Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Recommendations for trekking poles for rocky and steep terrain

Hello, I am a beginner at trail hiking and have been doing some steep climbing. A friend suggested trekking poles for incline & rocky areas. I stand 4’10 and am getting ready to do a steep race straight up, would trekking poles be wise to use and if so what do you suggest for short gal like me? Trail is rocky under a ski lift.

4 Replies

If you are going to use poles, please make sure that the race rules allow them.

Here is a video on how to run hills without them:

And another one with them:

I suggest you try in training both with and without and see which works best for you.


Trail Running Tips | How To Handle Steep Terrain!If you are going to hit the trails, you will inevitably hit some steep stuff!Both on the way up, AND on the ...
I've been practicing pole technique in my lead up to Eiger Ultra Trail and a few of you asked for a video on how to use poles, so here it is. I take you alon...

@Tlittle98 thanks for reaching out with your trekking pole/race question! Just a quick heads-up that even though you posted this question on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, you may also get suggestions from other members of the community. Please know that REI employees can be recognized by the roles of "REI Employee," "REI Community Moderator," and "REI Community Manager."

Trekking poles can certainly be very helpful on steep terrain, both on the uphill and downhill. If you are planning to use them in a specific race, the advice from @mathineer is great - ensure that the race allows them. Also, here is an article that provides lots of information on features of trekking poles and how to pick the right pair. You'll likely want to get an adjustable-length pole, and probably one with shock-absorption. External locks tend to be more reliable and easier to repair than internal locks. And the grip type is totally personal preference!

Good luck!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

JenK - sorry, but I didn't notice that the post was in "Ask an REI Employee".  I am not, nor have I ever been employed by REI.



@mathineer no worries at all! We totally appreciate when folks contribute helpful information anywhere in the community; it's just important, especially on this board, that it's clear if the advice is coming from an employee or another community member!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.