Trekking poles, is it worth using them?
It is commonly believed that trekking poles are intended only for advanced tourists. What's more, quite often the people I met on the route thought that hiking was not difficult, and spending money on poles was simply an unnecessary expense. It's a pity, because the benefits of trekking poles are huge. Therefore, before you decide to ignore the poles, familiarize yourself with the 10 advantages of using them.
They provide adequate weight distribution
By using trekking poles, you relieve your knee joints and your spine. When climbing uphill, you move your legs correctly by supporting the muscles of the arms, forearms, shoulders and chest. However, when they descend, they soften the energy with which the body hits the ground.
They reduce fatigue
When descending from the mountains, the poles are able to take up to 20 kg of load. Thanks to this, during the traveled route the body is protected against excessive effort, which in turn reduces fatigue.
They have a positive effect on body posture
With a feeling of less weight to carry, the body takes the right posture. Even if you feel tired, the poles prevent your body from bending over easily, which protects you against the tendency to slouch or crooked gait.
They increase stability and balance
Poles are additional support points for the body. By using them, we gain one or two additional legs that increase stability when moving on rough terrain. Even when hiking on gentle terrains, it's good to have trekking poles, as they will help you get around wet and slippery rocks or with a strong river / stream current.
Positively affect health and support weight loss
By involving the upper body, walking with sticks, it develops 90% of our musculoskeletal system. This form of physical activity relaxes the muscles of the neck, back and shoulders and allows you to burn up to 40% of calories more than with a regular walk.
They enable faster beat of the route
If you fall into the rhythm of moving with poles, you will notice that you travel faster. Using the poles, your body "propels up" and lengthens your steps.
They provide good protection against the environment
When traveling in unfamiliar terrain, trekking poles allow you to check the surrounding area, e.g. you can determine the thickness of the snow cover, the depth of the river, and the strength of the ice cover. What's more, poles can isolate us from thorny thickets or branches. And if they are attacked by, for example, a shepherd dog, they will work to chase the dog away.
Increase lung capacity
While maintaining proper body posture, lung capacity is also increased. Thanks to the upright posture, the lungs open, which allows more oxygen to reach the cells effectively. As a result, the muscles strengthen, so we can overcome a larger section of the route or reduce fatigue.
You can use them as tarps mast
If during the trek you have a downpour, using poncho and trekking sticks you can quickly create a shelter that will help you wait out the rain - the stick will act as a support / mast for a poncho, tarpa or camping cloth.
They are extremely helpful when providing first aid
Everyone who loves hiking knows that accidents can happen even if we are prepared. Therefore, when dislocating a hand or breaking a leg, poles can often save lives, even by allowing you to quickly and easily stiffen a limb.
As you can see - buying trekking poles is not an unnecessary expense, but a solution that brings many benefits. What's more, this equipment is easy to transport because you only need to attach it to your backpack. Maybe this is not necessary equipment, but very useful. Therefore, we encourage you to try to overcome the route with the poles in your hand for a moment and see for yourself the advantages.
Author: Joanna Rassmus