How to Hike with Trekking Poles

How to Hike with Trekking Poles

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Trekking poles are intended to make it much easier to go on hikes and long, intense walks. However, it is easy for people to use these tools the wrong way and not get the most out of them.

Let’s take a look at how to properly hike with trekking poles.

How are Trekking Poles Useful?

There are several benefits of using trekking poles while you hike, as they will greatly enhance your experience. Using these tools will help to relieve the strain on your legs and back, which helps with early fatigue. According to a study, hiking poles reduce pressure on the legs by about 20%.

It’s also great in getting your balance right, and this can be especially useful when you’re crossing a stream or walking on uneven ground. If you’ve got a heavy backpack, it also helps you stay balanced even with the load.

Another great bonus of using trekking poles is that it helps you to burn more calories. It is believed that, by making use of poles, you will burn up to 40% more calories than normal.

The Drawbacks of Using Trekking Poles

Of course, as is the case with everything in life, trekking poles also have some cons. You may find that the poles get in your way when you want to do other things, such as taking selfies or getting something from your backpack.

Basically, it makes using your hands a little more complicated and uncomfortable. If you’re walking narrow trails or areas with thick plant growth, the poles can feel very cumbersome.

This shouldn’t be a problem for too long. You’ll soon learn how to put and store the poles away.

The Proper Way to Use Trekking Poles

There are some basic principles you need to stick to when you use these hiking tools.


You need to adjust your trekking pole to the right height to have the best and most comfortable experience. Naturally, this depends on your height, but lining it up to your belt line would be a good starting point. You can adjust the pole from there and find the best height for your comfort.

It is recommended that you test out your poles first before you go on any expeditions. Go for a walk to get used to the proper height.

A good tip: Keep the pole’s top section collapsed and use the lower part to adjust to the right height for you. Then, you can tweak the top part as needed when going up or down hilly terrains.

Wrist Straps

You should use these attachments the right way for the best results, but many people do not know how to use them properly. Most poles come with wrist straps that are marked left or right.

It is important that you use the pole with the side it was made for. To use it, slip your hand through the strap in an upward direction. The strap should sit over your wrist and your hand should be a little higher than the handle’s top.

To grip the pole properly, you will move your hand down and make a fist. Now, the wrist strap’s front portion will be comfortably sitting in your palm. You are likely to feel a little bit of tension from the strap. This is correct and, if you feel too little or too much, the straps need to be adjusted.

How to Hike with Trekking Poles

It’s in the Swing

Many of us don’t even realize it most of the time, but when we walk, we swing our arms. You should do the same with your trekking poles.

When putting your left foot forward, your right arm will naturally want to swing forward. This motion should be applied to the poles, as well.

This is to maintain good balance as you walk, and this is the body’s automatic way to keep you from falling over. To do this with the trekking poles will take a little more effort until you’re used to it.

You should plant the right pole forward when you step forward with your left foot and do the reverse for the other side. With regular use, you will develop a rhythm that works for you.


Now, you know how to hike with trekking poles to get the most out of them. If you use the advice shared here, you will be able to enjoy your hiking a lot more. You could even help your friends and family to use their trekking poles more effectively. Enjoy your next adventure!

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