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My First Time With a Hiking Staff



I was out there in one of these numerous nameless mountains in China. It's unluckily foggy and raining. Nick, who is a former serviceman, also the organizer of the hiking trip, wanted me to follow him closely. However, he also wanted me to keep a short distance away in order to leave enough space for both of us to move without kicking me in the face. There were six more of us moving forward as a line on this hiking trail. It went steeper.

The slope was wet and slippery. I leaned a bit forward to maintain my balance. After a while, I started feeling my backpack was getting heavier and heavier. It slowly absorbed the rain and put more weight on me. I leaned a bit more forward and started touching the trail with my hands so that I could support and balance myself. Nick picked up a thick branch on the trail and handed it to me with smile on his face. I grabbed it and held it lower as Nick told me to do. By placing the stick in front of me with every step, I shifted almost my entire weight to my arms, my shoulders, my back and other parts of my body from my knees. My thighs weren't that sore anymore. My lower legs stopped burning and I felt a lot easier to keep going up. That was my very first experience with a hiking staff, as well as hiking.

The trip turned out to be amazing. The sun showed up when we reached the top of the mountain. I was surprised by the breathtakingly beautiful landscape. From that moment, I knew that I fell in love with hiking!

When we were lying on the ground, feeling the freedom outside of the concrete city from our first trip, we scheduled the second trip. According to Nick, who is an experienced hiker and later became my lifetime friend, I figured it would be a good idea for me to hold one or two of those sticks while hiking. I checked them out online, doing my homework and found out that most of the outdoor gear suppliers called them trekking poles.

Throughout these years of hiking and climbing, I have gradually accumulated a sizable amount of gear. I don't call myself a hiker or a climber. I am just someone who loves going out to explore the beauty of nature and sometimes can't help going up to a mountain to feel the height. For that, I need gear to protect me. But honestly, I am not a big fan of showing up out there with unnecessarily expensive gear on me. I only buy what I need: it doesn't have to be pretty, and it doesn't have to be the most expensive, but it has to be the most suitable for me. Back then, THE STICK was at the top of the list. It still is now because I have damaged knees from hiking and the trekking poles, like two additional legs, help me to reduce the stress from my knees.

Safety is the number one priority out there - professional health care is a long ways away. Good gear isn't the only safety factor either; although quality gear can keep you comfortable and safe, it's not the only thing you should consider. Safety also requires skills including physical technique and knowledge of how to use your gear effectively, braveness but caution, team spirit when not hiking alone, and knowledge of first aid along with a first aid kit. Remember we are just one tiny little dot when we face mother nature. She has the most beautiful surface but she is also powerful enough to easily wipe us away if we do anything stupid, so watch out! Sometimes, it's not under our control. Most of the time, however, she is a very nice lady who expects to be taken care of.

Alrighty, enough for now. If you are interested in buying a pair first read more about the things to consider before buying trekking poles. I will share with you more about hiking staffs and trekking poles as well as my stories later and hopefully it will be helpful to you, so stay tuned! Again, I am not anyone with a self-proclaimed title, I just love to go out and explore. If you are like me, do speak out by sending us email at contact@trekkingpolesguide.com if you have questions, comments, or suggestions - we'd love to hear from you!

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