Hiking sticks hold a wide range of benefits. A great benefit is the added stability of having a couple of extra supports for your body. The added stability is really helpful at helping to keep your balance when walking on uneven surfaces or even in streams where slick surfaces can show up. Normally you would not be able to stop in the middle of the woods to change your clothing if it gets wet or muddy when you are hiking. The extra supports from the hiking sticks makes it easier for you to hike in rougher terrain and avoid falling.
Not only that the hiking sticks you are using can take a lot of the shock from hiking on harder terrain. Not to mention when you are using a hiking stick it reduces the chance of missteps that would cause you to sprain your ankle or even worse break your ankle.
Hiking sticks work really well when you go downhill as it allows you to move down the hill rather easily without having to be as worried about slipping. You may notice some unexpected benefits from hiking sticks as well. One of the best benefits with the hiking sticks comes when you are trying to cross a stream as you can use it as a probe to check the depth of the water, but if you encounter an aggressive animal, the hiking sticks can be used as a defensive weapon to a point.
To make the most of the hiking sticks, though, you have to hold them properly. This often means using the straps to connect the hiking sticks to your wrist and this means you do not have to hold onto them tightly. Typically if you are not using the straps you tend to have a death grip on your walking sticks. To use the strap properly you just have to loop your hand into the strap with your fingers pointing upright. When the strap is on your wrist properly it will rest on your wrist. A common comparison would be the way you would use your cross country ski poles. Now, to walk with your walking sticks you need to get in some practice with your right hand and pole hitting the ground at the same time as your left foot and vice versa.
You will find that not everything is rosy with walking sticks. The main drawback is on the longer hikes you will exert more energy as your arms have to move with the sticks or you could end up falling. You also will notice that your hands will get tied up on the walking sticks and that could keep you from being able to grab some things while hiking. Now, a major issue is if the walking sticks are adjustable and suddenly collapse when you are hiking due to the stick failing. Another issue that you could have is the hiking poles getting stuck in the mud or even in fallen debris or thick grass. Something else is if you have a hiking buddy that is not properly distanced you could end up hitting them with your hiking pole. Noise disturbance could be an issue as well in some quiet areas as the poles can make a clicking sound at joints while in use. Finally, if you are on a very narrow trail you could end up hitting the grass on the side of the trail.
After looking at the pros and cons of hiking sticks it is really going to come down to what you are looking for hiking and determining if you are able to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature.
Kim has been an avid camper for many years and loves hiking. Her love of hiking has taken her all over outdoors and definitely has helped her in getting the best adventures around. You can find some of the best hiking sticks around and even more information by checking out her blog at http://todayscampinggear.com.