Trekking poles have become extremely common among people who are enjoying walking or hiking at a faster pace. This is because of their excellent utility, and the fact that they can provide incredible support to your muscles and the lumbar spine.
However, some people don't use trekking poles, and there are even those who advocate against the use of them for some ethical reasons.
Thus, we will talk about when you should and shouldn't use these helpful tools, and determine whether are trekking poles necessary or not if you decide to become a regular hiker.
What Are Trekking Poles?
Trekking poles are the evolved form of walking sticks, and they have undergone many upgrades as the humankind progressed. Throughout history, they were known to be used by ancient humans to help them walk vast distances when discovering new territories or looking for resources like water, food, and shelter.
At first, they were made out of wood, but for increased durability and stability, some civilizations started casting metal walking sticks. This practice has proven extremely useful, and over time people experimented with and combining different materials with the goal of creating the perfect support tool for hiking.
At this time and age, trekking poles are made out of either aluminum or carbon fiber, and they have a wide variety of additional features. Some of them include wrist straps for better stability, different endings for various terrain types, and ergonomic handles that make holding them for extended periods much less uncomfortable.
Depending on the way you're planning to hike, and mainly if you want to implement some of the walking techniques, you might need a pair of trekking poles.
Are Trekking Poles Necessary?
There are two primary cases when you should definitely have a trekking pole in your "arsenal" as they can prove very beneficial, and improve your overall hiking experience by a lot.
The first one is when you're traversing hard types of terrain that can't quickly be passed without some additional support or the help of a friend. For example, climbing an extraordinarily rocky and uncomfortable slope becomes astonishingly more comfortable when you can count on your dependable trekking poles.
Likewise, going through mud, sand, and similar ground can be unpleasant. By using trekking poles, this becomes so easy than walking without any tools.
The second reason why you might be required to carry a pair of trekking poles is your health issues. It's well known that walking at faster paces can improve and even help manage some of the existing health conditions. These include problems with your heart, lungs, and blood pressure.
There are hiking styles made for resolving these problems in an even better way, like the Nordic walking techniques which are extremely popular these days. By combining these with the help of walking sticks, you will be able to walk for more extended periods and at an even faster pace. Not only will you get more exercise this way, but you will also improve your resting heart rate considerably.
When Can You Go Without Trekking Poles?
It's safe to say that you can be a professional hiker and become a true master of the outdoor arts, even without using supportive tools like trekking poles. However, they don't have any disadvantages to them, so deciding on whether you want them or not is more of a personal choice than an actual question with a definitive answer.
If you like exploring nature and accomplishing great deeds in the form of walking distances without any help, then it's definitely possible to do so without using trekking poles. But, no one will think of your achievements as less worthy even if you support yourself with this great contraption.
When Shouldn’t You Use Trekking Poles?
In some rare cases, you shouldn't use trekking poles as there are some ethical rules about saving the environment. These only apply to places where their physical impact can harm the rocks, ground, and vegetation.
Make sure to have the proper endings attached to your trekking poles when climbing rocks, so you don't scratch them. Similarly, don't press them too hard when you see that doing so will leave a mark on the ground or destroy some of the local flora.
Trekking poles have been around for a long time, and no one can precisely answer whether are trekking poles necessary. However, we have tried to bring this concept closer to you by explaining some benefits, as well as the rules about using this accessory.
If you want to walk longer and improve your health, you should definitely use trekking poles. On the contrary, if you care about the environment, then you should sometimes put them away while on your hiking trail. The final verdict is that you can traverse long distances without their help, but doing so is not really necessary.