Trekking poles busted out on the scene little more than one decade ago. Even so, they are still constantly being donned with new and better features for both the leisurely local hiker, to the serious mountaineer who puts the work trekking into the trekking pole.
The Old Man And The Walking Stick
Despite the adoption of the trekking poles by many hikers and mountaineers, others still envision the 10,000-year-old man with a craggy gray beard training near his navel getting on with a knotted crooked wood walking stick. Surely he has a trick knee to support, but why would anyone else ever rely on poles to walk, they wonder.
It turns out that whether you have the springy youthful joints of a 20-year-old or are working to avoid a second knee surgery or fighting the ravages of arthritis, trekking poles come in handy. The poles that are made for you will absorb the shock of the impact from walking downhill along the most jarring and crooked path to the steepest hills around a mountain. That means it shifts the impact from hitting your knees and spreads it into the poles instead.
Hiking can be a tricky proposition, and hiking poles provide added balance that prevents dangerous slips and falls even on tougher trails that challenge the spirit as much as the body. The reduction of strain and stress on the body allows the body to move more easily without fatiguing as quickly.
There are different types of tips or baskets on the ends of poles to help make it through different terrain more easily. Whether it is a few inches of snow, ice, rocks, or wet soil, use tips to get through it effectively.
Look to get an easy pack and lightweight set of hiking poles. This will make it easier to hike with and to carry in or attached to your hiking back. Many of the poles will come with a method to attach the poles to the pack of the hiking pole.
Many will telescope or break down into many smaller pieces to allow for easier traveling. The other big part of the poles that is necessary to give a lot of thought are the grips. They will usually have a soft grip to give your joints a break. Also, look out for straps that will allow you to hold onto your poles, or let go of them as needed without losing them.