If you’re looking to take your hiking to the next level, you might want to consider getting some trekking poles (also known as hiking poles or hiking sticks). These useful tools can help you move faster and more efficiently, giving you an extra edge going up hills, and give your knees a break while walking downhill. Hiking sticks come in a wide range of designs. The specific type you should opt for will depend a lot on whether portability is a major concern, how durable the material should be for the terrain in your area, and other factors. We will cover all of that below, but first, let’s look at some of the advantages to using trekking poles.
They Help You Balance on Uneven Terrain
If you enjoy hiking around creeks or rivers, you’re already aware of the dangers of slippery rocks. A trekking pole can help with regaining balance, potentially preventing a face plant into a stream or bush.
Clearing Branches or Brush from Your Trail
Trekking poles can be the perfect tool for pushing bushes or branches out of the way when you’re walking down a path that isn’t entirely clear. This is especially useful if you’re hiking in an area with thorny bushes.
Extra Support in Emergency Situations
Getting a twisted ankle out in nature is no fun. Hiking sticks can be used to support a strained joint or even as crutches to support your weight after sustaining an injury.
What to Consider before Buying Trekking Poles
Not that long ago, hiking poles weren’t seen that often out on the trail, or they were thought of as something that only older people use. These days, though, it’s not uncommon to see them used by mountaineers, trail runners, and casual hikers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best trekking poles:
Style and Design
There are three main styles of trekking poles; folding versions, three-section telescoping poles, and two-section telescoping poles. Extra portable poles may even feature a combination of folding and telescoping.
Ultralight Trekking Poles
In most cases, hikers will prefer lighter poles. The weight difference between heavy or light poles doesn’t seem that significant at around 14 ounces on average. But if you’re planning on doing super long hiking excursions, this can add up fast and increase the load for your arms. You will just have to think about what’s important to you in your hiking poles. Do you want a lighter construction that won’t be as durable, but will reduce fatigue, or is it more desirable to have stronger, heavier poles for extra durability?
Hiking poles usually come in one of two materials; carbon fiber or aluminum. While carbon is the lighter material, it isn’t as durable and tends to dent more easily. Aluminum, on the other hand, does weigh more but won’t snap as easily under impact. Usually, carbon fiber poles cost a bit more than the aluminum variety.
Trekking pole grips come in a range of materials, including rubber, foam, and cork. Cork grips are good because they are more malleable than other materials, molding to your unique hand shape. Foam grips are fairly comfortable and don’t get as hot as cork, so they might be worth considering if you’re planning on hiking out in the heat. Rubber grips are more suitable for snowy terrain than either cork or foam, but may not do so well in heat since they don’t absorb water.
Portability may be a huge concern for you, or not so important, depending on your hiking style. If you’re looking into trekking poles for backpacking or climbing, this will be an important quality. But if you’re the type to use your car to drive to your hiking spot, portability won’t be as necessary in your hiking poles.
The Best Trekking Poles
Once you’ve decided on how important portability is, what the ideal pole material will be, and which type of grips you’d prefer, it’s time to select your trekking poles. Below, we’ll cover a few different choices for various conditions.
Best Budget Trekking Poles – Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles
These are a good option if you’re looking for durability in your hiking sticks, but they are heavier than other options, so keep that in mind. The Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles have soft, comfortable handles and come at an affordable price. They have a flick lock system for easy adjustment and come in a variety of colors. And these poles have straps on them for easier carrying when you aren’t using them.Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles is breathable and will dry fast if it rains, and the chair itself isn’t too heavy to carry on your hiking trip.
Best Ultra Light Trekking Poles – Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Poles
If your main concern is portability, these carbon fiber poles could be a good choice. The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Poles have cork grips and a quick flip-lock for making adjustments on the trail. Both poles together weigh less than one pound, making them great for long journeys. The poles are easy to collapse (breaking down to just 21 inches in length) and are easy to store. They even come with a free carry bag.
Best for Flat Terrain- The Real SWIX Nordic Walking Poles
These trekking poles can be used not only on the trail, but also in the city. Commonly used for physical therapy and recovery, the Real SWIX Nordic Walking Poles come with custom sizing. The large handles on these poles make it easy to adjust your grip for various speeds and walking terrains. These trekking poles also work well in snow or icy conditions. Unlike the others on the list, these are one-piece poles. This means they’re best for flat terrain since they don’t adjust like multi-piece poles. If you don’t tend to go uphill or downhill a lot when you go out hiking, these are a good option. Learn More…
Here are some of the Best Selling Trekking Poles
I’ve done a bit of research, and put together a list of the best selling camping chairs for you. See the list below.
Trekking poles can reduce the impact on your knees, aid with balance, and help you save energy when climbing steep hills. They may take a little getting used to if you’ve never used them before, but they should make hiking much more efficient. Thanks for reading.