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Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 18:40:02 MDT Print View

Some think straps are useless , others think they are dangerous, so I shot a quick video just to show how and why I use them.
Some quick tips there for novices and a bit of a Black Diamond commercial..
(well : why I like the Flick Lock)
Here it is :
Tips on using trekking poles

J Mag
(GoProGator) - F
Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 18:49:17 MDT Print View

I actually find it really surprising people say they cut them off.

I tried trekking poles for the first time 2 weeks ago and can't imagine using them without a strap. I think the only time I actually gripped the poles was palming them on some downhills.

To be fair, one of the pairs I tried out (black diamonds, ironically, although I loved the rest of the poles) had very uncomfortable straps to me.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 19:35:02 MDT Print View

Hi,
yes, not all straps are created equal, even within the same brand.
The ones in that video are the most comfortable for me
I have another two types in BD that are not great but still they work OK.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 19:46:41 MDT Print View

Frank's way is pretty close the the peter way. in that i only put the four fingers thru the strap. never the thumb.
because if the pole gets jammed in a crack, and you are moving forward with the thumb in the grip, it's too slow to disconnect (and you are going to crash or break a pole). but if you just have 4 fingers thru the strap, you simply let your arm tail backwards and the pole with auto-disconnect.
it looks that Frank is doing a similar thing, not sure. (looked hard, but could not see clearly)
at least for peter, the ticket is 4 fingers only.
same thing with PacerPoles.

pole length can be fine tuned if that when you are tired on an uphill, if the poles want to splay outwards too easily, consider shortening them in 1/2" steps.

the longer people use poles, it seems they trend to running them on the short side, rather than longer.

happy motoring.
v.

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 20:16:51 MDT Print View

Cutting the straps off is not so surprising for some of us. I can't stand the straps. I find them uncomfortable in almost every circumstance. Maybe the result of using a single staff for years. After two long trips and trying to use the straps as you should I finally took them off. For me that made the poles useable. The jury is still out on longer term use of trekking poles, with or without straps! I do find them useful for some stream crossings, rough ground and steep downhills, but I tend to grip them lightly between thumb and fingers or palming the tops on downhills. For me it simply is more comfortable than straps.

Edited by bj.clark on 04/01/2014 20:17:56 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 22:32:03 MDT Print View

"For me it simply is more comfortable than straps."

+1. The straps worked alright for me but within the first year I removed them off of the poles I primarily take hiking with me. I have a second pair I left intact for snowshoeing.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 22:34:10 MDT Print View

Yup - I am a cutter. Could not stand the straps. BD Alpine Cork poles.

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - F - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 23:40:33 MDT Print View

I've found that I use the straps when I'm on a steady uphill slog, but when I'm on flat ground, varied terrain, or descending, I prefer to hold the poles without the straps. I like to hold the straps against the handle, all as one big bundle, since my hands are pretty big. This way I can easily change my grip to accommodate the terrain.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: How to use your trekking pole strap on 04/01/2014 23:58:48 MDT Print View

I use the straps as Franco showed, but I do grip the handle fully--- not tight at all, but with my fingers around it. It's the same technique used in cross country skiing.

That allows my weigh to be supported in the fat of my hand, not by my grip. When walking easily with the poles, it's more a process of flicking the pole forward and just walking up to it. If I'm going up or down big steps, rocks or roots, then I'm gripping a bit more, but most of my weight and effort is through the strap in the palm of my hand.

I've never had a problem with the pole hung up and not being able to let it go slack to get it loose.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
No straps for me. on 04/02/2014 05:40:23 MDT Print View

They're uncomfortable (all the time); inconvenient (when the tip gets stuck in the mud or under a rock): and maybe even dangerous (when you stumble or need a hand to actually grab something); and of course they weigh a precious gram or two (I've heard htere are people here who actually pay attention to grams).

On the flip side, what's the argument in their favor? I used straps for the firs tyear or so I used poles, years ago, and really don't remember any situation when they actually helped. Nobody in this thread has actually mentioned why they prefer to use them.

HYOH, I guess, eh>

Mitchell Ebbott
(mebbott) - F - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: No straps for me. on 04/02/2014 07:18:28 MDT Print View

"Nobody in this thread has actually mentioned why they prefer to use them."

They make pole usage less fatiguing on my forearms. When I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, it gets tiring to grip them tightly enough.

Mike Gunderloy
(ffmike) - M
No straps here on 04/02/2014 08:01:49 MDT Print View

Pacerpole makes the anti-strap argument at http://pacerpoles.com/faq/why-use-poles . I'm happy with their poles and find they don't require a tight grip at all; just enough to hang on to. The wide shelf takes the impact force quite well with no strap.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Re: re: no straps for me on 04/02/2014 09:16:32 MDT Print View

Mitchell- good point. Hadn't thought of that, though I suppose me wrists do get a little tired at the end of a long day.

Michael- thanks for sharing te Pacer Pole link. I've seen them before and was thinking about them. You adjust them quite a bit shorter tha. Traditional poles, eh? How do the do on rugged terrain? Anybody sell them in The States, or do you know how long it takes to get them here?

Thanks again!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
no poles for me ? or maybe just no straps ? on 04/02/2014 09:31:02 MDT Print View

I am generally not a pole user but tried them for several days on the JMT last summer.
I used the strap with the 4 finger method and gripped the handle.

granted I was a pole beginner, but I found myself using the poles as a crutch and felt I was more fatigued and slower for having used them.

maybe I will cut the straps off and give my poles a second chance.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: re: no straps for me on 04/02/2014 09:32:16 MDT Print View

I would also argue that should you catch the pole tip between two large rocks while falling to the ground, a strap prevents you from releasing the pole, possibly causing a wrist sprain or breakage.

Fors those of us that are clumsy.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
trekking pole straps usage.....yes or no on 04/02/2014 09:58:42 MDT Print View

When using straps as a XC skier would and I would second what Michael in his above statement communicated, "pole usage less fatiguing on my forearms. When I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, it gets tiring to grip them tightly enough." This is the reason why I have used straps for the many years of my adventuring and XC skiing.

hand

A CAUTION I WOULD ADD......The straps during cold weather with or without "hand gear" will reduce the blood flow from the Radial and Ulnar arteries to the hand and, you hands will feel colder than those who do NOT use straps.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: trekking pole straps usage.....yes or no on 04/02/2014 10:25:10 MDT Print View

Forearm fatigue?

I would suggest not using the straps to build up the endurance of the forearm muscles, thereby not requiring artificial assistance for weak forearms.

Maybe we should use rollerblades on the trail. It would reduce calf and quadricep fatigue.

Mike Gunderloy
(ffmike) - M
Re: Re: re: no straps for me on 04/02/2014 11:03:13 MDT Print View

Richard - Not much of Indiana qualifies as "rugged" terrain, but Pacerpoles have been fine for me scrambling up and down hills in places. I've got the carbon ones and they've survived getting the tips caught between rocks and such. (Better than I have; nursing a sprained hand from a fall last week at the moment).

I picked them up a couple of years ago. Don't think you can buy them except direct; as I recall shipping from the UK was under 3 weeks. I'm looking at their mitts for next winter, after my better half forgets how much I spent on gear this past winter.

Kent McLemore
(kmac777) - F - M
I like straps... on 04/02/2014 11:05:53 MDT Print View

I grew up using strapped poles for downhill and XC skiing. In the 70's we used our downhill poles, with straps, for dry-land training in the summer. We soon recognized the value of poles for hiking in the mountains and started using them for backpacking too. This was long before anyone made "trekking poles." Straps enable me to change my grip, relieving monotony and fatigue associated with never changing hand positions. Counting the "palm the top" method and two or three ways to grip the poles using straps, I alternate between several grips during a hike. Kind of like on-the-trail readjusting of shoulder straps, lift loaders and hip belt on a backpack while seeking that comfy feel. I don't like tall poles. I'm 5'10" and set my poles at 41" so that my elbow angle is greater than 90 deg. I have used straps for hiking on and off trail for 35 years. While my poles have wedged between rocks and gotten stuck in mud, this has never caused me to fall or suffer injury. I can understand why some don't, but I like straps.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: trekking pole straps usage.....yes or no on 04/02/2014 11:23:50 MDT Print View

"I would suggest not using the straps to build up the endurance of the forearm muscles, thereby not requiring artificial assistance for weak forearms. "

LOL. The forearm fatigue part of the strap argument always bewildered me also.

I cut my straps off. Seem to always be in the way with no measurable benefit for me. If others can find benefit in them, that is awesome.

Ryan