I’ve always questioned the value of trekking poles. To be honest, I’ve always thought of them as a somewhat goofy-looking fashion statement. Last year I began to reconsider, though. With a big increase in hiking and especially hiking over elevation, I started looking for something to ease my knee pain on hikes with lots of downhill. So, I gave them a try, and after ~40 miles on trail with them, they’re now essential kit for me. Bottom line up front: If you’re a banged-up, high-mileage model like me – and don’t want to give up hiking – you might benefit significantly from hiking with trekking poles.
Last weekend we did a very difficult hike. Actually, to be honest we didn’t complete it. Despite hiking every week, and rucking on our road at least a couple days a week, we were turned back after four miles, 4,000 feet of elevation gain, and some extremely rugged terrain. On our walk back we began talking about what we would do if one of us was injured. We also talked about some emergency protocols we had already put into place.