The Benefits Of Hiking Poles
Hiking poles, also known as trekking poles, walking sticks, or trail poles, are an often overlooked but highly useful piece of equipment for hikers and backpackers. Not only do they provide additional support and stability on the trail, but they can also offer a range of physical and psychological benefits that make your time on the trail more enjoyable and comfortable.
One of the most obvious benefits of using hiking poles is that they provide additional support and stability on uneven or slippery terrain. This can be especially helpful for hikers with balance issues or those carrying heavy loads, as the poles can help distribute some of the weight and take some of the strain off of your legs and back. Hiking poles can also help reduce the impact on your joints, particularly your knees, by absorbing some of the shock as you walk.
In addition to the physical benefits, hiking poles can also provide a psychological boost by helping you feel more confident and secure on the trail. They can give you something to lean on when you need a break, or help you feel more stable when crossing a sketchy stream or traversing a steep slope.
Hiking poles can also serve as a useful tool for navigation. They can be used to probe the depth of a stream or puddle, or to test the stability of a log or rock before you step on it. In some cases, they can even help you defend yourself against animals, although it is always best to try and avoid confrontations with wildlife whenever possible.
Finally, hiking poles can be a great way to conserve energy on the trail. By using your upper body to help propel you forward, you can take some of the strain off of your legs and allow you to hike longer distances with less fatigue.
Overall, hiking poles are a valuable addition to any hiker’s arsenal of gear. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, they can provide a range of physical and psychological benefits that can make your time on the trail more comfortable and enjoyable. So, it is always better to carry a pair of hiking poles with you on your next hiking trip.