Save Knees-use trekking poles

Hiking with trekking polesBackpacking with trekking poles

Hiking pole tips

Hiking pole tips (Photo credit: °Florian)

Flying V with Pacerpoles

Flying V with Pacerpoles (Photo credit: subflux)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twenty-five years ago, hiker trekking poles were practically non-existent. Some hikers used a staff such as the one in the left picture. Most hikers used nothing. Back then, I would look for a suitable blown-down branch, use it for my hike, and discard it when I left the trailhead.

Hiking Tip: Save your knees; use trekking poles.

Today, all serious hikers use trekking poles. There may be a few holdouts, but their knees are at risk. The poles you see on the right have little plungers in them that act like miniature shock absorbers, saving your knees from the thud, thud, thud of going downhill. And trekking poles, sometimes called sticks, help drive you uphill.

There are many other advantages to trekking poles. Pushing off on poles while driving uphill maintains your upper body strength, which can atrophy over months on a trail. Poles are the first line of defense against a wild dog, or if you ever get in trouble. Some hikers smack them on rocks in rocky areas to drive away possible rattlers.

I’ve seen some hikers use length-adjusted trekking poles as tent posts. For me, a great advantage of poles is the stability they provide in crossing streams. I poke my poles to test underwater spots, then plant them with confidence as I cross via exposed rocks.

There is growing concern that poles are causing damage to plants, especially above tree-line, or in alpine areas. To avoid this, some hikers apply rubber tips over the metal studs, or close down their poles where flora cling to life.

Without question, trekking poles give hikers big advantages; that’s why everyone uses them. But the biggest single advantage is that they will save your knees.

Save Knees-use trekking poles

Hiking with trekking polesBackpacking with trekking poles

Hiking pole tips

Hiking pole tips (Photo credit: °Florian)

Flying V with Pacerpoles

Flying V with Pacerpoles (Photo credit: subflux)

Twenty-five years ago, hiker trekking poles were practically non-existent. Some hikers used a staff such as the one in the left picture. Most hikers used nothing. Back then, I would look for a suitable blown-down branch, use it for my hike, and discard it when I left the trailhead.

Hiking Tip: Save your knees; use trekking poles.

Today, all serious hikers use trekking poles. There may be a few holdouts, but their knees are at risk. The poles you see on the right have little plungers in them that act like miniature shock absorbers, saving your knees from the thud, thud, thud of going downhill. And trekking poles, sometimes called sticks, help drive you uphill.

There are many other advantages to trekking poles. Pushing off on poles while driving uphill maintains your upper body strength, which can atrophy over months on a trail. Poles are the first line of defense against a wild dog, or if you ever get in trouble. Some hikers smack them on rocks in rocky areas to drive away possible rattlers.

I’ve seen some hikers use length-adjusted trekking poles as tent posts. For me, a great advantage of poles is the stability they provide in crossing streams. I poke my poles to test underwater spots, then plant them with confidence as I cross via exposed rocks.

There is growing concern that poles are causing damage to plants, especially above tree-line, or in alpine areas. To avoid this, some hikers apply rubber tips over the metal studs, or close down their poles where flora cling to life.

Without question, trekking poles give hikers big advantages; that’s why everyone uses them. But the biggest single advantage is that they will save your knees.

Save Knees-use trekking poles

Hiking with trekking polesBackpacking with trekking poles

Hiking pole tips

Hiking pole tips (Photo credit: °Florian)

Flying V with Pacerpoles

Flying V with Pacerpoles (Photo credit: subflux)

Twenty-five years ago, hiker trekking poles were practically non-existent. Some hikers used a staff such as the one in the left picture. Most hikers used nothing. Back then, I would look for a suitable blown-down branch, use it for my hike, and discard it when I left the trailhead.

Hiking Tip: Save your knees; use trekking poles.

Today, all serious hikers use trekking poles. There may be a few holdouts, but their knees are at risk. The poles you see on the right have little plungers in them that act like miniature shock absorbers, saving your knees from the thud, thud, thud of going downhill. And trekking poles, sometimes called sticks, help drive you uphill.

There are many other advantages to trekking poles. Pushing off on poles while driving uphill maintains your upper body strength, which can atrophy over months on a trail. Poles are the first line of defense against a wild dog, or if you ever get in trouble. Some hikers smack them on rocks in rocky areas to drive away possible rattlers.

I’ve seen some hikers use length-adjusted trekking poles as tent posts. For me, a great advantage of poles is the stability they provide in crossing streams. I poke my poles to test underwater spots, then plant them with confidence as I cross via exposed rocks.

There is growing concern that poles are causing damage to plants, especially above tree-line, or in alpine areas. To avoid this, some hikers apply rubber tips over the metal studs, or close down their poles where flora cling to life.

Without question, trekking poles give hikers big advantages; that’s why everyone uses them. But the biggest single advantage is that they will save your knees.

Save Knees-use trekking poles

Hiking with trekking polesBackpacking with trekking poles Twenty-five years ago, hiker trekking poles were practically non-existent. Some hikers used a staff such as the one in the left picture. Most hikers used nothing. Back then, I would look for a suitable blown-down branch, use it for my hike, and discard it when I left the trailhead.

Hiking Tip: Save your knees; use trekking poles.

Today, all serious hikers use trekking poles. There may be a few holdouts, but their knees are at risk. The poles you see on the right have little plungers in them that act like miniature shock absorbers, saving your knees from the thud, thud, thud of going downhill. And trekking poles, sometimes called sticks, help drive you uphill.

There are many other advantages to trekking poles. Pushing off on poles while driving uphill maintains your upper body strength, which can atrophy over months on a trail. Poles are the first line of defense against a wild dog, or if you ever get in trouble. Some hikers smack them on rocks in rocky areas to drive away possible rattlers.

I’ve seen some hikers use length-adjusted trekking poles as tent posts. For me, a great advantage of poles is the stability they provide in crossing streams. I poke my poles to test underwater spots, then plant them with confidence as I cross via exposed rocks.

There is growing concern that poles are causing damage to plants, especially above tree-line, or in alpine areas. To avoid this, some hikers apply rubber tips over the metal studs, or close down their poles where flora cling to life.

Without question, trekking poles give hikers big advantages; that’s why everyone uses them. But the biggest single advantage is that they will save your knees.

Five Other Uses For Trekking Poles

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Bridge of the Gods, Oregon-Washington

Columbia River

Hiking with trekking poles--other uses
Leki Trekking Poles

Trekking poles enabled me to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails. I had “runner’s knee” prior to long-distance hiking, and I owe any trail accomplishments to trekking poles. However, there are other uses for them besides saving your knees.

1) Tarp set-up.  Because the poles are adjustable, you can have multi-length tarp supports. 

2) Stream crossings.  Some of us know how easy it is to fall from slick rocks staggered in streams. And how quickly you can take an unplanned bath when you step on an underwater rock that chooses to wobble. Trekking poles provide stability. Prod with your poles, then step with confidence.

3) Defense.  I’ve never encountered wild dogs, or a mean animal, but I know such critters are out there. I feel safer having poles. Snakes, including rattlers, hang out by rocks; poles make it easy to bang about, driving them off.

4) Splints:  Joslyn, who writes the blog, UltraLight Backpacking or Bust!, reminded me that adjustable hiking poles make good splints.

5) Upper body conditioning.  As your hiking legs get stronger, your upper body becomes weaker, at least on long hikes. If you push off regularly, especially to drive yourself up hills, you will maintain upper body strength. 

That’s the mighty Columbia shot from the center of The Bridge of The Gods. PCT thru-hikers cross this river, which separates Oregon and Washington.

Save Knees-use trekking poles

Hiking with trekking polesBackpacking with trekking poles Twenty-five years ago, hiker trekking poles were practically non-existent. Some hikers used a staff such as the one in the left picture. Most hikers used nothing. Back then, I would look for a suitable blown-down branch, use it for my hike, and discard it when I left the trailhead.

Hiking Tip: Save your knees; use trekking poles.

Today, all serious hikers use trekking poles. There may be a few holdouts, but their knees are at risk. The poles you see on the right have little plungers in them that act like miniature shock absorbers, saving your knees from the thud, thud, thud of going downhill. And trekking poles, sometimes called sticks, help drive you uphill.

There are many other advantages to trekking poles. Pushing off on poles while driving uphill maintains your upper body strength, which can atrophy over months on a trail. Poles are the first line of defense against a wild dog, or if you ever get in trouble. Some hikers smack them on rocks in rocky areas to drive away possible rattlers.

I’ve seen some hikers use length-adjusted trekking poles as tent posts. For me, a great advantage of poles is the stability they provide in crossing streams. I poke my poles to test underwater spots, then plant them with confidence as I cross via exposed rocks. 

There is growing concern that poles are causing damage to plants, especially above tree-line, or in alpine areas. To avoid this, some hikers apply rubber tips over the metal studs, or close down their poles where flora cling to life.

Without question, trekking poles give hikers big advantages; that’s why everyone uses them. But the biggest single advantage is that they will save your knees.