Do you like backpacking, trekking, hiking, skiing and camping? There is nothing like the freedom and beauty that the outdoors offers. You may only be able to get away for an hour here and there, or you may be able to go for an entire weekend. Regardless of how often you are able to trek or hike, trekking poles can make the adventure much more enjoyable, with far less fatigue. Many people are interested in obtaining a trekking pole or hiking stick, but aren’t quite sure how to use them. Many people simply pick up a stick in the wilderness that is about 4 feet long, feels good in their hand, that isn’t too heavy and start hiking. For basic short hikes, walking sticks work just fine, but once you have used a specially designed trekking pole, you will quickly discard your hiking stick. Many of today’s trekking poles are adjustable in length, have spring loaded shock absorbers inside them and utilize molded grips. They come in all kinds of lightweight materials, such as aluminum, titanium, pure carbon and carbon fiber. The material the poles are made of reflects directly on the price you will pay.
Picking the right pole is quite easy. Most people find trekking poles to be the most comfortable when they are about waist high in length, or just a bit longer. It also depends on the terrain you most frequently hike or walk in. If the terrain is quite steep and you’re trekking at an incline a shorter pole will be desired. If your trekking on a decline then you would want you poles at a longer length. If you primarily walk on flat or slightly inclined terrain, then one about waist high is sufficient. For this reason, adjustable trekking poles are becoming quite popular. They can quickly be adjusted for the user and the terrain that is encountered. If you are looking at buying a fixed length pole, it is important to walk around the store with several poles before purchasing in order to see how they feel to you.
If you are looking at sectioned or adjustable poles, look for one that has three or four sections. A true trekking pole is usually three or four sections. If you’re interested in Nordic Walking for the pure exercise element of walking then a two section pole is good although there are three section poles available for Nordic Walking also. When you have purchased the right pole for you then you can proceed to adjust it to your proper height so you will have an enjoyable experience. First hold the pole horizontally. Adjust the bottom section first. It may take a few adjustments to get it right for your height. Try to keep each section about a quarter to only half way extended. Even though the poles may be made from very hard and durable materials, the pole will be a whole lot stronger when the sections have more overlap from one section to the next. While you are adjusting the pole, try to equalize each section length inside of the others, so that one section isn’t extended more than the others. Once you have the sections adjusted to the right length, turn the lock grip counter clockwise to lock everything in place.
Many poles have a locking mechanism on each section. You simply adjust the length of each section and twist the locking mechanism. Some poles are threaded and you simply twist the sections individually to tighten them up.
Now that you have the poles adjusted, simply walk around and see how they feels to you. If it’s not quite right make another adjustment until you get the length just the way you want it. When you get your trekking pole adjusted the way you want it, get out there and explore, get some exercise and see the world!