Many walkers, hikers, trekkers, backpackers, and snowshoers use trekking poles, also known as walking sticks or hiking poles. The reasons are simple: they boost your stability and provide support on any surface. This is fantastic; however, many people are unable to modify the height of their trekking poles. Walking pole height varies from person to person and is generally a matter of personal taste. Always make sure the poles are adjusted to your height! Even though you are the same height, not everyone is the same!
In this blog post, I will show you how to adjust your trekking pole’s height in 5 easy steps below!
Table of Contents
On flat and rolling terrain
Flat ground and somewhat changing terrain need sizing your trekking poles to a 90-degree bend in your arms. Your trekking poles will spend most of their time in this position. Remember the graded marks on the poles at this setting or mark it with a touch of nail paint to save time later. To locate this location, follow these steps:
- With your hiking poles in your hands, stand up straight.
- Close your arms at your sides.
- Place the trekking poles’ points near your feet.
- Adjust the poles’ length so that your arms are at a straight angle.
- Check to see that the locking mechanism is properly closed.
Setting the top portion in the centre of its adjustment range and using the lower section to put your arm in the right position is a good tip for sizing three-piece trekking poles. This allows you to fine-tune the upper section’s fit while on the go.
On uphill trail sections
Hiking uphill using trekking poles may relieve the strain of heavy backpacks and relieve the weight on your legs by allowing you to push yourself up with your arms. As you ascend:
- The higher the hill, the shorter your poles should be.
- Reduce the length of the poles by five to ten centimetres from where they were set for flat/rolling terrain until you reach a comfortable position.
The following are some symptoms that your poles are not correctly adjusted:
- An unusual or unpleasant sensation
- The requirement to spread out in order to put them on the ground
- Your shoulders are tired.
Downhill trail section
Trekking poles assist you to go downhill with more stability, greater balance, and less strain on your knees (particularly if you’re wearing a big backpack). When going down:
- The steeper the descent, the longer your poles should be.
- Extend poles five to ten centimetres from where you placed them for most of your walk until you reach a spot you like.
The following are some indicators that your poles are properly positioned:
- The poles remain parallel to your body (no need to stretch, reach, or bend to make touch with the ground) and your body remains upright.
The majority of hiking poles include adjustable straps. Straps are useful for holding poles close at hand when digging for a snack or snapping photographs. Straps also distribute pressure from your hands to your wrists when properly adjusted, reducing over clutching and allowing for longer, more pleasant use. To use trekking pole straps correctly, follow these steps:
- Put your hand through the strap’s bottom (most people instinctively put it through the top)
- Place your hand so that the strap is between your thumb and index finger and goes over your palm.
- Tighten the strap so that your hand is aligned with the spot on the pole where you want to grab it.
- If the straps cradle your hand and keep the pole in place when weighted, they’re appropriately set.
Check to see if the straps are particular to one side before putting them on. Many trekking poles have cushioned or lined right- and left-hand straps, as well as out-of-the-way closures and tightening mechanisms.
Adjusting hiking poles
Fixed and adjustable walking poles are offered. Adjustable poles are great for novices who wish to try out different pole heights to determine what works best for them.
Adjustable hiking poles are available in lengths ranging from 24 inches (61 cms) to 55 inches (140 cms). On the walking pole, there are numbers that will allow you to adjust the length to fit your needs.
Adjustable walking poles are made up of many parts that may be twisted to change the length. To unlock, twist the pole in one direction, and to lock, twist the pole the other way; arrows on the poles will frequently indicate this.
It’s preferable to start with the lowest piece when adapting to your height as described above. Twist to unlock the centre portion, then pull the bottom section until the stop mark shows. You may modify the central area of the poles which is simpler to reach when holding the poles, if you need to extend or shorten them while on the go.
Make sure the parts are tightly fastened to prevent the poles from shortening as you walk. Avoid overtightening since many poles have friction mechanisms within them that might become stuck.
Once you’re satisfied with the height of your poles, mark them with a permanent marker or a dab of correction fluid so you can quickly put them up the next time you go for a stroll.
Suggested height adjustments based on height:
- 4’8″ – 100
- 4’10” – 100
- 5’0″ – 105
- 5’2″ – 110
- 5’4″ – 115
- 5’6″ – 115
- 5’8″ – 120
- 5’10” – 125
- 6’0″ – 125
- 6’2″ – 130
- 6’4″ – 135
Steps to adjust hiking poles
Step 1: Simply wipe the pole’s surfaces with a moist rag or paper towel, then let it dry. If there is a lot of dirt or dust between the individual components, they may be more difficult to twist and move.
- Dirt and moisture can cause the expander parts in your poles to deteriorate over time, so it’s a good idea to clean or disassemble them after each usage.
- Cleaning your trekking poles with lubricants like WD40 is not a good idea. This might have an impact on how the adjusting components work.
Step 2: When it comes to altering the sections of your trekking poles, you usually have two alternatives. To loosen and tighten the poles, the first and arguably most usual method is to twist them. The second option is a little lever that you open with your thumb and then close once the pole length has been changed.
Step 3: Hold out the right-hand pole in front of you. Relax your shoulders, keep your elbows close to your sides, and ensure the pole is firmly planted on the ground.
Step 4: Make sure they’re the same height by holding them next to each other.
Step 5: Either tighten the screws or close the lever. Make sure they’re completely fastened so the poles don’t adjust while you’re walking.