trekking poles

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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kanonen
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trekking poles

Post by kanonen »

What are your thoughts on trekking poles? I have not used them before, but am curious. What are the benefits/disadvantages? If you like to use them, do you have recommendations?

sgerbs
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Re: trekking poles

Post by sgerbs »

I have not yet hiked IR, so I can't say how well trekking poles will work there (although my wife and I are bringing ours on our trip in 2 weeks), but I can say that I enjoy using trekking poles. I bought mine while working at Grand Canyon National Park, and they worked amazingly there. At GC, you move in one direction for a long time (down or up), and the trekking poles do a good job of making that movement easier. When going down into the canyon, you can plant the poles before stepping down and therefore take some weight off your legs when they step down. Overall, it saves your knees big time. When going up, you plant the poles and it helps pull you up, again saving your legs from constantly having to push off. They work really well to keep your legs from being overworked, and your knees and ankles from a lot of pounding.

As for brands, I bought a cheapo brand at a store in Flagstaff. They have served me well over 3 years of hiking.

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philranger
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Re: trekking poles

Post by philranger »

I have used them for the past 4 backpacking trips. They are incredibly useful when trying to keep your balance and they save your knees. I was hesitant when I first got them, but I'm a believer.
Isle Royale Trips: 2005-RH to Windigo via Greenstone. 2006-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2007-RH to Daisy Farm and back. 2008-Feltmann loop. 2009-McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2013-Minong Ridge. 2014-Windigo + Huginnin Cove. 2015-Lookout Louise to LC to DF to MB. 2018-McCargoe to Todd to HL to Malone Bay.

rxgac
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Re: trekking poles

Post by rxgac »

i've been using mine for several years. not sure how many ankles they've saved. most of the time i use a hammock so i use the poles to raise one side of my tarp. i used them last year on my first trip to IR. going up and particularly down the rocks, i found them indispensable.

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Backpacker534
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Re: trekking poles

Post by Backpacker534 »

I've used a hiking pole (only one, not two) for several years now and have found it to be a useful tool that I always take on my hikes. It helps alleviate some of the stress and strain on my legs and knees while climbing up or descending down steep slopes. I have also used it to help keep my balance in precarious situations and have even used it as a tool/aid for various issues around camp.

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ScoutDad
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Re: trekking poles

Post by ScoutDad »

I use a single pole (hiking staff) as well. It's handy around camp, adorned with a few stave medalions and other deco items, and a must have when moving my old knees up and down inclines. :)
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- Henry David Thoreau -

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fonixmunkee
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Re: trekking poles

Post by fonixmunkee »

I'm a big proponent of trekking poles, and I've turned a few people on to them as well. The big thing for me is they help with your rhythm, which makes me hike a bit more efficiently. Next, it keeps you more upright, which saves your back and knees. Lastly, as others have said, it can help you navigate tricky terrain. They were a life-saver on the Minong...by the end of the trail, they were the only things helping me clamber up the rocky crags.

The only time they suck is when the trails are grown over and they get stuck in the grass or overgrown plants. And again, yes, they are very handy in camp too (hanging stuff on to dry, for example).

Only 5 days until I leave for Isle Royale. Neeha!

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jeastbur
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Re: trekking poles

Post by jeastbur »

On our recent trip, 2 of us had trekking poles and 2 did not. At the end, all four of us were convinced of their merit.
They certainly help with hiking inclines/declines, but they were most useful when we were hiking across slippery rock in the rain. The poles saved me more than once from landing on my rear.

Josh

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fonixmunkee
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Re: trekking poles

Post by fonixmunkee »

jeastbur wrote: They certainly help with hiking inclines/declines, but they were most useful when we were hiking across slippery rock in the rain. The poles saved me more than once from landing on my rear.
All agreed. Plus, if you have to walk on boardwalks, I found that they are great because I like to loo at the scenery and sometimes lose my footing!

sgerbs
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Re: trekking poles

Post by sgerbs »

Fonix, I agree that they worked well on the boardwalks of IR. Also, while we were on the Greenstone it was raining quite a bit, and I would have fallen several times had I not had my trekking poles to catch me.

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Re: trekking poles

Post by phulst »

I bought a pair before my trip in June, and gave my older single pole to my 14yo son.

We both thought that they were very much worthwhile, and I can say that they definitely helped with both up-and-down as well as stabilization. My wife made fun of me spending money on another "thing" for the trip but I would not go again without them.

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mihiker
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Re: trekking poles

Post by mihiker »

I have been using my "stiks" for many years.
They are constantly in my hands on Isle Royale and have prevented many falls.
Even in SE Michigan, I carry at least one with me just in case.

johnhens
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Re: trekking poles

Post by johnhens »

I have Leki Makalus, spring loaded pistons to help absorb shock, carbide tips for rocks. I use them more for snowshoing and skiing. Thye help in taking the stress off the knees going downhill and balance foe going through rocky areas.
Also great for pitching a tarp.

KeyMeKoe
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Re: trekking poles

Post by KeyMeKoe »

I am sure you all remember the riddle of the sphinx: what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs at noon, and 3 legs in the evening. The answer, of course, is man. So we should use 2 trekking poles in the morning, none during the day and 1 trekking pole in after dark.

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PatrickBDunlap
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Re: trekking poles

Post by PatrickBDunlap »

I have been using trekking poles for about 5 years now and will never go back to not using them. I am over 40 and have a back that can go out if I do not treat it well and the poles really help to take a load off my back. They also make my hiking safer by giving me a high stability level and I have caught myself from a stumble more then once with them. My first set I broke one catching myself in a hard fall but I did not fall and hurt myself so money well spent. Never used them much in camp so weight is dead weight as far as duel use for me.

I have a pair of Black Diamonds with a curved handle which keeps your wrists from needing to twist too far forward during the walking stroke.

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