Using hiking poles has grown in popularity with hikers and trekkers over the last years. Whilst some people class them as a nuisance, those that know how to use them properly appreciate the benefits that they provide. They can offer support and stability, increase your traction, and can even help maintain a faster walking pace. Their most important benefit though, is in taking weight from the knees, especially when going downhill. Using hiking poles means you are far less likely to feel wear and tear on your joints after a long day’s walk.
As with all hiking gear, one size does not fit all, and there are some things to consider before choosing them. The first thing to think about, is would you prefer to use one pole or the pair? Whilst the pair does offer the maximum benefits, a single pole may be more convenient to use.
It’s the length of the pole that is one of the more crucial elements though. The general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing hiking poles, is that the elbow should be bent at 90 degrees when the tip of the pole is touching the ground. As most poles are adjustable, simply altering the length until it is correct is relatively simple. What should be considered though, are other features such as the locking mechanism, durability, shock absorption and even weighting.
Hiking poles are ideal for: Taking weight off the knees, increasing balance and stability, providing support on difficult terrain.