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Thread: Trekking Poles

  1. #21

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    I took my straps off immediately. I never found a need for them and they got in the way.

  2. #22

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    I find straps help tremendously know that I actually know how to use them! They provide nice leverage when I'm going uphill.

    As someone who fancies his pack to be UL (define that how you will), I still love having poles as they DO help the knees and I find they're great just to keep momentum going on the uphills.

    The fizan poles currently on massdrop are light and cheap. Can't really go wrong if you're looking to test out a pair.

  3. #23

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    I like to think of my trekking poles as having four wheel drive in a vehicle. Most of the time it's not needed, but when it is you sure are thankful for the extra traction. My poles have saved me from falls that would have been very painful and possible injury. They help me ford creeks with slippery bottoms, give me balance when crossing a log over a stream, help me gain traction up a steep hillside, move snakes off the trail in front of me, help when the trail is slick and muddy, help take some of the load off my knees when hiking down hill. I personaly would never hike with out them but if your not sure about them you don't need to spend big dollars on a set to see if they are for you. Just make sure the grips and the wrist straps are comfortable to you.

  4. #24

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    Gory picture alert:




    While my trekking poles have saved me 9 times out of 10 I did have a nasty mishap on my last hike where I either tripped, slipped or the rock rolled out from underneath my foot, I'm not sure exactly what happened. As the Gods would have it I face-planted directly on top of my trekking pole and my tooth ripped a rather large gash inside my lip, also leaving a hole in the cap of my trekking pole! I was lucky not to lose a tooth! However, this is the rare time where, like seat-belts, that they did more harm than good.



    20160809_081251.jpg

  5. #25
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    Once upon a time, I used to quietly laugh whenever I saw hikers with "ski poles", as I called them. I ski (or used to) and understand how and why they're used, but for hiking? Seriously? I thought they looked silly and unnecessary.

    Fast forward a couple dozen years, and now I won't hike without them -- for all the same reasons that others have mentioned. I just tried them once and I was hooked. But I also have experienced a couple of clumsy but (thankfully) minor mishaps -- specifically whenever I'm stepping over blow-down trees: I seem to get my legs all tangled up with the poles, and I've gone down in an awkward heap a couple of times.

    I have Leki's (Corklight?); collapsible with flick-locks. And yes, learning how to use the straps correctly can make a big difference.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSpirits View Post
    ...
    I have Leki's (Corklight?); collapsible with flick-locks. And yes, learning how to use the straps correctly can make a big difference.
    X2

    Learning how to use the straps and having different hold locations are near paramount.

  7. #27
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    I have heard that it could be bad to use just one pole or stick. That it could mess with your spinal alignment.
    Not sure on that, although it does sound correct.

    I personally use a set for my shelter and for hiking.
    Good for many things and great for propelling up hill. Great on knees as has been mentioned.

    Practice with them. In the beginning, I was tripping over them sometimes and they could do more damage than needed if you are not careful.

    My pair is 18oz total and many weigh less if you spend over the $22 that I did on amazon

    I have the quick clip, as I read many places that the twists are not so great.

  8. #28
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dig4dirt View Post
    I have heard that it could be bad to use just one pole or stick. That it could mess with your spinal alignment.
    Not sure on that, although it does sound correct.

    I personally use a set for my shelter and for hiking.
    Good for many things and great for propelling up hill. Great on knees as has been mentioned.

    Practice with them. In the beginning, I was tripping over them sometimes and they could do more damage than needed if you are not careful.

    My pair is 18oz total and many weigh less if you spend over the $22 that I did on amazon

    I have the quick clip, as I read many places that the twists are not so great.
    One stick bad for you? Pure Bunk. You and your sources are obviously not familiar with Mr. Fletcher and his accomplishments. Do some research and get back to us.
    Wayne


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  9. #29

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    I have heard that it could be bad to use just one pole or stick. That it could mess with your spinal alignment.
    Not sure on that, although it does sound correct.


    Oh yeah. Well known condition.... Hiker's Scoliosis... creates a lateral imbalance that causes you to hike in big circles.

  10. #30
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post


    Oh yeah. Well known condition.... Hiker's Scoliosis... creates a lateral imbalance that causes you to hike in big circles.
    Right. That might explain Colin Fletcher's trip through the inner canyon of the Grand Canyon. He couldn't hike in circles.
    I wonder if The Thousand Mile Summer was a big circular route?
    Wayne


    Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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  11. #31

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    I guess my attempt at sarcasm wasn't quite sarcastic enough.

    Maybe Elf will do a seminar so that I can improve my technique.

  12. #32

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    Since the are part of my shelter system, I don't mind the extra weight. They are dual purpose for me. Plus I have carbon fiber poles.

    Sent from mobile

  13. #33

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    I couldn't have completed my thru without a set of poles. No way, no how.

    Didn't meet a single person at the end of my hike who hiked without poles that wasn't in some sort of pain (knees, ankles, hips, etc.)

    They can help tremendously if you know how to use them properly. You won't need them at every moment of your hike, but there are some moments when you'll really want them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #34

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    I hiked last year in Utah with a younger (& certainly more fit) relative who is a National park ranger. He ranted & raved & carried on at length about how "useless" & "stupid" hiking poles were & how he & his hiking buddies all laughed at people who used them. I just let him go on about it & smiled sweetly to myself knowing that at some point in his life (provided someone else doesn't take a hiking pole & kill him with it! &#128539 he will be older, his balance will not be as good as it is now, his knees will start to give out, & he will maybe hike on different terrain than sandy trails with a few large rocks around. THEN we will see what he has to say about hiking poles.

    I'm grateful someone showed me how to use them & have avoided several falls in the middle of nowhere because I had them. And moved one inconveniently located snake too.

  15. #35

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    I always use poles for hiking. I use $3 bamboo poles. Light, strong and you can doctor them up to be fancy or not. If you don't like them, you lost 6 bucks. I find poles necessary for minimizing knee pain. The handle straps are integral to the poles providing the maximum assistance. I'm not saying the poles are useless without them; just that they provide good support for your grip, etc. In the end, do what works best for you. I couldn't care less if someone laughs at me on the trail or not. I always laugh when my buddies have sore legs after a trip and I don't.

    Michael

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    Having hiked for 11 years now with poles and tried several different brands and styles I can not use anything but the Pacer Poles from the UK. Their unique ergonomic grip is vastly superior to the straight ski style grip you see 99% of hikers using. From steep scree to cruising flats these poles are fantastic. The shelters I use all require poles for set up and the crooked grip of the PP's work fine.

    There is a learning curve. So many of the people I see on the trail are just waving their poles around and not digging in. Properly used you can take 15-25% of the weight off your legs with each step. Every fifth step is free. Good videos on the PP site regarding technique. The shape of the grip allows the poles to swing like a pendulum in your hand and thus requires very little arm movement. Economy of motion. The heaviest part of the pole (the grip) barely moves, while the lightest (the tip) does the most traveling.

    I like their 3-piece carbon fiber as they are lighter and collapse smaller.

  17. #37

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    I'm pretty sure I would not prefer the weight of the PPs over my 9.8 oz/pair myog poles (about double the weight for PP carbon w/baskets), nor the twist cams over the flicklocks, nor the ergo grip for shelter-pitching funkiness over my GG grips that fit very nicely into the ridgeline pockets of my Duplex, which is where I like them, and not down with the mud and critters.

    It seems that a lot of people who use PPs rave about them, but I'll never know for sure if I could love 'em because they aren't sold over here and there's no way I'm going to be able to do an "REI test drive" to see if their advantages overcome all those objections.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywerlin View Post
    Having hiked for 11 years now with poles and tried several different brands and styles I can not use anything but the Pacer Poles from the UK. Their unique ergonomic grip is vastly superior to the straight ski style grip you see 99% of hikers using. From steep scree to cruising flats these poles are fantastic. The shelters I use all require poles for set up and the crooked grip of the PP's work fine.

    There is a learning curve. So many of the people I see on the trail are just waving their poles around and not digging in. Properly used you can take 15-25% of the weight off your legs with each step. Every fifth step is free. Good videos on the PP site regarding technique. The shape of the grip allows the poles to swing like a pendulum in your hand and thus requires very little arm movement. Economy of motion. The heaviest part of the pole (the grip) barely moves, while the lightest (the tip) does the most traveling.

    I like their 3-piece carbon fiber as they are lighter and collapse smaller.
    Pacerpoles have their fans and if they work for you, its all good. But I have to say they seem gimmicky and the company really is a bit much - calling them a "walking system" and at times having a waiting list to purchase. Maybe its because I live in an area with a lot of annoying Brooklyn hipsters, but I'll pass on the artisinal hiking poles and stick with my Black Diamond Distance Carbon Zs. If that creates a hiking effort penalty (a premise I don't fully accept), so be it. If I want to absolutely minimize my effort, I have a sofa and an Xfinity voice remote.

  19. #39
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    +1 on PacerPoles.

    Most all the folks who Poo-Poo them have never even held one let alone hiked with a pair. Completely different experience than the unnatural grip of conventional poles. No straps needed to make them comfortable and functional.

    Been using them to set up various shelters for well over a decade now, from tents to tarps - they work just fine.
    Last edited by Lyle; 09-02-2016 at 17:21.

  20. #40

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    To be fair, mine was not a pointless "poo-poo" because I stated the specific, tangible hurdles that I see to using them.

    I realize that people have been pitching shelters with them, but my understanding — perhaps incorrect? — is that this is done in the 'handles-down' mode, which I don't like because of handles having been chewed by porcupines.

    And I don't like heavy poles; the carbons are 508g (18 oz) per pair, alloy ones are 650g (23 oz, holy smokes!) per pair , and I don't like twist-lock cams.

    Even so, I would still like to try them and be proven wrong, but I'm not willing to pay shipping to/from England if it doesn't work out. Some time back I looked at PP replacement parts to see if I could get the handles only and make a lighter version myself, but they don't sell handles only. If someone has some old PPs that they're willing to sell cheaply, I'd buy them just for the handles and make my own to test.

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