Pros and Cons of Hiking with Trekking/Hiking Poles

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Hiking at Sunset

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When you’re out on a hike, do you use trekking or hiking poles? If not, you may be wondering if you should start using them. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of using trekking/hiking poles while hiking. We’ll also give you some tips on how to choose the right pair of poles for your needs.

Trekking Pole Pros

When it comes to the Pros of Trekking Poles, they are seemingly endless! Some of the most notable Pros include:

– Increased balance and stability when hiking over difficult terrain

– Reduced impact on your joints, knees, and hips

– Increased power and speed when ascending hills

– Easier travel over rough or uneven surfaces

– Additional storage capacity for gear on long hikes

– Enhanced safety and navigation abilities in difficult terrain or low visibility conditions

Trekking Pole Cons

– Can be a pain to carry around

– Can be a pain to set up

– Can be a pain to adjust

– Can be a pain to store

– Can be a pain to find the right size

However, as with anything, there are also a few Cons to using Trekking Poles. Some hikers find them cumbersome and heavy, particularly if they are not used to carrying extra weight. Additionally, on very steep ascents it can be more difficult to use poles effectively than if you were just hiking without them. And finally, some people feel that using poles takes some of the challenges out of hiking, making it less enjoyable.

Overall, the Pros of Trekking Poles far outweigh the Cons for most hikers, and they are a great tool to have in your arsenal when hitting the trails!

Which Poles Are Right for You?

The three different trekking pole models featured in this article are the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork, the Leki Micro Vario Ti Corvo, and the Mountainsmith Scream 55. 

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork is a lightweight trekking pole that is perfect for those looking for an ultralight option. 

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The Leki Micro Vario Ti Corvo is a versatile pole that can be used for both trekking and hiking, and it also has a built-in camera mount. 

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The Mountainsmith Scream 55 is the most budget-friendly option of the three poles, making it a great choice for those on a tight budget.

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Pole Material

There are a variety of materials that can be used to make hiking poles. The three most popular materials are aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium.

Aluminum poles are the most popular and affordable option. They are durable and lightweight, but they can also be a little bit heavier than carbon fiber and titanium poles.

Carbon fiber poles are the lightest option, but they are also the most expensive. They are very strong and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Titanium poles are the most expensive option, but they are also the strongest. They are very lightweight and durable.

Grip Material

There are a variety of materials used to make trekking pole grips. Materials can vary in terms of comfort, durability, and price. The most common grip materials are as follows:

– Cork: Cork is a natural material that is harvested from the cork oak tree. It is often used in wine bottles and has a natural resistance to moisture. Cork is a comfortable material and is often used in higher-end trekking poles. It is also durable and can last for many years. However, cork is also one of the more expensive grip materials.

– Rubber: Rubber is a synthetic material that is often used in trekking poles because it is both comfortable and durable. It can withstand extreme temperatures and moisture without deteriorating.

Pole Design

1. What are trekking poles/hiking poles and what do they do

2. Different types of trekking poles – fixed length, telescopic, foldable

3. Materials used in pole construction

4. Weight and packability of trekking poles

5. Pole tips – rubber or carbide

6. Grip or handle design

7. Shock absorbers/suspension systems

8. Price points for different types of trekking poles

Trekking poles, also known as hiking poles, are used to provide extra stability and support when hiking. They can be helpful on steep or uneven terrain and can take some of the strain off your lower body muscles.

There are a few different types of trekking poles – fixed length, telescopic, foldable. The majority of trekking poles are made from aluminum, but some are made from carbon fiber which makes them lighter and more expensive. Trekking poles typically weigh between 250-350 grams and can be easily packed away in your backpack when not in use.

The tips of the trekking pole can be either rubber or carbide. Carbide tips are more durable, but can also be sharp and dangerous if used in a crowded area. Rubber tips are less likely to damage surfaces, but they do wear out more quickly.

The grip or handle of the trekking pole can come in a few different designs. Some have a traditional cork handle that is comfortable to hold, while others have a more ergonomic design which can help to reduce fatigue. Some trekking poles also have a shock absorber system which helps to reduce the impact on your body when walking downhill.

Price points for different types of trekking poles vary, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $30-$200 for a good quality set.

Accessoires

TIPS – Many poles have interchangeable tips or can be modified with different caps for various types of terrain. Carbide tips are the standard tips that most poles come with and they are designed for all-terrain hiking. They are especially good for gripping rock and ice. You can easily replace them on most trekking poles if they are worn down by unscrewing the old ones and then screwing in new ones. Black Diamond and Leki offer screw-on replacement tips to name a few.

TIP COVERS – As we mentioned above, tip covers are great for protecting your stuff from damage by the carbide tips during airline travel or if you store your poles in a closet.

RUBBER CAPS – Rubber caps are a great accessory for anyone who uses trekking poles around town or on paved hiking trails. The standard carbide tips that most poles come with will wear down quickly on pavement, so it’s a good idea to use rubber tips to protect them. Most manufacturers make specific rubber tips that slip over the end of their trekking poles; Leki makes a really cool footed rubber walking tip designed for more efficient movement.

BASKETS – Baskets easily screw onto the end of poles and help to keep them from sinking way down into sand and snow; we bring them along for coastal hiking and snowshoeing. Most pole manufacturers make specific baskets for their poles like the Black Diamond Powder Snow Baskets and the Leki Snowflake Baskets.

Compared the features and benefits of three different trekking pole models to help an avid hiker choose the right set of poles for his needs, ultimately resulting in the purchase of a new set of poles.

How to Use Trekking Poles

  • HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Your trekking poles should be adjusted to the correct height before you start your hike. To adjust the height, loosen the locking nut and extend or retract the pole to the desired length. Once the pole is at the desired length, tighten the locking nut.
  • GRIP: When gripping the trekking pole, ensure that your hand is in a comfortable position and that the pole is secure. You should be able to easily apply pressure with your hand while maintaining a firm grip.
  • STRIDE: When using trekking poles, you should adjust your stride so that you are pushing off with the pole on the opposite side of your hiking foot. This will help to increase your speed and efficiency while hiking.

Final Thoughts 

So, should you use trekking/hiking poles? The answer to that question depends on your individual needs and hiking habits. If you’re looking for a way to increase your speed and endurance while hiking, or if you have issues with knee pain, then trekking/hiking poles may be the solution for you. However, if you’re not used to using them, they can take some getting used to. Start by practicing with them at home before taking them out on the trail. And always remember to adjust the length of your poles according to your height and stride length. As long as you are aware of the pros and cons of using trekking/hiking poles, these handy tools can make your hiking adventure enjoyable.

About Joanne Jensen

JOANNE JENSEN

Joanne Bettina Jensen

Joanne Jensen is a renowned gardener with over 45 years of experience in gardening. Her passion for gardening began when she was a child, assisting her Mom and Nana in tending to their backyard garden’s in England.

Now it has evolved into an amazing blog. Since then, she has developed a deep appreciation for plants and has devoted her life to learning more about them. To read more go to her about page

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