Hiking with one pole vs. two: Which one is better? You are in the right place if you are looking for the answer to this question. Let’s find the answer.
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Hiking With One Pole vs. Two: Difference in Benefits
Here are some reasons why you should use one hiking pole for your journey instead of two.
Benefits of Hiking With One Pole
- You’ll Need a Spare Hand in Case of a Fall
Most hiking or trekking poles available on the market come with a strap attached to the grip or handle to tether these poles to your wrist. Having the pole strapped to your wrists has certain benefits.
Having two hiking poles strapped to your wrists can be detrimental in some situations, such as if you stumble and cannot get your hands down quickly enough.
Having one hiking pole and keeping your other hands free will help in many situations, especially when the hike is slightly more technical. In this case, you will need to use your free hands to navigate the terrain.
Even if you aren’t falling, sometimes you will have to pass small climbs in your hiking journey. Meanwhile, using two poles can be disadvantageous in this case.
- Using Less Energy During Your Hiking Trip
If your main goal when hiking is to burn calories, using trekking or hiking poles is excellent as it will increase your heart rate and burn more calories. It is especially true when utilizing two hiking poles.
However, if your goal is to achieve a specific mileage, wasting energy while your resources are limited is not okay. In this case, using one pole will be useful.
- Reduce the Amount of Weight Carried
Let’s say your trip lasts from point A to point B. The longer the distance between A and B, the more items you have to carry; it could be more food and water. It means you need to reduce unnecessary items.
Carrying two trekking or hiking poles will definitely add weight, whether you use them or just carry them.
Carrying more weight will lead to wasted energy and burning calories faster. It won’t be good if your goal is to reach the planned mileage.
- Hiking In Mostly Rocky Terrain
Trekking and hiking poles will be great for checking out the terrain before you walk on it. But when you go through very rocky terrain, your hiking poles can easily get caught in the gap between the rocks.
Using one trekking pole in very rocky terrain will still give you the necessary stability but minimize the chance of getting caught between rocks.
Benefits of Hiking With Two Poles
Using one pole will give you many advantages. However, there are cases where using two hiking poles will come in handy. Such as:
- Walk Downhill With Heavy Gear Will Be Easier
Walking down a steep incline will be difficult when you carry extra weight. Your heavy backpack can add extra momentum, pushing you down the hill.
In this case, using two hiking/trekking poles would help keep stability and balance and lower pressure on your leg muscles when you’re downhill.
- Trekking and Hiking Poles Help to Maintain Pace
Maintaining an even pace will allow you to estimate much ground will be covered or how long it will take to reach a certain distance.
Estimating how far you can go allows you to prepare the amount of water and food you need to sustain your energy.
By using two hiking/trekking poles, you can maintain a rhythm and pace over a long period.
Using two poles can also force a deliberate and repetitive motion by alternating your arm swings with your poles in hand.
- Reduce Pressure and Stress on Joints
Hiking is an outdoor activity that requires endurance and might be stressful on your muscles and joints.
Walking over rocks, downhill, and on uneven ground can put more wear and tear and strain on your body than just walking on flat ground.
Walking downhill might stress your hips and lower leg muscles. So utilizing two hiking/trekking poles can allow you to distribute stress evenly through your upper and lower body when you walk.
- Better for Stability
During your hiking trip, you will face various conditions, including wet, rocky, or snowy terrain. Walking to various places will make you feel tired.
Using two hiking or trekking poles will give you two additional contact points with the ground. It is almost like you have four legs.
One of the other times when using two hiking poles will be helpful is walking through deep snow or crossing water.
The hiking/trekking poles give the advantage of balance and testing the ground when you walk.
- Increased Calorie Burn
Trekking and hiking poles will incorporate your upper body and arms when hiking, unlike a normal trip without using hiking poles.
That extra movement will allow you to expend more energy, resulting in more calories burned than walking without a pole. Using two trekking and hiking poles can be better if you’re hiking for fitness and pleasure.
In addition, some studies have shown that you may not notice that your body works harder and utilizes more energy when hiking with two poles.
Hiking With One Pole vs. Two: Which One Is Better?
There is no correct answer to this question, as it depends on your hiking style and personal preferences.
Some hikers believe that utilizing two trekking or hiking poles will provide more support and stability, especially on uneven terrain.
But others prefer to use one pole as they agree it is lighter and simpler to carry.
There is a learning curve to utilizing two trekking/hiking poles. Getting used to the asymmetrical walking pattern will be challenging, but it’s worth it. It will add stability and reduce stress on your joints.
If you aren’t sure which choice is proper for you, we recommend experimenting with different hikes. Try out both one pole and two on different trails to determine what feels best for you.
There is no wrong answer. It really comes down to your hobbies and hiking style.
Why Do Walkers Use Two Sticks?
Using two poles will help balance on uneven trails. In addition, it enhances posture, making hikers more upright when they walk, which can help to breathe.
It can also increase speed, especially when you’re going downhill, and provides extra stability.
Do I Need 2 Hiking Poles?
It depends. If you are hiking over rugged, slippery terrain or want to cross rivers, using two hiking poles will come in handy.
Why Do People Walk With Hiking Poles?
There are many benefits of using a hiking pole. It will protect your knees from the impact of hiking, especially when you walk downhill. It also helps increase your walking speed, especially when going downhill.
The hiking pole also improves endurance and power when walking uphill and aids stability and balance on uneven trails.
Does Walking With Poles Use More Energy?
Yes. Using hiking poles allows you to use more energy, resulting in more calories burned.
Are Hiking Sticks Worth It?
Yes. Whether you use one hiking pole or two, you’ll benefit from using them.
Do Hiking Poles Slow You Down?
If your purpose is to hike as far or as fast as possible, hiking poles may slow you down.
How Long Should Your Hiking Stick Be?
The hiking pole should be about six or eight inches taller than your elbow.
Do Hiking Poles Help Uphill?
Hiking poles can help you out anytime you are going downhill, uphill, or moving on uneven terrain.
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