Whether you’re new to hiking or a veteran, poles can be a great asset for your outing. Many hikers use trekking poles in Canada and the United States to give them more confidence and stability as they roam. Plus, they relieve joint stress, allowing you to go even farther than before comfortably. However, to get the full benefit, you need to use them right.
Keep Your Grip Relaxed
A tight grip will only tire out your hands and wrists. Instead, use a loose hold that allows the pole to rotate back and forth between your thumb and forefinger. Your other fingers can rest loosely on the pole. Don’t worry—your grip will instinctively tighten if you happen to slip.
Use Proper Arm Motion
When you purchase your Leki hiking sticks, you want to look confident using them, so be sure to practice the correct arm motions. First, keep your elbows close to your sides. When you take a step, flick the opposite side’s pole forward with a small upward motion. It will pivot if you have a relaxed grip. It’s important to follow this opposite arm/leg pattern to avoid an awkward, swaying gait.
Plant the Pole Lightly
There’s no need to dig the pole’s tip into the ground whenever you take a step. Plant it lightly so that the top simply touches the ground before you flick it forward again. That said, there are times when you will need to plant the poles firmly, such as when you are thrusting yourself uphill or trying to “brake” while going downhill. Research different methods to make sure you’re ready to use your Leki trekking poles on the United States and Canada’s beautiful trails, no matter what terrain you’re exploring.