Trekking poles may not be a ‘cool thing to carry along’ and in fact, some people might confuse it with a ‘ski pole’, but it is certainly an essential tool for trekkers, serving multiple purposes. The concept of carrying a pole is an ancient one but its importance can be felt even today in the age of hi-tech gears.
Trekking poles not only provide good balance when you’re hiking on a rough terrain but also lower the strain on your legs when treading downhill.
Trekking Poles – Why You Need Them!
Have you been sketching out a plan for your next trekking escapade?
Then it’s time to find out how this incredibly versatile pole acts like a wonderful guide throughout your hike, regardless of the nature of the trail.
Let’s get started!
Helps You Balance on Uneven Terrains or Slippery Rocks
Trekking around rivers or streams can be quite tricky, as there are chances of stepping on a slick rock and losing your foot balance.
You might even end up falling on your face or breaking your hands and knees if you are not careful. A trekking pole helps you maintain balance and avoid such slips.
Trekking Upward Slopes Becomes Easier
Trekking on upward slopes is a challenging task and requires a lot of hard work.
This is when a trekking pole comes in handy, by aiding you in moving upward. It does the trick by taking your upper body weight off your legs, thus keeping your muscles strong for the rest of the journey.
Less Strain on Joints during Downward Trekking
Did you know that during long descents, your ankles and knees take most of the pressure, making them sore and weak?
But with the help of trekking poles, your weight will be evenly distributed between your arms and legs, preventing your joints from strain or injury.
Rock Test before You Put Your Weight on it
While hiking on a rocky terrain, sometimes you might notice an uneven rock, making you think a couple of times about how to cross it. You can either step on it with all your body weight or look for an alternative. This is when the pole comes into the picture.
Use the pole to give the rock a little push. This way, you will be able to find out if the rock is steady enough to bear the weight of your body.
Points of Contact for River Crossing
Shallow, slow-moving water and obstacles like streams and river crossings are difficult and risky. One wrong step of yours can cause severe damage!
The poles give you extra points of contact and help maintain balance while traversing through slippery logs and rocks. Just place the pole firmly and then step forward.
Fending Off Small Animals
Trekking terrains are home to a large number of flora and fauna, which can range from deadly snakes to poisonous insects.
Trekking poles help you spot snakes or small rodents before you step on them, saving you from an injurious or fatal bite.
Are you trekking for the first time…?
Using It As a Probe
What is a trekker’s worst nightmare?
The answer is – getting trapped in quicksand , falling through a large puddle or the worst –being stuck under ice in a frozen lake or canal.
But, you can easily avoid this with the help of a trekking pole. Use it as a probe and identify deceiving paths.
Other Uses of Trekking Poles
In addition to providing support and balance, trekking poles can be used to set up an emergency shelter by pitching a tarp, as they are stronger than tent poles.
They can also be used for putting your clothes to dry or hanging your bag to keep it off the ground.
Use 1 Pole or 2?
You might have seen some people using just one pole while others carry a pair.
How many poles to carry is totally up to you to decide, depending on your comfort. However, if you’re going to use these only to cross rivers or rough trails or for a short day hike, then it’s preferable to carry a single pole.
But, if you are intending to use these throughout the trek or have plans to hike for a few days, then it is best to carry a pair of trekking poles. This is because using both the poles on longer treks will take the load off your knees and keep you stronger as compared to using just one pole.
Now that you know the benefits of using trekking poles, pack your bags and get going.
Enjoy every bit of the trek and see how these poles help you make the most of the difficult hike.
Also read: H ow to Select the Best Backpack for Trekking?
Get back to us and share your experience to help us enlighten other trekking enthusiasts.