How to Use Hiking Poles

Using hiking poles for balance while hiking can add a sense of security to your experience. They can also build strength, making what was a leisurely hike more of a workout. But what's the proper way to use hiking poles?

How to Use Hiking Poles
U.S. National Park Service
Overview
Hiking poles are a great piece of equipment for hikers, backpackers and other trail trekkers. The poles will help you keep your balance, reduce strain on your body's joints and exercise your arms as well your legs.
Step 1
Buy proper hiking poles from an outdoor-sports or camping-supply store. A good hiking pole will have soft grips that fit your hand well. It should also telescope in and out, making it adjustable and easy to fit into a backpack or clip onto a belt.
Step 2
Ensure that the tip on the hiking pole is appropriate for the terrain where you will be hiking. For general hiking, a chiseled point will work fine for most conditions.
Step 3
Practice walking with your new hiking poles. You should not hold them too tightly--most of the weight should actually be on your palms, via the hand straps. Use the poles with every step, not by swinging them along every second or third step you take.
Step 4
Go to your hiking spot and start the hike. Use the hiking poles as you have practiced, planting the poles onto the ground and then lifting off of them.
skill
3
ingredient
Hiking poles

Trail necessities such as food and water

ingredients
Hiking poles
ingredients
Trail necessities such as food and water
tip
Put your hiking poles into your backpack when you are not using them. You may not use them on a long stretch of flat terrain, or when taking pictures, drinking water, or eating. Get into the habit of placing them into your backpack so they do not get lost or damaged.

Store your hiking poles where they cannot get bent, the grips will not dry out, and the tips will not get damaged.

tips
Put your hiking poles into your backpack when you are not using them. You may not use them on a long stretch of flat terrain, or when taking pictures, drinking water, or eating. Get into the habit of placing them into your backpack so they do not get lost or damaged.
tips
Store your hiking poles where they cannot get bent, the grips will not dry out, and the tips will not get damaged.
keyword
hiking poles trekking backpacking nature walk mountain trail
keywords
hiking
keywords
poles
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trekking
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backpacking
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nature
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walk
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mountain
keywords
trail

Resources
reference
OutdoorPlaces.com - Trekking Poles 101
resource
Trails.com