Walking poles, hiking poles or as some call them ‘sticks’ are all one and the same. There are several tangible benefits gained through the correct use of walking poles, so here are a few basics on the benefits and how to use them.
Redistributes, the load from your pack or even through hill climbing, which can naturally have an impact through increased pressure though your hips, knee and ankle joints.
Reduces fatigue, helped by better weight redistribution and an improved posture, this can assist better breathing which supports the development of better endurance.
Better body posture, which will lead to better upper body tone and muscle development.
Better stability and balance, slips, trips and falls are part of the territory when we get outside on rocky and uneven walking surfaces. Poles assist in providing better balance and fall prevention.
Safety, Slippery ground or wet rocks are also encountered in the countryside, as an aide to maintaining our balance poles are extremely helpful. NB: They are priceless when stream crossing stability is required.
Work out Finally, the use of walking poles contributes to a full body workout using as much as 47% more calories and 90% of your muscle groups.
Typically, poles tend to be either telescopic or folding, either can serve a useful purpose and your selection can depend on how much you wish to spend.
Other things to consider are:
- How small you want then to fold down to, (for carrying purposes).
- Do you want a more robust aluminum pole or is your preference for a light carbon fiber pole?
- Do you want a basic pole or one that has an additional anti shock mechanism to help reduce impact on your muscles and joints?
Cork can mold to your hand grip over time, absorbs water and hand sweat and can offer a little cushioning and a secure grip.
Foam is great in hot weather as it wicks away sweat and keeps your hands dry. These can tend to wear away quicker.
Rubber is waterproof and good in the cold and can also provide some impact benefit. In hot weather though, these can cause hands to overheat slightly so using gloves may be an additional benefit.
Using your poles:
Adjust your pole length so that your hands are comfortable gripping the handle lightly, and your forearms are positioned at 90 degrees to the ground.
Always use your poles in pairs.
Always use the wrist straps by inserting your hand in the loop from underneath, then holding the strap between your thumb and forefinger with some slight downward pressure against the grip.
In Summary, investment in a good set of poles can be a useful addition to your rucksack.
Chris and Martin
We would like to recommend Mountain King who make and supply a full range of Poles , Click on their name below for all details on their website.
Take advantage of our exclusive discount code by clicking on the Mountain King Poles link and quoting OUTDOOR36510 when you place your order.
Mountain King Made in Great Britain, Mountain King manufactures a superb range of trekking, hiking and ultra running poles. We make poles for everyone from casual walkers to adventure seekers, mountain explorers to ultra endurance runners.