Backpacker’s Gear School: Hold Trekking Poles Right

Kristin Hostetter, Backpacker’s Gear editor, shows you how to hold trekking poles to hike longer and higher with fewer aches and pains. Learn more from Backpacker’s Gear School in the March 2007 Gear Guide, and at
Video Rating: 3 / 5

  1. Reply DennyRec November 26, 2011 at 8:03 am

    If I go walking or hiking by poles go with me. I think they are get. The y I belong to has a trekking class. Yes we go all over.

  2. Reply oxdrift76 November 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Straps. Don’t discard them just so you can show off your 3oz poles. They’re there for a reason; to relieve the strain from having to grip the handles tightly with each stride. Believe me, if you’re using them to full advantage (up steep inclines) and you have no straps to take up the weight, at the end of the day your hands will be very tired.
    The straps on my poles weigh about an ounce; not making use of them makes no sense.

  3. Reply oxdrift76 November 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Here’s an experiment you can perform. Adjust your pole lenght just as the lady says, walk around (up an incline if you can). You’ll see that your arms will swing naturally,almost as though you’re not using poles. Then adjust them up to armpit length and walk some more. You be the judge as to which is more comfortable and natural feeling.

  4. Reply TadRapidly November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

    just like x-c poles, folks: measure it up to your armpit for the basic fit.

  5. Reply freewill51 November 26, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Don’t ever change the length of your poles as your going up and down hills! Learn how to hold them by the ends for down hill and plant them a foot or two behind you to push off of when going uphill. That way you don’t look like an idiot stopping every 100 yards to adjust them.

  6. Reply TogetherinParis November 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Get 3.3 oz gossamergeardotcom carbon poles and ditch the heavy straps altogether. On the AT, one side of the trail is higher than the other! The lighter the poles, the quicker you can get them between your head and the rock to stop a big fall. Keep at least one basket on the pole feet for the leafy downslope side of the trail. Good light hiking poles stop falls and save knees. Adjustment is good for tenting, and for luggage packing (saves a bag on a flight).

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