9 Ways Trekking Poles Can Save Your Life

9 Ways Trekking Poles Can Save Your Life

Last October, Cody Beam decided going to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). For those of you who don't know, the PCT is a 2,650 mile trail that runs from the Mexico-California Border up into Manning Park, British Columbia in Canada. Thru-hiking means attempting to hike all 2,650 miles of the trail in one season. About 150 miles into the trail far, these are just a couple of ways that trekking poles have literally saved my life.

 

1. Unstable Ground

If there is a "DANGER Unstable Ground, Must Stay On Path" sign, you should stay on the path. But unstable ground isn't always marked and isn't always on forbidden ground.

If there is a "DANGER Unstable Ground, Must Stay On Path" sign, you should stay on the path. But unstable ground isn't always marked and isn't always on forbidden ground.

2. Mud

As tempting as it is to wander off the path to walk on rocks and ground that is muddy, it is important to stay on the trail to protect the environment around you, trekking poles are great for these situations. This applies to walking on uphills, downhills, level ground or traversing.

As tempting as it is to wander off the path to walk on rocks and ground that is muddy, it is important to stay on the trail to protect the environment around you, trekking poles are great for these situations. This applies to walking on uphills, downhills, level ground or traversing.

3. Uphill

This means that your legs become tired less quickly and your joints get less of a beating. Whether or not you have bad knees or ankles, this can do a world of good in preventing injury and promoting good health. Since your arms are doing some of the work now, your hike becomes more of a full body work out instead of just lower body and core so your arms can get buff too!

This means that your legs become tired less quickly and your joints get less of a beating. Whether or not you have bad knees or ankles, this can do a world of good in preventing injury and promoting good health. Since your arms are doing some of the work now, your hike becomes more of a full body work out instead of just lower body and core so your arms can get buff too!

4. Downhill

Non-trekking pole users don't typically think of downhill when they think of trekking poles, but in my opinion, they are even more important for health and safety. Using trekking poles while doing downhill can help you control your pace and balance on steep inclines.

Non-trekking pole users don't typically think of downhill when they think of trekking poles, but in my opinion, they are even more important for health and safety. Using trekking poles while doing downhill can help you control your pace and balance on steep inclines.

5. Level Ground

Trekking poles are less popular for level ground, but still very useful. They help you keep a steady pace, and again, transfer some weight away from your knees. They won't necessarily save your life on level ground, but they can certainly save your pace and your knees.

Trekking poles are less popular for level ground, but still very useful. They help you keep a steady pace, and again, transfer some weight away from your knees. They won't necessarily save your life on level ground, but they can certainly save your pace and your knees.

6. Traversing

Traversing is when you are walking parallel to a slope. Trekking poles can be an enormous aid in these situations. One leg is still going to do the brunt of the work, but trekking poles can help you balance and make a long traverse much less tiring for your poor little legs.

Traversing is when you are walking parallel to a slope. Trekking poles can be an enormous aid in these situations. One leg is still going to do the brunt of the work, but trekking poles can help you balance and make a long traverse much less tiring for your poor little legs.

7. Crossing Rivers and Streams

River and stream fords are pretty common for backcountry explorers. Sometimes they are pretty tame - a couple inches of water deep, a foot or so wide, moving slowly.

River and stream fords are pretty common for backcountry explorers. Sometimes they are pretty tame - a couple inches of water deep, a foot or so wide, moving slowly.

8. Cliffs

Walking on a trail less then a foot wide with a 30-40 pound pack on your back on the edge of a several hundred (if not thousand) foot drop off is pretty terrifying. Trekking poles can act as a source of comfort knowing that you have a little more support and that if one step is a little off, you still can save yourself from your impending doom.  

Walking on a trail less then a foot wide with a 30-40 pound pack on your back on the edge of a several hundred (if not thousand) foot drop off is pretty terrifying. Trekking poles can act as a source of comfort knowing that you have a little more support and that if one step is a little off, you still can save yourself from your impending doom.

 

9. Wind

Somewhere around mile 53 on the PCT, there are some of those cliffs, the ones with the really thin trail and the steep drop off. Hiking past this was extremely, extremely windy.

Somewhere around mile 53 on the PCT, there are some of those cliffs, the ones with the really thin trail and the steep drop off. Hiking past this was extremely, extremely windy.

Most of these reasons come down to helping you balance, have good footing, and saving your joints.  Trekking poles are great to use, and you never know, they just may save your life.

 

Source : 9 Ways Trekking Poles Will (Sometimes Literally) Save Your Life

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