Less pain, more gain |
There exists a myth that trekking poles belong solely in the hands of the geriatric population. But these seemingly simple walking sticks provide more energy, less fatigue, and less pain on the move for every generation of hiking enthusiast. Arthritis and lower back pain are common in active populations as they age, and there are few better methods for delaying or preventing the onset of symptoms.
How they work:
The average hiker makes a pole plant about 45 times each minute. In a study by German physician Dr. G. Neureuther, it was found that each pole plant relieves approximately 18 pounds of pressure from the lower extremities when traveling on an incline. The sum relief of weight over the course of a hike—or a lifetime—is enormous. Further, the upper body remains upright because the forearms hang relaxed with the hands in the trekking pole straps, reducing strain on the lower back and spine. The upright position allows increased air intake, thereby extending stamina.
Modern trekking poles offer an array of high tech features. Grips vary from non-slip synthetic materials to traditional cork that conforms to your hand’s shape over time. Shock absorbers are often built into the shaft or grip, further reducing impact force, and lightweight construction ranges from aluminum to titanium. Most are collapsible and adjust to fit your height and terrain—shorter for ascents, longer for descents.
Check out the latest trekking poles by MSR, Leki, and Black Diamond.
article from Backcountry.com