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#161614 - 01/06/09 05:41 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: haertig]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Another advantage I forgot to mention when using poles, is enjoyment. I find that I am a lot more observant of my surroundings if I have poles, because I am not constantly staring at my feet watching every step. I can actually lift my head up and look around without worrying about spraining my ankle or falling.

If you think about it, when hiking you really only have one point of contact with the ground at any time, the other foot is always in the air going for the next step. That one foot has to support all your weight plus the weight of your pack, and you have to use your muscles to balance which put additional stress on your foot. With poles, there is always at least two, and sometimes three points of contact with the ground, which is a lot more stable. You can try it for yourself at home, put on a fully loaded pack and just try and balance on one foot and see how long you can stay there. Now try the same thing while holding onto a hand rail for balance. You can stand there a lot longer with a lot less exertion. That's what hiking poles are like, a hand rail with every step.





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#161631 - 01/06/09 06:54 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: ducktapeguy]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Hunting side slopes in the Blues for elk one season I had my rifle slung with the muzzle down due to it raining and not wanting any moisture in my barrel. As I was transitioning down the side of a draw covered in crescent wheat, my foot would lay the wet stalks over running downslope, which inevitably negated traction and caused me to slip into a sitting position. Unfortunately, in so doing, the muzzle of my barrel got stuffed into the dirt, and I ended up with a barrel obstruction. I spent the next half hour snaking my barrel out and looking for a stick somewhere nearby to aid in my descent.

After that, I started packing shooting sticks along on my little expeditions. Sometimes I only need to be taught a lesson once. However, I got another chance a couple years ago when I was coming down a steep hill without a pole or stick as aid and my foot slid sideways right into the edge of a rock and I broke the bone right behind the little toe. It broke because I had nearly all my weight on that foot when it impacted, and the contact was just above the welt where there is virtually no protection.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#161637 - 01/06/09 07:26 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: Tom_L]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 950
Loc: Channeled Scablands
An outward bound instructor I worked with, who also surfed,
filled his trekking poles up with sand to keep his arms in shape
during our backpacking courses.

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#161638 - 01/06/09 07:29 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: benjammin]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 950
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Hunting side slopes in the Blues for elk one season I had my rifle slung with the muzzle down due to it raining and not wanting any moisture in my barrel. As I was transitioning down the side of a draw covered in crescent wheat, my foot would lay the wet stalks over running downslope, which inevitably negated traction and caused me to slip into a sitting position. Unfortunately, in so doing, the muzzle of my barrel got stuffed into the dirt, and I ended up with a barrel obstruction. I spent the next half hour snaking my barrel out and looking for a stick somewhere nearby to aid in my descent.


You must have heard of the single layer of electrical tape
over the bore? Shoot right through it?

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#161695 - 01/07/09 02:41 AM Re: Trekking poles [Re: ]
ohiohiker Offline
found in the wilderness
Journeyman

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Ohio
I don't like buying or carrying nonessential stuff. I was skeptical of hiking poles, but decided to try them out. I got a pair of cheap $20 telescoping poles last year, and so far they've held up fine in hilly terrain. Every time I hike on steep trails without them, I wish I had brought them along. I even use them Nordic-walking style on flat trails sometimes.
_________________________
Bushcraft Science: It's not about surviving in the wilderness, it's about thriving in the wilderness.

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#163540 - 01/17/09 04:29 AM Re: Trekking poles [Re: ohiohiker]
Sherpadog
Unregistered


Update:

Tonight, we purchased 2 pair of trekking poles. We went with the Black Diamond brand as the Flicklock system is much easier then the twist and lock methods of other poles.

We will try the poles out to see how we like them tomorrow. We are leaving early in the morning for an overnight winter hike and camp. The weather should be perfect for this, it will be just below freezing during the day and about -10C (14F) overnight.

A photo of the poles we purchased.







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#163545 - 01/17/09 05:30 AM Re: Trekking poles [Re: ]
tomfaranda Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
I'm sure i'm not the only one who'll be interested in your reporting back on the poles.

I think the Black diamond locking system is excellent.

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#163555 - 01/17/09 01:46 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: tomfaranda]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I have a pair of REI ones with the flicklocks (they may actually be BDs though, as REI only brands, not manufactures). I went to the flick lock system when I had a twist lock failure, resulting in me falling over.
_________________________
my adventures

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#163566 - 01/17/09 03:58 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: oldsoldier]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1890
Loc: Washington, DC
Another hearty endorsement of hiking poles. Especially if you have a bum knee and a history of ankle strains (as I do). And if you are hiking on rocky trails, crossing streams or going to be on steep descents. And as someone has already noted, very handy for clearing spider webs.

I carry one for shorter hikes (a few miles), two for longer. Highly recommend these REI super-light poles, which are half-price right now during their January sale. Far as I know, they are the lightest poles available.

The pair weigh 11.2 ounces

http://www.rei.com/product/756152


"These are the lightest, strongest trekking poles out there! Made for those up to 5'10'' who pursue minimalist backpacking and adventure racing."

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#163716 - 01/18/09 05:13 PM Re: Trekking poles [Re: Dagny]
Sherpadog
Unregistered


Update:

We tried the poles out yesterday over varied terrain that included wet and dry open forest, open plains /rangeland, and a flowing rocky creek bed with some minor ice build up on the rocks in the creek and alongside the creek in the higher sections, I have to admit that the poles helped quite a bit in the creek bed and on few steeper downhill sections in the open areas.

It took a bit to used to the poles, but after about an hour, it was hardly noticeable. I ended up only using one pole as I always carry my 3mm camera in my left hand.

As for my partner, she found the poles very useful and did not suffer as much from "sausage fingers" as she normally does after walking an hour or so. She also ended up only using one pole and switched hands every so often as it there was no need for two due to the weight of her pack (21 lbs) and the terrain was fairly easy to walk on.

For both her and I, the most disconcerting aspect that took some getting used to was purposely putting some weight on the poles especially on the downhill sections and hoping that the quick locks hold. Also feeling the poles flex more then a wooden walking stick does gave us both a certain uneasiness for the first while.

Overall, we like the poles and will use them more when we go out so that we used to them more.

There was only one issue with the poles. This model does not come with the the rubber feet that you can put on the ends. The sales person gave us the wrong rubber feet and of course we did not try them on until yesterday and they were too big. A generous wrap of electrical tape fixed this and they rubber feet held fine for the duration. Needless to say, we will be getting the proper rubber feet before our next outing...

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