5+ Uses for Trekking Poles-Panergy
July 19, 2022
Uses For Trekking Poles On A Hike
#1 They Make Your Hikes Easier
Trekking poles will make your hikes so much easier.
Especially if your hike has a lot of elevation gain and loss.
Trekking poles get your arms involved in the hike, which reduces some of the weight and strain on your legs and the stress on your knees and hips.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Trekking Poles on the Uphill
Believe me, when you're tired climbing up a hill, being able to use your arms is so helpful.
Without trekking poles, your legs are doing all the work and when people get tired, they tend to hunch over.
This can strain the back and make it harder to take deep breaths.
Going uphill with trekking poles keeps you upright and able to use your arms to assist in every step.
Trekking Poles on the Downhill
I hope to be hiking for many years to come, so I need to protect my knees.
Trekking poles do just that.
If you've hiked a lot, you know that the downhills can sometimes be the hardest part of the hike.
Knee pain is common going downhill, and when your legs get tired, injuries can easily occur.
Trekking poles give you that extra level of stability and take a lot of the strain off the hips and knees.
crossing water with trekking poles
#2 They Reduce Falls And Injuries
Staying safe and injury-free on the trail should be a top priority.
When you’re day hiking or on a backpacking trip, advanced medical care is not quickly or easily available.
You have to be proactive about keeping yourself safe on the trail.
I think trekking poles are a great way to do that.
As we talked about above, trekking poles provide that extra level of stability and therefore reduce falls and injuries, especially as you’re hiking up and over uneven terrain in varied conditions.
Further Reading >> How I prepare for a day hike.
using trekking poles for a tarp tent setup
#3 First Aid And Emergencies
Trekking poles also have tons of potential emergency and first aid uses.
For example, you can use extra hiking clothing to pad the top of the trekking pole and use them as improvised crutches.
You can even use them to make a splint or a stretcher in the backcountry.
Trekking poles can also be used as part of an emergency shelter if you get creative in using some of the resources around you.
In fact, I intentionally use trekking poles in the backcountry sometimes with my tarp tent setup.
This setup reduces the weight I have to carry in my backpack because I’m not carrying tent poles. (See photo above.)
Instead, I have a system that just utilizes gear I’m already carrying.
backpacking with hiking poles in paria canyon
#4 Probe Into Water Or Snow
Trekking poles are incredibly valuable for water and snow conditions or obstacles on the trail.
Crossing rivers and streams can be really dangerous depending on the depth and flow.
If you attempt to cross water without trekking poles, as you step, you only have one point of contact, and the foot you’re stepping down with is stepping on top of uneven surfaces.
It’s not a good position to put yourself in.
With trekking poles, now you have 4 points of contact.
As you move, you can lift one trekking pole or one foot at a time, and maintain 3 points of contact at all times as you cross.
Three points of contact are a lot better than one!
(See the video above for an example.)
A few years ago, I backpacked Paria Canyon, and there were a lot of water crossings.
The water was murky and brown. I couldn’t see the bottom and the trekking poles were so helpful to probe into the water to see how deep it was before I stepped in.
It would have been a lot harder and more dangerous to do that hike without trekking poles.
backpacking with hiking poles
#5 Ward Off Animals
Trekking poles can be used to keep animals away.
While I’ve never had to use them for this purpose, I have heard stories of people warding off bears with trekking poles.
You can even bang the trekking poles together to make noise and possibly scare away wildlife.
Lastly, there are snakes…
I live in Utah and I’ve seen rattlesnakes on the trail many times.
It’s nice to have my trekking poles out front as I’m on the trail. I’d rather my trekking pole encounter a snake than my foot.
July 19, 2022by ZHAO JUN