Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Are you an avid trekker? Do you love to explore the great outdoors? If yes, then you must have experienced the need for hiking poles or trekking poles. Hiking poles are essential gear that can make your trekking experience more comfortable and less strenuous. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using hiking poles, how to choose the right one for you, the pros and cons of using them, and some alternatives if you’re not sold on the idea yet.

What are Hiking Poles?

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Hiking poles, also known as trekking poles, are adjustable and collapsible sticks designed to provide added support and stability when hiking or trekking. These poles are made from lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum, or composite materials, making them easy to carry in a backpack.

Hiking poles typically come in pairs, and they feature a variety of handles, locking mechanisms, and tips for different terrains. The most common types of hiking poles include telescoping, foldable, and fixed-length poles.

When Should You Use Hiking Poles?

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Hiking poles can be beneficial for trekkers of all levels, regardless of their experience and fitness level. However, you should consider using hiking poles if you:

  • Are hiking on steep or uneven terrain
  • Are carrying a heavy backpack
  • Have weak knees or suffer from joint pain
  • Want to improve your balance and stability
  • Need extra support when crossing streams or rivers
  • Are trekking on snow or ice
  • Want to maintain a consistent pace on long hikes

How to Choose the Right Hiking Pole?

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Choosing the right hiking pole is crucial for a comfortable and safe trekking experience. Here are some factors you should consider when choosing a hiking pole:


Hiking poles are available in different materials, and each material has its pros and cons. For instance, carbon fiber poles are lightweight and sturdy but can be expensive, while aluminum poles are cheaper but heavier.


The weight of your hiking pole is also essential. A lighter pole will reduce fatigue and make it easier to carry around, while a heavier one will provide more stability and support.


The handle of your hiking pole should be comfortable to grip for long periods. Handles come in various materials such as cork, foam, and rubber. Cork handles provide better sweat absorption and comfort, while foam handles provide insulation and better grip in wet conditions.

Locking Mechanisms

Hiking poles feature different locking mechanisms such as twist locks, lever locks, and push-button locks. Twist locks are the most common and reliable locking mechanism, while lever locks are easy to adjust and suitable for winter use.


Tips are essential for providing traction on different terrains. Carbide tips are durable and suitable for rocky or icy terrain, while rubber tips provide grip on smooth surfaces.

Pros and Cons of Using Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Like any gear, hiking poles have their pros and cons. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using hiking poles:


  • Reduce stress on your knees and joints
  • Provide added stability and balance
  • Increase your endurance by helping you maintain a consistent pace
  • Improve your posture and reduce back pain
  • Help you cross streams and rivers with ease
  • Allow you to use your upper body muscles, reducing fatigue


  • Add extra weight to your backpack
  • Can sometimes get in the way when navigating narrow trails
  • Might not be suitable for all types of hiking or terrain
  • Can be expensive

Alternatives to Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Not everyone might be convinced about using hiking poles. If you’re not sold on the idea yet, here are some alternatives you can try:

  • Trekking staff: A single staff made from wood or metal that can provide balance and stability when hiking.
  • Use your hands: Some hikers prefer to use their hands for support instead of using hiking poles. This method works best on shorter hikes with less challenging terrain.
  • Hiking shoes with better traction: Investing in a pair of hiking shoes with better traction can provide more stability and reduce the need for hiking poles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles and Their Benefits Why They’re a Must-Have for Trekkers

Using hiking poles might seem straightforward, but it’s essential to use them correctly to get the most benefits. Here is a step-by-step guide to using hiking poles:

  1. Adjust the pole’s height according to your height and the slope of the terrain.
  2. Grip the handle firmly, making sure your wrist is straight.
  3. Plant the pole ahead of your foot, ensuring that the tip penetrates the ground.
  4. Use the pole as support and push off your foot as you walk.
  5. Repeat the process with your other pole, ensuring a consistent pace.

Comparing Hiking Poles

There are various options available when it comes to hiking poles, and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Here are some popular hiking poles and their features:

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

These poles are a favorite among hikers for their lightweight carbon fiber construction and comfortable cork handles. They also feature FlickLock Pro adjustability, which allows you to adjust the height of the pole quickly.

Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles

These foldable trekking poles are made from high-quality carbon fiber and feature an ergonomic AERGON Thermo Long grip that provides comfort and support. The SpeedLock Plus mechanism allows for easy and quick adjustments.

Komperdell Carbon C3 Power Lock Trekking Poles

These carbon fiber poles are sturdy and lightweight while providing excellent shock absorption with their tungsten/carbide flex tips. The Power Lock 3.0 system makes it easy to adjust the height, even with gloves on.


Q1. Are hiking poles necessary for all types of hikes?

A1. No, hiking poles are not necessary for all types of hikes. However, they can be beneficial for hikes that involve steep or uneven terrain, carrying a heavy backpack, or if you have weak knees or joint pain.

Q2. Can hiking poles be used in snow or ice?

A2. Yes, hiking poles can be used in snow or ice. Some hiking poles come with snow baskets or wider tips suitable for winter conditions.

Q3. How do I maintain my hiking poles?

A3. To maintain your hiking poles, wipe them clean after each use and store them in a dry place. Check the tips and locking mechanisms regularly for wear and tear, and replace them if necessary.

Q4. Can I use one hiking pole instead of two?

A4. While using one hiking pole is better than none, using two poles provides more balance and support, reducing the strain on your joints.

Q5. How do I choose the right height for my hiking poles?

A5. The right height will depend on your height and the slope of the terrain. Adjust the pole so that your elbow is at a 90-degree angle when holding the handle.


In conclusion, hiking poles are an essential gear for trekkers of all levels. They provide added stability, reduce the strain on your joints, and improve your endurance and posture. When choosing hiking poles, consider factors such as material, weight, handle, locking mechanism, and tips. Remember to use them correctly, adjust their height, and maintain them regularly to get the most benefits out of them.

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