Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Ask Buck

Itchy, Numb Hands

Will trekking poles help prevent my hands from falling asleep and getting itchy when I hike?

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

Question:

I am an avid backpacker, and I often have trouble with my hands falling asleep and getting itchy when I’m hiking. I’ve read that trekking poles can fix this problem. Can I use my cross-country ski poles?

Submitted by – Aliya, Nevada City, CA

Answer:

The problem you describe is common. And yep, trekking poles often help a lot. Although you can use your ski poles, sometimes cross-country ski poles are too long to be comfy while backpacking. You don’t want your hands too high up. If your poles adjust, keep your hands at a height that keeps your forearms about parallel to the ground. —Buck