Trekking Poles – When Hikers Need and Don’t Need Them

Trekking Poles

An avid outdoorsman, Brian Borg enjoys hiking and camping around San Diego County. Over the years, he has hiked in several locations such as Mission Trails Regional Park and Torrey Pines State Reserve. Brian Borg also enjoys hiking in natural areas and national parks outside of San Diego.

Many experienced hikers use trekking poles or hiking poles to aid them as they walk. These poles reduce the impact on hikers’ leg muscles and knee joints, improve balance on rough terrain, and make finding a walking rhythm easier. This makes the use of trekking poles perfect for hikers who are walking during winter since they may come across ice along the trail. Trekking poles are also helpful for hikers carrying heavy backpacks or going down steep inclines.

Despite their many benefits, however, trekking poles aren’t necessary for every hiker. In fact, having an extra item to carry is a deterrent for many and the act of moving the poles extends more energy in the upper body than what novice hikers are used to.

Beyond that, trekking poles can be a hindrance to those who are not used to them. When walking uphill, for instance, hikers may lean too much on their poles, thus throwing off their natural balance and increasing the risk of falling. Poles may also get caught on trees and bushes as hikers move through narrow trails.