How to Use Trekking Poles for Hiking - Gear Tasting Radio 57 - ITS Tactical

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How to Use Trekking Poles for Hiking – Gear Tasting Radio 57

By The ITS Crew

The benefits of trekking poles while hiking, far outweigh the cool points you’ll lose by using them. This week on Gear Tasting Radio, Bryan highlights some things to look for when selecting your own set of poles, including handle material and features of the feet.

In the last moments of this week’s episode, we cover some rapid-fire tips for hikes, including equipment to take and selecting proper footwear.

Episode 57 – How to Use Trekking Poles for Hiking

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  • WolfMaster _5000

    Just got caught up my GTR episodes and wanted to add a couple things to your information on Trekking poles.
    * You mentioned there isn’t a specific way to hold the poles but that you hold them by running your hand up through the strap so the strap runs through the webbing of your hand. Technically this is the correct way to hold the poles. The reason for this is muscle fatigue. By holding the poles this way you can have a more relaxed grip when using them under light load conditions such as level travel. It also provides better support when loading weight on them or that inevitable misstep that pitches you forward instead of relying on pure grip strength.
    * There are three types of handle material: Hard rubber, Cork, and hard Foam. The Rubber material IMO is the worst to use as your hands get sweaty causing terrible gripping and making the grip all sticky. I haven’t used the cork style as the ones available were not pure cork but a blend with plastic the last time I bought a pair.
    * There are two handle styles I am aware of, and you have both shown in the GTR picture, handle only and extended handles as barely shown on the cork handled pole mid-photo. This extension was designed for being able to grip lower on the poles when climbing without having to adjust pole length. For example you have a short climb where the pole grips are now way too high, but the climb isn’t really long enough to deal with shortening them. You could use the lower grip on the pole for your climb.
    * This is probably more a terrain dependent thing but trail etiquette always had us using the rubber tips over our poles to reduce/prevent trail erosion on primarily rocky trails. The carbide tips are designed to Stick and over time can cause holes in the hard trail surfaces. While individually not as damaging but on a high use trail would eventually begin to affect the terrain, kind of like potholes in a well worn street.

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