How to Use Trekking Poles Properly

How to Use Trekking Poles Properly

Climbers use trekking poles as a third or even fourth foot, assisting with weight distribution and overall balance, propping our bodies upwards on uphill slopes and relieving the burden on our knees on downhill slopes, but do you know how to use trekking poles while hiking?

We'll show you how to hold and use trekking poles on flat roads, uphills, and downhills. Effective use can help you walk more lightly and enjoy the hiking process more.

Benefits Of Using Hiking Poles

The impact on the knee in fast descending conditions is approximately 5 times your weight. And we usually carry a certain amount of equipment on long hikes.

The correct and effective use of trekking poles can reduce the pressure of 7-11 kg per stride after synchronized arm force, and reduce the impact of the knee and leg muscles by 22% and 21%, respectively, when going downhill.

Should I use one or two hiking poles?

Trekking poles are typically sold in pairs. Depending on the terrain, such as gentle forest trails or wide ridges like the North Peak, using two trekking poles is more efficient and easier to maintain balance and coordination.

To balance your body weight on some of the steeper slopes, put one trekking pole away and hold on to a rock or tree root with the other hand.

Methods For Gripping Hiking Poles

1. General Method

The palm passes through the wrist strap from bottom to top and holds the grip of the trekking pole. Most of the grips have an undulating design, which makes them more comfortable to hold and more comfortable to hold.

2. Suitable Grip for Uphill

Although you should adjust the length of your trekking poles to a shorter length when going uphill, you can also switch to this grip if there are no very steep slopes, or shorten your poles and use this grip again.

By putting your hand directly through the wrist strap and holding the lower part of the grip, you can sometimes not take the time to adjust the length of your trekking poles.

3. Suitable Grip for Downhill

It is still recommended to adjust the length of the trekking poles for steep descents, but if the slope is not too steep, you can use this grip or adjust the poles to a longer length and then use this grip.

This allows you to shift some of your body and pack weight to the poles, and the angle makes your wrists more comfortable.

※ The above methods are not absolute. If you have a customary, comfortable grip of your own, it is possible to use trekking poles as long as you can use them effectively.

Use Of Hiking Poles on Uphill, Downhill, And Flat Terrain

 1. Adjust The Poles' Lengths

The shaft of the hand holding the trekking poles should be at a right angle of about 90 degrees, with the poles touching the ground straight up, which is about the length to which the poles should be adjusted, or slightly lower by a fist or so.

Men or taller people are recommended to choose trekking poles with a total length of 145 cm, while women or petite people can choose 135 cm trekking poles.

2. How To Use Poles When Going Uphill

When going uphill, you can shorten your trekking poles a little; after the poles are stabilized on the road, then your feet go up; do not rely too much on the poles, only as an aid.

3. How To Use Poles When Going Downhill

When going downhill, you can adjust the trekking poles a little longer, the same is the trekking poles first hold the road in front of the body and stabilize, then the foot in the downward step.

4. How To Use Poles When You Walk

When walking forward, hold the poles against the road on both sides of your body and drive your body forward by the force of the poles down and back and the rhythm of your arms to make walking more effortless.

5. How To Use Poles When You Want to Rest

Hold the two trekking poles against the route in front of your feet, in a triangle with the grip of the two poles against your abdomen. This way of using trekking poles allows you to rest a little between walks and let the poles take the weight of your pack instead.

※ Everyone may have their habits and methods of using trekking poles, but s long as they are comfortable and safe is the best way to use them.


Hiking can be very exciting and nature is truly amazing. However, there are many potential hazards out there, which can cause you a lot of harm if you don't do it correctly. If you've ever used hiking poles before, you will know they can help to reduce strain on your knees and especially on your hips. By using them in the right way and at the right times, you'll find that your hiking pole can save your life!

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