Many people today enjoy hiking, because it’s a nice activity, that activates the whole body, and helps your mind to be clear. If you ask a hiker, they will say there is no better experience than hitting a trail and reaching the mountain’s peak. But, not every person is eligible to be a mountain hiker. Some people are scared of heights, and they prefer other activities, like long walks in nature, because it helps them feel better and maintain a good health condition.
Although hiking looks like a purely healthy hobby, it exposes the fans to some health hazards as well. During hiking, you may overload your knees, wear joints, or even lose balance. These are the main reasons why most hikers use trekking poles all the time. But let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of these tools with cleverwander.com experts. Read on to figure out whether you need trekking poles or not.
1. Reduced Impact on Joints
Making your way through tough terrain at a permanent pace, even with a minimal load on your shoulders, is a real challenge for your feet, ankles, and knees. Using trekking poles, you can shift a part of your body and backpack weight on your arms and shoulders. This reduces the impact on your lower limbs greatly.
Besides, your arms will work all the time, which improves blood flow and reduces hand swelling, that’s so annoying for many hikers. Another bonus of using the poles is the higher average speed. They work like a metronome that helps you breathe easier and keep a consistent pace. Consistency is essential if you don’t want to get tired in the middle of your way and end up the route totally exhausted.
Depending on the location you are going to visit, you will encounter such conditions as rock, mud, snow, ice, wet roots, or even everything at the same time. The benefit of trekking poles here includes 2 additional bearing spots that will stabilize you on uneven surfaces. More traction and stability means a lower probability of accidents.
So, if you are a beginner, and you want to go hiking, you must take care of your stability. These poles will help you maintain good stability while walking through the rocks and natural paths. Also, when you are a beginner, you need to start with easier and more simple trails, until your body adapts to those conditions. Don’t leave the poles at home, no matter how simple the trail looks.
3. Stream Crossing Assistance
If you’ve ever been hiking in spring, you probably know how hard it can be to cross streams. Using your poles, you can check out how deep the water is on your way and maintain a good balance to hop from stone to stone safely. If you slip anyway, the poles will help you get off with just a wet shoe instead of pockets full of water. And don’t forget that stony mountain river fords are a place where you can easily break something, so attempting such a challenge without proper equipment is an unjustified risk.
4. Testing & Cleaning the Path
You should always remember that the terrain in front of you can be not solid enough for stepping on it. Even if a flat stony path looks totally safe, it may include rocks that are unsteady and may roll when you step on them. Actually, it’s a common reason for ankle sprains.
Use the poles to probe every vague piece of land in front of you before stepping on it. All those muddy spots, sandy cliffs, dark puddles, snowy slopes, and other terrains must be tested to exclude danger. In addition, you can use poles to clear debris from your way. You will probably agree that removing a large spider web is much more pleasant when you have a pole in your hand!
5. First Aid & Shelter
Twisted ankles and broken bones are a common hazard for everyone who goes hiking. It’s not the reason to let your hobby down, but you should be ready to deal with such painful situations. They make it much easier to move if you must hop down the mounting on one leg or your hip swell after an unfortunate fall on a wet stone. If you break your leg, a pole can be used as a splint for the temporary immobilization of the limb. This will reduce the pain during transportation to a safer place. In some cases, poles can even be used to make a stretcher for the transportation of injured hikers. Just believe it; you will thank God that you have a pair of poles if something goes wrong.
Finally, some modern shelter types are designed to reduce the overall weight of a hiker’s equipment. For this purpose, manufacturers decided to add an option to pitch tents with trekking poles instead of conventional tent poles. Even if your tent isn’t designed for that, you can try to pitch it using your trekking poles instead of the original. It may happen that they fit. As a result, you will be able to set shelters and tents using the poles of every hiking team member and reduce the overall weight of your backpack.
Do I need any special skills to start hiking?
You only need good condition and a couple of friends who already have experience in hiking. It’s a great way to connect with nature, to have a special time with your friends, and see what nature has to offer to all of us.
While there, you need to take care not to leave trash behind you. Also, invest in warm and comfortable clothes and hiking shoes, because you don’t want to get cold while in mountains. Choosing the right gear guarantees that you won’t have problems with your feet while there. Always have a map, and use the mainstream trails, so you won’t get lost. Leave the deeper exploring for some better times, when you will have more experience.
Download a map of the area on your smartphone, but also, take a physical map with you, so you can navigate better. Sometimes it happens that the battery dies, and you don’t have an option to charge it soon, and in this case, the printed map will be used as a navigation. Save battery on your mobile device by downloading offline maps.
Don’t hurry to reach the goal. Hiking is not a race, and no one is competing with you, who will reach the peak first. Always watch where do you go, because there can be snakes or other animals and insects that may hurt you. Also, be careful where do you step, because you can easily slip on a rock, and hurt yourself. If you pay a lot of attention to what you do, there is no risk of getting lost. Always have a plan B if something unpleasant happens, so your friends can easily reach to you, and find you, in case something goes wrong.
Have a Good Hike!
The history of a trekking pole started centuries ago, but there’s no alternative piece of hiking equipment yet! Now that you know all the reasons why having trekking poles is a must and can go on and read reviews of top models on cleverwander.com or a local store. Don’t stop hiking and live to the full!