Trekking poles are a great support for hikes while you are carrying heavier loads and the terrain is perharps challenging.
Whether you want to use trekking poles or not is you personal choice. However there are many positive sides on using trekking poles.
Poles give you support on downhill hikes, when the pressure on legs and joints in the biggest.
There are available fixed length poles and trekking poles which length can be adjusted. Trekking poles can be also used as tent poles, especially for ultralight tent models, which don’t have their own tent poles.
Trekking poles are usually made of aluminum or carbon. For example Leki uses aircraft-grade aluminum and 100 % high modulus carbon on it’s trekking poles. Antishock poles a feature, which reduces the impact on hard terrain. Some brands have even own models for women, with smaller grips and lighter overall structure.
Hiking poles can be a very useful gear to have, especially on longer treks and on challenging routes. Using trekking poles makes walking much more stable and the heavy weight on your back feels lighter when using poles.
Some advantages on using trekking poles
- Support on downhills, uphills, crossing streams
- Better rhythm on walking
- Takes some weight off you legs
- Helps weaker people to enjoy trekking
There are also some disadvantages on using trekking poles. One of the biggest is that when using poles it increases total energy expenditure. Another one is that your hands are not available for other tasks during walking. Without poles it is easy to take photos with your camera or to drink from your water bottle. With poles it is a lot harder.
Buying trekking poles
Best known trekking pole and nordic walking pole brands are Leki and Komperdell. Prices for trekking poles lie approximately between and $50 and $100. If you are buying adjustable poles, make sure the locking mechanism is reliable. The grip should feel comfortable to your hand and the wrist strap shouldn’t feel uncomfortable on your hand.