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The Benefits of Trekking Poles – A 8 Minute Ultimate Guide

Green Shock Resistant Adjustable Trekking Pole

So your thinking of buying a trekking pole? Here’s a beginner’s guide to purchasing a good one to consider.

The Benefits of Trekking Poles

Trekking poles, also known as hiking poles or walking sticks, are a common accessory used by hikers, trekkers, and backpackers. They offer several benefits and features:

Improved Balance and Stability

Trekking poles provide additional points of contact with the ground, which can be particularly helpful on uneven terrain, steep inclines, or while crossing streams.

Reduced Impact on Joints

By distributing some of the load to the arms and shoulders, trekking poles can reduce the impact on knees and leg joints, especially during long descents.

Increased Hiking Speed

Some users find that trekking poles help establish a consistent rhythm, leading to faster and more efficient hiking.

Energy Conservation

By engaging the upper body muscles, they can help conserve energy during long hikes.


They can be used to probe the depth of puddles, mud, or snow, and to brush away spider webs or thorny branches on the trail.

Features to Consider

Material: Poles are typically made from aluminum (durable and slightly heavier) or carbon fiber (lighter but more brittle).

Adjustability: Many poles have a telescoping feature that allows them to be adjusted in length to suit the terrain and the user’s height.

Locking Mechanism: This can include twist locks, lever locks, or a combination, which secure the poles at the desired length.

Grip Material: Common materials include cork (comfortable and reduces moisture), rubber (insulates against cold and shock), and foam (soft and absorbs sweat).

Shock Absorption: Some poles come with a shock-absorbing feature, which can be particularly beneficial for those with joint issues.

Weight: Lighter poles are less tiring to use but might be less durable than heavier ones.

Tips: The tip of the pole, usually made of carbide or steel, provides traction. Some poles come with interchangeable tips for different surfaces.

Wrist Straps: These help in maintaining grip and reducing hand fatigue.

The Benefits of Trekking Poles Uses Beyond Hiking

Support for Tents or Tarps: Some lightweight tents and tarps use trekking poles as part of their structure.

Emergency Splints: In a pinch, they can be used as splints in first aid situations.

Trekking Pole Maintenance Tips

  • Regularly check for damage or wear, especially on the tips and locking mechanisms.
  • Clean them after use, especially if they’ve been exposed to saltwater or mud.
  • Store them in a dry place with the locking mechanisms released to reduce tension.

Trekking poles are a versatile tool that can enhance the hiking experience, offering both physical support and safety benefits. Whether you’re a casual hiker or a serious trekker, they can be a valuable addition to your outdoor gear.

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