Hiking Staff Vs Trekking Poles – Which Is A Better

Hiking Staff Vs Trekking Poles

If you love hiking or spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, you must have come across the hiking staff and the trekking pole. For many hikers, these are mandatory pieces of gear that they always carry to ensure comfort when hiking.

Which is better hiking staff or trekking poles?

The fact is that both of these gear items are effective for different situations, and it also comes down to personal preference. The hiking staffs are great for your standard hikes, and they allow you to scale small hills. However, the adjustments on the trekking pole make it slightly better for climbing mountainous terrains.

While both of these items are effective, you generally only need to choose one for the most part. Having both is beneficial, but you don’t need to go out of your way. This article aims to look at the hiking staff and the trekking pole and help you make the right decision on which one you should choose for your kit.

What Is The Difference Between Hiking Staff And Trekking Poles?

The purpose of the hiking staff and the trekking pole is very similar. Both of them should give you as much support as you need when you go hiking. However, the hiking staff is often made from more traditional materials like wood, and this could lead to them being heavier than your trekking poles often are.

Trekking poles are more modern and are made from lightweight materials. Some of the most expensive trekking poles often have plenty of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber means you can rely on them heavily, and you still have a lightweight trekking pole. However, both of them should be effective in providing you assistance when hiking.

Hiking Staff

The hiking staff is one of the more traditional walking sticks. Hikers often pick these up while they are hiking if they don’t need one. However, a hiking staff can often be bought at non-specific hiking stores, and as mentioned, they are made from more traditional materials like wood, which is often heavy.

Since the hiking staff does not allow you to adjust the height or any of the features on the staff, they are used more traditionally for walking across uneven surfaces. They are great for balancing you out, and you are safe with only using one of them instead of two like you would with most trekking poles. They have a standard foot piece, which cannot be changed.

Benefits Of The Hiking Staff

  • They are incredibly durable due to the construction
  • They are affordable
  • You can create your own by using recycled wood
  • They often don’t need to be used on every hiking trip
  • They make scaling slightly uneven terrain a little bit easier than walking without one

Disadvantages Of The Hiking Staff

  • They can be very heavy
  • You cannot adjust the height
  • No adjustments can be made to the staff

Common Uses

The hiking staff is popular among many people, and some people even swear by it. While hikers can use them for almost any hiking situation, they are often used for shorter trails. These trails are flat for the most part, and the hiking staff will enable the individual to comfortably use the staff to rely on and support their body weight.

One of the main reasons we would not always recommend the hiking staff is the lack of adjustments. However, many people prefer having it with few adjustments.

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are slightly better, and they have more features when compared directly to the hiking staff. The trekking pole can be made from various materials, and composite materials are often the most common due to their lighter weight. Fiberglass and carbon fiber are two of the most common materials.

The trekking pole can also be adjusted and should you encounter a certain terrain. You should be able to effectively adjust the length and the foot pieces to meet your needs. The only downside is that these trekking poles can be very expensive.

Advantages Of Trekking Poles

  • The length and foot piece can be adjusted
  • They are lightweight
  • They can be used in pairs
  • Durability is very high with these poles
  • These poles can be used for almost any hiking scenario
  • There are a lot more to choose from

Disadvantages Of Trekking Poles

  • Trekking poles are often very expensive
  • It would be best if you spent some time figuring them out

Common Uses

You must consider adding trekking poles to your repertoire of hiking gear. The trekking poles can be used in almost every situation, and due to the variety of adjustments that you can make, they should also be comfortable. The versatility they offer will enable you to buy one set and use them for all hikes.

Trekking poles are even effective in the snow, and you will notice that there are a variety of different foot pieces that you can rely on. These foot pieces will ensure that you are kitted for any specific terrain. We should also mention that the trekking pole should not serve as a replacement for a medical cane. A cane prescribed by a medical professional will be much more effective for the purpose it needs to serve in an urban environment than a trekking pole will.

Hiking Staff Vs Trekking Poles Summary

Whether you prefer using the hiking staff or the trekking pole, you will notice that hiking becomes a little easier. Instead of relying on your body for support, these gear items can reduce the strain on your body and give you additional comfort. We would recommend that anyone looking for a great hiking pole consider adding one of these. Let us know in the comment section whether you prefer using the hiking staff or the trekking pole.

Need Help Preparing for a Hike or Backpacking Trip?

Check out our Hiking Equipment Guide for Beginners.  It’s a complete list of gear that every beginner should have!

Hiking Staff Vs Trekking Poles

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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