Trekking Poles are of great appeal to hikers, trekkers, and mountaineers. The versatility of trekking poles makes them standard equipment for most outdoor adventures. Though trekking poles may look silly at first, having them with you on a short hike or a trek can help you in ways you can’t imagine. With that being said, many still don’t know how to use them to their best advantage.
There’s no definitive right or wrong way to use trekking poles. Most of the time trekkers use trekking poles for support and reducing pressure on their legs. Some also use it to maintain their balance. But beyond these very obvious functions, trekking poles can do a lot more. And by that, I mean a lot. Keep on reading to find out what they are!
Here are 10 clever ways to use trekking poles:
1- Path clearing
If you go hiking or trekking often then you must know that the trails aren’t always clear. Most will have barriers made up of bushes, branches, spider webs and a couple of other things you don’t like. And there’s no way you’re going to risk injuring your hands while clearing the path ahead. But you also can’t go straight right through it. Trust me, you won’t like the feel walking face first into a spider web. So, use your trekking poles to clear the path in front of you.
You may be wondering why I’m mentioning “photography” on this list. Because I know trekking poles and photography don’t usually go hand in hand. But hold your horses for a bit and I’ll tell you why. The thing is trekking poles come in varieties. Nowadays you can find trekking poles that can slim down to work as a tripod. Trekking poles, as far as I know, are very well-suited for photography. And who does not like taking pictures outdoors. Use them to click some amazing pictures and post them online. Who knows? You might get some new followers on Instagram.
One of the key uses of trekking poles that I’d like to mention is making a shelter. When you want to travel lightweight, you can always ditch your lumpy tent equipment. But you will need a shelter to stay in for the night. And there are no lodges to rent a room. In that case, you only need to bring trekking pole-supported tents. They can be costly compared to your normal trekking poles. But they will be worth it. Once you have bought them, you can then use them for hiking, backpacking and even camping.
You can never be 100% certain while hiking and trekking in remote areas. Anything can happen. Your safety might be jeopardized. You are exposed to all sorts of dangerous surprises. Getting attacked by wild animals is the biggest threat. A potential encounter with a bear is not something you want during a trek. But luckily, you can bash your trekking poles against each other and make noise. This can surprise many wild animals. And even save your life when push comes to shove.
Whenever you go on a multi-day trip, you will have to do your laundry outdoors. That is unless you are okay with wearing the same bunch of clothes for weeks. It’s important to wash your clothes for comfort during a trek. But how are you going to dry them once you’ve finished washing your clothes? The simple answer is to use your trekking poles. You can extend you trekking poles between two trees to make a clothesline. And then hand your wet clothes on them till they dry off.
I don’t know if you are aware of it or not. But trekking poles can also act as probing devices. Trekking poles can come in handy when you are not sure about the depth of certain areas. For me, trekking poles are the best outdoor equipment to assess depth. You can push down your trekking poles and even extend it a bit to find out deep it is. This way you can avoid trapping yourself. You can also test a sketchy looking rock and see if it can hold your body weight.
7- First aid
The troubling thing about trekking outdoors is that it is unpredictable. Things can go south anytime. No matter how much you plan and prepare yourself. There’s no knowing when you might need a stretcher to help someone out. Trekking poles are ideal for making stretchers. Extend your trekking poles parallel to each other with rope in-between them. And there you have it. You have made yourself a fine stretcher. Plus, you can also use them as crutches with some fabric at the top.
8- Extra support for your knees
Long descents can hurt your knees and ankles. Many hikers and trekkers have to constantly face uphill and downhill terrain. The difficulty and roughness of the hiking trail can put a heavy strain on your legs. This will be even more gruesome if you are a newbie. It takes time to strengthen your legs for such an arduous journey. That’s why having extra support with the help of trekking poles can save you a lot of pain.
9- Improve your balance
Trekking involves getting out into the wild. Traversing through forests and remote landscapes. It’s all a part of trekking. And, to be honest, that is what makes trekking fun for all to enjoy. Yet, it sometimes becomes too difficult of a task to move or pass through. Because of uneven terrains and slippery pathways. But you can avoid the frustration of feeling your foot slip. Try using them as extra points of contact. You can do that by sticking your trekking poles out.
Trekking poles also serve as a communication tool. You can ask for help during emergencies. Signal a plane searching for you. Communicate with gestures with the use of trekking poles. It’s pretty simple actually. Make sure to attach a bright colored fabric to your trekking poles and swing it. It will help you get noticed. Use them as an extension to your arms. This way your gestures will become more visible to others. It’s most useful when others are too far away to hear your voice.
Which of these clever techniques impressed you the most? Do let us know in the comments below.