When you first start hiking, you might not have all the items you need. Nonetheless, some things are non-negotiable.
One such hiking tool that should be in your hiking kit would be trekking poles.
If you’re wondering whether you need to have trekking poles, here is a list of all the things that can convince you:
It boosts your stability and balance
One primary reason hikers include trekking poles in their kit is that it helps maintain your stability.
When you’re hiking, you shouldn’t expect to encounter paved roads and clear paths all the time. Most of the time, you might find that it’s quite the opposite.
If you want to hike in more remote places, the trails will be even more challenging. That’s why trekking poles are there to ensure that you don’t fall over while trekking.
Even when you’re hiking on relatively flat ground, sometimes, you can be off-guard and trip. With trekking poles, you’ll always find something that will help keep you stable.
It reduces lower body fatigue
When you’re hiking, you’re going to put weight on your lower body a lot, especially for your long hikes. If you don’t rest your lower body correctly, you’re going to tire it out quicker, and it will take you longer to finish the hike.
However, you don’t want to take too long or have too many stops before you’re able to reach the main stops in your trek.
Otherwise, you might find yourself hiking when the sun is down, which isn’t something you want. Instead of that, you might want to focus on reducing the instances of lower body fatigue during the hike.
Aside from regular exercise, trekking poles will be a massive help in this case. That’s because, instead of having to carry your body weight by itself, you can help spread the brunt of the weight to the hiking pole. That way, your lower body won’t tire out as fast.
It keeps your arms engaged
When you’re a hiker, people say that you can’t skip leg days because it is your leg day every day. However, the consequence of this would be that your upper body won’t have as much exercise as your lower body.
Instead of having strong legs and weak arms, you can use trekking poles to help give your arms a bit of practice as well.
Although it can’t be as full of a workout as it is for your lower body, your arms are still getting some exercise in, so it’s not so weak.
When you use trekking poles, you also allow your arms to get some circulation and prevent swelling.
It can act as protection from wild animals
When hiking, as much as possible, you should avoid any wild animals you encounter, no matter how nice and cute they may be. It’s for both the animals’ safety and yours.
However, should you find yourself in a pickle with wild animals, your trekking pole can be a valuable tool.
You can use your poles to make a loud noise, especially when you’re rounding a corner. Doing so prevents you from ambushing an animal and creating an unwanted encounter.
And if you want to make animals flee, you can also use the poles to make yourself seem larger.
It can test the depth of uncertain terrain
When you’re hiking in an environment with a lot of water or snowy terrain, you need trekking poles to ensure that you know the depths of specific areas.
Water, mud, sand, snow, and more can easily conceal the depth of what you’re stepping into. Hence, you need trekking poles to help you figure out whether it’s safe to step into something.
It can be used as a first-aid gear
You don’t want to get into an accident during your hike. However, if you find yourself needing a straight and stable stick to serve as a splint or a stretcher, your trekking poles will be useful. It’s also a huge help that the length is adjustable.
You can even use trekking poles as crutches to help support you as you walk in some cases. You need to add a bit of ingenuity with some cloth or bandages.
It can help fend off wild flora and fauna
Aside from protecting you from wild animals, you can use the trekking poles to keep all sorts of things out of your face when you’re going through a path.
For example, you can keep thick branches, ferns, and so on away from your face as you go through a track. You can also use it to keep spider webs away, so you don’t get a hug on the front from it.
It can help pitch a shelter
When you’re a lightweight backpacker, you would want to invest in multi-functional tools. This is to reduce the weight and number of items that you have to bring.
This explains why there’s growing popularity on trekking-pole reliant shelters among minimalist backpackers. These kinds of hiking shelters use trekking poles as tent poles.
It’s also helpful if you find yourself needing to stay at an emergency night out, and you have to fashion a tent out of random items available to you.
Several things are nice to have for a hike, but it’s more important to bring essential hiking items. And this includes your trekking poles. After all, it can provide a lot of things other than maintaining stability while trekking.