Trekking Poles : An Absolute Hiking Essential
Trekking poles are an essential tool for hiking and mountaineering. Here we give ten reasons to use trekking poles and discusses how to overcome their limitations.
1. Whether walking on flat ground or up steep hills, poles can help to increase your average speed.
2. A 1999 study in The Journal of Sports Medicine found that trekking poles can reduce compressive force on the knees by up to 25 percent.
3. Trekking poles can be used to deflect backcountry nuisances.
4. Walking with poles can help you establish and maintain a consistent rhythm, which can increase your speed.
5. The extra two points of contact significantly increase your traction on slippery surfaces like mud, snow, and loose rock.
6. Poles help you maintain balance in difficult terrain such as during river crossings, on tree root-strewn trails, and on slippery bog bridges.
7. Poles can act as a probe to give you more information than you can get with you eyes. Use them to learn more about puddles, melting snow bridges, and quicksand.
8. They can help to defend against attacks from dogs, bears and other wildlife.
9. Trekking poles help to alleviate some of the weight you carry. Leaning on the poles will make you more comfortable during short breaks.
10. Trekking poles are also much stronger and more rigid than tent poles, so they're less likely to break in high winds. Poles can also double as a medical splint and can serve as ultralight packrafting paddles.
Drawbacks to trekking poles include increased energy expenditure, they can get tangled in bushes and get caught up in rocks. These drawbacks, however, can be mitigated or are negligible since the increased energy expenditure is offset by your increased speed and decreased leg stress.
Source : Ten Reasons for Trekking Poles