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Trekking poles-who uses them?
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Don Miller
(UlTipiGuru) - F

Locale: IOWA
yea on 05/24/2010 09:25:40 MDT Print View

Yea, I bought some lekis' this year and I can't believe I havent used or owned treking poles until now. They really help with hiking heavy loads and can be used with shelters.lekilekitrek pole with go lite ponchotrek pole with go lite ponchotrek pole with go lite ponchotrek pole with go lite poncho

Edited by UlTipiGuru on 05/24/2010 09:30:52 MDT.

Jack Newton
(figster) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas dog on 05/24/2010 09:26:15 MDT Print View

I have a weimaraner who is four years old. When I use my trekking poles, she makes fun of me less for being a weakling biped.

My arm muscles heal faster than my leg muscles. In that regard, wearing out my arms using trekking poles makes sense when its eventually going to be my legs that have to walk me back to the truck.

As far as not using them, I found, for the first time in years, that they were a burden on a short trip except for the 15 water crossings and the constantly wet novaculite that tried to put you on your butt. When trying to rationalize not using them, I think about how I do not have to use a hammer to smash nails into lumber, but it sure is better than a drill or a rock. Needless to say, the poles always come with me. All things take practice ~ eventually I quit smashing my thumbs with hammers.

Also, Geoff, the four foot black snake, is not very intimidated by me and will not budge because he thinks he is camouflaged. The trekking poles will safely get him out of my way without having to look for a tick infest, snake riddled, spider hopping branch or three.


Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Looking or single pole on 05/24/2010 11:31:26 MDT Print View

I know that I don't need, or want two poles. I find a single pole to be a bit of a luxury, but useful.

So I want to carry a single pole I need to get the weight down. My current pole is the surviving member of what was then a very light weight pair of Kommperdals (sp?). It weighs 8 oz.

What I would like is a single pole minimum length 125cm. Very light. It doesn't have to be adjustable but it would be nice if it could be broken down for carrying. I would rig up some sort of camera mount on the handle, but I'm pretty handy so I think I could adapt any pole for this. Don't need to support a tarp or a tent, don't need a strap.

Any suggestions for one that would fit this description? It would be nice if I could buy just one. Or anyone want interested in splitting a pair?

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Trekking poles-who uses them?" on 05/24/2010 11:51:10 MDT Print View

When I was looking for a single pole I came across some that were distributed through the photography world that were cheap....I ordered a Brunton at that time for $36, but the vendor (a large photo outfit in Chicago, I think) was out of stock, so I ended up with a Komberdell staff instead.

You might try that angle.

chris kersten
(xanadu) - F

Locale: here
straps on 05/24/2010 13:46:54 MDT Print View

I'll never hike without. I did get rid of the straps though. Not to save weight, but I don't thing you need them. Like when you go up stairs, you use your arms and hands, but you have to grip the handrail tight. But like everything it feels weird at first. Don't tell me that I'm the only one here that uses them to dry clothes over the fire?

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
RE: poles on 05/24/2010 14:51:45 MDT Print View

I used trekking poles the first time last year on a climbing trip to the Cirque of the Towers in Wyoming. Wow, what a difference! I felt considerably less worn out than the good old days sans poles. I now have the Ti Goat adjustable poles and quite like them. I am fairly young and in good physical condition so I don't REALLY need them, but I might as well try to keep it that way, right? No need in beating up my joints unnecessarily if I have the option not to.

Matt Sanger
(IPARider) - MLife
not w/o skis on 05/25/2010 06:52:02 MDT Print View

Of course I use them plenty on ski ascents, and when skinning up gets steep and maneuvering gets dicey, they are great to have.

I can't do hiking poles though for backpacking
- noise
- don't like having stuff in my hands
- gear clutter
- extra weight
- awkward when I need to use my hands (scrambling over/under rocks and trees)

I wouldn't mind having one for some stream crossings, but I can usually find a stick for the job. The dual use for a shelter is great, but given the down sides, I'd end up simply hauling them until I get to camp. On steep snow they would be nice.

I'm surprised there aren't more taking the position of less gear and less weight as a solution to leg fatigue on this forum. I'm still not in the UL category at all, so I'm working on cutting back before adding gear.

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
re: Trekking poles-who uses them? on 05/25/2010 07:56:33 MDT Print View

My poles are part of the lightweight solution, for me.

I have the gossamer gear LT4s (short) at ~3.5oz each. I use them almost all the time while hiking, although occassionally I do need to carry them (usually if I'm actually clambering up something, or more likely clambering DOWN something very steep). During those times I will hold both poles in one hand, and sometimes switch hands in mid-climb - given that they are so light, this is not an issue.

Poles are also one of the most multi-use items in my gear -hiking, stream crossings, tarp poles, stabilizing my camera, waving at stray dogs, even picking up dirty trash (last trip included picking up & packing out a soiled pair of underwear, a dirty broken berkenstock, a rusty food can, and several clumps of used TP from the AT in Massachusetts, yuck).

Finally, I find myself 1) being less tired at the end of the day and 2) being able to move faster with the poles than without. For me, this more than makes up for the 7oz of weight... they are not an additional or luxury item, they are simply part of my "hiking system".

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Started using in 1984 on 05/25/2010 08:34:52 MDT Print View

I have been a "user" since 1984 due to knee problems that ultimately ended my CDT hike. Back then I was using some downhill ski poles with the big plastic breakaway grips. I got a lot of comments and funny remarks, but they were a life saver. My hiker partner finally relented about 3 years ago and now wishes he had stared using them when we first began hiking together some 17 years ago.

At this point it just doesn't feel right to not have them and I particularly love them for water crossings. My knees don't bother me now that I have brought my base weight down to 9-12lbs and fully loaded for a week at 20-22lbs. I can't believe how many miles I carried a 50-75lb pack......

Edited by Servingko on 05/25/2010 08:35:36 MDT.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
Couldn't hike without them on 05/25/2010 10:50:03 MDT Print View

I couldn't hike without them. My knees have been getting steadily worse and my lower back is "touchy". But with a pair o poles i can hike like the wind past the scouts in my Troop, and going down hill is no longer a chore, especially ion rocky Jeep trails.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Trekking poles-who uses them on 05/25/2010 11:08:16 MDT Print View

I train in the offseason not to use them. In season about 50% of the time. If find on non-groomed trails they are useless and more of a hinderance.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Why I use them on 05/25/2010 19:26:50 MDT Print View

I always use two.
I have bad hips, so it allows me to to go much further with less pain. My wife uses two to relieve foot pain.

Other reasons:
1) Stability over loose ground. Less chance of falling if you have four points of contact.
2) Shelter poles.
3) Place to hang gear to dry or air out when you take breaks.
4) Can help you hike in the case of injuries on the trail. They can take the place of an injured foot, ankle, leg,...
Two good arms, one good leg and you can make it to a camp site.
5) Makes river crossings easier.
6) Move snakes off the trail.
7) Keep dogs and people at a good distance.
8) Brush spider webs out of your face.
9) A stand for cameras.
10) Hang a clothes line between two trekking poles.
11) Helps almost anyone doing long uphill climbs.
12) Adds a lot of stability on downhills when you have a heavy pack full of extra water and/or food.
13) Emergency splint
14) Most find they can walk faster, with a longer stride with trekking poles.
15) ...

Studies have shown that hiking with trekking poles is slightly less efficient, requiring more calorie consumption. Because of this, you may have to carry more food.
This is a solid reason for young, fit, people with no physical restrictions, to not use them.
For those of us us that suffer handicaps, they are a plus.