Hiking poles are much more than just a cool piece of equipment. They offer you numerous advantages and let your hike become an absolute highlight. However, there are still some prejudices and misconceptions.
The following blog post brings light into the dark. Learn:
- What health benefits hiking poles have
- How to use trekking poles
- Which poles suit you best
- How to adjust the poles
- What transport options are available
- How to recognize good hiking poles
WhyareHiking poles useful?
You've probably often asked yourself, "When are trekking poles useful at all?" Why someone uses trekking poles can have very different reasons. In principle have Hiking poles many positive properties and Advantages:
1. support for the joints
Hiking poles have a relieving effect on
- and back.
Especially when going downhill the Knees very heavily loaded. By using your mountaineering poles, you save energy, your concentration does not drop as quickly, and you are safer on the descent.
Most accidents while hiking pass through Slipping or stumbling. If you are additionally tired, your concentration decreases, the danger of a fall is once again much greater.
The walking poles are like extensions of your arms that support you and give you a better grip. You have additional stability and improve your sense of balance.
3. posture and breathing
Hikers who use trekking poles can improve their posture at the same time. If you have a heavy Outdoor backpack If you carry your backpack on your back, the poles support your upright posture. Thereby, your spine is relieved in the best possible way.
Hiking poles provoke the walk in upright posture. It is almost impossible not to walk upright with walking sticks.
- Your shoulders can not 'collapse' in front.
- In addition, the upright posture promotes breathing. You get air more easily.
Expert Tip: Conscious breathing is essential for endurance sports, so that you can concentrate longer, you do not tire so quickly and thus remain accident-free.
As you can see from the previous points, hiking poles help you in many ways. You stay accident free for longer by
- Supporting your joints,
- improving your balance,
- do not strain your posture additionally, but promote a healthy posture.
In general, this walking aid has a positive effect on your energy balance, so you can really enjoy walking in the mountains with poles.
5. nordic walking
The swinging movement of Nordic Walking
- exercises the heart and circulation,
- stimulates the metabolism,
- strengthens muscles and bones
- and gets rid of excess pounds.
Those who diligently swing the mountaineering poles back and forth also strengthen their arms, shoulders and back.
Step-by-step guide: Adjusting hiking poles correctly
Step 1: Select the right hiking poles
Before you adjust your hiking poles, it's important that you choose the right model for your needs. Pay attention to the length, material, and handles of the poles to make sure they fit your height and hiking style.
Step 2: Determine the optimal length
TheHiking poles should follow theadapted to the terrain be adjusted to the terrain. On the descent, the poles should be set a little longer and on the ascent a little shorter. As a rule, however, the mountaineering poles should be set so long,
- that the hand can easily grip the handle,
- while the arm is at right angles to the ground.
- The forearm is parallel to the floor and bent at the elbow.
Which walking poles for which height?
Many companies offer guidelines for the correct length for body size. However, how a pole is adjusted can be very individual. The important thing, as described above, is that the basic setting is at a right angle.
How long should Nordic Walking poles be?
Since this question often arises specifically for Nordic walking poles, we will deal with this question separately here.
- The distance between the pole and the body should be about half an arm's length.
- When your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle, the poles should end at your forearms.
- The 90 degree principle is therefore exactly the same as with conventional "trekking poles".
- In addition, there is the method for calculating the length. For this, you multiply your height in centimeters by 0.7. The result is the pole length.
Step 3: Hiking poles adjust height
Look for the adjustment mechanism on your hiking poles. This can be a twist lock, a folding system, or a snap lock. Release the clasp to adjust the poles. Pull or push the telescoping poles to adjust to the desired height. Make sure the markings on the parts match to ensure that both poles are set at the same height.
Step 4: Adjust the hand straps
Hiking poles usually come with hand loops that allow you to hold the poles without gripping them tightly. Slip your hand through the loop and adjust the size of the loop so that it fits comfortably. You should adjust the loop so that you can easily slip in and out of it without it being too loose or too tight.
Step 5: Check the tips
Check the tips of your hiking poles to make sure they are intact and sharp enough to provide good grip on various surfaces. If necessary, you can replace the tips or replace worn tips.
Step 6: Test run and fine tune
Before you go on a long hike with your adjusted hiking poles, do a quick test run. Walk a few steps and check that the length and settings are comfortable and feel good. Adjust the settings as needed to achieve the optimal hiking experience.
How to walk properly with walking poles?
When hiking, we often just start walking without thinking about our walking technique. This is not surprising either. After all, our walking is automated.
However, if you want to do the full potential of your trekking poles, you should consider a few points when using them:
1. adjust size correctly
First of all, adjust your trekking poles to the right size. See point our step-by-step guide .
2. hold the handle correctly
A common mistake is the wrong grip, where the loop is often simply threaded from the top. Correctly, you should reach through the loop from below, so that you can exert pressure on the pole even with an open or loose hand.
This allows you to open your hands during the backswing without sacrificing relief.
Expert Tip: To keep your hands from cramping, make sure to keep your grip loose during the backswing motion.
Important: The loop should only be used in relatively flat terrain. If you fall and are threaded, you will not be able to grab the handle or brace yourself. This increases the risk of injury by quite a bit.
3. the correct posture
To achieve the best possible effect, it is advisable to always guide the poles close to the body. In flat terrain, the poles are diagonal to the legs and are used alternately, according to the natural movement pattern.
4. walking in steep terrain
In steep terrain, double pole use is the variation you should use. The poles are set at every other step as you ascend and descend, and you push up forcefully with both arms. This ensures stability and relief.
5. going downhill
The double pole technique is also the best choice when going downhill. You should not drill the tips of the pole into the terrain, but grip or hold the handle so that you can perform a clean technique. This way you won't slip away and avoid falls.
For traverses, poles do not necessarily have to be adjusted differently. It is sufficient if you hold the uphill pole below the grip and grasp the downhill grip like a knob from above.
7 Very steep terrain and traverses
Very steep terrain and traverses you should pass unrestricted. The stick should be used here 'only' as a support. There is also the possibility of embracing a stick with both hands.
"This is an old method, as the mountaineers did in those days. So Wolfgang Loacker, experienced mountain and ski guide in Montafon."
However, you should only walk on steep terrain if you are fit enough and have experience, or if you have an expert with you.
Attach folding poles to the backpack
On some stages or in bus and train you do not need your hiking poles. Folding poles have a decisive advantage here.
They can be folded in no time and are ultra-light to transport due to their small pack size and weight. Here's what you should know about transporting your hiking poles:
The poles in the backpack
In the best case, you should not attach any equipment to the outside of your backpack.
"It's safer to keep trekking poles inside your backpack. For one thing, they can be easily lost and if you fall, the risk of injury is higher," says Wolfgang Loacker, - Austrian mountain and ski guide.
In addition, mountain hiking with poles attached to the Hiking backpack becomes more difficult and dangerous. The weight pulls backwards and downwards. This puts a strain on your spine and costs energy.
The tip on the backpack
The attachment option depends very much on your backpack. Trekking and hiking backpacks in most cases have loops and hooks that allow you to insert and thread the poles.
With loops, (the tip) is inserted at the bottom. For poles without plates, the small loop is used, and for poles with plates, the large loop.
The plates usually prevent the tips of the poles from slipping through. Otherwise you can Pole plates can also be turned down in a few simple steps.
Compression straps are loops mostly attached to the right or left side of the backpack, which can be tightened. The hiking poles are so to speak enclosed and tightened. So your poles do not swing back and forth and sit firmly and securely on your backpack.
Velcro and cable ties
An alternative is to use external Velcro and cable ties to secure hiking poles to your backpack. These methods assume that you already have an existing system on your backpack to which you can thread your external Velcro or cable ties. Especially the Velcro method is only for the transport suitable.
How to transport hiking poles on the plane?
Hiking or trekking poles are not allowed in hand luggage. This also applies to Telescope Hiking polesthat can be pushed together. The reason for this is that hiking or trekking poles are counted as dangerous items at the security checkpoint because they can potentially also be used as weapons.
Hiking poles can only in checked baggage can only be taken in checked baggage. Folding or telescopic hiking poles are advantageous here. These can be easily stowed in the suitcase or backpack. No additional fee must be paid and the suitcase can be packed space-saving.
At non foldable sticks must have a additional fee must be paid, as it is bulky baggage and this type of cane does not fit in the suitcase. The only exception to hand luggage are walking aids such as crutches or walking sticks if they are necessary for a medical reason.
Which tip for which surface?
On your tour you will often be confronted with different surfaces. That's why our walking sticks come with different attachments.
- Asphalt attachments are particularly suitable for use on hard surfaces. They protect the metal tip on the walking stick from unnecessary abrasion.
- For use in the mountains, you should use your poles without an additional attachment.
- Unless you are hiking over scree. In this case, it is recommended to screw on the mud attachments. They prevent sinking. As the name suggests, you can also use them in mud, on earth and sand.
The included Nordic Walking attachments make it easier for you to walk fast and push your speed.
Can I walk with walking poles on snow and ice?
Yes! Thanks to the included snow plates, you can also use your walking poles in winter. The attachments are optimal for use on snow. If you want to cross ice-covered passages, you should use the tip completely without the attachment. So you have maximum grip.
Conclusion: What are good hiking poles?
Your own needs come first. This is the first indication of how you should select your poles, so that it is a "good" pole for you. Body size and weight will help you in this point. For good hiking poles, the price-performance ratio should always fit in second place. Comparisons and testimonials help here.
If you are not sure for which occasions you will use the poles at all, it is advisable not to shop too specifically. But a few sticksthat for several areas of use can be used, to acquire.
Otherwise, it is important to select poles according to the intended use. If you need the poles mainly for relaxed hikes in the lowlands, aluminum telescopic poles should be quite enough.
However, if you also want to go on multi-day tours or into the mountains, then foldable aluminum or carbon poles are recommended. There is no clear-cut answer as to what makes a good hiking pole and what does not.
If used and handled incorrectly, the most expensive and lightest carbon pole will be of no use to you. It is much more important to study the material and know your own needs in order to choose a suitable pole.
FAQ on the subject of hiking poles:
Should I choose fixed or telescopic hiking poles?
Of course, this question cannot be answered across the board. On the one hand, the use of the various models is a matter of taste. On the other hand, the also depends on the area of application. If you value a low weight and small pack size, you should choose telescopic hiking poles.
These are adjusted and ready for use in no time. If, on the other hand, you value stiffness and demand a lot from the poles, then fixed hiking poles are more suitable.
My hiking poles no longer lock: What can I do?
If your trekking poles no longer lock, there are a few possible solutions you can try:
Check the locks: Make sure the closures or clamps on your hiking poles are closed properly. Sometimes they can accidentally come loose or not lock properly.
Clean the poles: Dirt, sand, or moisture can interfere with the mechanisms of hiking poles. Clean the poles thoroughly to make sure they work properly.
Grease the closures: If the locks are stuck or difficult to move, you can apply some lubricant or silicone spray to the mechanisms to make them smooth again.
How do I clean my hiking poles?
With proper treatment and care, hiking poles are a reliable companion for many years. If your hiking poles get wet, you should adjust them to their full length and wipe them with a clean cloth. This also applies if your poles have come into contact with dirt or dust.
Be sure to avoid dirt getting into the individual segments, as this can impair their function. If you give your hiking poles a longer break, be sure to store them in a dry and clean place. A damp basement or the garage are rather not suitable.