Benefits of Walking Sticks for Hiking

Walking sticks for hiking are specially designed to give extra confidence and stability. It does not matter whether you are hiking on rough terrains or rugged mountain trails; you should use a hiking stick. It will give you a comfortable walk with excellent safety.

The hiking stick is beneficial in relieving stress on your joints, especially when going uphill or downhill. If you are overweight or have osteoarthritis, then hiking sticks are a blessing. On the other hand, people with Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can also benefit from hiking poles.

Why should we use hiking sticks?

Benefits of Walking Sticks for Hiking

The main benefit of using a hiking pole is that it provides extra stability. Along with the strength, it also helps you burn more calories and provides an upper-body workout.

However, it does not mean exerting more on your body for calorie burn. It just means doing simple walks and hikes with hiking sticks. So if you need to maintain better balance and stability during hiking, a hiking stick is a perfect choice.

One of the advantages of this type of stick is that it helps reduce the strain on our joints. So along with increasing balance, muscle activity is decreased, enabling you to hike for more extended periods with less muscle fatigue. 

How to use a stick for hiking?

The first thing on the stick is to hold it, so you should start with a firm grip. Relax your hold on the pole. The bar can rotate between four fingers and one thumb. While holding the hiking stick, the hand grips are angled to help with the use.

If you hold it relaxed, you will have to exert less effort to flick the stick forward with each step. While holding the grip, you have to close the other fingers loosely.

You should not hold the hiking stick with a tight grip because it will tire your hands and wrists. Ultimately, you will increase your grasp if you feel yourself slipping or want to get stable for a moment while walking.

So ultimately, you will observe multiple benefits while hiking with a stick. 

Let’s go into the details about all the benefits.

Reducing joint and back pain

We all know very well that our back and joints in our knees are the most sensitive parts of our body. While hiking on mountains and uneven terrains, there might be pressure on our back and joints if we do not use the stick. 

We should use wooden hiking sticks to put less pressure on our joints and back. On the other side, you will feel more relaxed, and there is less chance of injury.

Better balance

Maintaining balance is the most critical while hiking, especially in the mountains. So when we use the hiking stick, we maintain a healthy balance on uneven surfaces such as muddy areas, rocks, fallen trees, etc.

Hiking Sticks can go with you a long way, but still, there is a need to maintain a better balance going up steep hills.

Increased stamina

The good thing about the hiking stick is that we transfer the body’s weight from the legs to our upper body, mainly the arms. So our legs are more used while hiking, but the stick will help balance the body. 

So you will hike for a more extended period. Also, walking with a wooden stick will give you better leverage, especially when climbing steep slopes.

Increased stamina

Extra hiking tool

The wooden stick is considered an extra hiking tool and very helpful in protecting you from wildlife and moving the items that partially block your way.  

A walking stick helps move the rocks, leaves, and branches while hiking. So we can say that it is a multipurpose tool to reach the shelters in an emergency.

Improved upper body workout

We lift a walking stick and help support our body’s weight when we use a walking stick. All pressure is transferred from the legs to the arms and upper body with a hiking stick. 

On the other side, longer walks will result in a good workout for your arms and shoulders. Hiking using a walking stick will help you burn more calories. 

Without the hiking stick, we only use 35% of our lower body muscles. But when we use the stick while walking, we use 90% of our body muscles, including the upper body. It means that not only our lower body muscles but our upper body muscles are also strengthened and toned. 

As a result, your body’s blood circulation also increases without the strain you usually feel after walking. So definitely, your upper arms, shoulders, and back muscles are strengthened by using the hiking stick while walking. 

After some days, you will experience greater shoulder mobility and less pain in the muscles in the upper back. You can use the hiking stick while walking to strengthen your upper body muscles.

Self-defense

It is self-defense when we are holding a walking stick or a hiking stick. It is an added protection and personal safety while hiking. You will be surprised to know that walking sticks for hiking can help you keep away from aggressive dogs and harmful animals.

Reducing the risk of injury

Hiking without a stick will increase the risk of injury, but using a hiking stick reduces the risk of injury. The reason is that this type of stick gives you better balance and stability when climbing steep hills. While walking through the rough terrains with a stick, there is less chance of injury. 

Do not worry about holding the hiking stick, as they are incredibly lightweight and reliable. You can use these types of sticks to avoid falls. If you are in trouble while walking, hiking poles will keep you safe from muddy water, deep water, stones, and other things. 

On the other side, if an injury does occur, hiking poles will still protect you. In other words, these types of sticks are a sense of security that helps you feel more relaxed. While using the walking stick, you will enjoy your hiking trip more than ever.

Reduces the risk of heart problems

Hiking or walking with a hiking stick will increase blood circulation. With increased blood circulation, there is less risk of heart problems. The hiking poles will also help you provide 20 to 45% more oxygen. Therefore, you feel more energetic than before.

Hiking poles can be used as tent pegs.

This gadget is more than just walking; where you can use them as tent pegs. Some hiking sticks fit perfectly to the tarps and tents as they have the right size rings.

Walk for unusual times and distances.

We all know very well that walking for a more extended period will make us tired. Another great benefit of using a walking stick is walking for the usual time and distance. 

Walking with a stick will not keep you tired for a short time. So if you want to burn more calories than before, you can walk with a walking stick. Now, you can walk for more periods without tiredness. It is also called vascular fitness and helps reduce health risks.

Walk for unusual times and distances

Burning more calories

Walking with a stick helps motivate people to walk faster and have more time to burn calories. So walking with the stick gives your lungs and heart more workout compared to walking without the hiking stick. 

You are burning more calories as compared to walking without a stick. The difference between walking without a back and post is burning one additional calorie per minute. 

From my point of view, this is one of the most amazing things, where you are cutting down on additional calories per minute. While hiking with a hiking stick, oxygen is raised by 37%, and there is an increased breathing rate.

How to find the best hiking stick?

Now the question arises, how to check out the best hiking stick?

First of all, look for all the features that suit your needs. Make sure the stick is easy to use, and you can also extend or shorten the poles. Many sticks are telescopic and allow easy storage and packing. If we talk about the material of the hiking stick, then you should go for the carbon material. 

The reason is that carbon is an ultralight material; however, on the other side, aluminum sticks are also us, ed but they are slightly heavier. Make sure the walking stick you buy must be durable and reliable. If the stick is made of high-quality material, it can easily withstand the activity you plan to pursue.

Now we talk about the grip of the hiking stick. You can also find sticks with soft wrist straps so that you will not feel tired even after holding them g for a long time.

How to adjust the pole length of the stick?

How to adjust the pole length of the stick

While adjusting the pole, make sure it is a proper fit. For this purpose, you have to remember your number. We all know that every hiking stick has numbers on the telescopic sections.

These numbers are related to the total pole length when adjusted to that number. When you are familiar with the number, you can easily select the walking stick and immediately go to your perfect fit settings.

How can you find your number regarding hiking sticks?

How can you find your number regarding hiking sticks

Your walking pole must be long enough to create a 90-degree angle from your fist to elbow to shoulder. You can start with any number. It is better if you go for 115. 

You can easily select the number according to your height. It is noted that 115 means the stick is very long, so you have to go down by 5 cm. However, on the other side, if you have a good height, you can go for the higher number.

Using the strap properly.

You should use the strap correctly and in the right way because if you go the wrong way, it will ultimately result in less comfortFinallyly, and you will feel pain in your hands after that. 

The best way of using a strap is to wrap it around the backside of your hand. You should not hold the underside of your wrist as it is not good.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it helpful to walk with a hiking stick during hiking?

This stick acts as another set of limbs. So while using the hiking stick, you will feel more comfortable, and balancedYouou can use this walking stick to maintain balance when crossing ice paths, traversing snow fields, and moving water. 

  1. Is there a difference between a trekking pole and a walking stick?

Walking poles can be used on smoother terrains, including coastal parts and hills. However, on the other side, trekking poles are best for uneven spaces,  including mountainous ones.

  1. How can we properly use a walking stick?

According to manufacturers, you should use the walking stint in the proper position. It is better to stand up straight where the top of your cane should reach the crease of your wrist. While holding the stick, your arm should be slightly bent. 

Holding the stick in the hands opposite the side that needs support is better. For example, if you think your left leg is injured, you should hold the stick with your right hand.

Final words

Hiking poles or hiking sticks are just a blessing and relief for the people who used to go hiking regularly. Even if you don’t go walking regularly, you should use a hiking stick whenever you go out for this purpose. 

This post is a detailed review of the benefits of walking sticks for hiking. Not only the single hiking stick but there is also a significant trend toward using two hiking sticks simultaneously. 

This is advantageous as using the two walking sticks will give your body more stability and less stress. Using these walking sticks will help you enjoy your adventure to its maximum. So from my point of view, you should use hiking regularly as it develops skills to eliminate any future risk of injury from falls. 

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