Reasons to Pack Hiking Poles for Your Next Hiking Adventure

Hiking is a popular outdoor hobby that comes with tons of health benefits. Apart from being good for your health, it also offers an enjoyable time filled with socializing. However, to ensure your comfort and safety up there, you need to have the right hiking equipment. This topic covers a wide range of tools, clothing and camping equipment. One important piece of hiking gear that will make your experience safer and more enjoyable are the hiking poles.


What are the Benefits of Using Hiking Poles?

  • Hikers around the world have a split opinion on whether or not hiking poles are necessary. While more experienced individuals find that they can manage without them, others see these tools as a necessity whenever they venture off on a hike. Here are some of the benefits of hiking poles (also known as trekking poles):
  • They make it easier to hike at a uniform pace: Going at a steady, uniform pace while hiking lets you cover more terrain in a lot less time. It also takes away the additional strain and suffering. Trekking poles offer you two additional support points, which makes it easier to create a rhythm that suits the distance and terrain you’re hiking on.
  • Less impact on your legs and more balance: Hiking tends to put a lot of stress on your knees and muscles. Trekking poles allow you to lean on them and take the stress away from your legs. They’re also useful for uneven and slippery terrain, as they help you keep your balance and steer clear of injuries.
benefits of hiking poles
  • Move up faster: Even if you’re fit – going uphill tends to be harsh on your legs. Using walking poles lets you distribute the workload between your arms and legs, leaving you with more energy to move forward.
  • Come down easier: Long descents are harmful for your knees. If you’re not careful, you end up with pains or even injuries. Poles deviate the impact on your knees and spare you this risk.
  • Testing unstable terrain: Trekking poles are an extension of your body that lets you check any suspicious-looking terrain before stepping. You can use them to test rocks if they can hold your weight, or making sure that a section of dead leaves isn’t hiding a hole.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Poles?

When looking for a pair of hiking poles, you should pay attention to a few factors, such as the shaft and handle materials, the weight, packability, length and additional features.

When it comes to the shaft material, the most common types are carbon and aluminium walking poles for hiking. Both of these materials provide you with a fun and safe experience while you’re out hiking, but they do have some differences.
Ultralight packers and hikers that focus on speed prefer the carbon fibre poles. These are extremely lightweight and easy to pack poles, but they’re still strong enough to support your body weight. On the other hand, aluminium trekking poles are slightly heavier, but they have a longer life span.

When it comes to the grip – modern poles are equipped with durable ergonomic grips that help you lower the risk of potential accidents and injuries. They come in a variety of materials that affect the way they feel in your hands. The most popular materials are cork, foam and rubber. Cork and foam are the softest materials that easily conform to the shape of your hands. They’re incredibly moisture-wicking, being ideal for your summer hikes when your hands tend to get sweaty. If you’re hiking in chilly weather – the best choice are the rubber grips that insulate your hands from cold, shock and vibration.


Modern walking poles for hiking are useful and versatile. They come with a variety of added features, such as:

  • Wrist straps for firmer grip and additional security.
  • Trekking baskets placed at the tip end, which allows easier hiking on snowy or muddy ground.
  • Pole tips that provide traction and protect your gear.

These trekking poles are adjustable and foldable. This makes them easy to pack and deploy whenever you need them. Their flexible design allows you to adjust the length to your height and preferences easily. Poles that aren’t well adjusted to your height can cause stress in your arms, shoulders, back and neck. Adjustable poles allow you to conveniently match their length for the terrain you’re hiking on. It’s important to note that this length will be different for general hiking, uphill sections, downhill sections or if you’re on a long traversing section.

Should I Use One or Two Hiking Poles?

As I mentioned, hikers don’t have a uniform opinion on hiking poles. However, the majority agree that a pair of walking sticks for hiking lowers the risk of danger and allows for a more comfortable and enjoyable hiking adventure.
That being said – if you need a free hand to conveniently grab your phone, navigational gear or other piece of equipment, you will do fine with one hiking pole. However, using two of them is always better. Two hiking poles offer you a more symmetrical workout, they provide you more balance, endurance and increase your speed.