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Why Trekking Poles?


Why trekking poles? This is a fairly common
question for many a hiker or backpacker who hasn’t used trekking poles or a walking staff
before. And it is a question with multiple answers. We are going to show you some of
the benefits of using poles and explain why we don’t tackle any back country adventure
without them. Even on flat or rolling terrain transferring
some of the weight of your pack from your back and your knees to your arms and your
poles can reduce fatigue, keep you moving stronger and faster especially over the course
of a long day of hiking as the weight starts to catch up with you over the course of the
day. Somewhat natural to finding some kind of leaning
forward hunching a bit. Using trekking poles helps to promote a more upright posture throughout
the day. Doing so reduces fatigue. It also opens up lung capacity. Standing upright you
can take in more oxygen. Taking in more oxygen you are sending more oxygen throughout the
body and muscles stay stronger longer. On up hills with each step all of the weight
is driven down onto your knee. By putting poles out in front of you, you redistribute
that weight and take stress off the knee and off of your back and allow the poles to help
you get up hill stronger. Similar stresses occur on descents, but here
quadriceps muscles are also working over time taking the brunt of that weight. By getting
trekking poles out in front of you, redistributing that weight, you can really reduce fatigue. Whether or not you have got a heavy pack on
your back, navigating uneven terrain can be difficult and even treacherous. Trekking poles
really come in handy here as they provide extra stability and greatly improve balance. Creek crossings provide a great example of
why it is far better to have three or even four points of contact rather than relying
just on your own two legs. With poles in hand, you can be significantly more sure footed. Why trekking poles? Improved balance, greater
stability, reduce stress on your joints, redistribute weight to reduce fatigue and improve on trail
posture.

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32 thoughts on “Why Trekking Poles?

  1. I'm not the most graceful person but ever since I got my poles, I feel much more comfortable and confident when I go hiking with my husband. He's VERY graceful. I call him a mountain goat.

  2. I'm not sure which is more awesome, the trekking poles or the beard. I wish I had the patience to let mine grow that long.

  3. Clearly the most professionally presented clip on this subject on YouTube.
    Videography and sound excellent quality. Thanks for this,its great!

  4. You are using the straps incorrectly.  If you bring your hand up through the strap and then grab the pole, with the strap adjusted snugly, you should not have to grip the poles and if you do it should only be ever so lightly.  You also missed one of the main function of the poles and that is propulsion.  By using the straps to push off with you can get probably 25 percent more forward power from you up body.  Think of a cross country skier, they are using their arms as much as there legs for forward propulsion.  If you are gripping the poles tightly you can't do this.  It's all in the straps. Your hands should be relaxed and resting in the straps as you push off with the pole trailing behind you.  Try not to think of it as Gandalf with his staff.  These are serious, four wheel drive propulsion devices.  Secondarily they do provide stability and shock absorption but once you figure out how to propel yourself with them, you'll be amazed and won't want to ever hike without him.

  5. Lots of different opinion as to Nordic walking technique vs. trekking technique in the various videos. I.E., nordic walking technique uses poles for propulsion. Arms stay low and  closer to body, not out in front. This is best for flat terrain and greatly reduces fatigue in long hikes. But when balance issues dominate over rocky, uneven terrain, placing poles in front in the trekking technique aids balance. Propulsion becomes less of an issue here, while balance is the greater concern.  Also, going downhill over rough terrain the poles are out in front with palms on top, flipping pole forward. Slowing the body's descent slightly is much easier with the pole pushing up through the palm into the arm than trying to use a bent wrist on the handle of the pole. Use as little hand and forearm strength as possible. To do so, transfer plenty of weight to the strap when possible, and or use the triceps muscles. Large muscles fatigue less quickly than small hand and forearm muscles. Avoid death grip on the poles. Using the strap properly allows one to do that.

  6. Forget trekking poles. Bring a fishing pole… I my decide to use a walking stick, when I get old, and my back goes out… But you will never see me with trekking poles… No offence, btw

  7. Once the beard gets a little grayer, he will graduate to a single, magical, staff. He will then become Gandalf. That's not for a few years, though.

  8. Doug Follett (below) is correct. Look at dozens of videos by pro trekkers – using the straps this way is unsafe. If you fall your hand is caught in the strap and you risk breaking something (aside from the pole).

  9. I never used pole or sticks when I was in my 20s I thought they looked dumb. Well I got some now that I am in my 30s and I did a 11 mile day hike with a 3,000 foot climb up a mountain called Tallac. I will say I see the light and will never hike without poles again. Wow game changer why did I wait so long.

  10. I hiked a lot. I noticed in this video that the steps he took going uphill were too wide. And going downhill he completely stretched his legs. Both are wrong walking techniques.

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