpack. Some have a quick attachment so that you can fasten them while still walking.

A good tip is to make sure that they come with rubber plugs on the end so that it is not just a sharp iron spike at the bottom. The iron spike is good for gripping forest paths but they rattles make a lot of noise on asphalt. You can also get special accessories if you also want to be able to use them on snow – perhaps when snowshoeing to help keep your balance.

Anyone who has an imagination can come up with more creative uses for their hiking poles. Like using them as extra tent sticks, hanging wet laundry on them at the night and  helping tired children by pulling them up. Or by using them for easy mountain gymnastics and stretching exercises.

Do you use walking poles when walking? What are your pros and cons?

Author Angeliqa

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