How to Use Walking Poles

Last Updated on August 30, 2020

Hiking uphill can be challenging for hikers legs and lungs. In this case, Walking poles provide extra stability to prevent falls and stumbles when the going gets tough. Most of the people understand that walking poles take the load off tired legs to make tougher walks easier. However, not every person knows that the skilled use of poles when bushwalking can also improve general health and fitness too.

How to Use Walking Poles

Perfect use of walking poles help you to engage the upper body muscles for this it may relieve some of the stress from your legs. Here we are providing many ways to use walking poles.

Choose the Right Poles

Various kinds of walking poles are available in the market, so you should check out the varieties types before purchasing. Most walking pole brands give guidelines for choosing the right length for your height, or you can buy extendable poles to set a range of heights. We suggest you buy the extendable, in this, you can place a new range of lengths as you need.

Clean the Poles if They are Dirty

To clean the poles you may use a damp rag or paper tissue over the surfaces, and then allow it to dry. If there is a lot of dirt between the different pieces, they may be harder to twist or move. Dust and moisture can ruin your poles over time, so it is a good idea to clean the poles, or even disassemble them after each use. One important thing that does not use a lubricant to clean your walking poles, the function of the adjusting pieces may be affected by this.

Unlock/lock Each Pole

For adjusting the sections of the hiking poles, there are typically two options. The first and most common one is to twist the poles to loosen and tighten those. Most of the hiking poles turn right to lock and left to unlock. There are also two arrows to show you which way to lock or unlock.

The second option is the small lever, which can adjust the height of the pole with your finger. The second thing is more comfortable than the first. For locking each pole, you will need to reverse the method.

Determining the Right Height

You need to set your walking poles to the perfect height. The ideal height for walking poles varies from one person to another and is often down to personal preference. Always ensure that you adjust the height of the poles which suits you. In general, it is speaking that walking poles should be the height from the top of your palm with your forearm held out in front of you at 90 degrees to your body.

Pole’s handle should be at waist/hip level and your elbow at 90 degrees. If you have exceptionally long legs, you may discover the range of height from the tip of your upturned thumb for more comfortable and better matched. After adjusting the right height of each pole, you should lock those.

Walking Technique

There is no right/wrong way to use walking poles, but some method helps you to use them effectively with more comfort. Most of the walkers use their pole to bend their arms at the elbow, and they place the pole tip slightly in front to use the pole as support. This is the wrong and inefficient way.

There is a more effective way to propel yourself forward, and you should keep your arm in a relatively neutral position with a very slight bend. Don’t grip the pole too tightly. Use a relaxed grip on the pole, and you maintain good contact with the pole by using the straps attached to each pole’s handle.

Walking Uphill

When you are traveling uphill, it should be shortened by a few inches to increase the load-bearing pressure. It should also help you in moving upward without causing strain to your shoulders, and your shoulders would never feel as if they are in an unnatural or lifted position.

If you think so, you need to shorten your poles even more to relief from the problem. When the surface is exceptionally steep, frosty, or sloppy, one effective method is to stroll down sideways, slamming the tip of the pole well into the ground and situating the foot straight up to it to suit you.

Releasing your hip ties from your backpacks they may constrict your stride and capacity to breathe appropriately while climbing. Putting the poles near your body as you rise and pushing off the ground with them to give you included propulsion.

Walking Downhill

Again when you are traveling downhill, you should try increasing the length of each pole by a few inches. By doing this, it will help you to keep your body more upright for better balance. If the tip is excessively far forward, you will utilize your vitality pushing the pole downward instead of backward.

Attempt to keep the poles sensibly near the body to improve proficiency as well. Ensure your center of gravity is low and over your legs. That implies you don’t lean forward or in reverse. Your walking poles, when balanced for a marginally longer length than on a level surface, should help you here.

To reduce stress on the knees, you may keep your downhill leg slightly bent upon. Like this, you are making your muscles to take the brunt of the strain instead of your joints.

Walking Through Slippery Slopes

Stability is the key when negotiating slippery terrain; by using poles, you can maintain your balance correctly. Sloppy and icy conditions require significant energy to keep you upright in this time it takes away some of the stress.

They serve the same advantage in a muddy situation. To walk through slippery slopes, you should put the poles near your body as you rise and pushing off the ground with them to give you included propulsion.

Use Basket on Poles

Use baskets on your pole while crossing softer or unknown terrain as this will prevent the pole from sinking excessively far into the ground and give you far more stability and backup. Rubber ferrules are helpful while crossing land that the tungsten carbide tips can’t chew into this will prevent the tips from sliding over the surface.

Final Words

Walking poles can make a massive difference to your bushwalking experience if you use them in the right ways. They are useful exceptionally hilly terrains, slippery surfaces, crossing streams, and when walking with a heavyweight backpack with comfortably and out of risk.

When you know how to use walking poles, challenging and scenic trails are more accessible and safe to explore for you. These are some tips that can help you easily use walking poles. You may find other methods that work better for you by using them.


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