How do I Size Trekking Poles?

How do I Size Trekking Poles?For a trekking pole to be functional, it needs to stand at the right height in comparison to your body. If a pole is too long or too short it puts unnecessary strain on your body without providing stability or control. When purchasing a fixed length pole it is especially important to get the appropriate size. Many prefer trekking poles with adjustable lengths that can be adapted to fit a variety of terrains.


Difficulty: Easy

Flat Ground

Step 1
Measure your leg from the bottom of your foot to the top of your hip bone.
Step 2
Select a pole with this approximate length for walking on level ground.
Step 3
Hold the trekking pole in your hands with your elbows at your sides at a 90 degree angle; the tip of a correctly sized trekking pole will rest perfectly on the ground.


Step 1
Reduce the trekking pole length by 2 to 3 inches when hiking up a steep hill. This distributes weight to your arms and back to help you climb the hill.
Step 2
Extend the pole when hiking down a hill to reduce the pressure on your joints and keep your balance. The overall length depends on the grade of the hill, but it may be anything from a few inches to a foot. Do not extend the pole completely or it may lose its integrity.
Step 3
Lengthen one pole and shorten the other when traversing sideways up a hill.

Tips & Warnings

Except when traversing, always adjust both trekking poles to the same length.

Article Written By Sarah Shelton

Based in Oregon, Sarah Shelton has worked as a freelance writer since 2008. She enjoys covering travel, home and garden, and automotive topics. Her articles have appeared nationwide with Internet Broadcasting, Adventure Travel and Real Estate Experts. With a major in biology, Shelton received her Bachelor of Science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

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