Are you a hike lover but hate those knee peelings? Many love to go for hiking adventure, but hate the price their knees pay for it later. If that sound familiar, then is time to consider adding a hiking trekking pole or even a pair of trekking poles to your gear. According to research, trekking poles can reduce the external and internal loads on the knee joint up to 20% and by reducing the force put on the knee joint, those with a knee history can build up their strength while doing least amount of harm to already painful knees.
Also known as hiking or walking poles, trekking poles resemble ski poles when fully assembled and like ski poles, they have rubber padded handles, wrist straps and baskets at the bottom of the pole. But unlike this popular poles, they are made in sections so that they can be shortened or if need be lengthened during a long hiking.
Why you should consider using a hiking pole
One of the first question that comes to mind when you think of hiking especially if you are a beginner is why you should use hiking poles. To get your mind at rest, here are among others two main things you need to consider; safety and comfort.
Safety is the main reason of using hiking poles. To adequate safety, Hiking poles will help prevent frequent fall when you go down on uncertain tracks. Thereby avoiding unnecessary aches in ankles or knee; and here comfort is pointing towards the convenience in walking such as maintaining right walking posture and pacing using two extra legs.
Whereas, safety and convenience are the main reasons for using these hiking and trekking poles. Here are some other benefits of using them.
Another advantage of using a trekking poles is that they help to reduce weight on feet and legs. And with the new trekking pole designs, weight are evenly distributed around the whole body instead of the legs alone.
Stats shows that poles reduce 15% of weight from your legs by spreading it on the arms and other parts of the body by bearing most of the body weight especially when you are climbing on a steep hill.
One of the beauty of using trekking pole is when climbing on a steep hill. It help you pace yourself on the hills. With trekking poles, you can easily maintain your speed without much sweat. With trekking poles, you will certainly not feel any pain in your back as poles allows natural walking position.
It feels more comfortable when hiking with poles because you can walk in your natural posture while climbing on a hill or coming down, with your hands also remaining in comfortable position above your hearts which help to improve blood circulation around the body thereby ensuring less stressed body after the hiking.
Whereas there are many countless benefits of using trekking poles, but that doesn’t rule out their disadvantages. Using poles increases your total energy expenditures as you are no longer able to use your hands as they become two extra legs when used. Your hands were not designed basically to lift your body or distribute body weight. But to do certain other things that needs your hands such as to carry your drinks, eat a snack, open up the map, wipe off your sweat, to grab branches of a tree to pull yourself ahead, to take a photograph, or occasionally to carry the hand of your partner, you will be limited with hiking poles in your hands and sometimes even frustrating to carry them.
These are some of the limitations of using hiking poles, but only an experienced hiker knows that these limitations in themselves are very limited, and can be easily overcome as you grow and matured with them. However, most of the time it is generally seen that many people don’t actually know how to use them correctly and how to carry them properly.
EVERY TREKKING POLE SHOULD HAVE THIS
With leg pains accompanying hiking in the hills, there is need for you to do what you can to limit the effects this has on your body.
And from research, a pair of good walking poles will reduce the strain on your body by 250 tonnes, which you can’t afford to go without.
Unfortunately, with so many poles out there to choose from, selecting the best one for you can be a tricky affair. But not too worry, you are not alone.
There are primarily two types of trekking poles for starters; those with an anti-shock system and those without
And here are the things to consider from bottom up when choosing a trekking pole.
If you can get over this, then you have a work over the hard part. To do that, make sure that the tip is made from a hard wearing substance such as tungsten carbide with a rubber cover to slot over the tip for easier walks and for packing.
These part of the pole usually removable, prevent it from sticking into the mud, snow or any soft ground by diffusing the weight from the tip to the surface of the basket.
This is where the strength of the pole lies. The shaft is usually telescopic for easy packing and so you can adjust the pole for the perfect height for yourself.
Materials from which the shaft is made vary depending mainly on your budget. With shafts being made from aluminium, titanium, steel and carbon fibre, there’s always something to suit every size of pocket!
The wrist strap mustn’t be too tight, but should be both supportive and comfortable, as it’s this strap that will absorb a high amount of weight when you push down on the poles.
There are a wide variety of hand grips out there, from plain plastic to ergonomical cork designs. But make sure the hand grip is extremely comfortable for your grip. If it’s not, you could end up with raw, or even blistered palms! Remember that you will change your grip throughout your day on the fells, so make sure the hand grip suits all of these.
Best Trekking Poles
Whether you’re going for hiking across the country or just for a jaunt, trekking poles can add a lot comfort to your hiking experience.
And here is a list of our selected trekking poles. All with a great balance of durability, comfort, weight and value. We hope this list helps you find the ideal trekking poles for your needs.
1.Muddy Bear Ultra Trekking Pole
Muddy Bear Ultra carbon fiber trekking poles are incredibly light and comfortable. With just two simple twist lock system, you can adjust the poles as they’re highly regarded in the ultra-light backpacking community. The biggest downsides with the LT5s is that they’re pretty pricey and aren’t quite as durable as aluminum poles.Click here to Check it on Amazon.
2.The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles
When thinking of a staple pole in the backpacking community, the black diamond Alpine carbon cork poles comes to play. They are tough, 4-season poles that are incredibly reliable in almost any condition.Click here to Check it on Amazon.
It comes with an easy to flick lock system that makes adjusting its length simple and secure. For burly all-weather terrain, these are the poles we’d choose.
3.The Montem Ultra Strong trekking poles
These ones are not only durable, they’re also compact and easy to use and much more they are affordable pick. Equipped with a flick-lock lever system, these poles are collapsible down to 2 feet, which is great for stowing when not in use. It also comes with grips that are soft and comfortable to touch.
The two biggest downsides with the Montems are that they’re pretty heavy and utilize lower quality materials. But if you’re new to trekking poles or on a tight budget, then The Montem Ultra Strong trekking poles are better choice for you.Click here to Check it on Amazon.
4.Foxelli trekking poles
For those looking out for great option to trim few ounces without having to break the bank.
Made with a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber is unique for trekking poles, offering the weight savings of carbon fiber and the durability of aluminum. These poles are a high-quality, for both unisex and women’s versions. Foxelli Trekking poles are a solid choice for those looking for a budget option and don’t mind carrying a few more ounces.Click here to Check it on Amazon.
PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRST TREKKING
Having gotten an idea of what a good Trekking pole looks like, and as a first time trekker or maybe you just want to have a nice time hiking down the trails, here are some selected tips that will help you get started and keep you going on your trekking adventure.
A trek can consist of backpacking, hiking or just walking through trails from your campsite. But one thing is for sure, if you’ve never done a trek that involves backpacking or hiking then there are things you should do and learn before you ever go it alone. If you are very fortunate and know a very experienced backpacker or hiker and they are willing to take you with them on quite a few of their treks that will be great also.
Though this may sound too slow when you have already made up your mind to go hiking. But a little research like reading and talking with other people who have done it before you are always a good and valuable way to get the right information about what ever task you want to undertake. Books on backpacking and hiking from the library are great sources of information, internet sites that have information on those topics are also good if you find the right ones that give you quality information.
Get the right equipment
The second thing you should consider while preparing for your first trekking adventure is in getting the right equipment. Travel as light as you can with backpack, clothing, tent, fuel, pots and pans, hydrations, backpacking stoves, medications and a variety of other are just some of the possibilities of items that you want to take with you on your trek. You never want to carry more weight than you can deal with in the first place because that can cause undue stress to your body and possibly injure your back in the process. That’s why it’s a good rule of thumb to only carry the essentials that you will need.
Do trial trail treks.
This is to get you used to different situations, different environments, a variety of weather, and different terrains.
Of course anyone can go out and do a little trekking, but only a few prepared ones can withstand the dramatic change that may occur as you go out trekking.
Take for instance, you can go out on that beautiful summer day and the next thing you know it’s pouring down rain, heavy blowing wind and if it is on a bad terrain, branches could be breaking off the trees, or the paths getting muddy and slick. This is just one example of why you should do trial treks in different situations. By doing trial trail treks and gaining experience by learning how to deal with these different situations, it can sometimes make the difference between life and death. So watch out.
Consider going with an experienced person
If you know someone that lives around you that is an experienced hiker/backpacker that will be a great start and if not, it seems almost a no-brainer that most states have clubs for people that like to hike and backpack. It’s great to want to get out there and really take on nature on your own terms but if you’re inexperienced that’s not a very smart decision.
FEATURES OF A GOOD TREKKING POLES
Every trekking pole that is considered good, should have the following features.
Whereas most people prefer having a fixed length trekking pole with the thought that it saves a little weight, but for most the convenience of adjustable length is the key. With adjustable length poles, you can both adjust the length to suit the terrain and make the compact and storable at the same time when they are not needed.
Poles like the Black Diamond are great to have for trekkers.
Excellent grip at both ends.
A quality rubber at the top of the grip will prevent it from becoming slippery when wet. There should also be an adjustable loop to hang them while handling other things.
Trekking poles that are shock absorbers can help soak up a lot of extra wear and tear, affording you have to a whole lot of energy towards the end of your trek.
It is advisable you use a hiking poles especially when you are on your first hike. And, I think next time you will yourself carry these sticks with you having their countless benefits.
Trekking Pole may be the best solution. So don’t let knee pain keep you from enjoying the joy that comes from exploring them. Preparedness and the right tools could be all that is keeping you from the view of a lifetime.
So with the right poles, masses of strain can be taken from your body, thereby allowing you to have a more enjoyable, less strenuous day in the hills; so take your time when picking your poles, and ensure they are perfect match for you.