5 Reasons you should use Walking Poles

5 Reasons you should use Walking Poles

I generally try to keep my kit to a minimum when out walking, however there are a few essential items that are always in my rucksack, I’ve also recently been persuaded of the benefits of using walking poles. I used to think that poles were just for the more arduous hikes, or for people in need of extra support, however that really isn’t the case. I was recently sent a pair of Prolite poles from Craghoppers  so I roped in the whole family to test them out on some local outings.

The main thing we’ve learnt is that a good pair of poles bring so many benefits, even on short walks. First things first, if you do a lot of walking it really is worth investing in a good quality pair of poles. I liked the fact that the Prolite poles were lightweight whilst also being very strong and easy to adjust. They have three sections allowing the poles to be lengthened easily, but also making them very compact when not in use.

I put our Craghoppers poles to good use during some family walks over the last few weeks.

It’s also important to spend a bit of time getting used to the feel of the poles and making sure they are set up properly. To make sure they are the right height, hold your arms at a 90 degree angle and adjust so the poles reach straight down to the ground. I find that it helps to shorten trekking poles while going uphill and lengthen when going downhill to make sure that you maintain the correct posture. As you walk along your arms should be relaxed with only a slight bend, and don’t grip the handles too tightly.

When using poles it is useful to spend a few minutes making sure they’re the right height. The Prolite poles have the measurements on them for easy adjustment

5 reasons you should use walking poles

  1. Once you get used to walking with poles, they really help you to get in a good rhythm and cover the ground more quickly and efficiently.
  2. They are very beneficial for your posture, helping to keep you in an upright position. Just remember to make sure they are at the correct height and to alter them as you go up or downhill
  3. A pair of poles is really good for helping you to stay balanced when crossing uneven or unstable ground
  4. They are great at taking the stress off your knees when going downhill, making them ideal for people with joint issues
  5. They are perfect for testing the ground ahead if conditions are tricky. They can be used to test the depth of water, boggy ground or snow, or for checking whether that precariously placed rock can take your weight

I also found them very useful for knocking overgrown brambles out of the way and picking up my glove when I dropped it (very handy when pregnant!)

Our Craghoppers Prolite poles came in useful for a multitude of reasons

I didn’t expect to be so won over, but they’ve really been very beneficial. They’ve helped me to stay balanced and able to walk further than I would without them. They will definitely help me to stay active throughout my pregnancy, but I will definitely carry on getting lots of use out of them afterwards as well. In fact, I think that the whole family will be fighting over who gets to use them!

Do you use walking poles? Do you find that they help you? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

I was gifted a pair of Prolite walking poles by Craghoppers for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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Comments

  • Berni Berni April 06, at 07:23

    As a Nordic Walking instructor with Nordic Walking UK I agree fully with your findings, but I would also recommend a short learn to course consisting of 4 1hour sessions to learn how to use the poles properly. There is a technique, that once learnt brings many benifts & can actually improve your fitness as when executed correctly. Nordic Walking uses 90% of your major muscles & burns more calories. So if you’re short on time you can cover distances quicker & get a good workout.

    Reply
    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker April 06, at 07:35

      Great advice, thanks. I would love to try some Nordic walking, will have to find a course near us.

      Reply
  • Emma Hip2trek Emma Hip2trek April 11, at 12:53

    I agree that the walking poles certainly have their benefits, especially coming downhill and on uneven ground. I had to use poles on my China trek and they were invaluable, but I also found them a pain at times! #AdventureCalling

    Reply
  • Lindsey Lindsey April 11, at 17:14

    Great advice. I’ve only used them on long hikes, but I need to start using them on short hikes too. #AdventureCalling

    Reply
  • Tracy Albiero Tracy Albiero April 11, at 22:22

    I never thought about it like this. Would be great for joint pain for sure. I am not so sure I am so brave as to hike in conditions where I would need to “test” ha ha.

    Reply
  • Pamela Lorimer Pamela Lorimer April 12, at 10:48

    Really informative! As a novice walker this makes great reading thanks! #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Squaredawaydad Squaredawaydad April 12, at 13:11

    I found my poles very useful when I climbed Kilimanjaro and got altitude sickness and had to be carried most of the way back down by my wife.

    Reply
  • Lauren Lauren April 13, at 12:09

    I have used poles in the past too and found them really useful. I really liked the fact that the day after, I felt like I’d had a really good workout, not just aching legs – my arms and shoulders had had a workout too 🙂

    #AdventureCalling

    Reply
  • Kids of the Wild Kids of the Wild April 14, at 07:18

    Interesting read Lauren. I used poles for the first time on my snow holing weekend in March, borrowed from a friend. They were brilliant for balance in the snow but I felt they zapped my already low energy. Like the tip on adjusting the height for up and down hill, maybe that would have helped. Perhaps I need to try some in normal hiking conditions! #AdventureCalling

    Reply
  • Gareth Mate Gareth Mate April 14, at 09:37

    Nice post-Lauren and I have to agree with all points raised. Really well written.

    I have never really used trekking poles, but I had some a few weeks ago from Black Diamond. They are amazing, light and have been in my pack or out on a run ever since. I just would like to use them a bit more on some mountainous terrain.

    Hopefully in the next few weeks.

    I would definitely recommend them though!!

    Thanks for the share and keep up the good work!

    #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Urska Urska April 18, at 10:10

    Great article Lauren! I usually don’t use poles on a short walks and short easy hikes, but I can’t imagine not using them on a longer more demanding hikes up in the mountains. They really are life-savers. #AdventureCalling

    Reply
  • David - Potty Adventures David - Potty Adventures April 24, at 10:38

    I have never used any but I know a couple of people who swear by them. It sounds daft but I’m thinking of getting some just to use when wild camping so I can hook my tarp up to them. #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Helena Helena April 25, at 08:25

    We’ve never used poles but seen others use them so it’s great to learn of their advantages #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Stephanie Lane Stephanie Lane April 26, at 18:45

    I love my trekking poles. They are always in my car. There have been many hikes that wouldn’t have been as fun if I hadn’t had the extra support.After seeing me with them my husband is thinking of getting him a pair. He is an expert ankle roller!!!

    Reply

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