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Thread: Trekking poles

  1. #1
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    Default Trekking poles

    Can anyone recommend a decent set of trekking poles, I have never really used them before and am planning a NOBO in 2013.

  2. #2

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    I have a pair of Black Diamond Ergo Trekking Poles. They have a flip lock for adjusting instead of the screw lock.

    Tumbleweed.

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    I used LEKI Makalu or something like that. I feel like there are so many models, it's hard to tell. [Link here, I think?] I definitely am a fan, though. My poles became my favorite, most important piece of gear.

    In terms of poles, you probably want to (1) avoid the "anti-shock" features (someone may claim otherwise, in my experience it makes them feel less stable, which sucks going downhill), (2) get flip locks, not twist-type locks, as they'll be more reliable, and (3) comfortable straps - the straps are the best feature on a set of poles if you use them right!

    Plenty of people hiking the trail would ditch their old gear in favor of something new - sleeping bags, tents, cook systems... from what I saw, there weren't really any (or many) people who swapped out trekking poles for a different pair of poles. Plenty of people picked up poles as they went, but really, any pair will work as long as they're comfortable for you, and you feel that you can trust them going uphill or downhill.

  4. #4
    Registered User Veetack's Avatar
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    I use REI Traverse Powerlocks, which are also a fliplock style pole. They cost about $50 less than the comparable Leki's and carry pretty much the same features as far as I could tell. I've only used them for about 40 miles, and had never used poles before that, but they work great for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWheeler View Post
    In terms of poles, you probably want to (1) avoid the "anti-shock" features (someone may claim otherwise, in my experience it makes them feel less stable, which sucks going downhill), (2) get flip locks, not twist-type locks, as they'll be more reliable, and (3) comfortable straps - the straps are the best feature on a set of poles if you use them right!
    I pretty much agree with all three points! Anti-shock feature is a noisy, heavy gimmick. I have twist-type locks, but would seriously consider flip-locks next time. And yes, learn to use the straps as the manufacturers instruct.

    RainMan

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  6. #6

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    I just snapped the lower 1/3 section of a Leki Makalu, corklite grip, no anti-shock, and went online to the Leki website and applied for the RA# - read about how I had to ship both poles back and all that, filled in the model, description, color, etc. and submitted the form and not long after I get an email from Karen Kane in Customer Service that says new lower section is on its way. No shipping necessary. Excellent response, excellent service.
    "Hiking is as close to God as you can get without going to Church." - BobbyJo Sargent aka milkman Sometimes it's nice to take a long walk in THE FOG.

  7. #7
    Registered User Veetack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atmilkman View Post
    I just snapped the lower 1/3 section of a Leki Makalu, corklite grip, no anti-shock, and went online to the Leki website and applied for the RA# - read about how I had to ship both poles back and all that, filled in the model, description, color, etc. and submitted the form and not long after I get an email from Karen Kane in Customer Service that says new lower section is on its way. No shipping necessary. Excellent response, excellent service.
    Leki is pretty much unbeatable in that aspect, they were at Traildays doing free pole cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. Oh, did I mention they were doing them on all poles? not just the Leki's.

  8. #8

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    I like the anti-shock on descents in rocky places, like The Rocky Mountains.

    I have Leki's I got on sale at REI. I have Leki and REI to back up the product.

    If you do get twist-lock, simply do not over-tighten them. The inside twist-lock device, however, can be replaced.

  9. #9

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    On my AT thru-hike and when I finished the PCT I used the same pair of Leki Cortec Super-Makalu Anti-Shock poles. A Leki rep did personal maintenance to my poles twice since I owned them -- once on my AT thru-hike when I rolled into Trail Days and once at Trail Days when I was hiking with several friends in a subsequent year. Both times -- excellent service. The Cortec handles do well when you're gobbed up with Deet (rather than have the handles deteriorate from being slathered in Deet all day).

    I broke one of my poles on the CDT when I slipped and head-banged a rock (showing it who was boss) and replaced the 14 year old set of poles (that I'd bought new) with the similar model from Leki.

    I haven't ever owned a different brand of hiking poles so I don't know much about the competition but Leki sure makes a great product considering how hard I was on those poles.

    By the way, you'll likely bust off the points of your poles (or grind them down to nothing) on your 2013 AT thru-hike a couple of times so you may need to replace the pole points occasionally. You may be able to buy the points separately along the Trail at some of the outfitters if need be or if you have a maildrop support person, you can buy the points ahead of time and have the points shipped to you if needed along the Trail.


    Datto

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWheeler View Post
    (3) comfortable straps - the straps are the best feature on a set of poles if you use them right!
    Andrew Skurka cuts the straps off his poles....

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Andrew Skurka cuts the straps off his poles....
    I should know this,cause I'm reading his book right now,but is that for weight savings or just doesn't use them.I've tried both ways w/without,and I prefer to use the straps when i'm cookin along,If I'm just pokin around then I don't,it's a preference.jm2c

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    PacerPoles: unique, efficient, comfortable, no need to mess with learning how to use the straps.

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    I prefer my poles without straps. Strickly a personal preference.

    I nearly took a bad tumble after a pole tip lodged in some rocks and the strap pulled me off my feet. After that little incident, I simply rested my hands over the straps and actually preferred this method. Decided a little later to remove the straps altogether and it works fine for me.

    The poles I am currently using are adjustable REI Peak UL/Carbon-fiber,made by Komperdell. I inserted a two inch shaft of 1/4 X 20 aluminum stock through both of the grips and can use these for pitching a tarp or awning. The threads are also the proper pitch for a monopod for my camera . The shaft just below the grip is a great location for duct-tape or Leukotape for blisters. Poles can also come in handy if you are harassed by dogs.

    Without straps, the poles are easier to manuever or move to only one hand, no abrasion on your hand from the strap and, of course, a little bit lighter weight!

    I understand the advantage of using straps while snow skiing....less chance of loss and better purchase when climbing a hill. With hiking, I just use poles more for balance and preventing a fall.

  14. #14
    Registered User 4Bears's Avatar
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    I use Leki Makalu-Ti, anti shock, and just love them, some think they can be noisy but not in my opinion. I would suggest buying a cheap pair to see if you like them. My next set will be a flip lock rather than the twist lock, makes for quicker adjustment.
    "You have brains in your head/You have feet in your shoes/You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    I should know this,cause I'm reading his book right now,but is that for weight savings or just doesn't use them.I've tried both ways w/without,and I prefer to use the straps when i'm cookin along,If I'm just pokin around then I don't,it's a preference.jm2c
    As I recall, not really for weight. But so they can be easily put down. Also, when the get wedged in a crack, easier to let go so you don't break them or get thrown off balance.

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    Don't rule out ski poles. Find them used in thrift shops. I bought mine for $3.00 Beautiful and work great.
    "Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" (Rudyard Kipling)
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    I have some really great Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles, that I got on sale at REI several months ago. I've used them three or four times now and I absolutely love them. They have the flip locks, straps, and none of that shock-absorber bidness to annoy. Normally $109, I believe, but you can catch them on sale once or twice a year.

    I use the straps almost all the time, and I love 'em. And I really like the cork handles, too. Another neat feature is the foam grips on the upper shafts just below the handles that you can use when climbing really steep uphills, or in my case, to help you get your carcass up off the ground after you trip over a root.
    Double Wide is now BLUEBERRY
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    Why not start off with inexpensive poles to find out if you like them or not. Walmart has a set for about $35.

    I only started off with expensive poles because my knees were already hurting. I was either going with poles or not hiking for a long time, so I opted to get nice poles.

    If you decide that you will definitely bring trekking poles, but might not use them all the time, take a look at Gossamer gear or Titanium Goat poles. The pair weighs less than half a pound, and will put little burden on your back when you're not using them.

  19. #19
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    You can pick up some Black Diamond Trail poles on closeout for $45. A very good basic pole. You can lighten them a bit if you cut the down a bit to remove the excess length of each section if you aren't tall.

    Seems that half the Leki poles I see are taped up with duct tape 'cause the adjusters aren't working properly. Probably why they copied the Black Diamond design for some of their new poles.
    Last edited by swjohnsey; 06-11-2012 at 12:44.

  20. #20
    Registered User TrekkerJeff's Avatar
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    My wife and I both use Black Diamonds. We wouldn't want to hike without them. Found them on sale for $82 with free shipping.

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