Why use trekking poles?
Trekking poles are an incredible tool for anyone looking to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness, and comfort of their hiking or walking experience. Trekking poles increase the user's balance and stability, and allow for a safer and more manageable navigation of difficult terrain. They are crucial tools when climbing or descending elevation, and on flat surfaces, they can enable a faster pace of travel.
- Mud Baskets: The small amount of flotation that mud baskets add help keep your poles from sinking into deep mud. They also protect the user from some of the splash back associated with muddy hiking.
- Snow Baskets: Similarly to mud baskets, snow baskets keep your poles from sinking into deep snow.
- Rubber Caps: Ideal for rocks, cement or boardwalks. Rubber caps are great for gripping hard surfaces.
2. Navigating Difficult Terrain & Balance and Stability: Trekkings poles help hikers move up hills, down hills, across rivers, and over ice, snow, rocks, and mud! The additional 2 points of contact greatly increase stability, reducing the number of falls, tumbles and accidents that can unexpectedly happen on trail. When going up hill, your trekking poles should be shortened to increase your leverage. When going down hill, your trekking poles should be extended to take weight off your knees, keep your weight centers over your feet, and ultimately reduce the risk of tumbling forward.
For day, hikers trekking poles help contain pre existing conditions and prevent against acute injuries. For long distance hikers, trekking poles help prevent overuse injuries caused by hundreds of miles of walkings.
5. Defense: Trekking poles are essentially a less dangerous, less aerodynamic version of a spear. Because of this, they can do most things a spear can do (just less effectively). While it is important to be familiar with the proper ways to handle encounters with bears, moose, wolves, or any other wildlife, trekking poles can often help assist in keeping you safe. Some examples:
- Waving trekking poles in the air makes you look bigger and can deter bears from charging. Banging your trekking poles together as you move through low visibility areas can also alert animals of your presence - scaring animals off and preventing surprise encounters.
- Similarly, the clicking sound produced by simply using your trekking poles will often scare off snakes and other critters, alerting them to scamper off and avoid contact!
- Throwing trekking poles towards a campsite invader can often scare them off, and it has the potential to prevent a closer (potentially more dangerous) encounter, damage to your gear, or the consumption or theft of your food.