In the past I had seen only hunters in the high country using trekking poles for sheep hunts. I never really thought they would benefit my everyday hunting endurance and performance. This last summer I finally tested a pair of trekking poles, primarily using them for summer scouting hikes and during parts of the hunting season. I was greatly surprised how beneficial they were, while still being lightweight and not cumbersome. Below are 4 reasons why you should think about adding a trekking pole to your hunting gear arsenal.
1) Trekking poles help you balance. When hiking steep inclines, declines, and sidehills, trekking poles give you a third contact point with the ground. This allows you to have better balance and stability. I found that trekking poles in wet or snowy conditions was a life saver.
2) Gain better rhythm & hiking pace with trekking poles. On my first scouting trip using a trekking pole I noticed not only that I was able to hike faster, but also able to gain a rhythm in my hiking pace. Over long periods of hiking I noticed less fatigue, not to mention being able use arm strength to aid in pushing uphills and slowing impact on downhills. This was critical for long hikes, steep ascents, and also when packing out heavy loads.
3) Feel safer on technical hikes. When scouting this past summer, I had a steep ascent to a ridgetop that was covered in downfall. This stuff is nasty and I had no choice but to leap frog through the fallen trees. Having a trekking pole to help aid my balance, allowed myself to not fall and get speared by short branches on fallen trees. Overall I felt more comfortable in sketchy hiking situations when using a trekking poles.
4) Trekking poles have multiple uses. Not only are trekking poles a great hiking aid, but they can also double as a rest for your binos while glassing. I can’t stress having a steady rest when glassing enough. If your binos are shaking, your not picking up those small details on the hillsides. Also, if you need a shelter you can use the trekking pole as a support for your tent or rain fly. This allows you to leave tent poles behind and possibly cut weight out of your overall backpack weight. The uses are endless, but creativity is a must. There is an Easton Connex accessory that makes your trekking poles into a pair of shooting sticks, which comes in very handy.
I highly recommend the Easton Carbon 3 Trekking Pole. Its easy to make height adjustments, lightweight, comfortable to use, and stays locked when heavy weight is added onto pole. The Carbon 3 poles come with powder baskets and tips for hardpack or snowpack conditions.