Trekking poles

Walking poles / trekking poles / sticks whatever you want to call them, they’re an invaluable bit of kit. Some people say they cannot get on with them, personally I don’t know how you can get by without them & that’s not just for creaking worn out knees, here’s a few reasons / tips :

1 – Main tip is don’t use the wrist loops, I know of at lest 2 people & heard many stories of people getting the stick caught & inuring themselves badly with the wrist still caught in the loop

2 – The fold away ones are perfect for space saving, especially when climbing a route so you don’t have them sticking out from your rucksack & getting caught on your head, also the foldaway type has more uses as poles / pegs etc, see tip 4

3 – Wrap some gaffer tape round each one, this is ideal for repairs

4 – Can be used as pegs for your tent when you’ve lost them (I’ve done this many times), also can be fashioned as a tent pole or pole for your tarp

5 – Can be used as a splint for injuries

6 – Winter mountaineering – essential to support you and stop you from slipping around on the ice – many a “anti pole” friend has borrowed mine after decking out several times

7 – Very good to use as a probe in snow – when digging snow shelters or looking for deep snow / checking the snow pack or checking for unstable snow

8 – Saves your knees !! trust me these simple tools will put years on your knee longevity, I only wished I’d used them sooner

9 – A life saver for river crossings and stop you from getting wet, oh how I’ve laughed when I’ve crossed rivers & streams with dry feet only to watch my “anti-pole” buddy slip & slide into wet oblivion

10 – Along with a shelter bag or Bivvy bag can utilised to form a stretcher