The hiking pole is definitely a must needed thing for hiking. There may be many reasons behind hiking for everyone.
For some, the reason may be to enjoy the mother nature, for camping, for a walk through the forest, for fun, to burn calories, to meet someone special, for health and fitness, etc the list goes on.
Whatever your reason for hiking, at the end of the trail you much get a feel for the wonderful and great experience. Using hiking pole will help you to accomplish this feeling with ease.
Think of these pair of poles as an additional support for the knee.
Hiking poles help to relieve some stress and could help to avoid fall injuries to knee, ankle and lower back.
Hiking poles reduce the compressive load on knees by 25% by distributing this load to arms and shoulders thereby protecting the knee from hiker’s knee.
It gives you more balance, stability and additional support to the knee. This pair of additional support will increase your movement speed and will boost your confidence when walking on trails.
While crossing a stream, uneven surface or rough terrain hiking poles will be very useful.
Apparently using trekking poles will improve postures. Improved body postures will help the lungs to absorb more oxygen intake which will, in turn, increase your strength and endurance.
Hiking with poles will helps to exercise your upper body which will strengthen your shoulder muscles and will burn more calories.
Hiking poles can be used to remove small reptiles from your hiking path.
Your muscles are working harder to lift your entire body weight plus your additional load.
Mainly your leg muscles are being engaged when hiking uphill.
If you are carrying the additional load the muscles are overstrained and also you are losing fluids from the body via sweat etc this can lead to a muscle cramp.
Using trekking poles can share some the loads from the legs.
You are exerting 3 to 4 times more force on your knee while hiking downhill.
Due to inadequate support, we usually brake too much during a descent which causes knee pain.
When hiking downhill the knee supporting muscles are not engaging effectively as that when hiking uphill.
The gravity pulls your weight downwards and your leg muscle does not support your knee and most of the impact will be on your knee joints.
Using trekking/ hiking pole correctly reduces the strain on knees.
Using trekking poles will increase your stability, balance and also increases your hiking downhill speed according to the terrain.
Technique for using a hiking pole
When using hiking poles to go Downhill increase your hiking pole length. This will help to absorb most of the shock thus reduce the impact on the knee.
If it is a very steep descent then ram the pole into the forward ground and position your leg behind the pole this will help you to prevent slipping off your foot.
When using hiking poles to go Uphill, shorten its length. Steeper the slope shorten the length of your poles further.
If the length is correct then the load will be distributed effectively causing no strain to a particular body part.
For using hiking poles on even terrain we need to bend the elbow 90 degrees when the hiking poles with there tip touching the ground near to your feet.
When the right side leg goes forward the left side pole go forward like this make a rhythmic action to propel forward this is called alternate leg method. Parallel leg movement is moving the same side pole and leg at the same time. You can move both the poles at a time for descending or ascending steep slope.
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How to use your wrist strap
Put your hand vertically from the bottom of the strap and then grab the grip of the pole. This is the most relaxed and right technique to support your wrist and heel of the hand.
Check the strap for R & L marking R is for the right hand and L is for left-hand use this will make you more comfortable to use.
The purpose of the strap is to distribute the weight from the lower body to the hiking pole and to give you stability and balance.