LakeR
LakeR
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During a weekend hiking trip in college, an old man I met on a trail near Carter Caves, Kentucky gave me my first hiking staff, a length of branch he had carved by hand. It is beautiful and currently leans by our fireplace. But I have never used it.

Hiking canes, sticks, poles (whatever you call them) have always seemed awkward and unnecessary to me. Lately, however, after reading about the numerous benefits of hiking poles, I’ve begun to think they’re not such a bad idea after all, especially for people who hike a lot.

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Responses (8)
  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, August 31 2014, 04:54 PM - #permalink
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    I have never used one and don't plan on it. I carry light stuff when I go on hikes and next do mountain hikes because of my bad knees, so for me, I have no use for one. I can see why it is great for hikers who do a lot of hills and mountains though.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, August 31 2014, 04:21 PM - #permalink
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    I have spent years using one and last year I forgot mine back home while going on a road trip to go hiking out of state. I was bummed! I missed it so much that I ended up buying one I found at this nifty little camping store. It was $40 but I actually love it more than my last one.
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  • Accepted Answer

    jennifer
    jennifer
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    Sunday, August 31 2014, 02:57 PM - #permalink
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    Looking at the benefits, I might just get one myself!


    Improve your endurance by spreading some of the weight to your arms. Better workout.
    Better balance by keeping you from falling
    Can take much weight off your legs when climbing. Gives you an extra boost.
    Provides much better support when descending. Much safer
    Increase your stride and hiking speed with arm power
    Reduces stress on knee and hip joints
    Helps relieve chronic knee joint pain
    Something to whittle when you’re resting
    Use like a cane if you get injured
    Push weeds out of you path to reduce exposure to ticks
    Whack dead twigs off trees to clear your way
    Clear spiderwebs from the trail ahead
    Defend yourself against dogs, snakes, other animals or people, if the need arises
    Use as a tracking stick
    Reach high to knock fruit out of trees or vines
    Use as a monopod to stabilize your camera or binoculars – or rifle
    Clear sticks, branches and other stuff off the trails
    Lend a hand (stick) to help companions cross difficult areas
    Poke stuff you don’t want to get your fingers near (big insect, half-dead animal)
    Retrieving things out of reach or in the water
    Something to lean on when you stop for a breather
    Make noise to let the bears know you’re coming
    A stick to poke your campfire
    Tie on your bandanna to waive as a signal
    Test mud and puddles for depth
    To part thick bushes or grass obscuring the trail
    And, or course, to whack your little brother or companions when they step out of line.
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  • Accepted Answer

    jennifer
    jennifer
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    Sunday, August 31 2014, 02:27 PM - #permalink
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    Hiking poles make hiking easier for anyone of any age. They help you keep balance and keep you from getting too close to unwanted critters. Also, if you ever were to come face to face to a big cat, a wolf, ect. You can bop them on the head and run. lol
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tabitha
    Tabitha
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    Thursday, May 29 2014, 09:43 AM - #permalink
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    I passed up on a hiking pole at the lodge's gear counter and I wished I hadn't! A couple in our group brought theirs and I could see how much easier it made their stride and they were able to climb steep inclines easier.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Brunzy
    Brunzy
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    Wednesday, May 07 2014, 11:33 PM - #permalink
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    Definitely, hiking poles are my best companion at times when ramping on the ridges, stiffs and hills. If you are hiking lover with a pole, you can go more and beyond and beat your best record ever. It is also like a third leg on your up and down the mountains.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, May 01 2014, 08:15 PM - #permalink
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    I agree that those items can be an interesting gift for people who uses it often. You can also just keep it and wait for the right time to use it. I believe that it won't cost that much from your money so you can buy one for yourself and keep it.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Holly B
    Holly B
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    Thursday, May 01 2014, 09:44 AM - #permalink
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    I love my hiking pole! I actually buy them as gifts now and tell everyone I know about how great it is and how much more enjoyment I get out of my longer hikes.Take yours out more and you will see what I mean! :)
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