Whether you’re a backpacker, snowshoer, walker or hiker, you can surely find plenty of advantages to using trekking poles. The primary benefit is that they provide additional stability throughout your hike. Regardless of the kind of terrain, you’re trekking, these poles can come in handy. You might think, however, that these are just a waste of money. After all, you might get the same level of support with an ordinary stick you find in the woods. It’s essential to understand the most important features of trekking poles to truly realize how beneficial they are.
It’s worthy to note that when using trekking poles, the amount of energy you expend will not go down. While the poles provide additional stability, you still have to use both of your arms. The good thing about this is that it distributes your energy usage, which means your lower body isn’t getting the brunt of the work. This can make a tremendous difference, especially for very long treks.
You must also understand that trekking poles are different from a hiking staff. The former is sold in pairs while the latter is only a single pole. Trekking poles offer greater flexibility since you can use them on all kinds of terrains. A hiking staff, on the other hand, works best on a flat terrain. This is why most hikers go for trekking poles because they offer better value for money. But to truly get your money’s worth, you should pay particular attention to the features of your trekking poles.
The first thing you should look at is whether the poles are adjustable and online trekking pole reviews. This can create an immense difference when climbing different types of terrains. Most models can be adjusted from 2 feet to 4 feet, which is equivalent to 24 to 48 inches. Some poles can be adjusted beyond these figures. Shortening your pole is recommended during uphill climbs while extending it works best when going downhill.
Another important factor to look at is whether your poles come with springs that absorb shock. You’ll appreciate this feature the most when going downhill. Shock-absorbing poles are particularly useful if you have weak knees and ankles. By helping with shock absorption, you can take a lot of pressure off your knees and ankles. It pays to learn that this shock absorbing feature can be turned off when not needed.
You also have the option of buying ultralight poles. The obvious advantage to using these is that your arms will have an easier time handling the poles and moving them about. During a long hike, this can amount to a great amount of energy savings. These poles weigh less than a pound.
Now that you know the most important features of trekking poles, it should be clear why they’re so popular among hikers and backpackers. They can prove extremely useful regardless of the kind of terrain you’re dealing with. By taking the load off of your lower extremities, trekking poles can surely make your treks a lot more enjoyable.