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5 Reasons Why Trekking Poles Are Great For Hiking

This post was updated on April 23rd, 2024

One of the many great things about RVing is that hiking opportunities are always around the corner. You can go on a long backpacking trip, a challenging day hike, or a short and pleasant walk just to stretch your legs.

No matter the distance, hiking can be made a lot easier and more enjoyable with trekking poles.  They cost anywhere from $20-150 and can be purchased everywhere from REI to online from Amazon. Here’s why you may want to consider getting yourself a pair.

1. They’ll help you hike faster.

trekking poles
Photo by Jerome Gagner/Flickr

Like ski poles, trekking poles help you push forward and upward. This will give more rhythm to your step, and ultimately increase your overall hiking speed.

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2. They’ll reduce the impact and pressure on your knees going downhill.

trekking poles
Photo via PublicDomainPictures

Trekking poles can be a lifesaver if you have bad knees. Studies have shown they’ll reduce compressive force on them by up to 25% when going downhill. This is because the poles help transfer the impact from your knees to your upper body and arms (giving your arms a better workout).

3. You can use them to test what’s ahead.

trekking poles
Photo by The B Mag/Flickr

With trekking poles, you can determine if an area is too muddy to walk through or how deep a puddle goes.  You can also use them to push thorny plants and branches out of the way, and swipe away spider webs.

4. They’ll give you stability.

trekking poles
Photo via Grand Canyon NPS
Grand Canyon National Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Staying on your feet through slippery terrain is much easier with hiking poles. The two extra points of contact will help you cross wet log bridges, and get through icy and rocky, uneven areas.

5. They can be used for more than hiking.

trekking poles
Photo via KUIU

Backpackers can lighten their load by leaving out tent poles and just using their trekking poles to set up for the night. Hiking poles can also be used in emergencies as a medical splint, warding off wildlife, or as ultralight pack-rafting paddles.

Despite these benefits, some hikers still prefer to go without them because they just seem to get in the way, while others swear by them and wouldn’t go on a trip without them.

What do you think, have you used trekking poles before? Share your comments with us below.

Love hiking? You won’t want to miss these trails in Banff National Park