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Wear Trekking Gloves

Advice from 30,000 miles on the Trail

When you use trekking poles, your hands are constantly exposed. Wind, cold, sun, mosquitos, sandflies, midges… They used to torment my hands, until I began wearing trekking gloves.

That’s when I discovered gloves also make trekking poles more comfortable. Yes, even Leki trekking poles. Leki’s Aergon grips are excellent, but I find trekking gloves add a little cushioning, reduce friction, wick away sweat, give the poles a more secure feeling in my hands, and allow me to hold them with less effort.

“Trekking gloves,” however, don’t really exist. You’ll find them disguised as inexpensive cycling gloves. Look for cycling gloves that have minimal padding. The Pearl Izumi Select gloves are a good example. Men’s and women’s versions are available at MEC for $29, and at REI for $22.

I prefer fingerless trekking gloves, because they serve me in almost all conditions. I wear them when it’s hot or cool. Only when it’s cold or the wind is biting, do I swap my fingerless gloves for full-coverage gloves.

Try them. It won’t cost much. If you find you don’t like trekking gloves, you can use them for cycling. Kathy, by the way, who always uses trekking poles, never wears trekking gloves. When it’s warm, she’s gloveless. But her hands are easily chilled, so she usually wears full-fingered, lightweight wool or synthetic glove liners, and she often switches to insulated gloves.