Watch the video to get the best out of your trekking pole or hiking staff
Find the full hiking program on our website
This chapter in our hiking program is all about setting off on your hike. Move on to the next video to learn how to make your breathing more efficient whilst hiking
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Voice-over by Dominic di Rollo
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HOW TO USE HIKING POLES
In this video, you will learn how to use hiking poles. Although generally not used very often, hiking poles can be very beneficial: they help support your balance, protect your joints, conserve your energy and help propel you forward.
To get the most out of your poles, remember these three steps: adjustment, straps and walking.
First of all, the adjustment. This is the rule of thumb: when you are holding the pole, your arm must form a right angle.
You have to therefore adjust the length of the poles depending on the terrain: shorten them when going uphill and lengthen them when going downhill.
The adjustment of the poles is either via an external clip or push-pin mechanism, or via an internal screw mechanism. For the latter, tighten the poles fully but without force and without the use of any tools since these could damage them.
Secondly, the straps. You don't have to use them but they can be very useful for propelling you forward and for supporting the hands and forearms.
If the strap is quite tight you can place it on top which will give you good support.
You can also put the strap below and hold it with the pole between the thumb and index finger. This way requires a looser strap and is safer should you fall
We recommend removing the strap when going downhill so that the poles don't trip you up or hurt you in case you fall
Thirdly, walking. Walk the same way you normally would. Begin using the poles alternately: move the right pole forward whilst stepping the left foot forward and vice versa.
On a hilly descent you can place both poles in front of you and a little to the side so they don't get in the way of your feet.
Likewise when you are going uphill, put both poles in front and lean on them to pull yourself forward.
In short, remember these three steps when using your hiking poles: adjustment, straps and walking.