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Female hiker at on Colorado Plateau trail near Kanab UT

Dreamland co-owner Sunny Stroeer getting ready for a long day on the trails of the Colorado Plateau near Kanab – with trekking poles of course!

As guides, we here at Dreamland deal with challenging terrain on a daily basis on the hiking trails near Kanab UT. And since we want to make sure you have the most rewarding experience during your outdoor adventures with us, we’re going to start sharing our tips and tricks with you for hiking hacks, safety, and gear. Here in our Gear Corner column, our guides will share insights you can only get from professionals in the field. We will share everything from hiking tips, gear reviews, “What’s in Your Pack” shakedowns, backcountry safety, our hiking gear recommendations, and more. Let’s get started!

 

Why 4 Legs Are Better Than Two – A Case for Trekking Poles

What’s the most underrated piece of hiking equipment? Having talked to many of you about what gear you do and don’t use, we have an answer: trekking poles. There seems to be a common misconception that trekking poles are the equivalent of crutches in the outdoors – yet that could not be farther from the truth. Using poles in the backcountry isn’t a sign of weakness or inability. On the contrary, it’s the professional adventurer’s secret weapon, and what experienced adventurers and pro athletes rely on in order to increase the efficiency of their progress and the longevity in their pursuits.

 

What makes trekking poles so awesome? It’s all about the weight transfer from your knees and legs to your upper body. Used properly, trekking poles can noticeably decrease the strain put on your legs from long hikes through uneven terrain. They add stability, and they absorb a lot of the work that would typically be placed on your calf stabilizer muscles when walking through sand or irregular surfaces – both of which we find plenty of in Dreamland’s backyard!

Trekking poles have other uses, too – they are exceptionally useful in testing the depth of water (which is why they are mandatory gear for our guided backpacking trips through Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River), and are fantastic emergency equipment if you ever find yourself needing to create a splint or brace.

Of course, we have to be mindful of where and how we use poles in our delicate landscapes – metal spikes will mar soft sandstone, like in the Wave or White Pocket, which is why rubber tips are required. If you decide to bring your own trekking poles on one of our tours, we do provide rubber tips for you. You are also welcome to use a pair of our LEKI demo poles, which all have rubber tips.

When used correctly, trekking poles can make all the difference in your hiking game. So on your next gear run, think about investing in a solid pair! We guarantee they will have a huge, beneficial impact on your long-distance journeys. Happy adventuring!

 

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