Hiking is a sport which is open to everyone – young and old, anyone can enjoy a stroll through beautiful woodland, up slopes, and along riversides, and it’s great for your physical and mental health, giving you a bit of time to unwind. If you’re getting out there regularly, however, you might want to invest in some trekking poles, which will increase your stability regardless of the terrain, and will also cushion your knees and hips from some of the impact of prolonged walking. This can help reduce soreness after a long walk, and also keeps your joints healthier for longer.
Choosing the right trekking poles can be a challenge, however, so here are some tips to help you find the ones which will suit you best.
1) Think About The Handle
It makes sense that this is one of the most important parts of the pole – it is, after all, the bit which is most regularly in contact with your skin, and different materials will suit different people. For example, if you get sweaty palms, you might want to consider cork handles, which will give you a better grip, and which are nice and light for long hikes over difficult terrain. “Alternatively, you may find that foam is better suited to you; it isn’t great in wet conditions, but if you’re out and about in the sunshine, its lightness and comfortable texture is ideal. Another alternative material is rubber, which is generally best suited to cold weather hiking, but can get sweaty and rub when the weather is warm,” recommends Jessica K. Mitchell, a blogger at BoomEssays and Assignment Help.
2) Consider Height
The height is obviously another extremely important factor to consider, as this is crucial for providing you with adequate support. Many trekking poles are adjustable, but some aren’t because they are designed to be as light as possible. If you tend to hike on different terrains – sometimes uphill, sometimes on a level, etc. – it’s best to get an adjustable pole, or several poles of different lengths so you can always choose something that will suit the terrain. Remember that steep inclines require shorter poles, while you will want a long pole for going downhill. Many treks incorporate both, so flexibility is often preferable.
Having poles with shock absorbancy can save your joints from impact damage, and is important to consider if you hike often. These poles generally have a spring which absorbs the shock of each step, and can make a walk easier, particularly for those who suffer from painful joints already. However, these poles are often heavier as a result, so it’s important to test them and see if they suit you before purchasing.
Every extra bit of weight counts when you’re on a long walk, so consider carefully which poles will best suit your style. If you cover great distances, weight is going to be a major factor in your decision, and you will need to try out different poles to see what works for you. Some poles are specifically marketed as ‘ultralight’, and they will let you keep going for longer as you won’t be swinging so much weight on every step.
“These poles are often more expensive, so if you don’t walk too far or you’re not concerned about the weight, a heavier one with some of the other features – such as adjustability and shock-absorbancy – might be more suited to you,” says Donna J. Brady, travel writer at Essayroo and UKWritings.
5) Wrist Straps
These help you maintain a more relaxed grip on the trekking pole, reducing strain over the course of the walk. Remember that padded straps may prove more comfortable, and that you should learn the proper method of putting them over your wrists, as many hikers get this wrong and don’t get the full benefit.
You may want to consider purchasing more than one type of pole if you walk in lots of different ways. Have lighter poles for long hikes where you’re likely to get tired, and switch to your heavier but more flexible ones when you aren’t going so far. Using two poles over one is often advisable, as you’ll get a much better balance and will prevent one side of your body from taking more strain than the other.
Make sure you try several different poles, borrowing from other hikers to trial before buying if possible, until you find what suits you best.
Chloe Bennet is a travel lover from Australian Help and Best essay writing service websites. She helps with content management and reviews online submissions. Also, Chloe teaches non-fiction writing at Custom Writing Service, edtech portal.