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Get in Gear: Black Diamond Switchback Trekking Pole

Going on a big hike up and down a steep mountain can put a lot of pressure on your knees and low back, so why not use a trekking pole (also called a hiking pole) to help distribute the weight evenly between your lower and upper body? They're also great at assisting you on tough climbs and declines, and they can prevent slipping.

Check out the Black Diamond Switchback ($64.99). It's made of lightweight aluminum and has adjustable wrist straps to offer stability and grip for your hands, so you can effectively push off the ground. The best part about this trekking pole is that it can collapse from 55 inches long to 25 inches, so you can easily carry it in your pack.

This pole can be used for summer hiking or winter snowshoeing, to add support and control over any terrain. I'm telling you from firsthand experience that using a trekking pole will change the way you hike. You can conquer much more difficult trails with a pole, and once you use one, you'll never want to hike without it.

Fit's Tips: If you spring for 2 trekking poles, you'll notice even more stability. Since your arms will be sharing the work with your legs, you'll have increased endurance and reduced stress on your feet, knees, legs, and lower back. You'll be able to move faster so you'll cover more distance, and you'll be able to tackle trails you may never have thought were possible.

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