How to use trekking poles
Take a hike! But don’t forget to bring along your trekking poles. These lightweight poles can reduce the pressure on your lower back, joints, knees, and feet by as much as 25 pounds, helping you go the distance.
Before you start you need to adjust the poles properly so the grips are level with your elbows. When your hands are in position, your arms will be at about a 90 degree angle. This position is best for walking on flat terrain. Now you have to lock the poles in place.
Don’t let trekking poles give you a false sense of security though. Always test the ground with your foot before moving forward, especially on rocks, in snow and water.
The length of the poles will vary depending on if you are going uphill or downhill. Shorten the poles if you’re going downhill and lengthen them for uphill. Some poles have soft grips at the tip of the pole and below the main grip so you can adjust your hand rather than the pole.
Slip your hand up through the wrist strap and tighten for comfort. The base of the strap should touch your palm, letting the strap take the strain so your hand and wrist don’t ache.
Swing the arm and pole opposite your stepping leg like you do when you walk naturally. Use the poles as extensions to your arms. Push down on them as you step so they absorb some of the weight. Some hikers prefer to use the trekking poles more like downhill ski poles with both moving forward and backward at the same time. Try out both ways so that you can decide what’s more comfortable for you.
Once you have finished your hike clean any dirt and debris off your poles before going for a hot shower or simply just relaxing.. Happy trails!
At 3,100 miles, the Continental Divide Trail is known as the “King of the Trails” as it winds through 5 western states.