Hiking is exciting and fun for people who love adventure. However, while hiking, sometimes you might fall and injure yourself. So, if you are planning to go on a hike, you might be curious to know, “Do hiking poles prevent falls?”
As hiking poles help you to maintain your balance and stability in slippery places, they can prevent falls. Besides, they help to boost your confidence and ease joint stress, particularly while hiking up or downhill.
Hiking poles also have many other benefits, making hiking a lot easier. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean a hiking pole is a must for you. Whether you need a hiking pole or not depends on various factors.
So, in this article, I will discuss why you might need a hiking pole, the benefits of hiking poles, and some other information you might find helpful.
Do You Need a Hiking Pole?
If you want to maintain better balance while hiking and don’t want to put pressure on your knees, consider getting a pole.
Here are few reasons why you might need a hiking pole:
- If you have to carry a big backpack, you might need a hiking pole to keep yourself stable and balanced.
- When you go hiking in the winter, you will come across a lot of slick areas where it is difficult to keep your balance while walking. So, these poles will be beneficial for you in such conditions.
- If you are hiking in an area with poisonous plant species you don’t want to come into contact with, hiking poles will be helpful to carefully move them from your way without getting in touch with them.
- Hiking poles will provide you with good balance and support if you have to go uphill or downhill. So, there will be less risk of falling and getting injured.
- If you are hiking in an area where wild animals are common, it is wise to bring these poles with you. No, you won’t be able to battle an enraged bear or lion with them. But they will surely terrify one that’s just strolling around aimlessly.
However, if you are an experienced hiker, you won’t need a hiking pole to maintain your balance.
It is entirely reliant on the individual and the location for which you are going on a trip if you need a hiking pole or not. It is required in some situations, such as slick or rocky terrain, areas full of poisonous plants, and so on. In flat terrain, however, you will be better off without a hiking pole.
Also, if someone is comfortable with using a hiking pole, they can use it whenever they want. So, I would recommend you to try using one and judge for yourself whether you need it or you feel more comfortable without it.
What Are the Benefits of Hiking Sticks?
Besides preventing falls and injuries, hiking sticks can significantly help you improve your balance and stability. Moreover, these reduce stress on the knees, provide excellent protection against your surroundings, and help you hike faster.
Let’s discuss these benefits a bit more in detail.
Improves Your Balance and Stability
Carrying heavy backpacks can cause terrible posture and a loss of stability whether going upwards or downwards. Hiking poles add extra points of contact in front of your body, which can be used as counter-supports to help distribute your weight more evenly. So, there is a lower chance of hikers slipping and falling while hiking.
Moreover, poles aid hikers in maintaining continuous motion while ascending or traversing difficult terrain. Also, it helps them to navigate around and through path hazards such as streambed crossings, passing slick planks and rocks.
Most hikers appreciate the steady pace that hiking poles provide. As they get extra support, they can hike with confidence, maintaining proper balance and stability.
Relieves Joint Stress
The primary benefit of hiking with poles is that it relieves tension on the back and knees. Well, poles aren’t a miracle solution for knee discomfort, but research shows that they can aid you to transfer your load in a manner that decreases knee strain.
Hiking poles help to distribute the pressure to your arms and upper body instead of putting all of the stress on your knees. They enlist the support of additional muscles to assist in weight transfer, decreasing the strain that would otherwise be received solely by the lower body’s muscles and joints.
Reduces Fatigue and Enhances Lung Capacity
When you use a hiking pole, your body is less likely to get tired soon, allowing you to cover more miles before needing to stop.
It is because you can take some of the weight off your quadriceps and knees by using poles, which helps you to delay fatigue and avoid falling due to weakening muscles.
No wonder the less tired you are, the easier it is to maintain proper posture. If you can maintain proper posture, more oxygen will enter the lungs.
More oxygen in the bloodstream means more oxygen is delivered to the muscles more efficiently. Thus, a good posture that you can maintain by using hiking poles leads to a better lung capacity.
Allows You to Hike Faster
You’ll discover yourself moving faster after you get into a solid rhythm with your hiking poles. The poles help to push you ahead and motivate you to prolong your step for keeping your legs and arms in sync.
If you are in a hurry or plan to hike for miles every day, no doubt this is going to be a huge benefit for you.
Provides Protection from Your Surroundings
Hiking poles might help you scare away wild animals that you could come across on your journey. Swinging them about will confuse them and make them believe you are larger and dangerous than you actually are.
Moreover, Poles can be extremely useful for clearing branches and shrubs out of the way in an area that is densely forested. You can swing them through spiderwebs to avoid getting webs on your face.
Besides, as I have mentioned earlier, it will help you to avoid contact with poisonous plants such as poison ivy, nettle, or poison oak.
How Do Hiking Poles Prevent Fall and Injuries?
By improving your stability, balance and putting less stress on your joints, hiking poles can prevent falls and injuries.
Hiking using poles in slick circumstances decreases the risk of falling to a great extent. When you’re trying to navigate a slick trail, stability is essential.
Hiking poles improve your balance on slick surfaces, allowing you to take more natural and relaxed steps.
For example, snowy circumstances may require a lot of energy to keep your posture upright when hiking, but hiking poles will relieve some of that pressure. Also, in rainy and muddy situations, they serve the same purpose.
The primary purpose of hiking poles is to minimize the pressure on your legs by redistributing your body weight to both your upper body and lower body parts.
Well, that way, you can still walk at a quick rate. But because the hiking poles are in contact with the ground, they take a lot of the stress off your legs, making you less injury-prone.
Hiking poles are popular hiking equipment that’s useful for anyone who desires greater stability, balance, and rhythm. By now, you’ve got your answer to the question, “Do hiking poles prevent falls?”
As the answer is yes, don’t forget to take a hiking pole on your next hiking tour. Thanks for reading through. And have a great day!