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There are traditional mountain hikers who prefer a wooden trekking pole with a handle and as few markings (pole tags) as possible. Some shepherds even swear by a thick hazel wood stick for crossing steep terrain or snowfields. For modern hikers and mountain these poles and their motion technology are not suitable.
Firstly, a good pole supports the rhythmic movement. All athletes who are not training regularly and building up stamina quickly discover that with a little practice, using trekking poles makes movement much steadier and less tiring. Teleskop poles also support balance. They prevent stumbles and injuries to ligaments and tendons: Four "feet" are much safer than two. Thirdly, by using poles correctly - which is easy enough to learn - you also exercise your upper body and arm muscles. This relieves the legs and ankles and saves energy.
Poles with an adjustable length (Teleskop poles) make sense. They usually consist of two or three elements which ideally fold down small enough that they can be easily stowed away inside or attached to the side of a backpack. Warning: Teleskop poles attached to backpacks that are too long can cause a tripping hazard.
If out and about in the snow, use poles that have a so-called snow baskets or those which can have baskets added to them. You won't have support in snow without these baskets - the pole will give way and you'll soon get tired or lose your balance.
Weight reduction is the third motto: the lighter the better! Whether you actively use your poles or leave them in your backpack, the weight of your equipment makes a big difference after several hours of activity.
There are naturally poles ranging from basic models to high-end: carbon poles are generally viewed as superior in the outdoor scene since they offer a perfect balance of lightweight and stability. This is of course also reflected in the price. Aluminium walking poles are a cheaper and excellent alternative.
Professional opinions differ when it comes to usage of trekking poles. However, there is no debate when it comes to whether using poles makes sense.
Despite their comfort, you should always walk some parts of the route without poles in order to promote balance. Anyone who comes to rely too heavily on poles will struggle more with their balance without them. This mostly applies to even, uphill paths. It is good to use poles for descents to relieve knee and ankle strain.
We have summarised the pros and cons of trekking poles for you:
Conclusion: If you've ever used ultralight trekking poles, particularly on steep terrain, in snow or on glaciers, you won't dispute their usefulness. The benefits are truly indisputable. By ensuring a sensible balance between use and non-use of poles, you'll get nothing but benefits from these ultralight accessories. At Keller Sports you'll find a great selection of telescopic poles tailored to the demands of modern hikers.