More and more hikers use trekking poles, so we can safely say they are part of the standard equipment for hiking, trekking, and backpacking. Nonetheless, there are people who ask themselves whether these poles are real that good, or this is just another marketing hype. The answer depends very much on who’s asking. If you only enjoy brisk walks through the forest, on dirt roads or well-defined paths, you may do well without any trekking pole. However, if you love more difficult or longer hikes, you are going to feel the benefits of having this kind of additional support.
Briefly, trekking poles and hiking staffs can help you distribute the energy more evenly across your body, thus increasing your endurance. You have gone the extra mile without getting exhausted. Moreover, you can benefit from more balance and good support on all types of terrain. This can save you from a lot of trouble.
Trekking poles are recommended to all hikers suffering from knee or hip problems. They take part of the load, thus putting less strain on the joints. You can protect yourself and still enjoy your favorite hobby. Even if you are healthy, you should never underestimate the force your knees have to support when you hike or climb difficult mountain paths. A pair of solid poles can help you protect your knees, so you should seriously consider them for your next big hiking trip.
There are special models of poles that include internal springs. The role of these springs is to absorb shocks, thus reducing the impact between your body and the ground. Since they all have the adjustable length, you can easily set them up to match your body and your personal preferences. Moreover, you can extend them when you go downhill, and shorten them on the uphill parts of the path. This is how you can always enjoy the perfect experience, as adjusting these poles is very easy.
If you don’t care about special features, you can go ahead and get a pair the best trekking pole or one the standard poles. However, if you are bothered by the fact that your arms are going to do more work, you should take a look at lightweight variants of poles. They are made from an extremely lightweight material, thus weighing up to one pound per pair. Although they don’t offer the same level of protection sturdier ones do, they are perfect for very long hikes, when you have to carry a lot of weight anyway. In such situations, being as lightweight as possible is more important than the additional protection heavier poles can offer you.
In conclusion, trekking poles are necessary, especially if you have suffered knee, ankle or hip injuries in the past. If you are in perfect health, you may do just well without them. However, they can still improve your balance and increase your hiking endurance, so you should consider trying them during your next hike if you haven;t already. You may never want to go on a trip without them afterward.