One Trekking Pole Or Two: Which Is Best?

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one trekking pole or two hiking poles

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One very helpful pursuit for stress and anxiety is walking. I don’t mean walking from the lounge to the pantry, but I also do that walk quite frequently too.

But back to the main topic…

We’ve had many a long hike using no poles at all. About two years ago we purchased one trekking pole (because it was a reasonable price and we knew no better.)

The single pole indeed became a significant advantage on our walks and especially on the more hilly treks.

Naturally, on our regular routes, we saw many people using two poles, and we gave it a thought, but not much of a thought. In my honest opinion, I thought that everyone using two poles looked like skiers. I also wondered if having two poles would be a benefit or more of an inconvenience (extra gear to carry.)

But, the question always remained in our minds; should we use one trekking pole or two?

Earlier this year we took the plunge and purchased a 2-Set of poles from Amazon. We bought them in February so that we’d have them for our usual hiking months which usually begin in late March. Prices always tend to go up and down with things these days so you can check the latest price here.

So, What Was Our Verdict? One Trekking Pole Or Two?

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Oh my goodness! It has to be TWO! :)

We never thought that the difference would be so huge!

We have a lot of forest walks near us and also a few steep, rocky track walks. The forest walks have some level areas, but a few have steep climbs which can be very slippery after rain. In fact, they can be equally hazardous after a dry spell as the loose soil can be just as treacherous.

Previously having the single pole had been a big advantage compared to having no pole at all. But having two poles has made our hikes a breeze!

After a walk a couple of Sunday’s ago we both made the same comment that it was like having 4-Wheel Drive. Or maybe that should be 4-Leg Drive.

Not Just For Uphill Treks

So far I have only mentioned the benefits of having two hiking poles for hiking uphill. The benefits extend however to walking on level ground and also for downhill walks.

With walking on the level, two poles give you proper balance, and with each stride, you can give yourself a power-boost with each pole.

For downhill walking (steep hills,) I find myself walking down sideways with one pole pushed out to the front to act as a kind of anchor. The second pole is held behind and perhaps doesn’t seem to be doing much, but does offer better balance.

Once We Arrive

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Our hikes sometimes have a secondary mission. That mission is to find a location where the destination will be a suitable place to have a great picnic. That idea has often been scuppered by either wet weather upon arrival, or hot and sunny weather and no shade. For a long time, we mused over this problem.

It was clear that we couldn’t take our fishing umbrella because it might be great for a short walk to the fishing lake, but terrible for a long hike. It weighs far too much.

We had seen a video on YouTube for a Hiking Tarp, and we decided to invest in one. We purchased the Andake Waterproof Camping Hammock Tarp, also from Amazon.

I have not worked out how to use this is a hammock, but in reality, our only mission was to get a cover for rain or sun that would be easy to carry. This piece of kit covers those requirements perfectly!

Conclusion

If most of your hikes are on level ground, then I’d still recommend two poles. You find yourself getting into a nice rhythm very quickly where each pole gives each stride a very reassuring power-boost.

If your treks cover hilly terrain, then two poles give you fantastic stability which you can’t appreciate until you’ve tried them.

For us, they have enhanced our hiking trips no end, and the tarp has given us many comfortable picnics.

We’re happy now (until we have another idea for our shopping list!)

We wish you happy and safe hiking!