By Mike Willis
Most people would be amazed to learn the endless uses for trekking poles. They are not just for traversing the Appalachian Trail!
Trekking poles are one of the best multi-use tools that you can add to your gear list. If you buy a quality trekking pole, it will collapse down to a packable size with negligible weight added.
It is essential to purchase quality trekking poles as they are potential fail points when bearing down on them. You need to know that you can trust the trekking pole during steep descents.
Listed below are 21 reasons why you should carry trekking poles on your next trip:
- Use the trekking poles to peel back branches as you are walking. This is especially helpful when trees are covered with rain or snow. Keeping the branches back keeps you dry and happy.
- Testing the depth of snow before stepping. Areas with snowdrifts can be very misleading.
- Trekking poles allow you to maintain 3 points of contact while hiking. This significantly decreases fatigue caused by stabilization of the body. After using trekking poles, you will notice a tremendous increase in your stamina.
- During field dressing operations, use a trekking pole to separate the hind legs to allow for easier access. The adjustable length is excellent for various sizes of game.
- Defend yourself against spider webs as you walk through dense thickets. A face full of cobwebs is never enjoyable.
- Can be used as a splint or crutches during a first aid emergency.
- When camping or setting up an emergency shelter, trekking poles serve as a center pole for a canvas or tarp tent. Many backpacking tents are designed to be used with a trekking pole to keep weight and bulk down.
- Balance your binoculars off of them when glassing for long periods.
- Hang clothes or gear off of them in areas without trees (high elevations and fields).
- Photography monopod or selfie stick.
- Snake or varmint defense.
- Flag pole for signaling.
- Easing impact on knees when packing meat. Especially during descent.
- Trekking pole chair. Lean your pack against the poles for a backrest. You can also buy one of the products specifically made for this purpose.
- Store several wraps of duct tape on the pole for field repairs.
- Hang your hydration bladder to allow for a gravity feed through your water filter. (in areas without trees)
- When hiking through lots of blowdowns, trekking poles make phenomenal balance beam poles for stability when walking logs.
- WHEN you trip, the pole will save you from falling as you can catch yourself easily.
- When your feet slide out from underneath of you, you can catch yourself before going down.
- You can use them as a makeshift natural ground blind frame with a shooting rail.
- If carrying two trekking poles, interlace the wrist straps and use them as shooting sticks.
So if you are convinced that you need to be using trekking poles for your hunts, make sure that you also buy the rubber tip/ carbide tip protectors. Most poles come with carbide tips, which are great for rocky terrain. When hiking through the woods, or soft ground, the rubber tips will prevent the pole from “punching through” the surface.