Hiking Poles

Length tables and online calculators provide only rough guide values when setting walking sticks. We show what fine-tuning is all about and what the differences are depending on the activity and the terrain.

What length on hiking poles?
Set hiking poles: The correct base length
Adjust stick length: ascent and descent in steep terrain
Speed hiking: Longer sticks for more thrust?
Slope crossings: This is to be considered with the stick length
Overview table stick length
Summary: Set trekking poles

There are mathematical formulas, online calculators, and summary tables to help you determine the right pole length for hiking, trekking, or mountain climbing. But the calculated values provide only an approximate guide. It is better to rely on your own body when choosing or adjusting the outdoor equipment, because only then will the length of the poles fit the individual anatomy. Our guide gives answers and useful tips!

What length on hiking poles?
“Height x 0.68 = stick length” – this is the rule of thumb that we use in Bergzeit to roughly determine the length of hiking and trekking poles and also Nordic Walking poles recommend.

It is important that the calculated value only provides an orientation in which area the correct length is to be found. The really optimal pole length takes into account the individual anatomy. Also track profile, discipline (hiking or speed hiking?) And the strength of the shoe sole play a role in hiking and trekking poles. The correct length can therefore only be determined manually. Luckily that’s pretty easy!

A 90-degree angle at the elbow and from the wrist to the floor and from the floor to the ground: This is the basic setting with which even easy starts and endings can be optimally mastered.

Set hiking poles: The correct base length

First set your hiking poles so that it fits roughly . Here is the calculation formula, or you orient yourself on our stock length table below.

Put on your mountain or hiking boots and stand with your sticks on a level surface .

Keep the handle enclosed and place the tip at 90 degrees to the ground on the ground. Now vary the pole length until a 90 degree angle between the lower and upper arm – and thus the optimal base setting of your trekking poles – results at the elbow.
Fix the folding mechanisms or screw caps of your hiking poles.

A right angle at the elbow joint on a flat surface is the basic setting for optimum power transmission during moderate ascents and descents when hiking. This is usually sufficient on moderate trekking tours as well as on pilgrimage and long-distance walking, even if there is something up and down. On mountain tours in steep terrain, however, it often makes sense to shorten the length of the pole for the increase or to extend for the descent. For this reason, telescopic poles with variable length adjustment during mountain walking are particularly recommended.

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