Recently, I spent the weekend with my sister on the Northshore of Lake Superior. This area just north of Duluth, Minnesota is beautiful -- you should see the golden tamaracks in the fall!
My sister Pat, who had a knee replaced, was a little hesitant about hiking these winding, uneven trails -- until she tried my hiking poles. I always hike with two cork-handled, telescoping (good for travel) hiking sticks and she loved them so much she bought herself a pair at the next outdoors store we found.
So why do we like hiking with walking poles?
- They are cool. Don’t worry, these are trendy! Everyone is using them! They don’t tag you as old or less-abled. In fact, we met a 20-something hiker on the Lake Superior Trail who had been out for two weeks and said he couldn’t had done it without walking poles.
- Good biomechanics. They “square up” your body so you use your whole body; upper arms pushing through. Plus, they “even out” the hips and knees, and give you a nice, tall, athletic stance. You’ll look great walking in poles!
- It feels wonderful. Even though you are getting a nice, full-body workout -- it just seems easier!
- Up and down support. Steps, stones, and roots are now easier, and less-likely to cause a stumble. As my sister said, “it was like taking handrails.” And with two poles you always have a rail on each side. Coming down big steps is especially nice: Plant your poles ahead of you and just step down. No need to “do the crab!”
- It is simply fun! They are a great conversation starter, so you’ll find yourself meeting new people everywhere you use them.
When you buy your poles, be sure to get some tips from a regular user. You can’t do it wrong, but learning some technique makes it even more enjoyable. But don’t worry, with use, you’ll develop your own style, and I guarantee you’ll be a fan.
What trails have you hiked in your poles – and Juno clothing? We love our new rain and wind jacket for being outdoor. What trails to you recommend to other Junonians?
In the Moment is our company blog series that focuses on hot topics, current trends and things that are just plain interesting.