Trekking poles are a must-have item for everyone going on a hiking or trekking expedition. They are especially recommended for trekking in Nepal since Nepal is a hilly region where trekking requires a lot of physical exertion and a lot of up and downhill walking. Trekking Poles not only assist you in balancing your body weight, but they also provide numerous other advantages. A trekking pole is a walking stick with a handle that you grab to increase your stability. Hiking, trekking, and running are all activities that can be done with them. We'll go through the 10 Most Important Things To Know About Trekking Poles in a minute.
10 Important Things To Know About Trekking Poles
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Trekking poles are a great piece of equipment for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you plan on going on a long hike, trekking, running, or an all-day camping trip, trekking poles will help you make the walk easier and more comfortable. Trekking poles are designed to work in conjunction with backpacks or day packs, allowing you to have an extra set of hands when you need them. Trekking poles are certainly a necessary tool for an extended hike, especially if you plan on doing any serious backpacking.
They are essentially hiking sticks that are lightweight, collapsible, and easy to maneuver. Made from a variety of materials including fiberglass, aluminum, and carbon fiber. They were created to aid hikers in maintaining balance and stability when walking rough terrain. This is why trekkers and cross-country hikers have taken to using trekking poles since they frequently find themselves in need of something solid to rest on while they ascend or descend steep hills or rocky inclines.
Today, however, trekking poles have become popular with campers of all skill levels (even those who only go on short day hikes). They're no longer just used by professionals, nowadays, it's common to see people using trekking poles when they take leisurely strolls through their own neighborhoods.
Why should I even need trekking poles?
You've got two perfectly good, and functional, god-given legs - Why bother with trekking poles? Well, that's certainly a valid question. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who have taken hiking trips without having used a trekking pole at all. The simple answer is: that you don't need trekking poles, but if you're going to go on a long hike, it's recommended that you take them. Furthermore, Trekking poles aren't just for old people. Trekking poles are a priceless aid to those recovering from injuries or surgery.
For a variety of reasons, trekking poles are beneficial. The main benefit is that they provide your body with more stability. You may distribute your weight more evenly throughout your full body instead of concentrating it on your legs when walking or climbing with the aid of a pole. Using the poles relieves stress on your ankles, knees, and hips, which are all critical for maintaining balance while moving around and are often the first to give out when weariness sets in.
Trekking poles can also assist in relieving back stress by providing extra support when bending down to pick something up or stretching during a break. They can also assist you in avoiding ailments like slipped discs and torn muscles. In addition to that, they can help you avoid injuries such as slipped discs, pulled muscles, and sprained ankles (which happen frequently while hiking).
They're made to help climbers go to places that might otherwise be unreachable. They can help people climb mountains, navigate steep terrain, and navigate through snow. Trekking poles have been around since the nineteenth century, but it wasn't until the 1950s that lightweight aluminum poles made them popular. They were originally developed for mountaineering, but have since found their way into other sports such as skiing and hiking.
What should you consider when buying trekking poles?
Trekking poles are available in a variety of styles and sizes to suit hikers of all shapes and sizes. When choosing a pair of trekking poles, the weight is usually the most important consideration. Because this information might assist you in assessing whether or not they're overly heavy, most manufacturers will indicate the average weight per pole someplace on their packaging or product pages.
The way a trekking pole feels in your hand is one method to determine its quality. Look for a comfortable form and a decent grip. Check for signs of wear and tear as well. When purchasing trekking poles, keep the following in mind:
- Adjustable height: It is important that your trekking pole can be adjusted according to your height and the steepness of the terrain. The ideal length of a trekking pole should be up to your hip level when held vertically.
- Lightweight: A good quality trekking pole is made from lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum, or even titanium. This will allow you to easily pack it up and carry it with you wherever you go.
- Shock-absorbing ability: Having shock-absorbing abilities will help protect the poles from breaking or even prevent injuries during a fall if you lose balance due to slippery surfaces or uneven terrain.
- Lock mechanism: When buying a trekking pole, make sure that the lock mechanism used in it is secure
Which company makes the best trekking poles?
We have compiled a list of the best companies that make trekking poles, just for you.
- BLACK DIAMOND: This company has been in business since 1989 and it has been making great trekking poles ever since.
- CAMP: This is a company that is dedicated to making quality products. They have a wide range of trekking poles to suit every style of walker
- KOMPERDELL: This is another great company with an extensive range of trekking poles available
- LEKI: Leki is a German-based company, they are one of the oldest companies in the world and they make some amazing trekking poles
- MONTEM: Montem is an American company that makes some really good trekking poles
- PACERPOLES: Pacerpoles are made by an English company called 'The Walking Pole Company'
- REI Co-op: Probably one of the most well-known outdoor equipment stores that makes great trekking poles.
- SALEWA: Salewa is another great company that makes some excellent trekking poles
- SNOW PEAK: Snow Peak makes some amazing trekking poles for any condition
- THE NORTH FACE: The North Face also makes great trekking poles.
And a good pair of trekking poles should cost between $40 - $50.
Cost of Trekking Poles in Nepal:
The cost of trekking poles in Nepal can vary depending on several factors. Such as the quality, brand, and location where you purchase them.
On average, basic trekking poles in Nepal can cost around NPR 1,500 to NPR 3,000 (approximately USD 15 to 30) per pair. These are usually made of lightweight aluminum and provide the necessary support for trekkers. However, prices can be higher for poles made of carbon fiber or those from well-known brands.
It's important to note that prices can fluctuate and may also depend on where you purchase the trekking poles. It's always a good idea to compare prices in different stores and negotiate for a better deal if possible. With negotiation, you might as well get cheaper low-quality trekking poles but durable ones.
How to Pack or Carry trekking poles on a flight?
Trekking poles can be very crucial accessories while trekking into the wilderness. However, they can be an inconvenient item to accommodate in the flights. Most airlines have strict policies about what can be brought onboard and often do not allow poles.
The easiest solution is to collapse and pack them with the rest of your luggage. Most trekking pole models allow you to collapse them down to around two feet or less. Make sure they are properly padded and secured in your luggage so they don't get damaged.
After they are collapsed place them horizontally, if you strap them outside vertically, they are more likely to be flagged for removal. Wrap the pole handles and tips in soft material like socks so that they don't tear your other items in transit. It’s always best to put them in your checked luggage rather than in your carry-on luggage. Some travelers collapse them down to their minimum size and bring them in their carry-on luggage. It solely depends on the airlines you so choose.
The most significant things to remember are to collapse the poles, place them horizontally, wrap any sharp edges, and securely place them inside your luggage.
The Importance of Trekking Poles:
Trekking poles were designed to assist individuals in traversing rough terrain in a more lightweight and efficient manner than if they were simply carrying a stick or had no walking assistance at all. Hikers and backpackers utilize trekking poles as an additional support system for balance and safety on rocky paths today. But there's more to these handy gadgets than that: here are a few reasons why you should use trekking poles.
- They can reduce your energy expenditure when hiking uphill. A study conducted by a team of researchers found that using trekking poles while ascending steep grades reduces energy expenditure by 7% compared to hiking without poles. The researchers noted that hiking with poles requires less muscular effort. It shifts some of your body weight onto your arms and shoulders, which are better equipped to handle it than your legs and feet would be.
- They can help you recover from long hikes by reducing muscle tiredness and discomfort. Another study, published in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, looked at how trekking poles affected muscular tiredness and discomfort after long hikes over uneven terrain. Researchers discovered that using trekking poles reduced muscle fatigue by up to 24%. It reduced muscle soreness by up to 40%, improved gait efficiency, increased stride length, and reduced stride frequency.
- They're a safety measure: Trekking poles can help you stay balanced when hiking on uneven terrain or down steep inclines, in addition to making your journey more comfortable. They can assist you with maintaining your footing when crossing streams and other areas where there is a chance of slipping. If you have knee difficulties, trekking poles can assist you in relieving stress on your joints by spreading your weight over numerous places rather than just one (your knees).
Types of Trekking Poles:
There are different types of poles, including folding poles, telescopic poles, lightweight poles, collapsible poles, etc. One of the best options is the telescopic pole because it allows you to choose between short and long versions.
Telescopic poles or Adjustable-length trekking poles:
Adjustable-length poles are great if you’re unsure whether your height will necessitate purchasing extra-long or regular-length sticks. Most adjustable models have a twist-lock system, which allows you to set your desired length once and then lock it into place for safekeeping until your next adjustment. Some models also feature telescoping sections, which allow you to extend your poles further for added stability during downhill portions of your hike.
Fixed-length trekking poles:
Trekkers and hikers also use Fixed-Length trekking poles which again many find it more reliable and comfortable. Fixed-length sticks are best if you know exactly how tall you are and how long your arms need to be extended while on the trail.
When would be the best time to use Trekking Poles?
When would be the best time to use trekking poles for trekkers and hikers? There is no best time. Anytime you are going on a hike, and need some extra support, you should use trekking poles. It is up to your comfort level and personal preference. These are all reasons people use them:
Some people like the added stability when walking across a rocky area or over a stream, or when climbing up or down an incline. Others use them all the time because they have bad knees and they want to take some of the pressure off their legs. Another reason to use trekking poles is that they can help distribute the weight of a heavy backpack more evenly between your arms and legs.
So when do you need trekking poles? You should always carry them if your trip involves crossing streams, scrambling over rocks, trekking steep uphill or downhill, slippery trails, long hours walking, or hiking through snow and ice.
Is it okay to use just a Single Trekking Pole?
Using a single trekking pole can be very advantageous when you are hiking or backpacking. Trekking poles are usually used in pairs, but many hikers like to use just one pole for the extra support it offers. Using only one trekking pole is beneficial for more than just the extra support, however.
Trekking and Hiking with a single trekking pole is certainly considered better for many because it makes you mindful of your surroundings and prevents any uncertainties of bodily injuries.
Single trekking pole vs. the Pairs:
On their trip, a large number of hikers will pick up a walking stick and use it as hiking assistance. Many people find that using a trekking pole, whether it's a piece of wood found on the route or a purpose-built trekking pole, makes them feel less exhausted and more confident over hard terrain.
Trekking poles can be used individually or in pairs. They can relieve stress on the ankles and knees, reduce tiredness, and lower the risk of injury when used correctly. However, when compared to utilizing two trekking poles at the same time, employing one trekking pole offers some advantages:
Using a single trekking pole allows you to use your other hand to do other things.
How to carry a trekking pole on the backpack?
Nothing is more annoying than having to organize your trekking pole. If you are a hiker who uses a walking stick, you may be familiar with the inconvenience of carrying it. Not to mention, there are times when you are scrambling up steep hills or climbing over rocks when you just have to let go of your pole. You might have even been forgetful and left it behind somewhere on the trail. If you don't want to risk losing your trekking pole, here are some handy ways to carry it in your backpack.
- The first way is "old school style" - it’s a true method that works well for those who have an old bag with large loops on either side to hold the tips of the poles. The only downside of this method is that the poles will swing wildly as you hike, which can be annoying but not dangerous.
- The second but best way is "The New School Style" – it’s using your daypack with small loops on the top and bottom (which now the all-new advanced tech bag has). They are basically designed to hold your trekking poles steadily without letting them swing.
However, it is always safe to place it the right way. And the right way is – the pole handle facing towards the sky and the other tip facing the ground side. This is because most of the time trekkers lose the rubber tip of the pole somewhere, nowhere to be found. When the tip is exposed and you have to put it upside down in your day pack, it’s not a safe thing to do during thunder and lightning.
How do I use Trekking Poles?
"How do I use trekking poles?" is the most common question when it comes to hiking or trekking with trekking poles. We're going to go over the most common uses for trekking poles so you can figure out if they're right for you and your hiking style. Trekking poles are simple to use. All you have to do now is choose the appropriate size for your height and alter the length to meet your requirements.
Most Trekking poles are ultra-light and adjustable in height, allowing you to adjust them as per your necessities. You don't have to secure them in an upright position because most models include a built-in locking mechanism.
Proper Technique for Using Trekking Poles:
First, do not use trekking poles like you would ski poles. You should never put all of your weight on a pole because it is not designed to support your full weight. Instead, think of your trekking poles as two extra limbs. Imagine they are there to provide you with balance, stability, and comfort.
Start with the proper posture:
The most common error people make when using trekking poles is leaning too far forward, toward the pole tips. This causes your weight to shift away from your center of gravity, increasing your chances of falling backward or losing your equilibrium. Keep your body erect and your eyes forward as you walk to avoid this; the poles' tips should be level with the ground. If you're walking uphill, keep your hands at breast level; if you're walking downhill, keep them parallel to your hips.
Adjust the length:
Trekking poles generally have adjustable lengths for different terrain or for different hiking styles (though some fixed-length models are available). It is however advised to hold your trekking poles in front of you so that your elbows form a 90-degree angle. When holding make sure they are perpendicular to the ground.
For uphill climbing, shorten the length of your trekking pole so that it's even with your underarm height. This position allows you to push down on the pole and get extra power to push yourself up the hill. For downhill hiking, lengthen the pole so that it's about even with your hip.
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