Walking Stick vs. Trekking Poles – Which Is Right For You? Pros and Cons

Today I’m going to be going over the pros and cons of both walking sticks and trekking poles. Is one better than the other? Which one would best fit your needs? Grab yourself a drink, kick back, and let’s see which side of the trail you land on in the Walking Stick vs. Trekking Poles showdown.

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Jack Murphy says:

a walking stick is fine but I prefer poles. I have Cascade Mountain Tech poles I got at Costco for about $30 or so. Along with some things you mentioned –these poles are carbon fiber so they are also a lot lighter that a stick

Views and Reviews says:

I’ve always preferred walking staffs but I’d say that’s mainly because they turn into on going projects in the evenings after hiking. I usually cut them about head high (usually from saplings beavers have already chewed down) and begin carving them from the top. By the end of a hike they’ve turned into a wooden chronology of that trip. In the case where I’m using the same one on a second hike I continue carving concerned mainly with esthetics and only a little regard for story. I’ve been told that some of these staffs are quite good looking when completed. I’ve tried trekking poles but they aren’t as easy to carve. I guess that’s why the beavers don’t mess with them. 🙂 Great topic for your video!

gma2015 2boogie says:

I like both depends on where I’m walking and the terrain.

Nymeria Meliae says:

I tend to just use one trekking pole as a stick but if I am doing anything over 10 miles or bagging a summit then I take a spare pole. I just take cheap poles but I prefer a ‘hook’ handle, I find it comes in very handy especially when descending. The poles come in handy for ascending and descending but are also useful if I get cramp or twist a knee. But the main reason I always take at least one pole is because there are lots of holes hidden in the heather and the pole can find them before you stick your foot into one and you can also test bog and use it to balance across peat bogs. It also comes in handy for making sure you are not going to stand on a snake hidden in the heather. I like to have a hand free for carrying the camera but if my legs start to feel the strain, I have a pole that I use a staff that has a camera mount on the top, so switch from my selfie-spike to using both poles.

Beginner Bushcrafter Tooley says:

I have several walking staffs. I walk the woods and have found that poplars are straight light and strong. If you got two about the same size you might be okay. Downfall is they don’t break down and don’t have shock absorbers. I let mine “season” in the shed for a year or so. Cut em in the spring and next spring decide what to do with them.


I really don’t use either but I do like my walking stick I made I use once in a while

RVA Walkabout says:

I am in the market for both, any suggestions on suppliers and makers, looking for the pole first.

Frogtac's Sanctuary says:

that beard makes you a wizard in training! LOL a few more years we will be wizards!

TheSmokinApe says:

I prefer the walking stick, but I went to public school…

Vidar Mathisen says:

i just bought the cold steel dragon walking stick

Shawn Maloney says:

I found a walking stick ( staff for the wizard) with a removable cap that has a ice pick in the bottom.

Mick B says:

I use the LEKI Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Poles and they are fantastic. 18oz for the pair very light and made out of strong aluminum. I tend to stay clear from carbon fiber do to durability. Leki also has the best warranty on all of their trekking poles. Anything breaks and they will send you parts right out or replace the whole pole for free, doesn’t matter how old they are. Buy a pair of Leki’s and you will have them for a lifetime.

Sea Stew says:

The wrist straps on the trekking poles are to support your wrist and also there so you constantly don’t have to have a tight grip on the handle causing fatigue on your hands. I also agree with you though, trekking poles are the way to go.

Al Friesen says:

I like using a staff for hiking. With a little fiddling you can put spike on the bottom and a snow basket when needed. A removable spearhead turns the staff into a useful self defense or hunting weapon.

Jeffrey S says:

I perfer the trakking poles like you said for longer walks. Better quality ones will be much better then the cheep ones. I have the REI traverse ones that were on sale for $80. One advantage is that come with cork handles that handle the sweet much better.

WickedZen says:

I prefer the aesthetic of the walking stick, but also recognize the usefulness of trekking poles. I have just started recently making my own bamboo walking stick and a pair of short bamboo trekking poles. Have the second coat my homemade wood finish (1/3 ea of Naptha, Epifanes and Boiled Linseed Oil). I will be adding paracord wrap and lanyard/wrist wrap, small backup compass (that work) and a few other goodies like ranger beads. For my walking stick I will be making one that will come apart but will be using 1 to 3/4 to 3/4 to 1 threaded copper connectors so that I can transport it easier, but still have the sturdiness.

Great video, thanks!

Corey Taylor says:

i feel like moses with staff

Lt Survival says:

In a trail I would go with trekking pole but when crossing woodland I prefer the staff. It is as useful to push back branch and to protect you from there wipplash when to close to your buddy. The staff can also be manufactured on the go.

Adventures with Frodo says:

1. you don’t know how to really use a hiking poles. As far as getting items I could put on gloves etc while going down a slope. but you really need how to use the straps.

Magical man says:

The wizard staff of course as it gives me power over the elements

rude dogg Outdoors says:

Since you asked. Have you heard of MassDrop? This could be an opportunity to get some great trekking poles & check out a new way to get bargains on gear.https://www.massdrop.com/buy/fizan-compact-poles?mode=guest_open Go check it out.

Mark Lee says:

A tall walking staff is great for short walks through the woods, etc where you are not covering say, over 5-6 miles, but for long distance hikes/walks, the trekking poles, two of them, are great. I did a 500 mile walk utilizing a pair of them and they worked well, and took a great deal of stress off of my knees. I wouldn’t do another long distance walk without them. The set I had were a cheap set like you have in the video, and had that spring shock absorb in them. I didn’t like it either, and my next set won’t have that, but for 22 bucks they did the job and were better than nothing.

Bruce Ferguson says:

Me , I am a walking staff guy. I started by cutting a sucker branch off a tree in the yard. Then I forgot about it in the garage for about a year. Now mine is 83 inches long, it is taller than I am at 5′ 11″. I started using it walking my dog and the first few times felt like Moses walking through the wilderness. Now it has a bend where it leans against the wall behind the front door. Originally I was going to fix it up but never did, now it has character, knots and such. The length changes constantly by sliding through my hand. So I never think about making it longer or shorter. My son has gotten me into back packing and a few times on crossings I had to palm the top which means trecking ploe would be to short. We have used it as a hand rail to help my daughter in law make a crossing. Last up grade was a new rubber foot that comes off to hold a spike. The only downfall I have seen is a lot of people use trecking poles for their tarps. I thought about making one that came a part for that purpose, but can’t give up my old friend Stick. We are buddy’s now. I think a lot is what you start with and get used to. My son uses trecking poles and has offered them to me to try. In all fairness I should try it, but I am afraid Stick will get jealous. 🙂

Mitch says:

Another great vid Leo. I personally have both options as well. The one I use the most is the Leki Sierra anti shock photo. As the name would suggest, it does have a camera mount under the wooden cap. Cheers, Mitch

Frogtac's Sanctuary says:

I really need to get me some trekking poles. I use my cane, but its tough in the woods!

M Moore says:

I’ve always found stout branches on the side of trails and repurposed them as walking sticks.. will have to get a proper one eventually..

Bear Bones says:

I gotta say I’m really enjoying the extra speed and ease of the hike with my leki corklite poles.

thirsty cadaver says:

I look for ski poles at thrift stores and u can pick up a fiberglass sorting pole for around $15.00. I currently have both.my sorting pole is longer,but both make for excellent trekking poles at an inexpensive price

Dexter Charles says:

excellent topic for a video. something i have myself wondered about more than a few times. keep up the great work!

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