Correct hiking pole strap use


Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2012
Mojave Desert, Nevada
Many people I see on the trail who are using hiking poles are not using the pole straps properly. They just put their hand through the strap as it hangs down. Even worse, some Super Ultra Light backpackers cut off their pole straps. This makes about as much sense as cutting off a padded waist belt from a framed pack. There is SUL and there is Stupid Ultra Light.

Actually pole straps ain't there just to keep the poles on your hand. Primarily they are there to PUSH AGAINST.
1.-> But you must put your entire hand and UP through the strap as it would be if it were at a 90 degree angle to the pole handle.
2.-> Then spread your hand so the upside down V (^) of the straps is BETWEEN your thumb and forefinger, pressing against the web of your thumb. Now you can push down on the pole straps instead of gripping the pole like mad.
** To do this properly adjust the strap loop so it is not so loose that your hand grips below the pole handle grip.

Search YOUTUBE for this if my description leaves you confused.

Using this technique (the same as XC skiers use) permits you to push against the straps on up and down hill sections, saving your hand and forearm muscles from fatigue.

Verily I say unto thee. Go ye forth herewith and use thine hiking pole like thee knows what thee is doing.

Eric B.

I becone a convert to trekking poles just last year. It took me a couple weeks back then to figure out for myself what you just described. And you are 100% correct.

Thanks for sharing that with the group. It's a big improvement.
My experience is much like Len's. I fumbled around with my trekking poles for some time before I ever figured this out on my own.

Where was Utube? Oh that's right, not in existence then......
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