There are numerous advantages to utilizing trekking poles. Firstly, they can assist you in creating a perfect walking pace for your body.
Secondly, they can make sure you don't hurt yourself by falling when traversing hard terrains like rocky slopes or bogs. Finally, they are known for providing additional support to your lumbar spine, back muscles, and joints, so you can walk for more extended periods and cover longer distances.
In this article, we will provide you with bits of information to help you learn how to size trekking poles so that you can enjoy the benefits of using trekking poles. Likewise, we will give other pieces of advice regarding this useful but straightforward procedure.
How to Size Trekking Poles?
Sizing a trekking pole is quite easy, thanks to various accessibility features that they have in their extensions. However, you should make sure not to make your trekking pole too long or too short, as doing that will render their primary purpose completely useless, and you won't get the needed support while walking.
There are a few things you should consider though when you adjust the trekking pole height. The first one is, of course, your own height. The second one is the type of terrain you are going to be crossing, and the last one is the pace at which you plan to be walking at.
1. Regarding Your Own Height
Usually, trekking poles should be extended to the height of your open palm when you hold your hand in front of you at ninety degrees. Once you adjust the total length, you should change the length of the handles. These should be at your hip level so that you are comfortable holding the accessory when walking.
Depending on your body type and the length of your arms, the measurements might not be correct. If you suspect your extremities are a bit shorter or longer than those of an average person, make sure to adjust the tool accordingly so that you are comfortable while using it for hiking.
2. Regarding the Expected Terrain Type
If you're expecting to climb or face a rocky terrain, then you should retract any of your walking poles or both of them. This is done so that you don't have to bend over so much while walking since the average distance between the ground and your hands will be lower.
Retracting only a single pole and putting it in front of you to support your weight while climbing is a great idea. This way, you can leave the other pole at its regular height and use it with your back arm to make sure you don't fall over all the while pushing yourself upward.
While facing a muddy terrain or resembling a desert or a beach, you should extend your poles by a few inches. After you do this, you won't feel the pressure of your poles getting driven into the ground, and you will be able to remain hiking with the same stability as if you were on the regular ground.
3. Regarding Your Expected Walking Pace
When you decide to walk at a faster pace, you will naturally bend forward more and shorten the distance between your palms and the ground. This is why you should always reduce the height of your trekking poles when deciding to walk at a brisker pace. This will not only make holding them more comfortable but also take some additional pressure off your muscles.
Similarly, when you are going on a slow walk, you might not even need the trekking poles. However, if you wish to use them even then, make sure to increase their length so that you don't have to lean in so much to reach the ground. This will allow you to comfortably control your pace and walk as slowly as you want to.
Adjusting the Trekking Pole Length
Trekking poles typically have two or three sections that can be twisted and adjusted. Some even sport more of them, with the maximum of six sections being the industry standard.
Some models might require you to unscrew a section to adjust it, but most just need a simple twist to release the pressure and make the pole retractable. After you decide on the perfect length, you should just twist in the opposite direction until the contraption is being held in place tightly.
As you now know, there are multiple factors to consider when determining the right size of your trekking pole. Your own height, the speed at which you are going to be walking at, and the type of terrain you expect.
That being said, adjusting trekking poles is pretty simple. You should merely unscrew or, more often, twist the section that you wish to extend or shorten. After getting to your desired length, just wrap back and make sure it's adequately stabilized.