Proper Use of Trekking Poles

Proper Use of Trekking PolesTrekking poles have many functions to aid hikers in enhancing their outdoor experience. When used properly, they provide stability, balance, increase speed, and reduce stress and fatigue.


Adjust the pole's length to your body. Most poles are divided into sections. Slide the sections to adjust the length so that your elbow is at a 90-degree angle. Keep each section at about the same length to avoid putting too much stress on any single section.

Strap and Grip

Make sure the pole's strap fits snugly. Put your hand up through the bottom of the strap, not down from the top, before grasping the grip.

Hiking Uphill

Adjust the trekking pole's length not only to your own body but also to the terrain you are hiking. When hiking uphill, shorten it by a few inches to increase load-bearing pressure.

Hiking Downhill

Lengthen the pole a few inches for better balance and control when going downhill.

Even Terrain

When hiking on level ground, keep in mind that your forearms should be parallel to the ground when you're holding the grips. This angle will provide the stability you need for your hike.


For trekking poles with an extended grip that allows a lower grip position, lower it whenever on steep traverses so you don't have to shorten the length of your up-slope pole.
For those with antishock system feature, use it to absorb stress when traversing downhill terrains. Turn it off when walking uphill or on level ground.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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