Hiking and trekking poles can provide extra confidence and stability while on trails, sidewalks, or park paths. Knowing how to use trekking poles correctly can benefit anyone navigating difficult terrain or needing added stability.
Why & how to use trekking poles while walking? It can help reduce stress on your joints, which can be especially beneficial if you are osteoarthritis or overweight. People with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis may benefit from improved stability when using poles.
Using trekking poles correctly offers you nothing but the best benefits. To do this, make sure to hold them properly, coordinate your arm & leg movement, & adjust them when going up or downhill. Moreover, trekking poles can help you feel more confident on walks & hikes.
The use trekking poles & hiking staff is popular among walkers, hikers, trekkers, backpackers, & snowshoes stay balanced & supported when traveling on any type of ground.
Guide to making most of the trekking poles or a hiking staff
- Choose between a pair of trekking poles or a single hiking staff to start your outdoor adventure.
- Ideal pole length is such that when the tips of poles touch the ground, your elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle.
- When choosing poles, consider adjustability, foldability, shock absorption, weight, & locking mechanisms (for adjustable poles). These will help guide your purchase.
- Learning how to use trekking poles efficiently can help you navigate obstacles on the trail.
How to use walking sticks?
If you need using walking sticks, it is best to get a cane from a medical supply store rather than using trekking poles or hiking staff. These items are designed for difficult terrain and not for urban use.
When to use trekking poles?
Walking sticks for stability on uneven and unsealed surfaces like country footpaths, mountain trails, etc. They are not meant to be used on sealed surfaces such as roads or pavements since they do not usually have rubber feet which can make them more of a hindrance than a help. Unlike Nordic walking poles designed for short fitness activities that make you burn calories instead of saving energy, trekking pole decathlon should only be used for hiking with walking sticks.
Learning how to use trekking poles When using hiking poles on rough terrain, trekking poles can provide excellent support, stability, and weight distribution. They also help with technique. It is thought that when using poles, roughly 20% of a hiker’s body weight is taken from their legs with each step – reducing strain on the knees.
Modern trekking poles are very lightweight and either collapsible or telescopic, making them easy to carry for walks on sealed and unsealed terrain. For summer hikes, using a pair of the best hiking shoes instead of boots can be supplemented by trekking poles for added ankle support.
Why Should You Know how to Use Trekking Poles?
Walking with walking sticks technique is beneficial because they provide extra stability, while Nordic walking poles enable a technique that burns more calories and works the upper body.
Trekking poles are not intended to increase the intensity of an activity. Know how to use trekking poles because they are perfect for lengthy walks and hikes, like the Camino de Santiago, and for improving balance and stability during any type of using walking poles.
Moreover, trekking poles help to reduce the strain on your joints when hiking up or down hills. They provide improved balance and decreased muscle activity, allowing you to hike for longer with less fatigue.
How to Use Trekking Poles Efficiently?
Start by loosening your grip on the pole so it can move freely between your thumb and forefinger. The handgrips might be angled to make using the pole easier.
Keeping your grip relaxed will require little effort to flick the pole forward with each step. Hold the pole using only your thumb and forefinger, leaving the other fingers open and not pressing down.
Use correct arm movements.
How to use trekking poles correctly?
Always keep your arms close to your body as you walk and use the poles. With each step, move one of the poles slightly forward by flicking the wrist or forearm. Make sure to keep a tight grip on the pole so that it moves correctly in the right direction.
Bringing the opposite arm and leg forward is essential for a natural gait. Your gait will sway if you keep bringing the same arm and leg forward. To practice this, start walking sticks for balance with the poles dragging behind you and gradually bring them up so their tips touch the ground with each step.
For pole walking for seniors, You do not need to press the tips of your poles into the ground; just let your arms swing naturally while you walk. Ensure your poles are adjusted to a length that keeps your elbows bent when they hit the ground.
Put up the pole.
The pole should only lightly touch the ground for stability. With each step, flick it forward with a definite action to get upper body exercise by pushing down on it.
When using a plant/push technique, you can use it to add some extra thrust when going uphill or on level ground or as a braking action when going downhill. Make sure to apply pressure back and down for the best results.
When should double poling be used?
When going uphill, downhill, or navigating curbs and stairs, it’s best to position both poles in front of you at the same time.
Swing your poles forward in an easy motion, and then take one to four steps ahead. Swing the one trekking pole or two forward again at a point where you can use their stability for support.
Tips for Using Trekking Poles
Learning how to use trekking poles is pretty easy. Thinking about how to use trekking pole tips? There are a lot of simple tips that can help you to master the basics quickly.
Alternating Between Using Your Poles and Legs When Walking.
How to use trekking poles easily? Using trekking poles is easy to get the hang of just planting one pole in the ground in time with your opposite foot (i.e., right foot, left pole). If you find yourself out of rhythm, keep walking with walking sticks and lift your poles off the ground for a second to reset. You will eventually get used to this pattern so much that it will feel like second nature, and you will not even have to think about it!
Planting twice as much.
You may find it beneficial to plant both poles on the ground simultaneously and then take two steps, repeating this process as you ascend or descend steep inclines for added stability.
How to use trekking poles naturally? When using trekking poles, it’s important to keep your arms swinging naturally, as if you weren’t holding them. The poles should be angled slightly so that when you plant them on the ground, you can use them to help propel yourself forward.
Overcoming Challenges in Negotiations
Trekking poles can be useful when you come across obstacles on the trail.
How to use trekking poles when Crossing streams and rivers:
Trekking poles can help to keep you steady if you have to walk through water. Make sure to plant the pole on the ground before taking a step forward each time you place the pole. If the water is deep, adjust your poles to be longer.
The pool of water:
You can use your poles to help you navigate around the obstacles, or you can plant both poles and jump over them by doing a “pole vault.”
To get over large rocks, poles can help. You can plant the poles in the ground and use them to push yourself onto the rock as you step up.
Records of activity:
To get over a log, you can use ski poles for stability. Plant them in the ground and hold onto them for balance when crossing a log over water, similar to how a tightrope walker would use a large pole.
Using Poles to Set Up Your Tent
If you own a lightweight tent or tarp, you will need trekking poles to pitch it properly. How to use a trekking pole correctly? Adjustable poles are perfect as we can adjust them to the perfect length for your tent or tarp, making setup easier.
How to Change the Length of Your Trekking Poles?
How do you use walking sticks? When using poles for stability, make sure that when the pole tips are on the ground next to your feet, you can hold them with your elbow at a 90-degree angle. This will give you the most support when leaning on the poles for balance.
When Should You Adjust Your Poles?
How to use trekking poles When going uphill, shorten your adjustable-length poles by 5 to 10 centimeters. For downhill sections of the trail, lengthen your poles by 5 to 10 centimeters. how to walk with 2 walking sticks? If you’re on a slanted path for an extended period of time, you may want to shorten one pole and lengthen the other.
Poles that are adjustable can typically accommodate people who are between 5 and 6 feet tall. If you are shorter, there are poles designed especially for kids. For those who are taller, look for poles that have a higher height range. Fixed-length poles may be the right choice if you mainly take walks on even terrain.
How to Make Changes?
For adjusting the length of your poles, first stand with your elbows. Next bend at a 90-degree angle and adjust the pole so that the grip fits into your hands. If you need to lift the poles over obstacles, you may want to shorten them slightly.
To adjust the length of the 3-section poles, start by setting the top section to its midpoint. Then, adjust the bottom section until it is the correct length for walking on level ground. how to use a hiking stick When you need to change the length again in the future, you will only need to adjust the top section.
Put your hand through the strap of your pole and grip it. The strap should be over the back of your hand, with your thumb resting on top of it. Do not let it get twisted.
Adjust the strap length to make the pole secure in this position. Some poles have left and right labels on the straps, so you can use these labels when adjusting. This way, you can release your grip on the pole briefly without it falling down.
Using Poles on Hills: A Complete Guide
Here is how to use trekking poles when going downhill. First, loosen the straps or take your hands out of them so they do not become too tight. Extend your poles by 5 to 10 centimeters and plant them slightly in front instead of parallel to your body; this will help with braking.
To navigate a steep hill, take small steps with soft knees and keep your poles ahead of you. If the path is wide enough, create switchbacks by taking three or more steps across the trail, zigzagging back and forth.
Here is how to use walking sticks for seniors for going uphill.
It is wiser to shorten your poles and keep them close to your body. Don’t plant the poles ahead of you; use them to give yourself a gentle push up the hill instead.
Using Poles on Stairs
How to use trekking poles When going downstairs, place both walking poles on the next lower step and then step down. Plant one pole and then take a step; plant the other pole, and then take another step. Make sure your poles stay in front of you while doing this.
For stability, while going upstairs, push off with your feet rather than pulling. Put both poles next to your feet and then step up. Bring the poles up until they touch your feet and repeat this process until you reach the top. Push, step, push, step.
Length of Trekking Pole
How to hold trekking pole, To find the right size trekking poles for you, make sure that when you hold them with the tips on the ground near your feet, your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Most poles come in adjustable lengths, which makes this easy to do, however, some are sold in fixed or range of sizes. Follow these guidelines to ensure you have the right length poles.
For trekking poles and hiking staffs with adjustable lengths:
- How to use a walking stick for hiking? In case you are taller than 6 feet, it is recommended to choose a hiking staff vs trekking pole that has a maximum length of 51 inches or more.
How to use hiking poles If you are shorter than 6 feet, you can adjust most trekking poles and hiking staffs to fit your height.
Changing the Length of the Pole
It is essential to set your trekking poles to the correct height if they are adjustable. If not adjusted properly, How to use trekking poles? using trekking poles can lead to pain in your arms, shoulders, back and neck.
how to use walking poles in general, Hold the pole so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle at the elbow when the tip of the pole touches the ground near your foot. This is usually an appropriate length for hiking.
Start by adjusting your pole to the appropriate length that can put your arm at the correct angle. If you’re using poles with three sections, set the top adjustment to the middle of the range. In case you need to make any further adjustments while hiking, only use the top adjustment for fine-tuning.
How to use trekking poles For long sections of uphill terrain, To increase leverage and make your pole plants more secure, shorten each pole by 5–10cm. The steeper the slope, the more you should shorten your poles. Your trekking pole technique should help you move uphill without straining or tiring out your shoulders; they should not feel pushed up into your backpack straps, so if this happens, cut them down even further.
Walking sticks how to use for long sections that go downhill? Increase the length of each pole by 5–10cm from what you normally use for hiking. This will help you maintain better balance and an upright posture.
How to use trekking poles if you are traveling a long distance? You can adjust the length of the pole by shortening it on the uphill side and lengthening it on the downhill side to improve comfort and stability.
Features of Trekking Poles
If you plan to use the poles, you may want to look for ones with these features:
Trekking poles can be adjusted in length to provide stability across different terrains. Usually, they can be adjusted from 24 to 55 inches. how to walk with walking sticks When going uphill, it is best to shorten the poles and when going downhill, you should lengthen them.
Fixed-length trekking poles are popular among those looking for lightweight gear, as they have fewer parts than adjustable poles. They’re great for when you know the exact length of pole you need for an activity.
Foldable trekking poles:
Foldable trekking poles are an ideal choice for those who need a lightweight and packable pole. They are popular among ultrarunners and fast hikers and deploy quickly. Unlike adjustable poles, they do not collapse into themselves but instead function like tent poles.
Poles that absorb shock:
Shock absorption is a must-have feature for hikers, especially those with unstable hips, knees, or ankles or any previous injuries in those areas. Most hiking poles have internal springs that absorb shock when going downhill. And you can turn off this feature when not needed, like during an uphill climb.
Poles of standard size:
These poles are less expensive and lighter than shock-absorbing ones, but they still offer the same level of balance and support. Moreover, they do not absorb as much impact when going downhill, though.
Ultralight trekking poles:
Ultralight poles offer several benefits that make them desirable for hikers. They are lighter and easier to move, which leads to less fatigue over long hikes. Additionally, they are more compact and pack easily. Ultralight poles weigh less than 1 pound per pair when factoring in the material of the pole shaft.
Mounting a camera:
Some trekking poles and hiking staffs have a camera mount attached to the handle, allowing them to be used as a monopod.
Understand When The Best Moment Is.
Understand How to use trekking poles? A hiking pole can be beneficial when walking uphill, downhill, or on an uneven surface. This is because 20% of your weight is taken off your legs and transferred to your arms when you use poles. This may not be noticed immediately, but it will help protect your joints in the long run. However, if you are feeling steady on flat ground, a pole is unnecessary.
Using hiking poles can reduce the impact on your legs when walking, as well as provide stability during river crossings. They can also be used to massage tight muscles in your calves. However, they are not always necessary, and it is best to put them away if you need both hands free, such as when climbing rocks.
Determine Your Height
Fixed-length trekking poles are generally lighter, more basic and less expensive. When gripping a fixed trekking pole on flat ground, your elbow should form a 90-degree angle. The top of the pole should be 6 to 8 inches above your elbow, typically when standing upright. If you plan on hiking for long periods of time or in rugged terrain, then adjustable poles may be a better option for you.
Are you thinking about how to walk with trekking poles? When hiking on flat sections, adjust your pole so that your elbow forms a 90-degree angle when you hold it. If you’re going uphill for an extended period of time, shorten the pole by 5 to 10 centimeters for more stability and support. How to use hiking sticks When traveling downhill, increase the length of the pole by 5 to 10 centimeters to aid with balance.
Single or double?
If you’re investing in trekking poles, you will need to decide whether to get one or two.
How to use a single walking pole?
Single poles can be useful on very technical terrain, like scrambling across rocks. That is because they allow you to have one hand free for grabbing holds. On graded scrambles, it is better to use both poles so that you can use both hands. Some organized trails do not allow trekking poles on scrambling sections.
How to use walking sticks for exercise?
If you have purchased a pair of poles, you can benefit your body more efficiently as opposed to having just one pole. Having two poles will allow for a much better technique compared to if you only had one. If you only purchase one pole, that is all the support you have available.
Climbing up and coming down
Are you thinking about how to use trekking poles when going downhill? Extend your poles a bit longer than usual. And place the tips of the poles slightly in front of you with each step to help with breaking. When going uphill, shorten your poles slightly (more if it is a steep climb) and plant the tips parallel to your body. Use them to push off from the ground, not to pull yourself up.
Trekking poles can give you more balance and stability when walking with trekking poles on different terrain. They are a common accessory for hikers and are great if you need extra support. Do you have an issue with your balance? Then, remember to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about how to use trekking poles. Get out there and explore the world!