Trekking poles are great friends of pilgrims. But it is one of those difficult friendships that start with an imposition ... You'll often see pilgrims carrying their sticks in their backpack, stating that they're not getting on well together, that they are a hindrance and weigh them down. But walking with sticks is like dancing, you must first learn the basic steps.
The reason these poles are so popular among pilgrims and hikers from all over the world is that they make walking safer, by placing weight on 4 points instead of 2, and taking advantage of the arms for forward momentum. Poles also help to mitigate the effects of extra backpack load.
Be patient with the sticks, choose well, get used to walking with them, use the straps and adjust the height of the sticks according to the terrain. The information below will help you to better understand these features.
This style of walking evolved from cross-country skiing. Practitioners of this sport would use poles on training walks, even without snow, in order to train their arms. This is how this walking style began, and it became a worldwide sport. "Nordic walking" has many advantages for its practitioners, because it exercises the whole body, works on body coordination and can be done as a sport or recreational activity by all hikers whatever their abilities.
The video below explains the fundamentals of "Nordic walking".
The staff has always kept pilgrims company. Usually, the staff tells a little about its owner's story, with engraved drawings or texts that reflect the paths traveled. The staff is great for keeping intruders away.
Walking unevenly, because of the staff, can cause pain in the hip, knees and ankles to the pilgrim. We recommend that you regularly switch the staff between both hands, to lessen the impact of uneven walking.
Choosing a stick on the caminho to serve as a staff is common practice. Whenever possible, ask permission from the owners, do not damage trees, try to use dry sticks (more durable).
(President Theodore Roosevelt)
Speak softly and carry a big stick;
you will go far...