Which should you choose between a hiking staff vs. trekking pole for your next adventure? We help clear your confusion with this comparison. Let’s check!
#1. Hiking Staff Vs. Trekking Pole: Comparison Table
Walking sticks are one of the most important gear for every hiking and trekking trip. They will help you overcome rough terrains effortlessly.
The biggest difference between these poles is that the trekking poles come in pairs. Meanwhile, you often use only one hiking staff at a time. Hence, there will also be other differences arising from this.
#2. What Is The Difference Between Hiking Staff Vs. Trekking Pole
The comparison table above is clear, but you may need more details before making a decision. So let’s check each factor closely.
Hiking and trekking trips are arduous. Hence, you will need to prepare for them carefully. Also, look for some support to keep relieving your knee discomfort.
You can definitely keep your balance with the assistance of trekking poles. Regardless of which way you might fall if you slip, you can catch yourself before the fall as you hold the poles in your hands.
Strains and bruises are some of the most frequent hiking-related problems. A set of trekking poles can significantly help, although they can’t avoid all the injuries.
By letting you transfer your weight into your hands, these poles also offer excellent, equal support for your knees.
A hiking staff can also provide some support. However, since you can use one stick at a time, it won’t help you much if you slip.
This gear won’t give your knees the even stability of a set of trekking poles on steep downhills. Alternatively, it will only support your knee on the side you’re holding it in.
If you have problems with only one of your knees, holding the hiking staff on that side will work. Yet, for the best support, we recommend the trekking poles.
Trekking poles differ from the hiking staff in another way: they can improve your walking technique.
Traveling with trekking poles helps you engage your entire body while walking. You’ll be able to use less energy, move faster, and burn more calories.
Trekking poles can require some getting used to, but they don’t take much practice to grasp the feel. However, using both poles to practice with your walking trainer is not a good idea.
On the other hand, a hiking staff probably won’t do anything for your walking technique. Even if it doesn’t cause any harm, you will walk more asymmetrically.
If you use the hiking staff for long, you may limp or lean to one side. This habit will finally change your gait.
It’s an excellent investment if your items can work for any purpose or in multiple cases. Based on this criterion, the trekking pole will be the winner of this round.
Trekking poles frequently have adjustable lengths. Therefore, if you’re using them for both downhill and uphill, you can change them to the proper length to feel more comfortable holding them.
Additionally, you can use the trekking poles to set up your tarps and tents. So to minimize your load during ultralight backpacking, you should consider using trekking poles.
Also, a hiking staff can’t be as versatile as its competitor. If you want to find a case where you can use this stick aside from hiking, it must be for air guitar.
Another benefit of a trekking pole is that you can employ it as a hiking staff. It can perform nicely to assist your adventure.
Since you can adjust the length of your trekking pole, you will put them easily in your backpack. They are foldable and can fit in the tiniest daypacks.
As a result, you will be more relaxed using the poles. On flat, even terrain, you can fold them and enjoy the scenery without worrying about the sticks. And before heading to rocky surfaces, pull the poles out to walk safely.
In contrast, a hiking staff is often longer. You have to carry it by hand as it’s unfoldable. The inability to fold and fit in your backpack makes it inconvenient, as you may need both hands for scrambling.
However, if you just use a stick as a hiking stick from the forest, you may always throw it aside and come back with another one.
Some hikers decide to bring only one trekking pole. However, it’s still a win for the poles.
You can buy trekking poles for about $30. Yet, you may have to spend more than $150 for an extremely lightweight pair with advanced features.
Using a hiking staff is much cheaper because its average price is $15. In some cases, you can even use a stick from the forest to replace it without any cost.
#3. Hiking Staff Vs. Trekking Pole: Which Should You Go For?
Although the trekking poles outweigh their competitors in many terms, you will sometimes prefer the hiking staff.
When to choose trekking poles?
Trekking poles are unquestionably the best option if you’re searching for something that offers you excellent support when trekking and hiking.
The poles can also improve your gait. Moreover, you can put them in your backpack when you don’t need them.
Although they can be expensive, there are many excellent low-cost options available. You can check this video for more ideas:
When to choose hiking staff?
You’ll likely be satisfied with a hiking staff if all you need it for is light assistance and path clearing.
One walking stick is enough if you have problems with one of your knees. In this case, a hiking staff shines out.
If you still don’t know what to choose, why don’t you experiment with both of them? Your own experience is the best review ever.
#4. Frequently Asked Questions
The answers and information below will help you gain more insights into the traits and qualities of Hiking Staff Vs. Trekking Pole
Are hiking staffs good?
Yes. These sticks can give you support and reduce your knee pain. Although they are not as good as trekking poles in this term, they will suffice for short hikes.
Can you use just 1 trekking pole?
Yes, you can. Some trekkers only need one pole to clear the path and deal with their painful knees.
Are trekking poles and hiking poles the same?
No, they are not the same. These sticks differ in many aspects, such as:
- Hiking poles often come in one stick, while the trekking ones arrive in pairs.
- The trekking poles can support your gait better.
- You can fold the trekking poles and fit them in your backpack nicely.
- Hiking poles are a more cost-effective choice.
Is it better to hike with one pole or two?
It’s a good idea to hike with two poles. If you use one pole for your trip, you will lean or even limp to one side, which is terrible for your gait.
How long should the hiking staff be?
Your hiking staff should typically be six to eight inches above your elbow when standing straight up.
Your arm should form a 90-degree angle at the elbow while holding the pole with its tip on the ground beside your foot.
Why do hikers carry sticks?
Because these sticks help walkers maintain a pace, offer stability, and lessen joint stress on uneven terrain.
What is the point of a trekking pole?
Trekking poles provide an extra set of legs to increase your stability when navigating rough terrain.
Moreover, when walking across fast-flowing water, through ice patches, or in slippery conditions, they can assist you in keeping your body balanced.
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