Should you Hunt with Trekking Poles?
For those of you that don't hike or hunt with trekking poles you have probably asked yourself these questions. Should I carry trekking poles when I hunt? What are the advantages of trekking poles? Or which trekking poles should I buy for hunting? As i'm sure you can guess at Wiser Precision we are HUGE fans of trekking poles and the advantages they provide. Some people they would argue they are a critical piece of gear just as important as a headlamp or a quality pack while others could take them or leave them. If you take trekking poles with you on all of your backcountry hunts and adventures you probably already realize the benefits they provide, if not then hopefully after reading this you will pick up a set and give them a try!
The benefits trekking poles provide start as soon as you leave the truck. I find they help reduce the fatigue on my legs while hiking uphill and then really save the knees on the way back down It’s no secret that most of the places hunters go isn't on the most even or easy walking terrain. Trekking poles can help to increase your balance while hiking around in the woods and give you that much needed stability once you get that animal down and loaded into your pack.
- Reduce stress on your knees when hiking downhill, especially with a heavy pack
- Provide stability on uneven terrain
- Reduce leg fatigue during uphill hikes
- Helps to better maintain a hiking pace or cadence
Most trekking poles are made from either carbon fiber, aluminum, or a combination of the two. Carbon fiber is known to be more rigid while usually coming in at a lower weight. While aluminum poles can usually be had for a lower cost and will bend before they break. This might allow you to bend them back in place in the field, instead of having a section snap in half like a carbon pole would do if it failed. For me, I have only ever seen one trekking pole break during a hunt so I tend to go for carbon poles to save weight.
As more people begin carrying trekking poles more companies are finding creative ways to use them. Many companies such as Seekoutside or Tarptent allow you to use them as support for your tent or shelter. Seekoutside even has a trekking pole hitch so they can be used with some of their tipis such as the Cimarron. When doing this you can leave the tent poles at home and shave some weight from your pack! We also realized the benefits of trekking poles which sparked the creation of the Quick-StiX System. Where you can turn your trekking poles into shooting sticks, a tall bipod, and a tripod. The best shooting sticks for hunting are the ones you already have with you! With all the uses they provide and the relatively low weight trekking poles become a no brainer for most hunters.
Photo Credit : Seekoutside.com
As with every piece of gear you can spend as much or as little as you would like on trekking poles. When shopping around you will also notice that you can get a collapsible pole or a telescoping pole (think tripod leg). I like to go with a telescoping pole for adjustability and durability as most folding poles are made for the extreme ultralight crowd. Below are a few options to consider if you are in the market for some new poles.
Option 1 - Carbon and Cork Cascade Mountain Tech Poles
Option 2 - Sissy StiX - Backcountry Pro
Option 3 - Black Diamond Alpine Cork
If you have any specific questions you can always reach out at Jessie@wiserprecision.com!