Hiking Pole Etiquette

Just to let you know that I did not know there was such a thing as Hiking Pole etiquette! When I started to research this, I found so many sites with information and recommendations on “How to use Hiking Sticks”!

Here is what I learned –

  • Some people really like hiking poles and others don’t so it is a very personal choice. When I first joined Ramblers I thought I was too “young and fit” to need a hiking pole but I tried it and now I wouldn’t be without it. In fact I am about to try walking with 2!
  • Hiking poles help you with balance!
  • They give you a full body workout, using both your arms and legs
  • Hiking poles take the stress from your hips, leg muscles, ankles and knee joints
  • Using a trekking pole while bushwalking corrects your posture and engaging muscles in the body that help strengthen your core muscles, which in turn protect your back and improve upper back muscles.
  • There is lots of information on the net about how to use poles if you are new to hiking with a stick.

Here are some tips from The ‘Adventure Buddies Blog”

Trekking Poles Etiquette: Tips for not stabbing your buddies

September 12, 2010 by Jayah Faye Paley

Some people shun pole users.  Why?  I’ve heard people say they get stabbed or impaled on the trail.  Such an experience would sour anyone.  I teach pole etiquette as part of my seminars.  Here are some tips:

  • Keep a safe distance between hikers.
  • If someone is crowding you, step aside and let them pass.
  • On steep uphill, poles can slip.  Hikers too close could lose an eye.
  • On steep downhill, allow extra space both in front and in back.
  • If someone is reaching forward (not good technique) a pole tip could jab your Achilles tendon.  This is a nasty injury.  Just step aside and let the unaware pole user pass.
  • People carrying (not using) poles should know where their tips are.  Usually they can turn their tips forward to avoid stabbing someone.
  • People walking with pole tips behind them can stop suddenly.  The hiker behind can walk into the sharp tips.
  • People who lay their poles on the ground in the middle of the trail do not realize their poles can be stepped on and broken.
  • If you stop to adjust your poles on the trail, try not to have your tips facing the middle of the trail.
  • When taking poles apart, point tips down – not at your buddies or car windows.
  • Carry your rubber tips with you at all times.  If you encounter pavement, using rubber tips will save your trail tips and be way less noisy.  Noisy poles can be very annoying.
  • If you hike with poles and are stabbing the ground, this noise can also annoy people.
  • At lunch stops, prop your poles out of the way.
  • Do not lay your poles in the dirt.  If the straps get dirty, that dirt can chafe your hands.

Happy Walking