Trekking poles are invaluable hiking companions: They take much strain off your legs and hips, lend greater stability over loose footing or during a river-ford and can, in a pinch, serve to push aside thick vegetation or prop up a tarp. But there are times when you don't want to be wielding the pole in your hands. Perhaps you have an easy, level stretch of trail and you want to give your palms and fingers a break. Maybe a particularly steep slope demands a stretch of climbing. Or you have located an intriguing bird or a distant mammal and want your binoculars ready as you slip closer for a better look. Whatever the situation, you usually can easily attach poles to your pack when you're not actively using them.
Article Written By Ethan Schowalter-Hay
Ethan Schowalter-Hay is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon. He has written for the "Observer," the Bureau of Land Management and various online publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin.