Do I need a hiking pole?

Anyone that has experienced pain in their legs on a hike has likely found some type of long thick stick that they picked up to try to finish off the trail. Thick sticks are useful makeshift hiking tools, allowing you to get some of the support that you need as you cross the hefty terrain.

Because something as simple as a stick works well enough to give your knees and legs the help that they need, many people wonder why they would benefit from a hiking pole instead. Yet despite the availability of sturdy, free sticks, hiking poles provide a number of benefits that you simply do not get from a stick that you find on the ground.

Benefits of Hiking Poles


Of course, one of the main benefits of a hiking pole is convenience. You have a strong, powerful stick that is the perfect length for your entire hike and designed to withstand the force of your body with you at all times. You no longer have to waste time trying to find a clean stick of decent length that will withstand both your weight and the entirely of the hike.

Shock Absorption

Most hiking poles are designed with shock absorption capabilities. This takes a great deal of pressure off of your shoulder and elbow as you walk, giving you a more comfortable trek and helping ensure that your joints do not experience as much pressure as they would with a regular stick.


Hiking poles also have a number of different features designed to improve your overall comfort level – features that you will not find with a regular stick. The handles themselves are considerably more comfortable, and the stick will not have any spare branches, leaves or bark that could cut into your skin or make your hike more uncomfortable. These poles are also of a much lighter weight and made with a stronger material.


Hiking poles are made with withstand long hikes, and will be able to manage your weight better than sticks that you find on the ground. In addition, the tips at the end of the pole are designed with points that help them grab into the dirt more easily, and the baskets make sure you don’t get stuck within the terrain. Each of these improves how safely you maneuver with the stick, as well as whether or not it will last over the course of your hike.

Hiking Poles are Made for Hiking

Though large branches that you find on the ground make adequate hiking poles when you have no other options, true hiking poles are designed to withstand all of the elements, handle your weight, be much more comfortable and absorb some of the pressure that occurs when you slam your pole against the ground. They are much more enjoyable on a long hike, they have more safety features than any stick, and they will last you through all of your longest hikes for years and years.