Hiking has always been a pleasant adventure for the lovers of the sport. It is a sure way to keep fit, enjoy the sights and feels of nature and sometimes, get away from the hustles of life, especially if you have to travel to a location where you can trek all you can, among other fun activities.
Hiking is quite different from just taking a walk. It is a long vigorous walk on streets, trails (footpaths) or even on slightly mountainous areas. Due to how rigorous that kind of trekking is, you need to be well prepared. You need a guidebook, lots of water, a backpack to contain the essentials, hats and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun, the right shoes, and a good knife that fits well in your cloth such that you can easily put it in there and take it out in event of emergencies.
Trekking poles are another hiking accessory known to be used by hikers to assist their rhythm and provide stability when hiking on rough terrain. They are also known as hiking sticks, hiking poles or walking poles. While a lot of people admitted enjoying the use of trekking poles during their hiking expeditions, others believe they do not need it. To help your decision making, we shall review the Pros and Cons of having a trekking pole:
The Pros of Trekking Poles
1. Trekking poles reduce the stress upon your joints.
Trailing your way down the slope of a mountain or highland without a trekking pole will however not go without giving you stress and pains to your joints. The same is applicable when you find yourself trying to ascend steep hills or highland. Next time around, go with trekking poles and see the comfort and ease it would bring to you.
2. It engages your arms in healthy exercise.
Because activities surrounding trekking trails mainly involve the legs, it leads to the swelling of the arms, which poses danger to the health. In a situation where the hands are left to dangle while, descending from a mountain it causes poor circulation of blood. Trekking poles keep the hands exercised and give better circulation.
3. Helps to properly balance when moving with trekking poles.
If your two legs can make you stand erect, then having extra two legs of trekking poles would give you more balance. You could be aided by the poles as you try to cross water currents or stand against a high wind. It also gives you adequate balance as you move around loose grounds and snowfields.
4. Trekking poles are always available to help you sustain a good pace.
Hiking with a trekking poles sustains the rhythmic movement of your pace. It makes your strides faster and gives you more endurance to walk longer.
5. The testing of water depth and ice strength is done with trekking poles.
What a compass is to Captain is what a trekking pole is to a Hiker. He uses it to determine how deep or cold water is so that he does not fall into any mishap. When he is out hiking through the snowfields, he uses trekking poles to navigate his way to his preferred destination.
6. They serve as multipurpose poles.
Instead of using tent poles to construct your tent, you can as well use trekking poles. Such a dual-use lightens the load that you need to carry from one spot to another.
7. Wild animals are kept at bay with trekking poles.
Coming to a very close range with wild animals is a common experience that most hikers have. Trekking poles can be clashed against each other to produce a repelling sound that sends the wild animal away.
8. Trekking poles can help you to get help quickly.
By lifting and waving the poles, someone far away can easily identify you as a hiker who needs help and come to your aid. This has often been the case of endangered hikers. On the other hand, they may need to stop a car that is approaching from a distance by waving their poles. You too may need to go off-trail to town as well, and then you would need your trekking poles’ signal.
The Cons of Trekking Poles
1. Trekking poles can be a burden.
Experience has shown that trekking poles can pose a hindrance in many hiking or trailing situations. One may need to embark on a task that does not require the holding of trekking poles. Such situations include climbing trees, the use of ropes, and having to cut a tree branch. In circumstances like this, the carrying of the trekking poles can be burdensome. Hikers who love taking selfies are not left out of this trouble. It equally disallows hikers to take quick shots of in motion pictures.
2. Poles increase your pack load when not in use.
Hikers mostly use trekking poles when they are climbing either a hill or when they are on downhill stretches of trail. Invariably this means that people will need to be carrying it all along when it is temporarily out of use.
3. Trekking poles can be expensive for beginners.
Those on a tight budget can find it expensive to include trekking poles in their kit during their preparations. The cost of trekking poles goes as high as $150 to $200 – depending on their makes and market values.
4. Trekking poles are not LNT friendly.
Trekking poles without rubber tip protectors can cause a slight fracture to rock formations, which took nature millions of years to form. Nature lovers can find such scratches concerning for the preservation of nature.
Having gone through these reviews of the Pros and Cons of having a trekking pole, you can see that it is extremely helpful to have essential tools like trekking poles and a knife in your preparation to go into the wild.