I used trekking poles to snowshoe for the first time today, and ill never look back! What an improvement it was for the experience overall. Of course they are not a necessity for a good snowshoe but they are great for a number of reasons:
- They help stabilize your upper body and improve your balance on tough or awkward terrain
- You get a whole body workout
- They take some of the strain off your legs and hips
You should opt for adjustable poles so you can ensure they are the perfect height for you and so you can adjust according to the grade of the terrain. To get the best overall height for your poles, hold them upside down with your hand below the basket. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle with the handles touching the ground. If you are going uphill you may want to extend the poles and if you are descending, shorten them for a bit of help. Straps will keep the poles in place if you need to adjust gear, take a photo or whatever else you need to do.
Overall I found them incredibly helpful and highly recommend investing in a pair if you are an avid snowshoer or are planning a long snowshoe trip. Not to mention they can also come in handy for hiking!