Gear: Walking Pole

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If you haven’t hiked with poles before, you might be wondering what all the hype is about. Do you still need a hiking pole (or trekking pole) to enjoy your walk?
Ask anyone who has experience walking hours through rough terrain and they’ll likely answer that question with a resounding “yes”. In fact, they’ll probably tell you that walking without hiking poles (or trekking poles) is like riding a bike without handlebars. It’s possible, but it makes things much harder than they need to be.

What do hiking poles do?

The main benefit of walking with a trekking pole is improved balance. This is especially important for those backpacking trips where you encounter a lot of steep terrain and rocky trails. Trekking poles not only prevent you from falling but also keep you from tiring out quickly.
Some people prefer to bring poles on their day hikes to give their arms something to do. While hiking is a great way of working out your legs, it doesn’t naturally engage your arms. By using hiking poles, you’re giving your arms a workout, too. By this same logic, hiking poles also help protect your legs from strain by allowing your arms to share the labour.
There are other creative uses for trekking poles. This includes things like testing water and ice depth. Trekking poles can also help you set up a makeshift shelter. Some even double as tent poles.
Hiking poles also provide shock absorption, which is good news for anyone with chronic leg pain or muscle spasms.

Search for the right hiking pole

You’ll want to look for a trekking pole with an ergonomic shape so that your body won’t tire out easily. Foam grips will add sweat-resistance which is key in hot weather. The tip of your hiking poles should feature a rubber grip to avoid slipping. Look for a hiking pole with a wrist strap if you’re going on a rocky adventure that could see you losing your pole.
Most trekking poles are made from carbon fiber materials. However, you might want to look for an aluminum pole if you’re looking for a trekking pole with a longer-than-average lifespan. Folding poles are beloved by backpackers and portage campers because of their obvious portability. Don’t worry—these poles come with a locking... mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking down on you while you’re in motion.

Shop hiking poles and more at Altitude Sports

Altitude Sports carries a wide range of the best hiking poles on the market including fixed length poles, collapsable poles, carbon fiber poles, and aluminum poles. Orders $49 or over ship free.



Frequently Asked Questions


Are hiking poles actually useful?

Yes, trekking poles are useful because they engage your arm muscles and help you keep your balance.

Do hiking poles work uphill?

While hiking poles are usually favoured for downhill walking, some users prefer to use them for uphill, as well. You may need to adjust the height of your poles.

What kind of hiking pole do I need?

The kind of hiking pole that you should buy depends on your height, preference, and the type of activity that you’re doing. Many people who carry their gear prefer a lightweight collapsible hiking pole.

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