How To Adjust Trekking Poles

Learn how to adjust trekking poles and you'll be ready to hike all day. Trekking poles take pressure off the joints and allow you to cover more territory with less strain on your body. You can adjust trekking poles to accommodate different terrain. The poles help keep you steady on steep slopes and during precarious stream crossings. Before you set out on your next hike, learn to properly adjust your trekking poles.

  1. Stand with your arms at your sides, bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle. In this position, you should be able to hold the trekking pole with the tip just touching the ground. If the pole is too long or short, you'll need to adjust it. 
  2. Lengthen or shorten the pole by holding the top section of the pole firmly in one hand and twisting the lower section to the right. This releases the locking mechanism. You can slide the pole in and out to the correct length. Twist the bottom section of the pole to the right to tighten and lock the pole in place. 
  3. If your pole has two adjustment points, distribute the adjustment evenly between the two points. Instead of pulling the bottom adjustment all the way out and leaving the top adjustment untouched, adjust the pole at both points. This reduces strain on the pole.
  4. Shorten the trekking poles when ascending steep terrain. Lengthen the poles when descending steep terrain. This improves your balance and makes you more stable. On the descent, longer poles will absorb some of the shock of a steep downhill climb and reduce the stress on your joints by redistributing some of your weight.

Learn to properly adjust your trekking poles and you'll still be going strong long after you buddies who don't have poles have given out.

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