Why Should You Use Hiking Poles?
Why should you use hiking poles is perhaps the first question that may strike in your mind especially when you are a beginner. To get the right answer for this question you need to consider two things i.e. Safety and Comfort. Hiking poles are just balancing sticks which help you maintain a good balance that is closely related to your overall safety and comfort. When you use two poles you move as you have four legs which allow you better comfort and safety. Experts say that by using hiking poles you switch to 4x4 mode of driving, using your two legs and two hands.
As far as safety is concerned, a pair of hiking poles helps you prevent frequent fall downs on uncertain tracks, avoiding aches in ankle or knee or even back; and here comfort is pointing towards the convenience of walking such as maintaining right walking posture and pacing using two extra legs.
Although it is personal preference and an individual decision to use hiking poles they can prove to be very helpful for you during your hiking. You must use hiking poles especially when you are on your first hike. And, I think next time you will yourself carry these sticks with you by seeing their countless benefits.
Thousands of people who have already used (or still using!) hiking poles for years could not be wrong and this is the reason that poles are considered the traditional way to move on uncertain tracks while maintaining good stability. Although, hiking poles have countless benefits but below given are some significant benefits which enforce us to use them every time we go on hiking and trekking:
Safety - Safety is the main reason of using hiking poles. Hiking poles, in reality, allow you the extra pair of legs to maintain good stability on the uncertain trails and when crossing fast streams or difficult terrains. Without having hiking poles you may fall down that may end up in injuries and accidents, and if you don't fall even then ache in knees or ankles is a common mishappening you may face. When you have hiking poles with you, they keep you safe by preventing fall downs, bad steps which may cause of sprained ankle or knee.
Indeed, safety and convenience are the main reasons for using these hiking and trekking poles. Let's see some other benefits/advantages of using them.
Weight Distribution - Hiking poles or staffs help us to reduce weight on our feet and legs. The modern design of the hiking pole distributes the weight evenly on the whole body instead of legs. According to one estimate poles can reduce 15% of weight from your legs by spreading it on the arms and other parts of body. As they act like your legs so they also bear some of the weight. Especially when you are climbing on a steep hill, the poles bear much weight than in normal walking so the percentage of weight may rise even further.
Pacing - When climbing on a steep hill, you will find your hiking poles more helpful for pacing yourself. I have personally seen their advantages to pace my steps. No doubt, hiking poles can easily speed you up by acquiring your weight and by allowing you to maintain good stability. You can maintain your speed without having so much huff and puff (needless to say more sweat!). And finally you will find that you have won over the trail without so much effort that really hurts. Certainly, you will not feel pain in your back because poles allow you to walk in your natural position.
Comfort - Hiking with poles feels comfortable because you can walk in your natural posture while climbing on a hill or coming down. Your hands also remain in comfortable position; another better thing is that your hands remain above the heart which is also comfortable and beneficial as it improves the blood circulation that ensure less stressed body after the hiking. Many research studies and findings have clearly shown their cardiovascular, orthopaedic and other health benefits, as a result, they advocate that not only circulation is improved but heart rate is also said to be reduced. A landmark study in this regard was published by Dr. G. Neureuther in 1981. Therefore, almost every seasoned and experienced hiker or trekker actually uses them and advises others to use them.