Table of Contents
|What is a hiking pole?
|The Benefits of Hiking Poles
|Choosing the Right Hiking Pole
|Different Types of Hiking Poles
|How to Use Hiking Poles Correctly
|Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using Hiking Poles
|Caring for Your Hiking Pole
|Why Use a Carry-on Hiking Pole
|Features to Look for in a Carry-on Hiking Pole
|Top 5 Carry-on Hiking Poles
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, having the right gear is essential to enjoying your time on the trails. One piece of equipment that is often overlooked is the hiking pole. Not only can it help you maintain balance and reduce the strain on your joints, but it can also provide additional support on steep climbs and descents. And if you’re someone who loves to travel, finding a carry-on hiking pole can make all the difference in your packing and overall travel experience.
What is a hiking pole?
A hiking pole, also known as a trekking pole or walking stick, is a device that is designed to provide additional support and stability while hiking. They typically come in pairs and are made from lightweight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. Many hiking poles also feature adjustable heights and shock absorption systems to provide a customizable experience for hikers.
The Benefits of Hiking Poles
Using hiking poles has several benefits, including:
1. Reduced Joint Strain
Hiking poles can help reduce the strain on your knees, ankles, and hips, especially when going downhill. By providing additional support and stability, your joints have less pressure placed on them, resulting in less pain and a more comfortable hike.
2. Improved Balance
Hiking poles can also help you maintain balance, especially on uneven terrain or when crossing streams. This added stability can help prevent falls and injuries while hiking.
3. Increased Endurance
Using hiking poles can help distribute the weight of your pack more evenly, reducing the strain on your back and shoulders. This can help you hike longer and farther without feeling as fatigued.
Choosing the Right Hiking Pole
When choosing a hiking pole, consider the following factors:
Hiking poles are typically made from aluminum or carbon fiber. Aluminum poles are more durable and affordable, while carbon fiber poles are lighter but more expensive.
The weight of the pole is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan to carry it with you while traveling. Look for lightweight poles that won’t add unnecessary weight to your luggage.
3. Grip and Strap
Make sure the pole has a comfortable grip and adjustable strap that can accommodate your hand size and prevent slipping.
4. Shock Absorption
If you plan on hiking on rocky terrain or downhill, look for poles with shock absorption systems to reduce the impact on your joints.
Different Types of Hiking Poles
There are several different types of hiking poles, each with their own unique features and benefits. These include:
1. Foldable Hiking Poles
Foldable hiking poles are designed to collapse down into a smaller size for easy transportation. They are great for hikers who plan to travel or those who have limited storage space at home.
2. Telescoping Hiking Poles
Telescoping hiking poles are adjustable in length and are great for hikers who want to customize the height of their poles based on the terrain they are hiking.
Fixed-length hiking poles are not adjustable in length, but they are usually lighter and more durable than telescoping poles. They are a great choice for hikers who want a simple and reliable option for their hikes.
How to Use Hiking Poles Correctly
Using hiking poles correctly can help you get the most out of them. Here are some tips for using them properly:
1. Adjust the Height
Make sure the height of the poles is adjusted to match the terrain you’re hiking. On flat terrain, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when holding the poles, while on uphill terrain, you should shorten the poles, and on downhill terrain, you should lengthen the poles.
2. Hold the Poles Correctly
Hold the poles with a relaxed grip and make sure the strap is adjusted to fit snugly around your wrist. This will help prevent the poles from slipping out of your hand.
3. Use a Cross-Pattern Motion
When walking, use a cross-pattern motion with your poles to help maintain balance and reduce the impact on your joints. Place one pole forward while stepping with the opposite foot, then repeat on the other side.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using Hiking Poles
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using hiking poles:
1. Gripping the Poles too Tightly
Gripping the poles too tightly can lead to hand and wrist fatigue, so make sure to hold them with a relaxed grip.
2. Placing the Poles too Far Forward or Backward
Placing the poles too far forward or backward can throw off your balance and reduce the effectiveness of the poles. Make sure to place them at a comfortable distance from your body.
3. Not Adjusting the Height for Terrain Changes
Not adjusting the height of the poles for changes in terrain can lead to improper form and reduced effectiveness.
Caring for Your Hiking Pole
Proper care and maintenance of your hiking pole can help prolong its lifespan. Here are some tips for caring for your hiking pole:
1. Clean it Regularly
Clean your hiking pole regularly with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris. Make sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it.
2. Store it Properly
Store your hiking pole in a dry, cool place to prevent damage from moisture or heat.
3. Check for Damage
Regularly check your hiking pole for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace the pole to prevent any accidents while hiking.
Why Use a Carry-on Hiking Pole
A carry-on hiking pole is a great option for hikers who love to travel. It can easily fit in your luggage without taking up too much space, and it can be used on hikes around the world.
Features to Look for in a Carry-on Hiking Pole
When looking for a carry-on hiking pole, consider the following features:
Look for a lightweight pole that won’t add too much weight to your luggage.
A foldable pole is a great option for travel as it can collapse down into a smaller size.
Make sure the pole is made from durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of travel.
Top 5 Carry-on Hiking Poles
Here are our top 5 picks for carry-on hiking poles:
- Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
- Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles
- Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
- Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
- Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles
In conclusion, a fixed-length hiking pole is a reliable and simple option for hikers who want a lightweight and durable pole. Using hiking poles correctly can help you get the most out of them, and proper care and maintenance can prolong their lifespan. A carry-on hiking pole is a great option for hikers who love to travel, and there are many lightweight, foldable, and durable options available on the market. With the right hiking pole and proper use and care, you can enjoy many successful hikes and adventures.