Can You Use Trekking Poles for Cross Country Skiing?

The Benefits of Using Trekking Poles for Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is a popular winter activity that offers numerous health benefits and a great way to explore the snowy landscapes. While traditional cross country skis come with poles specifically designed for this sport, some enthusiasts wonder if trekking poles could be used instead. In this blog post, we will delve into the topic and provide you with insights on whether or not it is possible to use trekking poles for cross country skiing.

Trekking Poles vs. Traditional Cross Country Skiing Poles

Before jumping into whether or not you can use trekking poles for cross country skiing, it’s important to understand the key differences between these two types of equipment.

Traditional cross country ski poles are specifically designed to enhance your performance and stability while navigating through various terrains. They have unique features such as lightweight materials, adjustable lengths, and comfortable grips tailored to fit each skier’s needs.

On the other hand, trekking poles are primarily used by hikers and backpackers for added stability during uphill climbs or rough terrains. They typically feature durable shafts made from aluminum or carbon fiber, ergonomic handles with wrist straps, and carbide tips to grip different surfaces securely.

Using Trekking Poles During Cross Country Skiing

While using trekking poles may seem like a viable option at first glance due to their similarities in purpose – providing stability – they may not be ideal substitutes for traditional cross-country ski poles. Here’s why:

1. Length: Most importantly, trekking pole lengths tend to differ from those of traditional ski poles. This variation could affect your posture during skiing since incorrect pole length might put unnecessary strain on your back or shoulders.

2. Grips: Another significant difference lies in the handles. Traditional ski pole grips are designed to provide comfort and control specifically for skiing, whereas trekking poles’ grips may not offer the same level of precision required for cross country skiing maneuvers.

3. Baskets: Additionally, traditional cross-country ski poles feature baskets at their tips. These specialized baskets prevent the poles from sinking too deep into the snow and help with propulsion during each stride. Trekking poles lack such baskets, which could negatively impact your overall skiing experience.


While it is possible to experiment with using trekking poles for cross country skiing, it is not recommended as a long-term solution. The subtle but crucial differences between these two types of equipment – such as length, grip design, and presence of baskets – can significantly affect your posture, performance, and overall enjoyment on the slopes.

To ensure an optimal cross country skiing experience with improved stability and maneuverability, investing in a pair of purpose-built traditional cross-country ski poles is highly recommended. These specially designed tools will enhance your technique while keeping you safe throughout your winter adventures on skis!