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Need advice about trekking poles...
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Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Need advice about trekking poles... on 08/15/2007 11:57:49 MDT Print View

I have never used trekking poles before - I'm 23 and my knees don't usually give me any trouble. But I read about the "pros" (Ryan Jordan, Andy Skurka, etc) who never hike anywhere w/o their poles, which makes me wonder if I am missing something. A few questions for any knowledgeable people out there:

1) Does a young guy really need poles?
2) Will using poles soften the wear and tear on my knees over the years? (i.e. - if I want to be 80 and still be hiking should I use them)
3) What do you do when you need both hands to scramble up a summit or cross some sketchy areas requiring hands? Anyone using a GoLite Jam2 pack found a good way to attach them?

And last... can anyone tell me the difference between the BMW Stix Pro and the GG Light Trek poles? What are the pros and cons?

Any advice is welcome!

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
BWM Stix Pro and GG Lite Trek Hiking Poles on 08/15/2007 12:10:14 MDT Print View

Hi Ryan,

Using Hiking poles will tend to place less strain on your knees going up and down hills. Attaching fixed length Hiking Poles such as the BWM Stix Pro and GG Lite Trek Hiking Poles is doable, but they will extend beyond the length of your pack.

The BWM Stix Pro Hiking Poles are stiffer and much more expensive than the GG Lite Trek Hiking Poles. The Stix Pro poles are a little heavier and are made from a heavier gage Carbon Fiber tube that tapers toward the bottom while the GG Lite Trek Hiking Poles have much more flex and are non tapered shafts. Both use (or used) the same kind of hand grips. Neither comes with keeper straps, but Spectra/Dyneema cord can be added.


Edited by naturephoto1 on 08/15/2007 12:11:24 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Need advice about trekking poles... on 08/15/2007 12:13:46 MDT Print View

I'm 20 and have been using my poles for over a year. I love them and couldn't imagine not using them. They're great for tough hills and really enable me to go farther than I ever could without poles. I've never been in a situation where I felt the need to stash the poles to navigate. There have been times when I grab both the poles with one hand and used the other to do something else but I've never had to lash them onto my pack. In a lot of cases I've used the poles to help me keep my balance, like crossing creeks, logs, or large rocks. They've saved me from falling over a number of times. They also make a great impromptu seat if you step up onto a log or rock and put the poles behind you and lean back.
I don't know how they'll work for keeping me on the trail into senior citizenship (I suppose that's a word :))but I can't imagine they'll hurt my chances at all.


Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
New LightTrek poles at GG on 08/15/2007 12:19:03 MDT Print View

I have been testing the newest released of LightTrek poles from GG for several months now. They are completely re-designed and have a tapered shaft and also a new tip design. I am happy to say that they took everything that I threw at them over numerous hikes. All the comfort as before, a bit lighter and much more robust. Definitely an improvement from the previous model. BTW, they are blowing out the old models now for $75/pair.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
poles/jam2 on 08/15/2007 12:24:42 MDT Print View

I was a pole holdout for a while. Why carry the extra weight? Then I tried my wife's poles (which she stows under the compression straps and in the side pocket when not in use). Now I'm getting my own poles. We hike a lot of mountain stuff with loose rock and very up and down terrain. The poles help enough that I'm willing to carry the weight and I've never had knee issues at all. I especially love them descending steep pitches.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
poles on 08/15/2007 12:34:34 MDT Print View

My wife uses them as well. I haven't tried hers (they are a whopping 11.4 oz!) but maybe I should take them for a spin. I was descending a steep talus slope last week and didn't know how I was going to make it - when the heavens smiled down on me and I found a perfect sized tree branch (note that I was above the tree line). I think maybe God was trying to tell me "Ryan, you really gotta look into some poles."