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Fixed Length Trekking Poles
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Sean Fletcher
Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/25/2013 22:03:46 MST Print View

So I'm sure this has come up before but I'm in the market for fixed length poles.

I know the only trekking specific poles are from GG but I am very hard on poles and am wary that they're too ultralight to be durable.

I hate the locking mechanism on most other trekking poles and I've been considering ski poles instead. Has anyone had any experience with using ski poles or the GG LT3C? Is there a disadvantage to ski poles?

Thanks for the replies!


Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/25/2013 22:35:06 MST Print View

I've been using 125cm GG LT3C's for the past three years with no problems. Love the weight, or more accurately the lack of weight, of these poles. I went with 125cm fixed length poles because that's what my tent (GG the One) requires. The poles seem strong and resistant to breakage. I'm careful not to fall with/on them while they are wedged btwn rocks. That's about the only way I can imagine breaking one and I suspect that any pole out there would break under the same conditions.

Sean Fletcher
I have heard that on 01/26/2013 06:27:48 MST Print View

I have heard something similar, Richard. The only way people break the poles is if they get into rocks and stuff like that. Do the poles flex at all? Can you confidently put quite a bit of weight on them?


wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
They are strong on 01/26/2013 07:35:57 MST Print View

I've got a pair of the LT3C and love them. At first, I was concerned they'd snap in two at the drop of a hat. No way. I've had several near falls where I had to put my full weight on one pole. It performed light a rock star.

I am very cognizant to lift the poles when I hike when in rocky terrain. If you pull them along, you do risk snapping a pole if it catches in a rock. By lifting, it won't break.

I think you'll like them and it is a pleasure to have something so strong that is so darn light.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/26/2013 07:53:40 MST Print View

I agree with you about adjustable poles. I have a pair of GG LT4's and they have been durable. I wish I had just gotten the simpler LT3's however.

Look at the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Carbon Fiber Z Poles. They are non ajustable but collapse for transport like an avalance probe. I just got a set of 120's and they are 9.6oz per pair with the straps and 8.75oz without the straps.

Sean Fletcher
I may be convinced on 01/26/2013 08:37:57 MST Print View

Well, it sounds like from the testomonies that the GG poles won't break that easily. I think I'll give them a try instead of searching around for golf club shafts to make my own.

Thanks for all the insight everybody and I'll let you know how my experience goes with them.


Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/26/2013 10:56:53 MST Print View


I have had a pair of the LT4's for a few years now and have had no problems. I have had a couple of times where I ended up putting near my full weight on one of the poles when I have lost my balance...they flexed alarmingly but no damage at all. I am 6'4" and 210 lbs to give you an idea of the kind of abuse they have been through.

I bought the strapless ones and I have been very happy with that decision. I have gotten them stuck a couple of times between rocks as I have been moving quick down a trail but I hold them fairly lightly and find that if they do get caught they generally just pull out of my hand rather than having any sort of real pressure but on them.

I have found the locking mechanism to be very solid. Very little maintenance required to keep them that way. Saying that though...I do find I set them at the start of the trip and I never adjust them...and even though I have never had a problem with the locking mechanism the simplicity of the fixed length pole is something I am considering. My next purchase is most likely a pair of fixed length poles from GG.

Brian Kelly
Re: Re: Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/26/2013 12:22:08 MST Print View

I dont want to change subjects here but it seems that the op has made his choice and i just have one quick question for you all using fixed length poles. How do u set up your tarp shelters when one side needs to be lower than the other side an example would be the hyperlight echo2?

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/26/2013 15:22:37 MST Print View

If your trekking pole is longer than needed for your shelter, you can always clove-hitch the guyline around the pole at the appropriate height. I've done this when guying out the head end of a side-opening shelter to avoid collapsing the trekking pole (lazy!).

However, if, like me (definitely a "vertically challenged" person), you need a pole length for hiking that is shorter than is required for the peak of your shelter, then you are in trouble if you have fixed length poles.

That's one reason I don't use fixed length poles. The other is that I want to be able shorten the poles and fasten them to my pack should I be scrambling or going through thick brush. Collapsible poles are also handy when stowing the poles in the car before and after the trip.

YMMV, obviously!

This discussion reminds me a little of an old "Blondie" cartoon in which Dagwood cuts a clothesline rope for Blondie. She comes in and says, "You cut the rope too short!" Dagwood responds, "That's no problem. If you cut the rope too short, you can always splice it. If you cut the rope too long, though, there's nothing you can do about it." :-)

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Fixed Length Trekking Poles on 01/27/2013 02:13:05 MST Print View


I agree. My problem is that I need my poles to be shorter when I'm using them, but longer to set up my shelter. So fixed length poles are out for me. I have the GG LT4s and really like them for their light weight and durability.

OTOH, I do have two small issues with the LT4 poles that make me consider getting something else. First, I do encounter problems with the locking mechanism in that the gasket doesn't always like abrupt large changes in temperature between hot and cold conditions. For some reason, I think maybe the material is contracting, so the gasket won't expand and tighten in the shaft and lock the pole in place, rather, it just spins around. I usually have to take it apart and fiddle with it to get it to work.

Second, I would like poles that collpase a bit more so that they are easier to travel with, especially by air. For that reason, I do look for other carbon poles that collpase smaller like the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Carbon Fiber Z Poles, (I notice there is a pair for sale on gear Swap now.) and are easier/more reliable to lock, except that I would need them to be both collpasible and adjustible, which I haven't see yet.

Sean Fletcher
The funny thing is on 01/27/2013 07:23:01 MST Print View

I actually need the adjustable trekking poles now for my Golite Shangri La 1. I just really don't like having to rely on a locking mechanism. Sounds like even the LT4 from GG are durable enough as it is but I still don't trust the clasps.
I had a pair of REI Shocklites(which I got because they were highly reccomended). They were great for my shelter but whenever I would put a little too much weight on them the locking mechanism would buckle. REI said it was because I got dirt in them but I had barely used them.

So other than getting them snagged in rocks it looks like the LT3's are going to be a good choice. I heard that it was possible to custom order the poles? Like, you could ask them to make your particular poles thicker? Does anybody know if that's true?


Sean Fletcher
Oh on 01/27/2013 07:24:30 MST Print View

And as far as not being able to collapse for travel, I'm just going to by a nice solid tube for them. Maybe even the one they are shipped in. I haven't heard of that being a huge problem. Though there's still the airlines losing them...


Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
Locking mechanisms on 01/27/2013 08:01:07 MST Print View

+1 on Black diamond adjustable poles

I've had a pair of BD carbons for years with locking mechanisms, and I haven't had any issues. I did discover that I have to periodically tighten the screws that hold the locking mechanisms together to make them more effective. I use them skiing and hiking-very durable.

My comment is related, but unrelated to this thread. Just wanted to share. :)

Edited by flutingaround on 01/27/2013 08:02:59 MST.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
Pole extenders on 01/27/2013 11:19:56 MST Print View

If your fixed-length pole is too short you can use a pole extender/jack. BearPaws makes them from 8" to 24" weighing in at 0.083 oz per inch for carbon fiber. Easton aluminum poles are also available. That takes care of the issue of your pole being too short.

If my pole is too long, I would simply angle it if it's close or find a branch/stick that works. You can obviously also buy a pole from the tent manufacturer.

Edited by wiiawiwb on 01/27/2013 11:21:02 MST.