Pros and cons of hiking with trekking poles



Trekking poles are undoubtedly the best tools you will need for soft trekking. They accord comfort and stability as you hike during the weekend. They may not be essential tools, but expert hikers find many reasons to have them rather than leaving. The article shall deliberate on the merits and demerits you should expect when using the trekking poles. But before that, it is worth knowing how to effectively use the trekking poles so that you don’t get into trouble while going for a hike.

Using trekking poles

Man hiking with trekking poles in lush woods.

When using the trekking poles, the first step is to set the correct height and posture. You need to adjust the height to allow the arms to bend at approximately 90 degrees when the pole touches the ground. Your elbows should stay close to the sides when you are walking. As you trek, keep your shoulders down and relax.

Secondly, you will need to get the right grip. You can achieve this by putting your hand through the strap and securely adjusting it around the wrist. You don’t have to hold the grips but rather hold them loosely closely; this should be comfortable, though. Use the rubber tips that come with the poles on a paved surface. You can only remove the rubber tips when you are in a snowy or muddy place for better stability.

Another important step when you are using the trekking poles is to maintain a steady pattern. There are three movement patterns that you can use to maintain a steady pattern. First, you need to alternate the arm and the leg, where the pole goes forward with the opposite leg, giving the best balance. You can also use the parallel leg strategy where the pole moves forward with the same leg to relieve leg fatigue. Finally, you may want to use the double strategy where both poles move forward. The pattern is useful when you are stepping up or down.

Finally, practice your technique often, because walking with trekking poles is not always easy. You can be trekking with poles when you are home before you set off for a hike or backpacking. It will make things easier for you by gaping any accidental falls that may result due to improper use of trekking poles.

Trekking Pole PROS

Now let’s take a look at the few benefits of trekking poles as outlines below.

Trekking pole handle sticking out of the snow.

1. Trekking poles take the stress off your joints.

Did you know that the trekking poles act as shock absorbers? When you step on the floor while ascending or descending, you experience a shack on the joints. Having a pair of trekking poles will imply that the poles will be taking the shock that the joints would have experienced. Trekking poles will safeguard you from the pain that you experience when descending and ascending uphill. It is an easier way to relieve your joints with trekking stress.

2. Give your arms something to do!

When you are out hiking, your leg is the only one getting tasks to do. Your hands will always be idling unless you are working on something or climbing a tree. A trekking pole can be a great way to make all parts of your bodywork. Give your hand something to do by using the trekking poles on your hike! It comes with many health benefits, rather than just getting something for your hands to do. First, trekking poles will guard your hands against swellings that may arise due to poor air circulation. When trekking, it involves dangling of hands and wrist, which may cause them to swell. The trekking poles will keep hands and fingers elevated, casting any possibilities of ever-swelling.

3. Maintaining balance

You will need an added stability while you are out on a hike. Two legs are okay, but what if you get an extra two legs? It will be even better because you will be adding another support mechanism, and you won’t be falling anyhow while you are on a steep slope. The poles allow for a swift motion when crossing the water.  They are also beneficial when you are traversing the snowy fields, the ridgelines and when climbing uphill. In some instances, you may experience strong winds, and the trekking poles will be helpful when maintaining the balance.

4. Trekking poles can help you maintain a good pace.

Do you wish to maintain a good trekking pace? Of course, that is why a trekking pole will be a great tool during your hike. You can be sure to sustain longer hiking hours when you are using the trekking poles because the repetitive moto tends to be meditative, helping us to focus more on trekking. The poles are best when you want to cover longer distances.

5. You can use Poles to test ice strength and water depth

When you want to cross a river, it is hard to determine the depth without the trekking poles. Trekking poles will be beneficial when testing the depth of water. It also helps to test the strength of water before stepping on it. Trekking poles, therefore, takes the guesswork and bring about assurance.

6. Trekking poles can help keep wild animals at bay.

In some instances, we may encounter animals while we are hiking. The animals may get aggressive, and you will need something that will keep them at bay. Banging the two poles may be the best way to scare the animals away. You can also raise them above your head to create an impression of a big animal, and the animals will be scared to come anywhere closer to such a scary thing. You can also bang the poles on the rocks, trees, or ice, and the bears or other animals will not be comfortable coming anywhere close to you.

7. Trekking poles can help you get a hitch into town

When we are hiking, it is possible to get tired or experience an emergency that will need immediate attention. It is not always easy getting a trailer or a pick-up unless you have concrete evidence that will confirm to them that you are a hiker. Waving a trekking pole is a ticket to an instant lift to town.

8. Trekking poles increase calorie burn and oxygen consumption.

Some people do like to improve their fitness. Using trekking poles is a sure way to increase the number of calories you consume and burn more fats. Walking with heavy trekking poles implies that you will need more energy. Therefore, it will help burn the fats and make good use of the food you consume to generate energy. Trekking poles increase the fat burning in the body, and people won’t feel like they need any energy. Instead, they feel at ease walking with the trekking poles.

Trekking Pole CONS

Using trekking poles does not always have merits. There are also few demerits that you will experience while you are out there on a trek.

Trekking poles can be cumbersome.

First, carrying the trekking poles can be quite cumbersome. It even gets worse when you are in situations that will need you to climb using your hands. Some instances will want you to use ropes to climb, and you can be sure that the trekking poles will be adding to the load that will be staying in your back. Hiking is good when you can take photographs to commemorate the day, but when you have the trekking poles in your hands, it means that your opportunity to take beautiful photos in the woods is denied. It won’t be easy for you to take a quick shot.


If you will not be using your trekking poles throughout the hike, it means that you will be stashing them in your back when you are not using them. It gets heavy, especially if you intend to use t for only ascending and descending in steep slopes. It gets annoying when you have to put them on your back unless you overly use them.

You may be using more energy.

Yes, carrying the trekking poles and using them for a walk will imply using more energy in your hands. If you care about not spending energy, then the trekking poles may be a bad idea, but for people who value fitness, spending extra energy to exercise parts of the body while enjoying the convenience that it accords is not a bad thing.


You should note that trekking poles are not a necessary part of backpacking tools. Owning them will increase the convenience but not having them will not cost you a whole lot. It is expensive to have these kinds of tools, especially when hiking is not for fun. Some people are out here for a serious expedition, and they can do better with less load on their backs. It is better to save the 60 Dollars that you may have otherwise spent on trekking poles than buying and adding the luggage on your back unless you want to use it full time on your trekking expedition.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, trekking poles are good when you want to experience hiking in a better way. It is best when you are out there for hiking, and all you want is to hike. If you intend to take photographs or climb rugged terrain, it may not be a good idea. But before dumping the use of the gear altogether, you should weigh between the merits and demerits to have a better glimpse of what you can get with it.

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