Your upcoming Camino is on the horizon and it’s time to start preparing.
At Fresco, we love trekking poles and always suggest using them, especially if you are concerned about your knees, ankles and/or balance. Camino trails are usually well groomed and easy. That said, there will frequently be times when you may appreciate an extra set of limbs to hold and balance yourself. But most important, quoting Harvard Health Publishing:
”Going downhill is much harder on the hip and leg muscles and puts compressive forces on the knees that are three or four times higher than the forces experienced when walking on level ground. A variety of biomechanical experiments done in carefully controlled lab conditions have shown that hiking poles can significantly reduce those forces, as well as movement in the joints that creates strain.”
If you are going to use poles, we suggest training with them when possible, even if you are not on hills. On flat terrain, the poles should be adjusted so that your elbow is bent at a right angle. Use the straps so that you can keep a relaxed and loose grip. On hills, adjust the poles accordingly (longer on the downhills and shorter on the uphills).
Fresco tip: Make sure your poles are collapsable, even if you plan to check in luggage; airlines can be picky when it comes to check in and carry on sizes.
Not sure where to start, Amazon can be a good starting place: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=trekking+poles&ref=nb_sb_noss (and there’s no reason to go beyond the 30-40 dollar range if you are an occasional hiker).