*Guest Post* The Importance of Trekking Poles!

Please welcome Adam Nutting of Hiking the Trail to the blog today.  Adam is a avid hiker and backpacker working toward his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail.  He also happens to be a Cancer survivor, an Eagle scout and a self-proclaimed “tech geek.”  He has some great tips and I am pleased to have him on the blog sharing them.  This is a two-part series.  Check in next week for the rest!

When I think of walking sticks I think of all of the old guys at scout camp with the wooden walking sticks with the metal emblems embedded into the stick.  Never mind the fact that I think they have always been cool but who wants to look old walking around with a walking stick.

Over the years technology has allowed the trekking pole industry to explode with lots of different styles, materials, and weights. As the technology has grown so has the comfort level of the trekking poles.

Now some of you are saying that you would never use them because they are a pain and you would trip over them. Sure they do take some time to get used to and they can be rather cumbersome at times. The main purpose of the trekking poles is to help remove the stress of hiking / backpacking on your hips, knees, and ankles. This is done by transferring some of the weight from the pack through your arms down the poles. It also allows you to use them as leverage for those ups and downs of the trail. They can also help give you better balance while going up or down hills and rock scrambles.

Some of the more fun reasons to use trekking poles include:
  1. Scaring Away bears and other animals that you might not want to meet in person.
  2. Help you pick up something you dropped (the chopsticks method).
  3. To beat back / cut vegetation that has grown over the trail.
  4. Remove those pesky spiders’ webs that lay in front of you in the trail.
  5. A marching baton.
Now that you are excited to get out there and buy yourself a new pair of trekking poles there are a few things that you need to consider before buying.  These things include types of trekking poles, weight, price, shaft materials, locking mechanisms, and grips.
In my next post we will go over the aspects listed above.

Happy Trails.  

Check in next Wednesday for more tips on how to find the perfect poles….. 🙂

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