Hiking with trekking poles or no?

Do you hike with trekking poles? This is a tough one … I see folks using walking poles on hikes all the time.

  • Do you use them?
  • Do you like them?

Let me tell you, there’s one amazing woman I see every single time I do Barr Trail. She’s so graceful. She keeps her pace steady and just goes along. She’s a very quiet, meditative hiker and she’s really fast. She’s my hero.

Coincidentally, she uses walking poles too.

Up to this point, however, I’ve avoided the trekking poles for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s just one more damn thing I have to carry all the way up and then back down off the mountain. Seriously folks, with the amount of cheese and peanut butter and chocolate it takes to keep me from crying on some of these hikes, it’s best that I keep the extras to an absolute minimum.

Second, I hate the straps things you are supposed to put your hands through. I have visions of myself tripping and I can imagine the kind of wild flailing crash I’d make with those things strapped to my hands. I’d scare the wild things for miles. Getting back up off the ground would be akin to that scene where Bambi is trying to stand up on ice with his brand new legs except I’d have these long extensions on two of my limbs that would make things even worse.

So anyway, we got some trekking poles and tried them out on a recent hike. Now, I can see the use of walking poles in conditions like these:

Crossing a creek with trekking poles
Crossing a creek with trekking poles

I did find the walking poles useful on the descent too, although I’m not exactly sure why. It just seemed less of a quad workout coming down this time.

The verdict? I’ll try them again and let you know.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

One Comment

  1. Joanna
    June 21, 2010

    I use them all the time and wouldn’t be without them especially coming down the mountain…

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