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Do trekking poles increase speed?
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Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/21/2011 20:48:19 MDT Print View

So I hiked 52 miles this week and my legs and feet are sore, but its a good sore. So I was looking into trekking poles a bit to see if they will actually make my legs less sore so I could hike more, but my biggest concern is I really only want the poles if they will make me hike faster. So does anyone have any experience to whether trekking poles actually increase their mileage and their hiking speed?

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Re: Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/21/2011 21:52:35 MDT Print View

my experience is yes. As a bonus, loaning them to your traditionally-loaded friends will *almost* let them keep up with you and your UL load, without them. =)

Jake Willits
(TrailSavvy) - MLife

Locale: Arkansas Ozarks
Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/21/2011 22:49:44 MDT Print View

I agree with Dan. It seems to me that my stride is longer when I use them, I fatigue less. This gives me more time to cover my distances. Since dropping weight and picking up poles, I rarely even break. I also find it easier to use a "rest step" with poles. Oh, and they're my tent poles too!

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Absolutely! on 07/22/2011 11:46:25 MDT Print View

Agree with everything above and I find I am less likely to misstep with trekking poles and even when I do I can put my weight on my poles and off my leg before a misstep turns into a trip ending injury.

Daniel Smith
(scissor) - F
mileage yes, speed maybe on 07/22/2011 12:02:18 MDT Print View

I don't think you can get much faster than running and you can't really use them running. I also find they slow me down if I'm absolutely getting it hiking downhill or flat. But if its a really steep climb I think the speed me up. But yes, in the long run you probably get more mileage because of how it eases the pain from your joints.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/22/2011 12:07:52 MDT Print View

Strangely, I think trekking poles make your body feel better after a long day of hiking/backpacking but might actually keep you going slower than a fast hiker without poles.

I've noticed that strong hikers/backpackers without poles move a tad bit faster naturally. But this might not be worth it for you if you want your body to feel better.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/22/2011 12:20:02 MDT Print View


ADD: may need to see "Nordic walking" for a demonstrated difference in pole vs, non pole.

Edited by hknewman on 07/22/2011 12:32:35 MDT.

Steve Walsh
(BrazosSticks) - F

Locale: South
Re: Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/22/2011 12:26:45 MDT Print View

Well they speed me up too. And they actually help me with my fitness program. I get upper body exercise using two wooden walking sticks.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Do trekking poles increase speed? on 07/22/2011 13:06:49 MDT Print View

I don't use poles.
But some ultra runners claim they help them go faster on steep terrain.

One issue, however, is does the increased output (speed) exceed the increased input (use of upper body for propulsion).

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Mostly yes on 07/22/2011 22:39:07 MDT Print View

They speed me up in general, especially on the uphills, rough downhills, and stream crossings. But there are some cases where they slow me down. If I'm REALLY trying to make time on the downhills, I can go faster without them, but it'll wear me out (both structurally and cardiovascularly). They slow me down any time I need to take the straps off/on--crossing gnarly blowdowns, taking a snapshot, boulder hopping, etc.

Overall, though, they allow me to go farther and faster with less fatigue and body aches.