October 6, 2013

Why Use Trekking Poles?

When I was a beginning hiker, I didn't use trekking poles and quite frankly didn't think I needed them. Who wants to look like Jane Hathaway on a birding adventure? Not me, but since I  have the short hair like Jane, why not use trekking poles?

Below is information from the outdoor equipment retailer, REI, on the advantages of using trekking poles:

They provide better balance and footing.

On downhill hikes especially, they decrease the amount of stress on your legs and joints. (Photograph courtesy of Beth Hemann) 

On uphill climbs, poles transfer some of your weight to your shoulders, arms and back, which can reduce leg fatigue and add thrust to your ascents.

They make crossing streams, loose rocks and slippery surfaces such as ice and snow patches easier and safer.  (Photograph courtesy of Patricia McAlpin)

They help you establish a walking rhythm. 

They can push back overhanging vegetation from the trail and probe soggy terrain for holes and boggy spots. 

If you would like to learn more about trekking poles and how to select them, here is the article from REI.

Whether you choose to use trekking poles or not, I think all hikers agree they make better photographs as evidenced below.  

(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda Bulman) 

(Photograph courtesy of Patricia McAlpin) 

(Photograph courtesy of Patricia McAlpin) 

Glad that I made the decision to use trekking poles, so I can "Keep On Hiking" and I hope you will too! 

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