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Topic - Walking poles - influence on power output?

cb294 - on 04 Jun 2014
As per title, are there any solid data on the changes in power output between hiking with and without walking poles?

A book on trekking in Sweden that I have recently read claims that the power output of walking with two poles can be up to 40% higher than walking the same terrain without poles.

Clearly, using poles recruits additional muscle groups and makes you walk faster, but 40%? This is not about fast nordic walking, but wilderness hiking with a heavy backpack.

I am even more sceptical about the second claim, namely that the total energy consumption may go up significantly when using poles, causing a increase in total food required for a given trip. I can accept that you may have to replenish sugar more often when maintaining a higher power output / walking faster, but having to walk for shorter times should largely compensate.

Any opinions, data, publications on the topic?


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