Trekking Essentials: To Buy or Not to Buy a Hiking Stick?

man with two hiking sticks

Every trip has a checklist of the necessary equipment needed. The gear that you’ll need for cavern diving can be completely different from the gear you’ll need when climbing a mountain. Knowing when you should bring a piece of equipment is essential in keeping your expenses low and your backpack light.

Walking sticks can be used for different intents and purposes. Hikers usually make use of it to traverse dense areas that require extra reach and better footing. Though walking sticks or trekking poles are useful in specific scenarios, it can be an issue for first-time buyers to know if they’re buying a luxury item or purchasing necessary equipment.

Purchasing only what’s necessary

One of the many troubles that hikers face is not buying the right equipment. There’s always a moment of recollection of a problematic camping situation that could’ve been avoided if only they had the right equipment on hand. Opposite to that issue is having overpacked for a trip with gear that’s unimportant for the trip.

If you’re considering whether buying a walking stick is a necessary purchase, in this article, we’ll answer some of the questions that newcomers have asked across the internet.

What are the benefits of a walking stick?

Walking sticks are effective in increasing your travel speed by conserving your energy while giving you the leverage to rest your muscles, especially when carrying heavy equipment.  Besides energy conservation, it allows you to gauge for secure footing when traversing forests and mountains where there’s great danger in unstable footholds and shaky rock paths.

What does a walking stick help with?

A walking stick’s purpose is primarily to serve as an extra limb for balance. Most people need just one walking stick for support, but they can opt to use two for fitness walking, which people do to lose weight. This is not as recommended in trekking mountains as you’ll need more use for your hands to grip rocks and branches for support during a trek.

What are the types of walking sticks?

There are many types of poles, ranging from a sturdy driftwood, a wooden stick, to the more modern Balicki stick by Cold Steel. If you think that a trekking pole is for you, it’s best to choose one that has a strap that can give you a better grip, both when at rest and when in use.

For vertical climbs, a walking stick with an adjustable pole is a modern reinvention of the pole, allowing you to reach high places or stay compact in narrow crevices.

Who needs a walking stick?

Trekking poles are usually for gaining better footing in uneven terrain, but sometimes having an extended limb can inconvenience you rather than help you. Though sticks are beneficial for everybody, they might not be the best purchase for specific environments. It can be difficult to drag a trekking pole through rivers with strong currents and also inside caverns with narrow ceilings and crawl spaces—even with an adjustable pole.


The best way to ensure if you’ll be needing a walking stick is to research the terrain that you’ll be facing and know your own strengths and limitations. If it’s your first time encountering a new environment, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the worst instead of regretting that you didn’t make the purchase.

If you’re looking to buy a walking stick for your next trekking trip, we offer a wide selection of hiking and camping essentials of every kind. Make shopping for gear a breeze and contact us today!