Tag Archive | trekking poles

Stick People Part 2

Now that we are back in “civilization” with our electronic devices and wifi, I decided to investigate the benefits of trekking poles. Several websites tout specific benefits of using trekking poles: they are proven to reduce about 20% of the stress off of knees and hips. Okay, that got my attention. Also, because they use the upper body, they help condition the upper body and burn more calories. I suppose that this is important if the purpose of my trip is fitness. But, I’m not looking to burn yet more calories on a backpack trip – that means I have to carry more calories. Also, I don’t know how much the benefits of using poles compares to merely reducing the weight I carry – both on my body, as well as in my backpack. Plenty of people sing their praises. I’m just not convinced this is necessary gear. Maybe when I am ten years older…

Stick People

We admit it – we’re “old school.” We dipped into our piggy banks to pop for the latest ultralight gear. But, the trekking pole obsession escapes us. I can count on one hand the number of hikers we saw without poles – and that includes the two of us. We saw some hikers handle themselves and their poles very well. But, we saw others use them in less-than-safe ways, perhaps extending them beyond their abilities and fitness level. At worst, we saw hikers use them in ways that put them in precarious and off-balance positions that could easily become disaster with the shift of a rock, or a slight shift in balance.

But, then again, maybe we are missing the point. It will be worth the investigation when we get home.