Tips for Safely Using Your Hiking Poles
So, you’ve decided to embark on a new hiking adventure? That’s an excellent way to spend your free time! It gives you a chance to get back to nature and escape from the fast-paced city life. But before you go, make sure that you pack all of your hiking essentials. These range from shoes and socks to backpacks and water bottles, including walking poles.
Walking poles are among the most important hiking gear. They improve your safety and give you support on any type of terrain. In the following guide, I will help you choose the best poles, as well as give you some tips on how to use them properly when you’re out in the wild.
What Are the Best Hiking Poles?
Today’s market is saturated with poles for hiking, all of which have different features and levels of quality. This makes it challenging to select the right ones for your hiking adventure. If you’re looking for high-quality and durable poles, you may want to check out the versatile Nordic walking poles. They’re made from strong aluminium and carbon fibre shafts, and breathable ergonomic grips that won’t slip through your palms when you need them the most. These poles are super lightweight and foldable, making them ideal for all the light packers out there.
What to Consider When Shopping for Hiking Poles?
Length of the Poles
When you hold the poles with tips on the ground close to your feet, poles that are the right size will have your elbows at a 90-degree bend. Many poles have adjustable lengths, which makes it easy to achieve this. Some, however, are available in a variety of sizes or set lengths. If you’re taller than 1.8 m, I suggest that you choose poles that are around 1.25 m long. If you’re shorter than 1.8m, you can shorten most adjustable poles to work well for your height.
A significant factor in the pole’s overall weight is the composition of the pole shaft:
- Aluminium: The most cost-effective and long-lasting option, aluminium poles typically weigh 510g to 620g each pair. The gauge of the pole, which ranges from 12 to 16mm, might have a slight impact on the actual weight (and cost). Aluminium bends under intense pressure but it isn’t likely to break.
- Composite: The shafts of these poles are either totally or partially constructed of carbon. These poles weigh between 340g and 510g for each pair on average, making them the lighter alternative. Although carbon-fibre poles are effective at decreasing vibration, they’re not as strong as aluminium poles when under extreme stress. This is something to bear in mind if you trek in rocky, isolated locations. However, these poles are widely favoured by hikers for their convenience of use and small weight.
To maintain your wrists in a neutral and comfortable position, certain poles and staffs include ergonomic grips with a 15-degree correcting angle. These modern folding walking poles allow decent support for easy strolling and trekking.
Different grip materials have an impact on how the poles feel in your hands:
- Cork: This material fits well to the contour of your hands and resists moisture from sweaty palms. It also reduces vibration. Choose cork grips if you tend to sweat a lot or plan to hike in warm weather.
- Foam: The most comfortable to the touch and best at absorbing moisture from sweaty palms.
- Rubber: This is the ideal material for cold-weather sports since it insulates your hands from shock, vibration, and cold. However, it’s less suited for warm-weather trekking since sweaty hands are more prone to developing blisters and chafing from it.
How to Safely Use Your Hiking Poles?
Hiking is meant for people of different ages. Although this sport isn’t as intense as mountain biking, for example, you should still use your Nordic walking poles properly to avoid danger. Fortunately, learning to properly use your poles for hiking is quite easy. Below are a few pointers to get you on your way.
Switching Between Poles and Legs
The majority of hikers rapidly learn how to use their poles and develop the perfect rhythm of planting the pole in front of the opposite foot. Simply keep on moving while lifting your poles off the ground for a brief period to reset if you lose your rhythm. As soon as you’re prepared, begin planting the poles again. You won’t even need to think about it anymore until this becomes entirely natural.
On occasion, you might need to plant both poles simultaneously, move forward two steps, plant both poles simultaneously again, and so on. This is useful if you require both poles to be stable on the ground simultaneously during a steep climb or descent.
When using trekking poles, it’s essential to retain a natural arm swing and walk as though you weren’t holding the poles in your hands. Slant your poles slightly toward your rear so that you may push off as you plant them to help you go forward.
Getting Around Obstacles
When you come upon path problems, hiking poles are of great assistance:
- Crossing streams and rivers: Poles provide you with the stability you need when you have to wade through water. Before continuing, make sure your pole is planted firmly on the ground each time. Lengthen your poles if the water is deep.
- Puddles: You may jump over them or use your poles to “pole vault” to the other side by planting both of them and moving around them while maintaining your balance.
- Enormous rocks: Poles help you push yourself up and over large rocks. Plant both poles in the ground and push up onto the poles while you climb up onto the rock to do this.
- Logs: Simply bury the poles in the ground and use them as a source of support to step over a log. Utilize the poles to improve your balance if you’re walking on a log to cross the water by extending them to both sides (picture a tightrope walker using a large pole for balance).
Check out the premium walking poles for sale and get ready for a fun and carefree hiking adventure!