Trekking poles come in all shapes and sizes, have extras like antishock, cork or rubber handles and photo trekking poles which you can fix your camera and use like a mono pod, but primarily poles help hikers maintain muscle function and wear and tear of the joints. In 2010 a study by academics at Northumbria University has shown that trekking-poles help hikers maintain muscle function while reducing soreness in the days following a hike.
In the study, 37 physically active men and women were split into two groups of equal fitness and asked to hike up and down Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
"The results presented strong evidence that trekking poles reduce, almost to the point of complete disappearance, the extent of muscle damage during a day's mountain trek," says Dr Glyn Howatson, who conducted the study. Read more!!
Here a few tips for using a trekking pole
Firstly the trekking pole must be set to the right height, find a patch of level ground hold the handle and adjust the length so your forearm is roughly parallel to the ground, when descending you should lengthen it a little and on ascents shorten it little.
When using a trekking pole you should always use the wrist straps, it will make your hikes using trekking poles comfortable and stop you ending up with aching wrists and hands.
Some trekking poles have a system were they have built in antishock spring, helping elevate the transfer of shock from the point of impact of the pole to the body.