Hiking sticks are a standard hiking gear for seasoned hikers. They can give you more stability enabling you to be safer, faster and cover longer distances. Hiking sticks are also associated with faster burning of calories in the body.
Some hiking trails are generally dangerous. Some are very unsafe during winter. Exploring such trails can result in a fall and interrupt your hiking plans. Hiking sticks make exploring such trails possible.
How to Use Hiking Sticks
How to use hiking sticks effectively
Hiking sticks have to be used appropriately to get the most out of their features. Modern hiking sticks are adjustable. Hiking sticks will not be effective if they are too short or too long on a standard trek. Trekking with the right height of a hiking stick is important.
As a general rule, the length of the stick should reach your belt line. However, uphills may require a shorter length while a descent may require a longer length than that. Very challenging trails may need one hiking stick to be shorter than the other.
Another effective way of benefiting from hiking sticks is to use wrist straps to your advantage. Wrist straps are designed to support your weight and to work as a grip on your hands. They save the energy of having to grip the handle.
Using them correctly can prevent strained wrists and sore hands. Adjust the length of the wrist strap to get a fitting size. When tightly fitting, the wrist strap can support the weight of your hand well.
Also read: California Hiking Trails That Are A Must See For Every Outdoor Lover
Various uses of hiking sticks
Hiking sticks have multiple uses on the hiking trail if used effectively. They can make your hiking experience more enjoyable by offering many benefits to you. Hiking sticks can be used for various reasons including providing stability, for safety and they can be used for trekking difficult trails that has many challenges.
Hiking sticks offer stability in a variety of ways during a trek. You need stability to be able to handle some challenging trails. Slippery trails, slippery rocks, uneven trails, snowy and icy conditions, mud and wet conditions are very challenging to trek and require a lot of energy.
Staying balanced and upright in such situations is not easy. Hiking sticks offer support and therefore helps you stay balanced on such trails. Ensure that your hands are strapped with a wrist strap when using them on tough trails.
Uphill hiking can be quite difficult for your lungs and legs. Hiking sticks are excellent for managing steep slopes when going up. Using poles can help support the upper body muscles thereby relieving stress on your legs.
Steep descent is very demanding on knees. Hiking sticks offer balance when going down a steep hill by providing you with added power. Hiking sticks help by letting the upper body and arms absorb the shock of the steep hill, therefore helping you to tackle the descent more comfortably and faster with little weariness.
Also if you have a heavy backpack, hiking poles can help in stabilizing you during the hike, especially on a steep trail.
Overcoming hiking obstacles
Hiking sticks can enhance your hiking trip by helping you overcome some challenging trails. First and foremost, they are great at testing the depth of a stream or checking how muddy a trail is. In addition, they can help you cross streams effectively.
What’s more, hiking sticks can be used to overcome winter hiking challenges. They can be used to check the ice on a frozen stream and also offer balance on a snowy and slippery trail.
Besides that, they can be used to mark a trail temporarily. Also when you are in a situation requiring a an emergency shelter, hiking sticks can be a great help in supporting a light shelter.
Some hiking trails have overgrown bushes. Some of the bushes have critters, poisonous plants, thorns or plants that stick on clothes. Hiking sticks can be used to gently push plants such as nettles, poison ivy away from the trekking trail to the side. Hiking sticks are also useful for checking critters and other crawling creatures on a bushy hiking trail.
Most importantly hiking sticks can be used as a defense device. You can use them to defend yourself in an actual attack with bears, lions or other animals that you may encounter on a dangerous hiking trail.
Important features in a hiking stick
You need hiking sticks light in weight. On a hiking trip, you do not want to add any avoidable extra weight. Check for hiking sticks made from carbon or aluminum or a mixture of both materials.
Besides that, you also need hiking sticks that will last a long time. If you frequent rough terrains, then look out for hiking sticks that are made from aluminum material because they are more sturdy.
Another important feature to have on a hiking stick is a good grip. Plastic handles don’t offer a comfortable and good grip, therefore avoid them. Opt for hiking sticks with cork grips or foam grips. Look also for hiking sticks that are adjustable.
The height of a hiking stick should allow your elbow to be at around 90 degrees. Other features to look for are shock absorbers and a good locking mechanism.
Whether to use hiking sticks or not
If hiking sticks are used effectively they can enable you do extraordinary things on a hiking trail. They can help you cover more miles, cross streams, climb steep mountains and go down steep hills. In addition, they are associated with fewer backaches and less knees problems during hikes.
On the other hand, hiking poles can be a bit inconveniencing. They are a nuisance when you want to use your hands to do other stuff like using your GPS, viewing a map, taking a photo, taking water or drinks.
Innovation has seen hiking sticks get invented with many features.
We have adjustable hiking sticks poles that are easy to carry around because they only need to be strapped to the backpack. Hiking sticks are so light and shouldn’t be a weight concern on your hiking trip.
If you are not yet convinced about using hiking sticks to do a whole trek, you can get a pair for use in situations that call for a hiking stick. But first, why don’t you try using them a couple of times on a hiking trail to test their effectiveness?
How to Use Trekking Poles
Hiking sticks should be used to your advantage to make doing a trek more efficient and effortless. They are safety devices too, helping you avoid falls and injury during treks. They can help you handle very challenging trails and explore places you would never have managed without a hiking stick.
Have fun hiking.