A stick while hiking is as old as hiking itself. Pilgrims use it, as did the “simple folk”. The wood beating was a support and possibility of self-defense. Today, the trekking pole is legitimated by medical gait analysis. However, you should always use two sticks.
Relief of the body
The use of trekking pole reduces the body weight. Even on level terrain, each step saves approx. 5 kg. On descents, the reducing body weight increases to about 8-9 kg. That adds up to about 250 tons in eight hours.
Trekking pole protects the knees. The force on knee joints when going downhill with sticks is about 22% lower than without the use of sticks. In addition, the trekking pole inserts halve the maximum load duration to the knee. It also spares the muscles. When going downhill, the thigh muscles act as shock absorbers. Sticks work off this “shock absorber” – up to 21%. The use of trekking pole delays the fatigue of the musculature. This saves strength and helps to avoid injuries.
When going uphill, you distribute the necessary power from the legs to the upper body. Again, it delays the fatigue. For this, it trains the upper body. In addition, the open arm posture when walking with two sticks promotes breathing. You run straighter and get more oxygen into your lungs.
The telescopic pole is the classic trekking pole. Most of them are in three parts and you get to a pack length of about 50 to 65 cm. Basically, there are two adjustment systems: internal adjustment based on an expansion cone or external adjustment by a folding mechanism. The internal adjustment is the more stable adjustment. Leki poles have tested a slipping stability of 150 kg. In contrast, discount stories advertise with 25 kilos – that’s far too little and a security risk in the mountains.
The advantage of external clamping: It is simple and does not require so much force to open and close it. Some manufacturers also use the breadboard. The disadvantage here: The hole in the aluminum tube reduces the breaking strength of the stick.
Relatively new are the folding sticks. They are connected with a kevlar or aramid cord and fixed in the upper floor area. The big advantage of the folding sticks is the pack size of less than 35, sometimes even less than 30 cm in length. you can then bring the sticks in a daypack and for long-distance travel in a suitcase. Good folding sticks – Leki or Black Diamond Equipment – provide sufficient breakage stability for mountain missions.
Sticks with the fixed length are for sporty uses such as Nordic walking and speed hiking. They have a different grip because they are dynamically pulled past the body – trekking poles are usually used in front of the body – and uses them as a drive and less for relief. These must be bought according to the body size – size multiplied by 0.6 to 0.7 – fitting.
The common material is aluminum. This should have a strengthened HTS aluminum with an alloy detail so that one can be sure not to pick up any cheap aluminum. As a more expensive, but lighter alternative, the second material is carbon.