Trekking poles can be a great addition to any hiker's gear. The long-time champ of the hiking world, the cane, may have finally met its match. Before you make a purchase, though, take a good look at the two types of walking stick to see just which would be better for you during a hike.
Trekking poles tend to be longer than canes. Canes are usually geared to be about a foot taller than your hips while poles can be higher than your head in some cases.
With a longer a pole, you can help your fellow hikers over difficult terrain. You can extend your pole behind you to a hiker who needs a little more help getting over a gully or a stream. Your trekking pole can serve as another contact point as she steps across the stream.
Poles tend to have more durability than canes allowing for more not only more walking, but on the odd chance you are approached by an attacking animal (or human) you can defend yourself. A trekking pole in the hands of someone trained to use it can be quite effective.
A trekking pole can offer you much more area over which to distribute your body weight than does a cane. Trekking poles will offer four evenly balanced places to distribute your weight as you walk, especially the uphill climbs. The even balance is a great advantage over a cane.
Raw style is probably the only advantage a cane has against a trekking pole. But honestly, how much style does one need out on the trail when you are sweaty and covered in bug bites?
Article Written By Heather Broeker
Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.