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SueJhiker
11-27-2016, 16:50
They seem like they would be cumbersome to me, but I have not yet hiked a long distance.

slammer
11-27-2016, 16:52
I'm interested in this answer too because I've never used them.

heatherfeather
11-27-2016, 16:55
On descents, I find them essential for helping to take some stress off of the knees, and they really give you extra oomph on the flats or up hills. If I am day hiking I don't have to have them, but carrying any substantial weight I do not hike without them.


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ScareBear
11-27-2016, 17:00
They are useful under a number of scenarios.

They are especially useful the older you are.

Almost all ultra-light tents utilize them.

I use them mostly on the uphill until it gets too steep. I use them mostly on the downhill to telegraph a foot plant, much like mogul skiing. I use them on the flats to sweep away cobwebs in the green tunnel and poison ivy stands on the edge of the trail. I use them to part giant milkweeds and thornbushes in front of me.

Mine weigh 7oz. each. and i don't count them in my pack weight....

soumodeler
11-27-2016, 17:07
Personally, yes for 2 reasons:

1- my tent requires them to be set up
2- they make hiking easier, especially on downhill and rocky sections.

They are also great for spider web removal

AfterParty
11-27-2016, 17:07
They can also help you keep posture not sloutching with the weight of your pack.

SueJhiker
11-27-2016, 17:11
They are useful under a number of scenarios.

They are especially useful the older you are.

Almost all ultra-light tents utilize them.

I use them mostly on the uphill until it gets too steep. I use them mostly on the downhill to telegraph a foot plant, much like mogul skiing. I use them on the flats to sweep away cobwebs in the green tunnel and poison ivy stands on the edge of the trail. I use them to part giant milkweeds and thornbushes in front of me.

Mine weigh 7oz. each. and i don't count them in my pack weight....
That's why I am questioning whether I need them. My tent does not require the trekking poles. I can pick up a big stick for chasing away cobwebs and thornbrushes. My only concern is balance. Maybe they would help with that?

MuddyWaters
11-27-2016, 17:16
Need? Not really.
Even for tents using them you can make custom poles that are lighter.

Are they beneficial is probably what you mean.
The answer is yes.

Not everyone uses them.
But....the vast majority of thru hikers do, and that says something. (kennebec ferry man confirms this)

Takes load off knees on downhill is the biggest benefit
With a bit of tendonitis, you might be able to keep hiking with them, and not be able to without.
Crossing streams they are great (not really needed on AT south of maine). A necessity in deeper flowing water.
maintaining balance over boulders they are great. This happens often.
You will generally hike faster with them I believe, because they they reduce risk of falling on uneven terrain
Mine have saved my butt innumerable times. Also hold up tarp.

Christoph
11-27-2016, 17:18
Grab a cheap set and try them out. Some swear by them (like me) and some say they're just something else to carry. I personally like them for everything (uphills, downhills, and the occasional balancing act over rocks and logs crossing rivers, etc...). Uphills I get a little extra boost from my upper body when the legs just aren't quite up to the task and down hills it really takes a lot off the knees and helps control my "bouncing". Plus they're something to lean on 1/2 way up that grueling uphill. I also had to use one to fend off an angry grouse that just gave birth right on the trail. Luckily her hissing and wide spread wings had me running down the trail after I passed her and I didn't have to really "use" them for any defense. haha I honestly don't know if I would have made it as far as I did without them, they helped me that much. But others are a lot stronger (better) hikers than I am so you might not need 'em. I'd suggest try a cheap set and set out for a few days and see what you think.

Tipi Walter
11-27-2016, 17:21
Purely subjective. Some backpackers like to have both hands free. Others use only one pole to keep one hand free to eat snacks or operate a camera or most importantly to use hand pruners to clear briars and brush out of their faces.

Modern day poles with titanium tips are wonderful for balance especially when carrying a heavy pack both up or down, Two poles also take 30% of stress off the knees? Some statistic I remember.

Oh and a hiking pole or poles are vital for tricky creek crossings with a heavy pack. Also use my single hiking pole to dig catholes for the inevitable Fecal Deposits. A hiking pole also punches a deep hole in forest litter or ground duff whereby a used wad of toilet paper can be deeply stuffed 10 inches down in the ground using the pole tip.

egilbe
11-27-2016, 17:23
I pooh poohed them until I tried them. Wont hike without them. Saved me from falling countless times. I've tripped over them a couple times, sometimes they get stuck in roots or rocks, but that is minor compared to the falls they saved me from.

rafe
11-27-2016, 17:45
"Need" is tough to quantify. From what I've seen, the vast majority of hikers use them now. Thru hikers, weekenders, peakbaggers, dayhikers, all the same. Possible without poles? Of course. But why not try them out before dismissing the idea?

In super-steep terrain you may have to stash one or both poles in order to get a free hand or two. On road walks or other very flat terrain they're a wash. For the vast majority of AT terrain -- somewhere between these extremes -- they're very useful.

peakbagger
11-27-2016, 17:53
My standard observation is that I am up on Katahdin every year and generally there are thru hikers finishing up their hikes. Many still have poles, my theory is they would have discarded them at some point if they didn't feel they were worth carrying.

My other observation is that many women have a tougher time getting used to poles as they tend to have less upper body strength. Those who keep with them quickly get used to them but the initial transition takes a bit longer.

PennyPincher
11-27-2016, 18:12
you don't NEED them. You don't NEED a lot of things you will find others bringing. You don't NEED a GPS, map, or even a guidebook really. But your hike would likely be better having at least a guidebook. If used properly hiking poles can be a great asset. They can help you go faster on level and uphill terrain and help keep your knees from getting abused on downhills. You don't NEED a stove as some have shown but personally I can't imagine eating most of what is consumed on the trail by others (poptarts, suzy Q's, cinnabons, sandwiches, ramen, pizza, etc).

So try out some hiking poles. REI has a great return policy. Buy a set there. If you don't like it, return them. But before you hike with them watch a video or two about properly using them. I used to think they were a big waste but now I love them.

Del Q
11-27-2016, 18:15
At 56 years old, YES!

1 - its 4 wheel drive vs ??
2 - lightweight tents typically use hiking poles for setup

The AT is no trail, hiking poles have saved me from a lot of falls in 2000 miles

Dogwood
11-27-2016, 19:10
Trekking poles are not essential for everyone. Buying expensive trekking poles is not necessarily essential. Trekking poles are not essential to everyones kit, hiking approach, balance, optimal conservation of energy expenditure, establishing rhythm, reducing force off the body - knees, ankles, feet, legs, back, etc -, protecting knees(regardless of age!), traction, or reducing kit wt(in fact using trekking poles can add wt to a kit!). Much of what trekking poles help with can be done with zero financial cost by using a stick.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/a/11089/Ten-Reasons-for-Trekking-Poles

Despite the article listing ten potential positives or reasons to consider for trekking poles they are not essential tools as the article states.

Not pro or anti trekking pole use just saying you might want to consider the objectives often promoting store bought trekking poles can be accomplished in other ways without relying on gear or buying something.

FreeGoldRush
11-27-2016, 19:39
At 56 years old, YES!

1 - its 4 wheel drive vs ??
2 - lightweight tents typically use hiking poles for setup

The AT is no trail, hiking poles have saved me from a lot of falls in 2000 miles

Going down Blood Mountain into Neels Gap without poles convinced me to try poles. A fall there would be brutal. They make falls less likely and take stress off the knees on steep descents. I'm 46 but in college I would bounce right down a place like Blood Moutnain with absolutely no chance of falling and would have had no interest in hiking poles back then. And at that age a fall would have been a minor incident. As you get older the ground just hurts more. I did feel clumsy for the first few hikes with poles and I still don't like not having the hands free. The next strategy might be to collapse them and attach to the pack when on relatively easy ascents and descents. They double as tent poles so they can't stay home.

pilgrimskywheel
11-27-2016, 20:26
Would you rather be a top heavy biped that occasionally falls, or a four legged beast which can arrest a sudden rapid descent off the mountain?

illabelle
11-27-2016, 20:28
Many times I've used my trekking pole to find the submerged rock in a large mudhole so I can step across without getting my feet wet.

I've been on plenty of bog bridges and wondered how deep the muck is. Only way to find out is to step off the bridge ... or stick the pole down in the muck.

Haven't had to do this yet, but on deep stream crossings, best advice is to maintain three points of contact at all times. Impossible without poles.

If you have any joint issues, you will LOVE your trekking poles. My hips, knees, ankles, feet, and toes are grateful.

Sarcasm the elf
11-27-2016, 20:54
It's personal preference, but I love mine. They've saved my arse from many a fall and keep my knees from getting destroyed. I wouldn't give mine up if you paid me.

They can seem a little clunky at firdt and It does take some time to get used to using them, but after a while it becomes second nature. So don't just try them once and think that you don't like them.

becfoot
11-27-2016, 21:05
I took the advice on a thread on WB and purchased a cheap set of poles at Walmart. I used them on two short hikes before I felt that they were a natural part of walking. Now I love them--especially now on that I'm trekking in snowy areas and areas with wet leaves all over.

bigcranky
11-27-2016, 22:33
Essential? Of course not. Thousands of hikers have done long hikes without poles.

Useful? For me, yes. They help keep my knees from hurting so much on the downhills, they keep me from falling multiple times per day, and they hold up my tent.

Dogwood
11-27-2016, 23:17
While I've seen people stabilize their balance often with trekking poles while fording, crossing snowfields, and on descents I've also witnessed some brutal falls because a pole suddenly unexpectedly broke, especially on a steep descent, a pole unexpectedly didn't have or maintain good purchase as assumed it would while momentum was expected to be absorbed by a supposedly solidly planted trekking pole tip, again on descents, tips get caught in trail construction, on roots, slip into holes, get caught in rocks, etc on descents resulting in heels over head injuries, trekking pole grips getting in the way of preventing a fall or preventing a hiker from absorbing a fall by allowing them to put their hands and arms quickly out in front of them, etc. I've seen several seriously injurious face plants with one hiker's teeth being knocked out because trekking poles got snagged on nearby brush and grass as he attempted to absorb the fall by outstretching his arms in front. Another hiker the same thing happened on rather wide but brushed large rocks single track resulting in a severe head injury as his one trekking pole got caught up on boulder and he smashed his head on a rock as he fell. I've seen more than two dozen times a hiker leaning on trekking poles standing around and a pole unexpectedly break or the pole tip loose traction resulting in falls. Most of those times weren't serious but on two occasions it resulted in serious complications. Once a hiker fell off off the trail down a steep slope into the manzanita underbrush where she got sliced up badly and puncturing/lacerating her arm(hospital trip) and another time resulting in a man falling sharply onto one trekking pole while standing around that resulted in a severely bruised spleen almost rupturing it which can be life threatening if happening in the back country(hospital trip, had to be medivac).

Much more primary to preventing slips, trips, and falls AND preserving knees, feet, hips, and shins AND preserving energy AND maintaining a rhythm is conscientious energy efficient and ergonomic body mechanics, conscientious foot placement, having a greater overall awareness, choosing individually appropriate footwear based on anticipated conditions, lighter less voluminous loads, PROACTIVELY seeking to prevent or diminish the effects of physical issues with knees, feet, joint cartilage, muscle and bone via nutrition and smart training, flowing with momentum rather than abruptly fighting it, being aware of and employing energy positive physiology, and letting oneself decide if trekking poles are needed. Do not cede to the trekking pole/outdoor gear market or supposed "essential" backpacking gear picture as decided by "expert gear gurus" your ability to make that decision based on what you know is individually appropriate.

While there's a lot of potential upside to trekking pole use, which is what's most often heralded, there's another con side that isn't spoken about nearly as often.

8 yrs of HS and college basketball, 4 yrs post school Summer Pro and semi pro basketball league, 9 yrs of HS and college tennis(mostly hard courts), semi pro(satellite circuit) tennis, lifelong runner, lifelong long walker/hiker/backpacker, some mountaineering/some light climbing experience, 15 yrs+ of high impact aerobics(wise to give up the high impact aerobics), and a career in Landscape Design and Horticultural Grower that has me on my feet outdoors in all manner of terrain and season, I don't always need or desire trekking poles as an essential part of my kit.

shelb
11-28-2016, 00:21
Grab a cheap set and try them out. Some swear by them (like me) and some say they're just something else to carry.

I can't go without them... but then I am on the elderly side ... My young sons always wanted them - particularly liking them on the climbs and descents... As Christoph said, get a cheap set (Walmart = $19.99). Carry them for one to two weeks and decide.
Last summer, I saw a few people without poles ... after 100 miles... say they want them in the future..

Speaking of cheap poles. My first Walmart pair lasted at least 400 miles...

good luck!

HooKooDooKu
11-28-2016, 00:48
As others have said, poles have a multitude of uses.

For years, I've hiked the Smokies with a single 6' tall pole (the extra height is great for those creek crossings and steep decents).

This summer, I took a hike that required I fly, and it was going to be cost prohibitive to take the 6' pole. So I bought a set of poles that collapse down.

After coming back home and returning to my 6' pole, it seemed that I was walking faster using the pair of poles rather than the single extra tall pole.

AfterParty
11-28-2016, 00:49
If you buy cheap ones wear them out before buying good ones check the goodwill if hiking is prevelant in your area.

Trailweaver
11-28-2016, 01:59
Yep. As others have said, once you use them, you won't go without them. And all have mentioned how much their knees have been saved, how they help avoid falls, clear cobwebs, use for tent poles, etc., but they are also useful to "relocate" snakes from the middle of the trail to the tall grass beside the trail. (I didn't want to walk around the snake in the tall grass in case said snake had a friend there.) So yep. Get the poles. If you don't like them after three trips, then you can get rid of them. If you do like them, thank us all when you have benefitted from the advice. But be sure to learn how to use them to their full advantage. (ie: use the hand straps around the wrists and turned the correct way to avoid injury in a fall if that happens, and have the poles set to the correct height for your arms.)

JC13
11-28-2016, 10:31
They are also quite helpful when night hiking. Saved me several times and my wife even more.

Leo L.
11-28-2016, 10:46
During my first few solo desert hikes I've carried hiking poles (actually old adjustable skiing poles) and saw them as kind of an rescue insurence in case I hurt a foot or sprained an ankle.
I also loved to be able to better push myself forward on sandy stretches.
What I found super annoying is to have to put them somewhere at the many times I wanted to do somthing manual, like taking a foto, get a drink, etc.
I completely stopped using poles nowadays.
My wife loves them still as it's limiting the problem of swollen hands in the heat.

Hikingjim
11-28-2016, 11:02
Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit

Uncle Joe
11-28-2016, 11:34
Take a mop in one hand and a broom in the other. Turn them upside down pretending they're trekking poles. Now get on a scale and with one in each hand let them touch the ground. Don't push, just rest them on the floor and check your scale. The weight you're distributing is enough reason alone to hike with them, IMO.

Tipi Walter
11-28-2016, 11:34
Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit

You bring up a good point. So too in my early days of backpacking I never used or needed a hiking pole. I did alot of bushwacking in those years and hiking poles just got supremely in the way when ducking and weaving and climbing over blowdowns and duck-walking under low rhodo and thru terrible thickets or needing both hands for tough trails. Now I'm pitiful and it's like On Golden Pond time whereby I stay on regular trails and rarely bushwack anymore and shuffle and totter from one campsite to the next as a feeble girlie-man. Bushwacking in the Southeast mountains with a 75 lb pack is a young man's game. No hiking poles need apply.

MuddyWaters
11-28-2016, 12:34
If going downhill too fast dont destroy knees, it at least leads to tendonitis and stress fractures.

Poles help you slow down and reduce impact loading. Literally you can go slow motion.

Odd Man Out
11-28-2016, 12:40
Do *I* need them? Yes, for the reasons mentioned above.

Does *EVERYONE* need them? Clearly not as people have been walking long distances for over 100,000 years without them. However walking sticks have probably been used for over 100,000 years. Gandalf found his quite useful, although it didn't save him from the Balrog. Now if he only had some Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Corks, who know what would have happened.

Do *YOU* need them? Only you can answer that.

jeff_in_MD
11-28-2016, 12:48
I took the advice on a thread on WB and purchased a cheap set of poles at Walmart. I used them on two short hikes before I felt that they were a natural part of walking. Now I love them--especially now on that I'm trekking in snowy areas and areas with wet leaves all over.
I would be careful about buying a cheap set as the reason for disliking then might be because they are poorly designed and made. Now you don't have to buy the top of the line either.

What I did was read the reviews on Amazon, rei, and other sites and decided what I liked. It went on sale at rei and I bought it there. One nice thing with rei is they tend to have knowledgeable people and a great return policy, if needed.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 13:20
Take a mop in one hand and a broom in the other. Turn them upside down pretending they're trekking poles. Now get on a scale and with one in each hand let them touch the ground. Don't push, just rest them on the floor and check your scale. The weight you're distributing is enough reason alone to hike with them, IMO.

Upper arms, forearms, and hands account for about 10% of total body weight. Maybe, you're not distributing the amount of wt you think? Not that big a deal from an energy expenditure perspective leaving arms mostly down at sides or slightly in front of body or resting on pack straps. Can easily stretch arm appendages out in all directions to add balance, increase forward and sidewards momentum, swing to create rhythm, and get a more full body work out when desired. Of course that doesn't include increasing additional points of contact which spread out forces.

There's an implication in this culture that with age one has severe debilitating balance, stability, and body and mental functions. One might look to cultures that don't have this bias such as Okinawans who regularly tend to gardening well into their nineties, have an overall high level of happiness, interacting entire age ranging social structure, have holistic(whole being) approaches to life, and consider their diets. Is it all in their genes. NO.

With age people tend to be more aware of slowing down and conscientious movement thereby possibly in some aspects being more body stable than run and gun get er dun perhaps in haste attitudes some hikers have. Some of the most body stable and balanced people I've witnessed hiking and backpacking are 60+ yr olds that have cared well for their body.

Lyle
11-28-2016, 13:24
Need? no

Useful? ABSOLUTELY

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 13:26
If going downhill too fast dont destroy knees, it at least leads to tendonitis and stress fractures.

Poles help you slow down and reduce impact loading. Literally you can go slow motion.

Sure, trekking poles can help slow a hiker down descending but can't that also be accomplished by simply mindfully slowing down on descents period? Seems good mindful hiking practice to slow down and avoid high impact body jarring movement and giving greater heed to conscientious stable movement regardless if trekking poles are being used.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 13:32
You bring up a good point. So too in my early days of backpacking I never used or needed a hiking pole. I did alot of bushwacking in those years and hiking poles just got supremely in the way when ducking and weaving and climbing over blowdowns and duck-walking under low rhodo and thru terrible thickets or needing both hands for tough trails. Now I'm pitiful and it's like On Golden Pond time whereby I stay on regular trails and rarely bushwack anymore and shuffle and totter from one campsite to the next as a feeble girlie-man. Bushwacking in the Southeast mountains with a 75 lb pack is a young man's game. No hiking poles need apply.

Hauling 75 lbs is demanding of the body regardless of the age of the person hauling this size load. For a moment, entertain the possibility that hauling a 75 load as a young man has consequences to that person when they become older.

Maybe hauling a 75 load shouldn't be any age group's desire?

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 13:46
Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit

Hiking smarter, with conscientious ergonomic and energy efficient movement, taking care in foot placements, having a greater self awareness, lightening the load, protecting oneself with a whole body/holistic outlook, and adopting lifestyles and diet that support and promote whole body health, all reduce physical/emotional stress and risks of falls. This should be the primary goal. If that breaks down or has been ignored trekking poles can help. If one wants to trekking poles can help facilitate many potential positives but they are not essential for everyone or all the time.

MuddyWaters
11-28-2016, 14:14
Sure, trekking poles can help slow a hiker down descending but can't that also be accomplished by simply mindfully slowing down on descents period? Seems good mindful hiking practice to slow down and avoid high impact body jarring movement and giving greater heed to conscientious stable movement regardless if trekking poles are being used.

It is
But in places where trail is like stairs...with 12-15" high steps... (Much of gsmnp for example) You cant avoid dropping body wt onto lower leg going downhill, because you cant balance over that downhill step while slowly lowering wt.. Unless go down sideways.

. With poles you can, and can go slower with less impact

Invariably people with injuries are going down sideways or even backwards for this reason, to lessen impact.

Uncle Joe
11-28-2016, 14:15
Upper arms, forearms, and hands account for about 10% of total body weight. Maybe, you're not distributing the amount of wt you think?

Not saying you don't have a point. Just try it. The scale won't lie. On any given step at a given point that is the weight savings, albeit modest, that you gain.

In the end, it's a personal choice. That "savings" may very well be seen or the gains mitigated by many other factors. And there may be, and probably are, many other gains to be had by having your hands free.

Tipi Walter
11-28-2016, 14:17
Hauling 75 lbs is demanding of the body regardless of the age of the person hauling this size load. For a moment, entertain the possibility that hauling a 75 load as a young man has consequences to that person when they become older.

Maybe hauling a 75 load shouldn't be any age group's desire?

I've been hauling 75 lb packs since 1980, in fact my last pack weight for a recent November 21 day trip topped out at 100 lbs mainly due to hauling 9 extra lbs of water for dry campsites during the Southeast drought, a drought soon to end. My next trip's pack weight god willing and the creeks DO rise will be around 85 lbs. No complaints here.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 16:05
It is
But in places where trail is like stairs...with 12-15" high steps... (Much of gsmnp for example) You cant avoid dropping body wt onto lower leg going downhill, because you cant balance over that downhill step while slowly lowering wt.. Unless go down sideways.

. With poles you can, and can go slower with less impact

Invariably people with injuries are going down sideways or even backwards for this reason, to lessen impact.

One can also simply go slower more conscientiously and not pound and heavily plod carelessly as they descend trail or in areas of steps. BTW much of the riser height of steps in GSMNP are constructed and maintained intentionally to be 12" or less. Reducing deep(high riser) step downs and step ups should be a critical consideration for every hiker and backpacker conscientious of efficient lower impact backpacking mechanics and technique regardless if trekking poles are used or not. Where riser height is significant beyond 12" it makes sense to slow down and avoid high impact regardless if trekking poles are used. It makes good practical hiking and backpacking sense to be aware of mechanics and technique without the need to rely on trekking poles to compensate for this lack of awareness. Once these awarenesses have been recognized and applied THEN perhaps consider trekking poles...not the reverse process of starting out relying on trekking poles that can lead to masking and compensating for ignorances. See the distinction I'm making?

flatgrounder
11-28-2016, 16:07
I won't ever hike without them. Saves Knees! Good arm workout on steep uphill.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 16:11
I've been hauling 75 lb packs since 1980, in fact my last pack weight for a recent November 21 day trip topped out at 100 lbs mainly due to hauling 9 extra lbs of water for dry campsites during the Southeast drought, a drought soon to end. My next trip's pack weight god willing and the creeks DO rise will be around 85 lbs. No complaints here.

You are fortunate if you're body has not been somehow impaired. How are your knees, ankles, spinal alignment, musculoskeletal strength? You look fit and I strongly suspect your nutritional approaches and lifestyle that include low inflammatory aspects assist you. Plus, in all due respect, you're not hauling 75 lb loads many miles per day. The wear and tear is less for you then someone attempting 15 mph avg with a 75 lb load.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 16:14
Not saying you don't have a point. Just try it. The scale won't lie. On any given step at a given point that is the weight savings, albeit modest, that you gain.

In the end, it's a personal choice. That "savings" may very well be seen or the gains mitigated by many other factors. And there may be, and probably are, many other gains to be had by having your hands free.

Yeah, that stray itchy nose cotton, mosquito landing on a brow, and ripe thimble or huckleberry can easily be reached. :D

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 16:16
I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?

Traveler
11-28-2016, 16:44
I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?

Where are you keeping the camera that is too difficult to reach with poles hanging from a wrist? I'd suggest velcro on the straps, but that makes them unpredictable at times you need full predictability, and will also spook wildlife if you have managed to sneak up on something and have to pull the velcro apart.

Poles haven't gotten in my way for this. I use either a small Cannon digital camera attached to my pack strap, or a DSLR camera I have modified a fanny pack to carry off the side of my pack so I can reach it quickly without having to drop the poles off my wrist(s). I use the fanny pack because it has a deep pocket and the camera won't fall out easily when its placed into it, allowing me to keep it unzipped (or mostly unzipped so by putting my hand into it the zipper will travel and allow the camera to be removed. My poles can hang from the wrist straps and drag behind me so I don't trip over them. I can honestly say anything that I have come across that needs a photo quickly I have not lost due to pole constraints this way.

HooKooDooKu
11-28-2016, 16:46
I never bothered to use the straps on my poles, so you can't get a quicker release system than that.
I also enjoyed the "Stow-on-the-Go" trekking pole attachment on my Osprey Volt.

While I was on the JMT, I tried to be very methodical about what I did with my stuff so as to not loose anything when you're out in the middle of nowhere. One of the things I did was to always hang my poles from the sinch cord portion of the "Stow-on-the-Go" so that there wasn't any possibility that they slip and go sliding down a steep hill side or fall into some other challenging place to retrieve (I was particularly careful when stowing the poles for a picture while on a bridge).

pilgrimskywheel
11-28-2016, 16:54
This feature is standard on most pole systems: quickly pull arm straight backwards through the strap loop, forearm parallel to the ground, fingers pinched together in a conical shape whilst firmly holding the shaft in your other hand. Practice practice practice!

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 18:35
I won't ever hike without them. Saves Knees! Good arm workout on steep uphill.

A good arm workout can also be had pumping and lifting arms while constricting arm and chest muscles or doing resistance upper body training with the assistance of another hiker so both of you can get some fitness time in simultaneously. You don't NEED trekking poles to add upper body fitness exercises while hiking and backpacking. Easy to do as you're walking along. The occasional strong horizontal tree branch or lean to rafter makes an equally acceptable pull up bar. Push ups can be done just about anywhere. Benching a 30 lb backpack has benefits to upper body agility and strength too. BENEFT: no marketing hype needs to be swallowed or costly extra gear needs to be bought.

My 17 yr old nephew who has a solid brick six pack developed his abs largely by constricting and releasing ab muscles while standing not stressing spine doing sit ups or on machines. Same can be done to some effect for the arms.

If you really want to add fitness it doesn't necessitate costly gym memberships, 1000's of dollars of machines in the home, or new fangled shiny fitness toys or special blenders, cooking equipment, or supplements purchased through late night infomercials that promise rock hard abs, the easy way to to greater fitness and health, etc. Trekking pole purchases, and supposed reliance on and use, CAN be thought of similarly.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 18:54
Where are you keeping the camera that is too difficult to reach with poles hanging from a wrist? I'd suggest velcro on the straps, but that makes them unpredictable at times you need full predictability, and will also spook wildlife if you have managed to sneak up on something and have to pull the velcro apart.

Poles haven't gotten in my way for this. I use either a small Cannon digital camera attached to my pack strap, or a DSLR camera I have modified a fanny pack to carry off the side of my pack so I can reach it quickly without having to drop the poles off my wrist(s). I use the fanny pack because it has a deep pocket and the camera won't fall out easily when its placed into it, allowing me to keep it unzipped (or mostly unzipped so by putting my hand into it the zipper will travel and allow the camera to be removed. My poles can hang from the wrist straps and drag behind me so I don't trip over them. I can honestly say anything that I have come across that needs a photo quickly I have not lost due to pole constraints this way.

Thx Traveler for sharing. I've lost more shots of mountain lions, wolves, lynx, bobcats, Brown Bears, wild horses, Pronghorn, ringtail cats, and all manner of birds and birds of prey, and other wildlife in their natural state/natural behavior while attempting to free my hands of trekking pole straps, silently lean them on something, removing a small pocket camera from a hip belt pocket and get the shot. The noise, movement, and additional time of simply ridding myself free of trekking poles is most often enough in itself that I lose the opportunity for the shot I'm desiring.

I'm not about to remove trekking pole straps because I see them as almost necessary unless I plan on losing them while crossing steep snowfields, fording, or sliding down slopes while contouring on steep slopes or using on steep ascents/descents.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 19:00
This feature is standard on most pole systems: quickly pull arm straight backwards through the strap loop, forearm parallel to the ground, fingers pinched together in a conical shape whilst firmly holding the shaft in your other hand. Practice practice practice!

Simple sounding. Maybe not simple in practice. I have tried umpteen times to perfect a quick release from trekking pole straps yet it's the number one thing that cause me to lose opportunity to get the shots I desire. I have yet to perfect what you share. Maybe, I should more thoroughly study Houdini's upside down get of a straight jacket trick too. :)

ScareBear
11-28-2016, 20:52
I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?

LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.

egilbe
11-28-2016, 21:03
LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.

Wrong! The straps help prevent falling and/or dropping the poles. They are very useful.

Deacon
11-28-2016, 21:13
LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.

Laugh if you like, but that's not my experience. When worn correctly, I don't have to grip as hard, just lay the bottom of my hands on the straps.

As for falling, I'm a master at that. Every time I fall I just let them fall free from my hands with the strap still around my wrists-- no problem.

I know some say there's a risk of injury, but I've never experienced injury, and I've fallen many many many times.

rafe
11-28-2016, 21:13
Thx Traveler for sharing. I've lost more shots of mountain lions, wolves, lynx, bobcats, Brown Bears, wild horses, Pronghorn, ringtail cats, and all manner of birds and birds of prey, and other wildlife in their natural state/natural behavior while attempting to free my hands of trekking pole straps...

You forgot Sasquatch.

ScareBear
11-28-2016, 21:24
WRONG!

I have over 45 years experience skiing, both at resorts and in the backcountry. YOU NEVER EVER EVER EVER WEAR POLE STRAPS!!!! That's not personal choice. That's survival. Here are the reasons you don't ever wear the damn straps.

1. Trees. Trees grab your pole basket. If you let go, all is well. If you are wearing a strap, you will get turned. And fall. This is true for trekking or skiing, but the results are faster and more deadly skiing at speed.
2. Roots/Rocks/Holes. These things grab your poles and won't let go. On a downhill, no worries, unless you are strapped to the pole. Picture it...
3. Falling. You've somehow gotten one pole between your legs and are falling. Easy. Let go of the pole and stick your hand out to help arrest your fall. Oops. You've got a strap on. Your arm is now dislocated at the shoulder or broken. And, you may have impaled an important anatomical part with your pole. Or, you fall on a downhill and cartwheel or roll. Instinctively, you let go of your poles and they fly away harmlessly. Or, not. If strapped, the tips of the poles are behind your outstretched hands, waiting to impale your eye, face, chest, etc...
4. Jamming your thumb. If you put the straps on incorrectly, you WILL eventually jam your thumb. No bueno.
5. Photos. Hilarity ensues when an important shot is encountered and the subject is wearing pole straps!

The only reason to wear the strap? So you don't drop your pole....

MuddyWaters
11-28-2016, 21:28
LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.

to each their own.
I would never ever use poles without the straps.

But then again Im reasonably coordinated

What I ski...I need a pole to self arrest. So yeah, I wear straps.
Unless bumps in trees.

Many yrs of skiing , no pole related injuries.

ScareBear
11-28-2016, 21:32
Leki even makes/made a "break-away" strap, for all of the above reasons. If it wasn't needed, why would Leki have made it?

ScareBear
11-28-2016, 21:36
to each their own.
I would never ever use poles without the straps.

But then again Im reasonably coordinated

What I ski...I need a pole to self arrest. So yeah, I wear straps.
Unless bumps in trees.

Unless you are using Whippets(tm) you are better off losing a pole to help you self arrest.

Everybody takes a fall, no matter how coordinated. Hence, the invention of Whippets(tm).

Nobody I ski with in the backcountry uses straps, except when poling the flats. I don't even use them then. Mine have been cut off since 1979...YMMV...there's no good reason to wear them except for fear of losing the pole....

handlebar
11-28-2016, 21:37
I find trekking poles useful for the following reasons: 1) One of them holds up my tent, 2) As an advanced middle age backpacker I find they help take a substantial part of the weight on each step, similar to what using a cane would do. The trekking pole is planted with the arm opposite of the leg which is about to be planted making for natural arm swings and distributing my weight between the arm with the pole and the opposite leg 3) I also use the poles to engage the upper body on flat or mildly ascending/descending trail to add a little extra momentum to each step by pushing off with my lats as a cross country skier might. I use the straps which I adjust quite loose by putting my hands thru from the bottom like ski poles so that the beefy part of my hand against the strap takes most of the weight and I have a very light grip with a couple fingers around the handle. I find the poles especially helpful on steep descents and in providing stability when traversing uneven trail tread or going cross country. The poles have saved me from many a fall. When I do fall, I have never (knock wood) felt a stress on my wrists or arm joints, although once I did fall across a pole and bent the lower section under my leg. (A call to Leki customer service (Google "Leki Buffalo NY for the nbr) resulted in Leki sending a replacement section by priority mail at their expense.) For taking a quick picture, I let one pole dangle from my wrist while I unzip the fanny pack I wear in front to withdraw the camera, although that does take a bit of time and I might miss a shot--no different than if I weren't holding the pole.

Deacon
11-28-2016, 21:45
Leki even makes/made a "break-away" strap, for all of the above reasons. If it wasn't needed, why would Leki have made it?

An option for those who choose to use them.

egilbe
11-28-2016, 21:54
WRONG!

I have over 45 years experience skiing, both at resorts and in the backcountry. YOU NEVER EVER EVER EVER WEAR POLE STRAPS!!!! That's not personal choice. That's survival. Here are the reasons you don't ever wear the damn straps.

1. Trees. Trees grab your pole basket. If you let go, all is well. If you are wearing a strap, you will get turned. And fall. This is true for trekking or skiing, but the results are faster and more deadly skiing at speed.
2. Roots/Rocks/Holes. These things grab your poles and won't let go. On a downhill, no worries, unless you are strapped to the pole. Picture it...
3. Falling. You've somehow gotten one pole between your legs and are falling. Easy. Let go of the pole and stick your hand out to help arrest your fall. Oops. You've got a strap on. Your arm is now dislocated at the shoulder or broken. And, you may have impaled an important anatomical part with your pole. Or, you fall on a downhill and cartwheel or roll. Instinctively, you let go of your poles and they fly away harmlessly. Or, not. If strapped, the tips of the poles are behind your outstretched hands, waiting to impale your eye, face, chest, etc...
4. Jamming your thumb. If you put the straps on incorrectly, you WILL eventually jam your thumb. No bueno.
5. Photos. Hilarity ensues when an important shot is encountered and the subject is wearing pole straps!

The only reason to wear the strap? So you don't drop your pole....

When did we change the topic from hiking poles to ski poles?

MuddyWaters
11-28-2016, 21:55
...there's no good reason to wear them except for fear of losing the pole....

And theres no good reason not to use them, except your afraid of hurting yourself in an uncontrolled fall.

with walking...the chances are very very very small.

So small, I cant believe people will actually argue about what others do.

But this is Whiteblaze

where if you ask whats a good tent to bring, half the responses will be why you should use a hammock instead, and it will fill up 10 pages with 4 persons bickering back and forth.

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 22:42
Leki even makes/made a "break-away" strap, for all of the above reasons. If it wasn't needed, why would Leki have made it?

Thx for mentioning the quick release break away strap system of Leki. FWIW, I think that feature is preferred by downhill racers on skiing poles made for fast downhill skiing and not so much for ski trekking on flatter terrain or by those in gentler terrain engaging in cross country skiing. I'd guess there's no rule saying skiing poles can't ever be using for trekking on foot like hiking.

And, yes I'd say many if not most backpackers and hikers use their trekking pole wrist straps. Maybe, Pilgrim was right in that I need to practice more quickly releasing from trekking pole straps. I've practiced it some but still nowhere quick enough to avoid a fall from trekking poles snagging on something or from sudden in a micro second falls on steeply sloped snowfields or on steep trails with trail construction. fRankly, I dropped a trekking pole once bisecting a snowbird on a steep slope in Glacier and the pole slid down more than 1000 ft. It took a lot of time getting safely down around the chute and down to the trekking pole. I looked at my altitude watch to see how much elevation and time I had lost. Not what I was desiring.

I'm open to hearing anyone's further suggestions. I'm in need of improving in this area.


BTW, I've never seen Squatch using trekking poles. Maybe, that's one reason why it's so stealthy? :p

Hikingjim
11-28-2016, 22:50
I use my straps typically, but some situations I will take them off. Some sections north long trail, whites, etc, I feel they are a bit of a hazard. But I'm sure people have gone the distance with straps many times... I just feel better without them on in those situations

Dogwood
11-28-2016, 23:14
I find trekking poles useful for the following reasons: 1) One of them holds up my tent, 2) As an advanced middle age backpacker I find they help take a substantial part of the weight on each step, similar to what using a cane would do. The trekking pole is planted with the arm opposite of the leg which is about to be planted making for natural arm swings and distributing my weight between the arm with the pole and the opposite leg 3) I also use the poles to engage the upper body on flat or mildly ascending/descending trail to add a little extra momentum to each step by pushing off with my lats as a cross country skier might. I use the straps which I adjust quite loose by putting my hands thru from the bottom like ski poles so that the beefy part of my hand against the strap takes most of the weight and I have a very light grip with a couple fingers around the handle. I find the poles especially helpful on steep descents and in providing stability when traversing uneven trail tread or going cross country. The poles have saved me from many a fall. When I do fall, I have never (knock wood) felt a stress on my wrists or arm joints, although once I did fall across a pole and bent the lower section under my leg. (A call to Leki customer service (Google "Leki Buffalo NY for the nbr) resulted in Leki sending a replacement section by priority mail at their expense.) For taking a quick picture, I let one pole dangle from my wrist while I unzip the fanny pack I wear in front to withdraw the camera, although that does take a bit of time and I might miss a shot--no different than if I weren't holding the pole.

Thx Rick. Fannypack to the rescue.

RockDoc
11-28-2016, 23:38
They are a fad fed by strong retail marketing. Nobody used them before the late 1980's. Europeans favored them before Americans did (I saw French people using them on the Annapurna trek in 1983; I thought they were klutzy even then).

The American style traditionally was a wooden staff. Still is for quite a few hikers. Strong, no worries about breakage, attractive and natural. Great protection, strong support to prop up a heavy pack. Mine gets a lot of compliments. Not so much when I use Komperdells... but I like to support the mining industry too.

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 06:36
Thx for mentioning the quick release break away strap system of Leki. FWIW, I think that feature is preferred by downhill racers on skiing poles made for fast downhill skiing and not so much for ski trekking on flatter terrain or by those in gentler terrain engaging in cross country skiing. I'd guess there's no rule saying skiing poles can't ever be using for trekking on foot like hiking.

And, yes I'd say many if not most backpackers and hikers use their trekking pole wrist straps. Maybe, Pilgrim was right in that I need to practice more quickly releasing from trekking pole straps. I've practiced it some but still nowhere quick enough to avoid a fall from trekking poles snagging on something or from sudden in a micro second falls on steeply sloped snowfields or on steep trails with trail construction. fRankly, I dropped a trekking pole once bisecting a snowbird on a steep slope in Glacier and the pole slid down more than 1000 ft. It took a lot of time getting safely down around the chute and down to the trekking pole. I looked at my altitude watch to see how much elevation and time I had lost. Not what I was desiring.

I'm open to hearing anyone's further suggestions. I'm in need of improving in this area.


BTW, I've never seen Squatch using trekking poles. Maybe, that's one reason why it's so stealthy? :p

Many "trekking" poles are backcountry ski poles. To ski the backcountry, where you skin up and ski down, you need poles that are adjustable. BlackDiamond has a corner on this market. Black Diamond's "trekking" poles are ski poles. I wouldn't take a non-adjustable ski pole for trekking. My "ski" poles, for inbounds and racing, are graphite, non-adjustable, cost more than my backpack, and wouldn't last on the trail for more than a couple of weeks.

I just don't see the need for pole leashes(straps) vs. the potential of real injury in a fall or a fall that is precipitated solely upon the use of poles with the straps on. That's why you don't see ski retainer straps on anything but telemark skis or randonee bindings anymore. If you can imagine the carnage of a fall where your skis properly release, but remain tethered to your leg, why can't you imagine the carnage of a fall where the poles come out of your hands, but stay on your arms?

Sorry if my post came off as negative. I've seen injuries from poles with straps on. Broken thumbs. Thumbs that had dislocated and then broken. Pole grips to the eye, mouth and larynx. Broken pole impalement in...gluteus maximus. Horrific tree skiing fall caused solely by the pole grabbing underbrush, turning the skier 45 degrees and into.....yeah....a tree. On the AT I've seen a guy on a tricky downhill get his pole caught in a root bundle, was in the process of a down step, turned and fell. His pole came out just after his arm did. One roll. Two rolls. Bounce. Slide. Stop. Scream. The pole was still attached....at least he didn't lose his pole. None of the above, with the exception of the tree skier and butt puncture, lost their precious poles. Every other one of them wished they did....just sayin...pole loss v. fall/injury....hmmmm......paging Professor Darwin....poles strap users on line one....

BTW, my son used the pole straps on the trail without really thinking. He took a good fall on a steep incline when his pole stuck in a rock crevice, ascending. He slid, the pole came out and since it was still attached, the pole promptly spiraled and whacked him in the head. No harm to anything but his pride. He cut the straps off, then and there. Just like his ski poles. "Sorry, Dad." "No worries kid, live and learn..." Hopefully...

Traveler
11-29-2016, 07:08
WRONG!

I have over 45 years experience skiing, both at resorts and in the backcountry. YOU NEVER EVER EVER EVER WEAR POLE STRAPS!!!! That's not personal choice. That's survival. Here are the reasons you don't ever wear the damn straps.

1. Trees. Trees grab your pole basket. If you let go, all is well. If you are wearing a strap, you will get turned. And fall. This is true for trekking or skiing, but the results are faster and more deadly skiing at speed.
2. Roots/Rocks/Holes. These things grab your poles and won't let go. On a downhill, no worries, unless you are strapped to the pole. Picture it...
3. Falling. You've somehow gotten one pole between your legs and are falling. Easy. Let go of the pole and stick your hand out to help arrest your fall. Oops. You've got a strap on. Your arm is now dislocated at the shoulder or broken. And, you may have impaled an important anatomical part with your pole. Or, you fall on a downhill and cartwheel or roll. Instinctively, you let go of your poles and they fly away harmlessly. Or, not. If strapped, the tips of the poles are behind your outstretched hands, waiting to impale your eye, face, chest, etc...
4. Jamming your thumb. If you put the straps on incorrectly, you WILL eventually jam your thumb. No bueno.
5. Photos. Hilarity ensues when an important shot is encountered and the subject is wearing pole straps!

The only reason to wear the strap? So you don't drop your pole....

Given this, you must be absolutely terrified of skis and apoplectic when people utilize bindings on them.

stumpknocker
11-29-2016, 07:33
The comfortable cork grips, straps and long lasting tips on my Leki trekking poles are why I use manufactured poles instead of sticks.
Lots of other people have already covered most of the good that trekking poles do for some hikers.
I could probably make do with another kind of grip material as long as it was large enough and comfortable enough.
I would not consider a trekking pole without good straps or tips...but that's my way of thinking.
The straps are always used and are one of the best features of a manufactured trekking pole for me. :)

Something for Dogwood to think about...I keep my camera in a zip-up shoulder holster.
The zipper is almost always open unless I'm doing a difficult spot on the trail, then it gets a quick half closed zip. It's a chance I take with the camera to get better critter photos. I've never had the camera fall out of the shoulder holster. I've done it like this long enough that I never forget it's not zippered in.

When I see an animal I want to photograph or take a video of I let my poles dangle from the straps and can quickly have the camera ready while making no noise and very little movement.
I always keep all the noises the camera makes muted.
I used to keep the camera zipped up all the time, but I had too many animals hear the zipper and run off before I could get the photo.
I'm always amazed how quickly I can become a still object doing it this way and mostly have the animal not even know I'm there.
Just a thought, but maybe you've already done something like this.

Lyle
11-29-2016, 09:04
Pacer Poles do not need straps, in fact, they don't even have any - just cord tethers so you can let the poles dangle when taking pictures.

FreeGoldRush
11-29-2016, 09:08
Leki even makes/made a "break-away" strap, for all of the above reasons. If it wasn't needed, why would Leki have made it?

For the same reason every other company sells us things we don't need: To differentiate their products and make you believe they have something "new" that is "better".

colorado_rob
11-29-2016, 09:41
Just my 2 cents on the pole thing...

For at least a decade, I scoffed at using poles, then I used them and found they really are useful, especially at "distributing the work" a bit from all legs to some arms. Early on I used those silly straps like "you're supposed to", found this highly annoying (for reasons already discussed), so stopped using them altogether (I never, ever use straps skiing, for reasons already mentioned).

So, two poles, no straps... still a bit clunky at times, though it made up/down hills a good bit easier. THEN I discovered the joy of using one single pole and switching hands quite often, and this is my current method of hiking most trails, including long hikes. One pole. Interestingly, nearly all my regular hiking pals out here in Colorado do the exact same thing: one pole, no strap.

One exception: if the day will involve BIG up/down on good trail, I'll use two poles. Big up/down on a very rough trail, a trail that requires a lot of use of hands to grab holds, I'll stick with one pole. I carried and used two poles on a very recent Long Trail ETE, lots and lots of big up/down, though I stashed one pole a bunch during the hike.

Other pole attributes: For very long trails, consider energy use: the AT for example is approximately 5 million steps. If you're a regular 2-pole user, that's 5 million pole plants and pole lifts. So, the weight of a pole or poles is important. Carrying a heavy walking stick means much more energy expended. OTOH, it also means a better arm workout, not a bad thing really....

I also find that I hardly ever have any need to adjust pole length, so I now use a fixed length pole (130cm for me, 6'1" tall), one that folds into thirds for easy storage, in particular the Black Diamond Z-pole line. I prefer the aluminum version vs the carbon-fiber version, because I have broken two carbon poles over 15 years or so.

So that's my 2-cents, I'm 60, and stuff is starting a hurt a bit now and then, and I'm sure using a hiking pole helps me out quite a bit.

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 10:21
Given this, you must be absolutely terrified of skis and apoplectic when people utilize bindings on them.

Ummmm...no.

I prefer to minimize my risk of injury. Which I why I do a proper release test on my downhill ski bindings every fall, before the season. I also ditch the bindings when they are out of service by the mfr. And, I employ ski brakes, even on my ultra-fat powder skis. I also wear an avy beacon if I am going to hike to ski at Alta.

Apoplectic? Nah. Cautious. Yah.

I AM terrified of a gaper poseur mowing me down in a lift line and blowing my knee out, since this has happened to two friends in the last 20 years!

Uncle Joe
11-29-2016, 10:53
Yeah, that stray itchy nose cotton, mosquito landing on a brow, and ripe thimble or huckleberry can easily be reached. :D

True! With trekking poles it usually goes like this: Begin to raise hand to scratch itch. Realize trekking pole is in scratch hand. Attempt to pass trekking pole to other hand and loop hand-loop over other trekking pole. Miss other trekking pole and drop the one from scratch hand. Bend down to retrieve trekking pole. Realize if you bend down you will lose your hat! Squat to retrieve trekking pole instead. Realize you have a trekking pole in each hand and now cannot scratch!

Leo L.
11-29-2016, 10:54
... Nobody used them before the late 1980's. Europeans favored them before Americans did ...

True.
We had two periods where hiking poles got used and advertised.
First was in the 90ies and they pointed out the advantages you all here pointed out as well: Load distribution, saving knees, "4-legs-drive".
Then a few years later some people started to tell around that hiking poles are bad, for all the reasons you pointed out: Danger of injury, losing training for balance.

Hiking poles came back some 7-8 years back, but very specialized ones and they call the job now "Nordic Walking" (we call it Nordic Wobbling" for all the overweight wom..Hmmmpf, sorry for the political incorrectness <G>
We have the citys most famous Nordic Walking route here passing by just by my window, so while sitting in the office I can watch them all wobbling, eh, walking by.
About 80% of all people use poles now. Its a fashion. All poles, be it skiing, hiking or walking, have some sort of quick/emergency release of the loops since many decades.

Out on the mountain trails here hiking poles are less used, because many routes involve some sort of scrambling, where the poles would have to be stowed away, and almost all tracks are to narrow and rocky to make good use of poles.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 10:59
APOPLEXIA! Or, the untold terror of my pole. The strap is there specifically for arresting a fall. If you are unsure of this please try the Sierras without poles, or pole straps. You'll be the first one down the mountain!


Simple sounding. Maybe not simple in practice. I have tried umpteen times to perfect a quick release from trekking pole straps yet it's the number one thing that cause me to lose opportunity to get the shots I desire. I have yet to perfect what you share. Maybe, I should more thoroughly study Houdini's upside down get of a straight jacket trick too. :)

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 11:08
Irresponsible and potentially dangerous poppycock



true.
We had two periods where hiking poles got used and advertised.
First was in the 90ies and they pointed out the advantages you all here pointed out as well: Load distribution, saving knees, "4-legs-drive".
Then a few years later some people started to tell around that hiking poles are bad, for all the reasons you pointed out: Danger of injury, losing training for balance.

Hiking poles came back some 7-8 years back, but very specialized ones and they call the job now "nordic walking" (we call it nordic wobbling" for all the overweight wom..hmmmpf, sorry for the political incorrectness <g>
we have the citys most famous nordic walking route here passing by just by my window, so while sitting in the office i can watch them all wobbling, eh, walking by.
About 80% of all people use poles now. Its a fashion. All poles, be it skiing, hiking or walking, have some sort of quick/emergency release of the loops since many decades.

Out on the mountain trails here hiking poles are less used, because many routes involve some sort of scrambling, where the poles would have to be stowed away, and almost all tracks are to narrow and rocky to make good use of poles.

gravitino
11-29-2016, 11:39
Will definitely help you keep your balance in trails with rocks or roots or mud. You will advance with more confidence. Will help on ascents and descents, not as useful in flat smooth trails. Carrying a heavy backpack contributes to upset your balance in rough terrain.

CalebJ
11-29-2016, 11:44
Irresponsible and potentially dangerous poppycock

What exactly do you find irresponsible and/or dangerous about what he posted?

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 12:03
Promulgating the conjectured notion that hiking poles are a mere fashion statement and are "designed" to break away. I'm sure out there somewhere there may be such a product but it is not meant to stop you from uncontrollably sliding down an ice face toward a crevasse. Thru-hike the PCT without poles and see what happens. Fall and have a strap break away and see what happens. Try climbing up or down Roan Mountain in the rain and see what happens.



What exactly do you find irresponsible and/or dangerous about what he posted?

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 12:15
37208this is a hiking pole w/axe top and the straps don't break away - NOT a fashion statement - anyone who suggests so has never traversed the passes of the Sierras. This tool will save your life. You may miss a photo op, but you'll miss your own funeral too! Have doubts - head up Mt. Whitney without poles. Lots of folks jump with one parachute too - not this kid.

Another Kevin
11-29-2016, 12:21
Promulgating the conjectured notion that hiking poles are a mere fashion statement and are "designed" to break away. I'm sure out there somewhere there may be such a product but it is not meant to stop you from uncontrollably sliding down an ice face toward a crevasse. Thru-hike the PCT without poles and see what happens. Fall and have a strap break away and see what happens. Try climbing up or down Roan Mountain in the rain and see what happens.

If I'm on an ice face, or even above one, I want an ice axe. In hand. Held in a way that it can be brought to arrest position in a single motion. I know how to attempt to arrest with a pole, but it will surely mean a broken pole, and likely mean a broken Kevin. Pole straps are not axe leashes, although I freely admit that neither a pole nor a piolet does you any good when it's a thousand feet below you.

ETA: This message crossed with the one containing the picture of the hybrid-pole-and-pick thingie. I'm not sure I could adapt to that gadget. I learnt conventional French technique, and I suspect I'd have the wrong drilled-in responses for whatever you're supposed to do with it.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 12:38
Yup. Ice ax is a good choice. To each his own. I prefer not taking the bad step/slip/fall first, it likely means I won't need the ax to arrest. This baby is great for glacining (sp?) (sliding down ice faces bordered by huge rocky pits) - which as you know is a BIG part of the PCT show. Clearly however you're not going up into the Sierras with a GoPro in one hand and a Snicker Bar in the other because you're soooooo fashion forward. Lets keep it real dog!

Tipi Walter
11-29-2016, 12:51
It's late November as I gear up for a hopefully rainy trip in December and I've got nothing better to do than post a Photo Essay on the Wonderful Need for Poles when pulling creek crossings. So many people using so many poles can't be all wrong---

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/Three-Citico-Nuts/i-bjcX5zq/0/O/TRIP%20170%20341.jpg
Here's my backpacking buddy Patman pulling the easy 7th crossing of North Fork Citico Creek.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/20-Days-on-Medicare/i-gqRJs9V/0/XL/TRIP%20166%20166-XL.jpg
Here is N-Ville Randy with Patman pulling a crossing over Brookshire Creek in Upper Bald wilderness.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/17-Days-In-Rattlerville/i-6L6Ljs9/0/XL/Trip%20165%20303-XL.jpg
Here's a pic of Nichole crossing Slickrock Creek. Notice her hiking pole.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/17-Days-In-Rattlerville/i-wdQqzkT/0/XL/Trip%20165%20367-XL.jpg
Here is Kenny crossing Slickrock Creek. Check out his hiking poles.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/18-Days-with-Amy/i-KWmWM6b/0/XL/TRIP%20164%20084-XL.jpg
Here is Amy Willow (AT 2006) crossing Bald River in Upper Bald wilderness. What's that in her hands???? Hiking poles.

MAYBE MORE TO COME.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 12:54
I'd like to direct your attention to the notice of the currently missing pct hiker posted on this site. Last seen at white pass wa. (where i met the wife.) there is a thorough description of him and his kit: "no hiking poles - he doesn't carry them." you are always just one slip away of being swallowed by the earth and disappearing forever. Fear mongering? Ok. I'll take that. If you are not afraid then you need to pack more respect for where we go.

Traveler
11-29-2016, 13:02
True! With trekking poles it usually goes like this: Begin to raise hand to scratch itch. Realize trekking pole is in scratch hand. Attempt to pass trekking pole to other hand and loop hand-loop over other trekking pole. Miss other trekking pole and drop the one from scratch hand. Bend down to retrieve trekking pole. Realize if you bend down you will lose your hat! Squat to retrieve trekking pole instead. Realize you have a trekking pole in each hand and now cannot scratch!

Cute tale of the woefully inept! :D

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 13:11
APOPLEXIA! Or, the untold terror of my pole. The strap is there specifically for arresting a fall. If you are unsure of this please try the Sierras without poles, or pole straps. You'll be the first one down the mountain!

Rarely is it my goal to be the first to hurdle down the mountain. To go safely, proceed patiently, with mindfulness, going at a rate that is appropriate for me and the descent, enjoying the descent as much of the ascent while relying on my own awarenesses to do this, is typically my goal. IMHO, it is just this type of mindset - be the first down the mountain - that you imply should be or can be the goal is what gets people hurt whether using trekking poles or not.

Trekking poles are no Band Aid substitute for ignoring good backpacking mechanics, ergonomic energy efficient motion, reducing impact to body by lightening the size and weight of the load, body destroying lifestyles, and poor pro inflammatory diets that contribute to and cause musculoskeletal disorders.

Bronk
11-29-2016, 13:17
I've never used them. Just one more thing that's easy to forget and leave behind.

egilbe
11-29-2016, 13:23
Forgetting hiking poles behind, for me, is as likely as forgetting my legs.

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 13:25
Some of the loudest hikers I here, other than my sister incessantly talking to my nieces and nephews on trail, are hikers using trekking poles. I can usually hear them from a mile or more away clickkety clacking and scuffing their way down the trail. This noise has frightened more wildlife off or put them into an unnatural state of alarm perhaps more than perhaps any other UNNATURAL sound in Nature while. Many people hike in nature to experience Nature. I know I do. When wildlife is scared off because of unnatural repetitive noise like trekking pole users make we experience less of Nature. Getting those photo opportunities never materializes because the unnatural noise. So, folks saying they've never lost a shot or imposed on others attempting to get their own photos due to trekking pole use are fooling themselves!

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 14:02
For all the potential positives of using trekking poles, again, which are vastly more touted than the cons, they certainly can be part of a fashion statement or imply being a serious hiker, an essential part of the backpacking picture, just as can happen with those who must proudly display their essential Patagonia logos on apparel, publicly herald various accolades of victory concerning their itsy bitsy new fangled expensive UL widgets, make sure everyone sees them on their electronics engaging world leaders negotiating the latest peace treaty, or making that daily call to Warren Buffet or Bill Gates regarding their latest IPO or addressing AIDS charities in Africa.

Trekking pole usage has risen not just because they can be helpful but because it is unquestionably believed they have to be part of the serious backpacker's/hiker's gear ensemble. It is similar to the hiking/backpacking community in the past mistakenly believing heavy leather European mountaineering style constructed boots were thought to be a necessary part of trekking.

Perhaps, perhaps, it's best to proactively address the root causes of why one might need or want trekking poles preventively rather than assume the consequences of those causes have to be the norm and addressed symptomatically with trekking poles. That's the more profound discussion..... possibly not needing trekking poles as result of greater awarenesses? This isn't going to apply to everyone so don't get defensive or offended. The intention is to develop and not ignore critical thinking skills so we all can make better more sober decisions.

If one uses trekking poles GREAT. If you don't GREAT. If one thinks more preventively why one might not need trekking poles, and seek to avoid those reasons proactively,....GREATEST.

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 14:07
It's late November as I gear up for a hopefully rainy trip in December and I've got nothing better to do than post a Photo Essay on the Wonderful Need for Poles when pulling creek crossings. So many people using so many poles can't be all wrong---

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/Three-Citico-Nuts/i-bjcX5zq/0/O/TRIP%20170%20341.jpg
Here's my backpacking buddy Patman pulling the easy 7th crossing of North Fork Citico Creek.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/20-Days-on-Medicare/i-gqRJs9V/0/XL/TRIP%20166%20166-XL.jpg
Here is N-Ville Randy with Patman pulling a crossing over Brookshire Creek in Upper Bald wilderness.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/17-Days-In-Rattlerville/i-6L6Ljs9/0/XL/Trip%20165%20303-XL.jpg
Here's a pic of Nichole crossing Slickrock Creek. Notice her hiking pole.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/17-Days-In-Rattlerville/i-wdQqzkT/0/XL/Trip%20165%20367-XL.jpg
Here is Kenny crossing Slickrock Creek. Check out his hiking poles.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2015-Trips-161/18-Days-with-Amy/i-KWmWM6b/0/XL/TRIP%20164%20084-XL.jpg
Here is Amy Willow (AT 2006) crossing Bald River in Upper Bald wilderness. What's that in her hands???? Hiking poles.

MAYBE MORE TO COME.


Yes, more to see! Again, wonderful pics Tipi. SEE in your pics all those sticks and small branches lying around some that seem to have been used during previous fords by hikers. THEY are trekking poles too! They can be used for fords also. NO?

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 14:18
Will definitely help you keep your balance in trails with rocks or roots or mud. You will advance with more confidence. Will help on ascents and descents, not as useful in flat smooth trails. Carrying a heavy backpack contributes to upset your balance in rough terrain.


While we can rely on gear for confidence I will suggest it is not more gear that gets us always down the trail. Confidence can primarily come from knowing thyself, and relying on skills, knowledge and wisdom.

BTW, on flat terrain trekking poles can be used to establish a cadence or rhythm enabling one to cross vast distances faster or more efficiently.

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 14:25
37208this is a hiking pole w/axe top and the straps don't break away - NOT a fashion statement - anyone who suggests so has never traversed the passes of the Sierras. This tool will save your life. You may miss a photo op, but you'll miss your own funeral too! Have doubts - head up Mt. Whitney without poles. Lots of folks jump with one parachute too - not this kid.

Not the best of either world, IMHO. I'd be carrying a real ice axe with a real leash if I thought I'd be in a situation to need an ice axe. I suppose I could put Whippets(tm) on my hiking poles...but why? I'm not skiing and if something happens at walking pace that I need to self-arrest from( I am trying to picture it....), you can be damn sure I am going to need an ice axe, not a pole with an axe head and iffy straps....I can't imagine using poles with axe heads to do anything without having crampons on.....how would that work, again?

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 14:32
I've seen more people take falls during water crossings attempting to rock hop on slippery rock or balance beam across on logs to avoid taking off their shoes or getting their feet/shoes wet. Makes me scratch my head especially when the crossings are shallow, narrow, very cold conditions don't exist, and the person already is wearing sandals or has wet feet/shoes.

Another Kevin
11-29-2016, 14:56
My unreliable opinion on poles: I've used them for about four years. Before that, I spent several decades hiking with a wooden stick. I'm continuing to use my poles.

I have fallen much less often since I started using poles. My knees, one of which I trashed in a hiking accident in the Whites in my late teens, and subsequently in an ill-advised attempt to learn the basics of figure skating and the other of which I trashed in a fall on ice in my own driveway, and subsequently in a faceplant in the Adirondacks, don't hurt after a day of moderate hiking. With just my walking stick, they surely did!

I also used to have problems with finger numbness and clumsiness after a day of gripping a hiking stick, even switching hands regularly. Moreover I'd have trouble with blisters around the ball of my thumb and the web between thumb and forefinger, even after applying the tape that's used for bicycle grips onto my hiking stick. I had the same problem initially with poles, but it disappeared immediately when I started using the straps properly. I don't need to grip the pole, just kind of guide it with my fingers, and avoid whatever low-level harm that gripping it was doing to my skin and my nervous system.

I recognize the claim that I increase my chance of various injuries in a fall. It's a risk I'm willing to bear - partly because I fall so much less often with poles. Falling on an outstretched hand is also asking for wrist injury - and it's a reflexive move that people in various athletic pursuits (martial arts, dance, etc.) spend years of drill unlearning. "Tuck, roll, and take the impact on shoulder and backpack" does not come naturally.

Of course, I stow my poles for scrambling and bushwhacking through spruce or laurel. They are a lot easier to put away than my walking stick ever was. Collapse them, catch the baskets in an ice axe loop and tuck the tops in a compression strap. On serious ice, the poles go on my pack and the ice axe goes in my hand.

If you're going to contend that the reason I need poles is that I don't work on my balance enough, I carry a few extra pounds both on body and in pack, and I'm not in as good hiking fettle as I ought to be generally, I won't argue. If you're going to say "poles are for weaklings," then, well, I'm a weakling and I need them. If you are going to say, "poles are a fashion statement," well, then, my knees are slaves to fashion. If you're going to say that the reason that I need poles is that I neglected my body for too long in middle age, well, now I'm distinctly old, paying somewhat more attention to it, and having to work with this neglected body because it's the only one I have.

I know that some of the people here are sometime professional athletes, avid long-distance runners, professional outdoor workers, former rangers, environmental protection officers, foresters and so on. They're in awesome physical condition and have the balance of goats. They tend to be the people who proclaim that you have to be in terrific physical condition before hiking. To them I say that hiking is how I get into better condition. It's just about the only strenuous exercise that I can bring myself to enjoy, and if I could come even close to doing it as much as I want, I'd have no body weight issues at all (and probably much better balance and ability to recover from slips as well). But I'm not there. I'm not going to be in top physical condition before I start a hike, so I have to start slow and do what I can. Just don't push me aside as you blow past me on the trail. If you do, I'll be sorely tempted to trip you with a pole. What will stop me is that I know you're in better shape than I am, so even if I have the jump on you, I'm going to lose the fight.

That's my take on the "you shouldn't need poles because you should be in better condition" argument. To me, it comes awfully close to saying, "you shouldn't be hiking because you aren't cool enough."

Another Kevin
11-29-2016, 14:58
I've seen more people take falls during water crossings attempting to rock hop on slippery rock or balance beam across on logs to avoid taking off their shoes or getting their feet/shoes wet. Makes me scratch my head especially when the crossings are shallow, narrow, very cold conditions don't exist, and the person already is wearing sandals or has wet feet/shoes.

I'm afraid that I keep making the mistake of trying to rock hop - right up until the first slip of the day. (After that, my feet aren't going to get any wetter.) The thing is, most of my hiking partners have better balance than I do, so I'm always the one with wet feet.

Sarcasm the elf
11-29-2016, 15:01
I'm afraid that I keep making the mistake of trying to rock hop - right up until the first slip of the day. (After that, my feet aren't going to get any wetter.) The thing is, most of my hiking partners have better balance than I do, so I'm always the one with wet feet.

Sorry about leading you on that wild goose chase :D

Another Kevin
11-29-2016, 15:14
Yup. Ice ax is a good choice. To each his own. I prefer not taking the bad step/slip/fall first, it likely means I won't need the ax to arrest. This baby is great for glacining (sp?) (sliding down ice faces bordered by huge rocky pits) - which as you know is a BIG part of the PCT show. Clearly however you're not going up into the Sierras with a GoPro in one hand and a Snicker Bar in the other because you're soooooo fashion forward. Lets keep it real dog!

I'm just waiting for there to be enough ice down here in the valley that I can get in some practice arrests at the gorge in the local nature preserve, where I know the runout is safe. It's a skill that I have never used in earnest, and hope never to use, but sooner or later I might make a mistake, after which it could make the difference between being very frightened and very dead.

I don't glissade without a piolet. I could see the length of that pole/pick/alpenstock thingy being useful for a standing or crouching glissade - but I more often glissade seated. I would need to work on balance more to avoid wiping out from the other positions.

I know nothing about the "PCT show." The farthest west I've ever hiked is Arizona, and I moved away from there in the early 1980s. I'm a Northeast hiker and use the winter gear in places like the Catskills and Adirondacks. I don't own a GoPro, and GoPro video tends to make me a bit seasick. Even though I know Snickers bars are supposed to be the coin of the realm among hikers, I don't care for them all that much. I've never been "fashion forward" except by accident. Even among my geek circles, I'm geeky.

Another Kevin
11-29-2016, 15:23
Sorry about leading you on that wild goose chase :D

You weren't even on the trip I had in mind! I made it up to about the last fifteen feet of this river before going 'ploosh' in front of nine dryshod hikers. That was at record low water, by the way. In typical conditions, that crossing is knee-deep and we'd all simply have gotten wet. It's a very dangerous ford at some times of year, and there is a suspension bridge planned. The trees for the towers are lying in that gap on the far bank, waiting for the wood to season.
https://c4.staticflickr.com/1/726/21811867291_36b3afc288_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/zerwer)

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 15:54
Yup, it's unequivocally a valid proposition that IF more folks proactively considered health of the body by not contributing to it's demise through debilitating behavior and decisions fewer people would need trekking poles. If more people give greater consciousness to better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics t5here would be fewer using trekking poles.

It has nothing to with being cool It's about having the willingness to question assumptions, making better decisions, and having a greater awareness.:rolleyes:

rafe
11-29-2016, 16:10
Yup, it's unequivocally a valid proposition that IF more folks proactively considered health of the body by not contributing to it's demise through debilitating behavior and decisions fewer people would need trekking poles. If more people give greater consciousness to better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics t5here would be fewer using trekking poles.

It has nothing to with being cool It's about having the willingness to question assumptions, making better decisions, and having a greater awareness.:rolleyes:

Shorter: you're all doing it wrong.

MuddyWaters
11-29-2016, 16:13
My son when 11:

Flowing water over knees
See how low right hand is compare to left?
Next step is a ft deeper

Poles needed

This is a shallow crossing

Others are thigh to waist deep

Good luck w/o poles in flowing water
37213

Leo L.
11-29-2016, 16:20
Irresponsible and potentially dangerous poppycock
Suppose you completely misinterpreted my post.

First, I was explaining how we in Europe understand the topic of (hiking) poles, and this clearly became a fashion here.
(that still leaves everybody free to do as he/she likes).

Second, maybe I put the one thing wrong that every pole here has a quick/emergency release. I have this feature on several (older) poles here, but didn't find it mentioned in the most recent ads. So either this feature is no longer present, or its no longer advertised.

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 17:58
Shorter: you're all doing it wrong.

That's all you got out of it?

Condensed: many paths to the same ends.

Not everyone who needs trekking poles would need trekking poles if they consider a different path can get them to the same place trekking poles can! :D :confused:

Is that too complicated a sound bite to grasp? :rolleyes:

Puddlefish
11-29-2016, 17:59
Yup, it's unequivocally a valid proposition that IF more folks proactively considered health of the body by not contributing to it's demise through debilitating behavior and decisions fewer people would need trekking poles. If more people give greater consciousness to better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics t5here would be fewer using trekking poles.

It has nothing to with being cool It's about having the willingness to question assumptions, making better decisions, and having a greater awareness.:rolleyes:

If only life were so simple that mere awareness would solve all of our issues. In my life, decisions were made, some of them benefited me emotionally and socially, but hurt me physically. I rowed crew in the 80s, I loved it, I pushed my body past healthy limits at times. My knees suffered for it, my long term balance suffered for it. That said, I don't regret a second of it.

I find it a bit insulting that you chalk up hiking pole use to unawareness, bad decisions and an inability to question assumptions. As I get older, I lose more and more balance each year, prior injuries take a toll. There's only so much healthy living, eating and exercise I can do that mitigates the aging process even a little.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 18:05
More balderdash and conjecture. Ever heard of bear bells? Stop just making stuff up.


Some of the loudest hikers I here, other than my sister incessantly talking to my nieces and nephews on trail, are hikers using trekking poles. I can usually hear them from a mile or more away clickkety clacking and scuffing their way down the trail. This noise has frightened more wildlife off or put them into an unnatural state of alarm perhaps more than perhaps any other UNNATURAL sound in Nature while. Many people hike in nature to experience Nature. I know I do. When wildlife is scared off because of unnatural repetitive noise like trekking pole users make we experience less of Nature. Getting those photo opportunities never materializes because the unnatural noise. So, folks saying they've never lost a shot or imposed on others attempting to get their own photos due to trekking pole use are fooling themselves!

MuddyWaters
11-29-2016, 18:09
More balderdash and conjecture. Ever heard of bear bells? Stop just making stuff up.

Actually I intentionally clack my poles together periodically in low visibility areas like rhody thickets and at night to avoid surprising a bear. I like to see them. I dont want to bump into them.

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 18:15
Yup, it's unequivocally a valid proposition that IF more folks proactively considered health of the body by not contributing to it's demise through debilitating behavior and decisions fewer people would need trekking poles. If more people give greater consciousness to better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics t5here would be fewer using trekking poles.

It has nothing to with being cool It's about having the willingness to question assumptions, making better decisions, and having a greater awareness.:rolleyes:
You are making some dangerous assumptions to reach your unequivocally valid proposition. First, you assume that those who have abused their bodies (with bad things like sugar, booze, cigs, etc...) are going to go hiking at some point. And that their bodies have suffered so much from the abuse that poles are needed. That initial assumption is invalid on its face and makes the remainder of your unequivocally valid proposition...invalid. Second, you completely discount the aging process. Third, you completely discount disease processes. Fourth, you discount congenital conditions and deformities. Finally, you attribute the "need" for poles to a lack of "better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics". What the fook does THAT even mean? That somebody who needs poles won't need them if they somehow develop "better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics"? Could it be that the somebody that needs the poles is not capable of developing this mystical energy efficient mechanics? That's the entire problem with your "theory". Its based solely upon your personal bias and doesn't factor in any alternative basis for needing poles. Your theory is both equivocal and invalid. If we all took better care of ourselves DOES not obviate the necessity of hiking poles and to preach otherwise is silly. Logically speaking its silly. Foolish and silly. Sorry. Your bias so completely taints your theory that it is funny....
You are making

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 18:19
YES, if more people were more aware less people would NEED trekking poles.

No where was it implied that a greater awareness results in everyone not ever needing or wanting trekking poles.

Easily could be deemed insulting or offensive that you failed to see that. One equally can choose to not be insulted. Not intending to insult. I feel sorry for you that you took it that way.

No need to get into a polarizing debate. I'm attempting to add to the breadth of awareness and considerations not demonizing trekking poles as my used trekking poles and purchases surely attest.

Skyline
11-29-2016, 18:30
If I could use them in a mall or airport without arousing the ire of Security, I would. ADDICTED!

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 18:36
Lots of folks don't wear seat belts, or helmets, or condoms, earplugs, goggles, or fire retardant clothes. Some folks don't hang their food. Come unprepared to the back country and die. Try and help the unprepared and die too. Simple. Leave a $20 dollar tool indispensable to everyone else at home because of hubris and die. Check the stats. Have no idea what you're talking about and send someone else to their death and live with it. Quit fooling around! This isn't virtual reality, you don't win points for getting someone else to follow your misguided, inexperienced, and fool hardy ways. This isn't a contest of international "interpretation". I don't care where you are. GO TO THE BACK COUNTRY UNPREPARED AND DIE. There's a missing kid with a family desperate to know his fate at this very moment. Posted on this site. He marched into a hostile environment without what was required and very probably paid the ultimate price. No poles, not enough cold weather gear. And no disrespect to him or his grieving family. God bless them. God bless the hundreds of searchers risking their lives NOW to bring that lost boy's body home. Forgive me too. It is a hard thing to tell the truth. We must learn from it though or be lost also. If you go to the back country, the wilderness, the frontier, unprepared you will perish. The list is long, and sadly soon forgot. "Ecotourism is inherently dangerous. We assume these risks individually...

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 18:51
That's the entire problem with your "theory". It doesn't factor in any alternative basis for needing poles. Your theory is both equivocal and invalid...

Hmm, Really? Sounding logical and rational through choice of phrases and speech while choosing to disregard significant clearly communicated information that offers context isn't ultimately all that rational.

You could only come that conclusion if you conveniently ignore parts of my posts.

You missed this information:

Trekking poles are not essential for everyone.

Not pro or anti trekking pole use just saying you might want to consider the objectives often promoting store bought trekking poles can be accomplished in other ways without relying on gear or buying something.

While I've seen people stabilize their balance often with trekking poles while fording, crossing snowfields, and on descents...

...there's a lot of potential upside to trekking pole use...

Sure, trekking poles can help slow a hiker down descending but can't that also be accomplished by simply mindfully slowing down on descents period? Seems good mindful hiking practice to slow down and avoid high impact body jarring movement and giving greater heed to conscientious stable movement regardless if trekking poles are being used.

Hiking smarter, with conscientious ergonomic and energy efficient movement, taking care in foot placements, having a greater self awareness, lightening the load, protecting oneself with a whole body/holistic outlook, and adopting lifestyles and diet that support and promote whole body health, all reduce physical/emotional stress and risks of falls. This should be the primary goal. If that breaks down or has been ignored trekking poles can help. If one wants to trekking poles can help facilitate many potential positives but they are not essential for everyone or all the time.

...

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 19:00
Yes please. There's lots of folks who should leave their poles on the van they rode in on.

Ddtrey
11-29-2016, 19:00
I too have used poles for many years. Besides all of the other points already mentioned, I find that I use them as entertainment while I am walking. In fact, I become OCD about them after a while ( like Sheldon knock on the door three times OCD). If I have to step over a log, I have to tap both pole tips on the log before I step over it (also good to check for snakes on the other side of the log if needed).

Once you learn to use them, they can really disperse the energy of the uphills and downhills to your arms, back, and shoulders to help save your legs and knees. I feel they also keep the blood moving in my as and hands, preventing some of the inevitable swelling from walking with a ruck.

Try them, I bet you will keep using them.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 19:03
I knew this guy Darwin...

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 19:04
"better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics". What the fook does THAT even mean?"

Again, I detailed clearly what this entails. If you choose to ignore that information then yes you might see that as some unsupported mystical phrase of unknown definition. You might consider my posts more fully rather than mentally choosing to delete or ignore it. This is one of the reasons why my posts are so long. I attempt to offer context, greater clarity, support for conclusions, and depth. Yet, it is still ignored which leads to faulty assumptions of intent or position.

I have no problem being called out, asked to explain or clarify, be corrected, or being vastly tolerant of non like minded approaches or beliefs. I'm as fallible as any. If you want to debate than at least attempt to debate by knowing my position and not falsely assuming otherwise.

I don't know what you're problem is with what I've said because you obviously haven't considered what I've said.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 19:13
My old pal World Wide, more like an acquaintance really, (Yogi's guy) told me when I got to Mountain Crossings in January '12': "You may not have started this hike with poles Pilgrim, but I'll bet anything you finish with them!" Try thy spring rains hotshot without poles - you'll get there - just not fast - and with a sore fourth point of contact. (That's ARMY lingo for bumb.) Try poles - never go back. Period. The rest of this is chin music. What Ddtrey says here is spot on.



I too have used poles for many years. Besides all of the other points already mentioned, I find that I use them as entertainment while I am walking. In fact, I become OCD about them after a while ( like Sheldon knock on the door three times OCD). If I have to step over a log, I have to tap both pole tips on the log before I step over it (also good to check for snakes on the other side of the log if needed).

Once you learn to use them, they can really disperse the energy of the uphills and downhills to your arms, back, and shoulders to help save your legs and knees. I feel they also keep the blood moving in my as and hands, preventing some of the inevitable swelling from walking with a ruck.

Try them, I bet you will keep using them.

Dogwood
11-29-2016, 19:14
Before accusing another of being the tyrant or intolerant or arrogant maybe some should check themselves first?

It's like being in a bar with a bunch of folks exhibiting drunken barroom mentality who want to fight when they become intoxicated and cease listening or considering because they can't get out of their own heads.

Anyone wants to confront me or anything I state do it soberly with civility with some idea of just what the fk my position is. If not I'm ordering another row of shots. Come back to me when I'm done with them. Then we can ignorantly shout each other down and slobber all over each other.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 19:15
Zzzz Zzzzz Zzzzzzz

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 19:17
boor-ish (adjective) rough and bad mannered; coarse "boorish behavior"



Before accusing another of being the tyrant or intolerant or arrogant maybe some should check themselves first?

It's like being in a bar with a bunch of folks exhibiting drunken barroom mentality who want to fight when they become intoxicated and cease listening or considering because they can't get out of their own heads.

Anyone wants to confront me or anything I state do it soberly with civility with some idea of just what the fk my position is. If not I'm ordering another row of shots. Come back to me when I'm done with them. Then we can ignorantly shout each other down and slobber all over each other.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 20:15
37216 This is Chris "Sherpa" Fowler. Missing since 10/12/16 last seen: White Pass WA. He reportedly left for Snoqualmie Pass (100+ miles north) without trekking poles. Without sufficient cold weather gear. With a broken phone and a SPOT that may, or may not, have been operating. He was wearing Chacos - maybe sneakers. Hundreds of people are currently risking their lives searching desperately for him in one of the most formidable terrains on earth. Soon feet of drifting snow will bury the place and temps will drop well below zero until spring. Do you really need hiking poles? I dunno. But, if you thought this was a thread for jokes - you were dead wrong.

imscotty
11-29-2016, 21:18
Wow, this thread got crazy fast.

To the OP: Are poles REQUIRED? No, of course not. But as you can see, some people love them passionately. But in the end this is an individual choice. You might want to borrow a pair for a test run just to see how you like it. In the end if you would rather go without poles, I say more power to you. Don't feel pressured just because that is what the crowd is doing.

Really, to equate not using poles as being irresponsible and 'you're going to die' is just over the top. I know I am going to die someday, but I don't think it will because I didn't have my poles with me.

Sarcasm the elf
11-29-2016, 21:32
https://i.imgflip.com/1f23o1.jpg (https://imgflip.com/i/1f23o1)via Imgflip Meme Generator (https://imgflip.com/memegenerator)

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 21:37
"better more efficient stable energy efficient mechanics". What the fook does THAT even mean?"

Again, I detailed clearly what this entails. If you choose to ignore that information then yes you might see that as some unsupported mystical phrase of unknown definition. You might consider my posts more fully rather than mentally choosing to delete or ignore it. This is one of the reasons why my posts are so long. I attempt to offer context, greater clarity, support for conclusions, and depth. Yet, it is still ignored which leads to faulty assumptions of intent or position.

I have no problem being called out, asked to explain or clarify, be corrected, or being vastly tolerant of non like minded approaches or beliefs. I'm as fallible as any. If you want to debate than at least attempt to debate by knowing my position and not falsely assuming otherwise.

I don't know what you're problem is with what I've said because you obviously haven't considered what I've said.

This reply is a perfect example of selective quoting to fit your desired result. I was commenting on your lack of logic and critical thought that resulted in the absurd statement that if everyone took better care of themselves when younger, then there would not be such a desire/need for hiking poles. I pointed out to you the incredible fallacy of your incredibly bold statement(which you conveniently leave out of your follow-up comments) which was "it's unequivocally a valid proposition that IF more folks proactively considered health of the body by not contributing to it's demise through debilitating behavior and decisions fewer people would need trekking poles." I think I clearly showed you the multiple flaws in the logic behind such a preposterous preposition. You discount every known variable, other than what your personal bias is, in order to validate your nonsensical and illogical statement. If by fewer, you mean fewer than 1/10 of 1 percent, then by all means, feel free to state that number. But if you mean STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER people will need hiking poles if they just live a clean life when younger, then you had better factor in all relevant variables(like the one's I showed that you conveniently omit from your thought process) before you start spouting off nonsense like the quote above. If you do factor in those variables, your unequivocally valid statement becomes a good laugh. I'm not picking a fight. I'm pointing out the flaws in your thought process, lack of ability to apply critical thought to a statement prior to publishing it, and the inability to separate one's personal beliefs/bias from critical thought.

Happy Hiking and try not to speak in absolutes unless you are absolutely correct....

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 22:04
Upon careful reconsideration, maybe the world would be a better place if more "hikers" went into the back country unprepared. Nobody ever said you'd die without poles. (Misquote.) I said, Scotty, "Go into the back country unprepared and you die." Then I provided a picture as evidence of this maxim, which by the way is posted up and down the trail. You may have noticed the giant signs which begin: "Ecotourism is inherently dangerous..." I think it's irresponsible to suggest hiking poles are arm candy. They are a tool for hikers with uses too numerous to list herein. For those late comers: thanks for helping to shine more light on the obvious. If you don't know if you need hiking poles than you have bigger problems than whether or not to get hiking poles. We label crazy those we cannot, or choose not to understand. Please, take a hike without poles.

rocketsocks
11-29-2016, 22:17
Fact...I'll never buy another twist lock pole.

Sarcasm the elf
11-29-2016, 22:20
Fact...I'll never buy another twist lock pole.

https://i.imgflip.com/1f26bj.jpg (https://imgflip.com/i/1f26bj)via Imgflip Meme Generator (https://imgflip.com/memegenerator)

rafe
11-29-2016, 22:23
Not pro or anti trekking pole use just saying you might want to consider the objectives often promoting store bought trekking poles can be accomplished in other ways without relying on gear or buying something.

In 1990 I saw no AT thru hikers using poles. A few had walking sticks. I first started seeing lots of trekking poles on the AT about ten years later. Nowadays I'm seeing most long-distance AT hikers using them. So obviously, they're not necessary. But apparently, many find them useful. They're way past being a fad. (FWIW, I did see poles often among winter hikers in the White Mountains, even in '90. Ahead of their time, I guess.)

I do take umbrage at passive-aggressive remarks suggesting that poles are for the weak, that the need for poles would be obviated if we'd just been smarter, taken better care of ourselves, not grown old, etc.

Humans never were forest natives -- by most accounts we all emerged from the plains of northern Africa. What we do, that's mostly unique to our species, is make stuff that allows us to thrive in environments in which our bodies are not natively attuned. Underwater, outer space, and Appalachian forests in all their glory.

rocketsocks
11-29-2016, 22:26
https://i.imgflip.com/1f26bj.jpg (https://imgflip.com/i/1f26bj)via Imgflip Meme Generator (https://imgflip.com/memegenerator)
I had an Memae :D

rocketsocks
11-29-2016, 22:28
In 1990 I saw no AT thru hikers using poles. A few had walking sticks. I first started seeing lots of trekking poles on the AT about ten years later. Nowadays I'm seeing most long-distance AT hikers using them. So obviously, they're not necessary. But apparently, many find them useful. They're way past being a fad. (FWIW, I did see poles often among winter hikers in the White Mountains, even in '90. Ahead of their time, I guess.)

I do take umbrage at passive-aggressive remarks suggesting that poles are for the weak, that the need for poles would be obviated if we'd just been smarter, taken better care of ourselves, not grown old, etc.

Humans never were forest natives -- by most accounts we all emerged from the plains of northern Africa. What we do, that's mostly unique to our species, is make stuff that allows us to thrive in environments in which our bodies are not natively attuned. Underwater, outer space, and Appalachian forests in all their glory.I have a two piece maple pool-que that is weighted so perfect it swings all by itself and rarely talks back.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 22:32
37217 Meet Mt. Whitney. The highest peak in the lower 48. It is the jewel of the Sierras and the PCT. (Yup, did that. Twice. Both ways.) Believe it or not, the "hiker police" actually do patrol here. They're called back country rangers. Their job is to prevent the ignorant from dying on the mountain. Really, they don't want boobies to be responsible for killing folks who have a little something on the ball. They do this primarily by spot checking folks to ensure they have the requisite equipment for the ascent of 14,505 ft. where altitude sickness and it's debilitating effects are pretty much a given. (Look it up.) If they catch you without your poles, ice axes, spikes, and crampons, or they think you're a nit-wit who is just pretending to know what's up, they escort you off the mountain. Because when you go to the backcountry unprepared you

egilbe
11-29-2016, 22:37
We have the white mountains to kill off the boobs.

rafe
11-29-2016, 22:39
Good enough for Flyin' Brian, good enough for me.

37218

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 22:42
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/9-ways-trekking-poles-literally-save-life

rafe
11-29-2016, 22:42
I have a two piece maple pool-que that is weighted so perfect it swings all by itself and rarely talks back.

A tool perfectly suited for survival in a dimly lit man-cave with paintings of cigar-smoking dogs on the walls.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 22:44
OOOOPPPPSIE! New at this cutting and pasting stuff. Cool right? CHECK IT!

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/9-ways-trekking-poles-literally-save-life

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 22:47
Now see, I just can't understand how poles might be at all useful! Throw em out - better yet sell em on WB - clearly as useless as a painting of dogs playing poker on velvet!



Good enough for Flyin' Brian, good enough for me.

37218

rafe
11-29-2016, 23:00
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/9-ways-trekking-poles-literally-save-life

Notice the photo accompanying item 8. The hiker is not using poles. I don't think poles are useful in steep terrain where you really need, or maybe ought to be using your hands for safety or stability. Of late I've been resorting to a single-pole technique in such terrain. Still leaves one hand free.

Approaching the final climb up Dragon's Tooth, southbound, I knew right away it was time to stash the poles. Even if just for the last fifty feet of vertical. I want both hands on that cliff.

I tend to stash 'em when I'm about to ascend a long ladder. On descent, sometimes I just throw them down the trail. They're just tools. They do have limits.

pilgrimskywheel
11-29-2016, 23:12
For the final ascent of the tooth (NOBO) I used a pneumatic hand cannon to fire a tungsten carbide grappling hook to the peak. This was incredibly effective as we were able to fire a second shot into Joe Mitchell's barn and zip lined down into Four Pines. Our poles luckily had straps which were designed specially to quick release upon impact. (We went back and made up those miles in a slack pack the next morning.)

MuddyWaters
11-29-2016, 23:19
What do the following pics grabbed from google have in common?

Besides that they are all recent AT speed record holders that is....




37225

37220

37221

37222

Lets throw in Andrew Bentz, current JMT record holder too....

37223

Lets not leave out pepper and trauma of winter pct fame....

37224

Or josh garrett

37226

Anyone? Anyone? Beuler?

ScareBear
11-29-2016, 23:34
37217 Meet Mt. Whitney. The highest peak in the lower 48. It is the jewel of the Sierras and the PCT. (Yup, did that. Twice. Both ways.) Believe it or not, the "hiker police" actually do patrol here. They're called back country rangers. Their job is to prevent the ignorant from dying on the mountain. Really, they don't want boobies to be responsible for killing folks who have a little something on the ball. They do this primarily by spot checking folks to ensure they have the requisite equipment for the ascent of 14,505 ft. where altitude sickness and it's debilitating effects are pretty much a given. (Look it up.) If they catch you without your poles, ice axes, spikes, and crampons, or they think you're a nit-wit who is just pretending to know what's up, they escort you off the mountain. Because when you go to the backcountry unprepared you

Sorry, but this absolute BS. There are no "requirements" for gear for any ascent of Mt. Whitney, at any time of year. I don't know where you get this information. There are only three requirements. First, you need a permit. Second, you must pack out your waste. Third, you must use a bear canister when required.

First off, you can hike up Whitney. Its not a climb. It is not technical. There may not be any ice or snow on the ascent. The NPS doesn't even list poles as suggested gear, anytime. So, that's how I know this is BS. That and the fact that I know and ski with Mountain Rangers. All they can do is SUGGEST that you abort your attempt. They have NO authority to detain you or prevent your ascent, so long as you have the proper permit. People speed race up Whitney in freaking tennis shoes! People show up at Rainier every freaking year with visqueen tarps and tennis shoes....its "TheAmericanWay"....

If I am wrong, please prove me so. Here's some links to peruse:

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/whitney.htm
http://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72201
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5333235.pdf

Venchka
11-29-2016, 23:49
Fact...I'll never buy another twist lock pole.

Fact: I bought two pair of twist lock poles and one pair of folding / flip lock poles. All three work as required.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rafe
11-30-2016, 00:10
Timely article, mentioning trekking poles and the AT, in today's Wall Street Journal...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-end-of-cool-1480302480

MuddyWaters
11-30-2016, 00:26
Fact: I bought two pair of twist lock poles and one pair of folding / flip lock poles. All three work as required.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

My twisty adjusty thingys havent let me down yet neither
And weigh less than them flippy things.

Dogwood
11-30-2016, 00:30
What do the following pics grabbed from google have in common?

Anyone? Anyone? Beuler?

They all are pics of people that could care less about whether I use trekking poles or not, have likely hiked more miles than 99% of the posters on WB in the last yr, and aren't preoccupied with feeling the need to take sides on using trekking poles in this forum. :rolleyes:

They all are folks that don't allow themselves to get into circle jerk debates because the'd rather be out hiking going with their flow doing their thing. ;)

They are people that consider their options and make choices that best reflect their approaches and needs. ;)

rocketsocks
11-30-2016, 00:31
Timely article, mentioning trekking poles and the AT, in today's Wall Street Journal...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-end-of-cool-1480302480Wow, I didn't think this thread could get any better, but timely doesn't even cut it, the comments section is always fun.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 00:34
Well OK Captain America I stand corrected. There are in fact apparently no gear requirements - they are indeed recommendations. When I was there in '14' waiting for the permit lottery, buying a bear canister etc., we waited intentionally so as not to have to fool with crampons. I was under the distinct impression they too would be a requirement. I should have found three referenceable sources to cite when I made this assertion. I will now no doubt suffer the ignominious fate of Steven Ambrose. I never suggested it was a technical climb - ascent means go up. As for the rangers having no authority, ahhhhh OK. That smells like bovine scatire to me, so we'll have our research team look into it. Quick question: when were you there? I hear you talking about Whitney and Rainier and the "maybe no ice or snow", and what folks do there, but ever been there skiing with your ranger pals? Are these are academic assertions about places you, what? Looked up on line? Cool. Virtual mountaineering is getting to be a real popular pastime. Well sport, you got me - poles optional on Whitney. Rangers can only make suggestions. (Giggles) I'm going in to the fridge and put a gold star on your chart.




Sorry, but this absolute BS. There are no "requirements" for gear for any ascent of Mt. Whitney, at any time of year. I don't know where you get this information. There are only three requirements. First, you need a permit. Second, you must pack out your waste. Third, you must use a bear canister when required.

First off, you can hike up Whitney. Its not a climb. It is not technical. There may not be any ice or snow on the ascent. The NPS doesn't even list poles as suggested gear, anytime. So, that's how I know this is BS. That and the fact that I know and ski with Mountain Rangers. All they can do is SUGGEST that you abort your attempt. They have NO authority to detain you or prevent your ascent, so long as you have the proper permit. People speed race up Whitney in freaking tennis shoes! People show up at Rainier every freaking year with visqueen tarps and tennis shoes....its "TheAmericanWay"....

If I am wrong, please prove me so. Here's some links to peruse:

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/whitney.htm
http://www.recreation.gov/wildernessAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72201
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5333235.pdf

Uncle Joe
11-30-2016, 00:34
Cute tale of the woefully inept! :D

That should be my trail name. "Woefully Inept" not "Cute Tale" although I might take it if it were spelled differently. :D At my age even the facade of a compliment is welcomed!

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 00:46
[QUOTE=Dogwood;2108049]They all are pics of people that could care less about whether I use trekking poles or not, have likely hiked more miles than 99% of the posters on WB in the last yr, and aren't preoccupied with feeling the need to take sides on using trekking poles in this forum. :rolleyes:

HAAAA! Oh, God this cat is Awesome!!! Whooooo can you smell it!? Wait, is this self-aggrandizement completely contradictory? And you got it wrong! The answer is they all have great hair and fierce beards! No gold star for you!

Dogwood
11-30-2016, 00:54
I sincerely hope this thread doesn't represent the quality of the posts and WB users. I honestly expected higher quality more substantial discussion here on WB.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 01:06
37227 Thank God this thread finally went someplace meaningful! After a decade of searching I'm reunited with my father, shown here at left demonstrating his devotion to trekking poles. He even uses one in the house. That's one hundred and one uses! I like you Dad!!!

imscotty
11-30-2016, 01:07
37217 Meet Mt. Whitney. The highest peak in the lower 48. It is the jewel of the Sierras and the PCT. (Yup, did that. Twice. Both ways.) Believe it or not, the "hiker police" actually do patrol here. They're called back country rangers. Their job is to prevent the ignorant from dying on the mountain. Really, they don't want boobies to be responsible for killing folks who have a little something on the ball. They do this primarily by spot checking folks to ensure they have the requisite equipment for the ascent of 14,505 ft. where altitude sickness and it's debilitating effects are pretty much a given. (Look it up.) If they catch you without your poles, ice axes, spikes, and crampons, or they think you're a nit-wit who is just pretending to know what's up, they escort you off the mountain. Because when you go to the backcountry unprepared you

PilgrimSkyWheel, I have no wish to get in a debate with you, but just in case there are some folks out there looking for information on a Whitney attempt I have to call BS on this statement too. ScareBear's post is the truth.

I did a 2015 JMT thru-hike ending on Whitney and guess what, no one gave a crap that I did not use poles. The nice Rangers I met along the way did not give a crap that I had no poles, the other hikers did not give a crap that I had poles. The Rangers I met did want to verify that I had a permit and a bear canister.

I will say that poles are very popular in the Sierras, so if you like to hike with poles you will fit right in. By all means, go for it. Personally, I preferred having my hands free to take a quick picture because almost every turn on that trail had a vista that I never wanted to forget. As a wise man once said, "It's Just Walking!

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 01:19
Gold star! Yes I'm currently standing corrected on that one. I did indeed mistakenly assert poles were on the list of requirements for Whitney they are not. I'll be more careful in future. I have covered this a few posts ago when I first stood up, I am still standing, my legs are tired, and my "quality" as a person is seriously in question now as a result. Hopefully I have not been the source of a run on trekking poles, or confusion for would be climbers of Whitney. I am truly remorseful. Forgive me.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 01:24
Hey, like a wise man once said: "It's not that serious." We are actually having an engaging, enlightening, and entertaining dialogue here dude. We are ALL quality people here.


I sincerely hope this thread doesn't represent the quality of the posts and WB users. I honestly expected higher quality more substantial discussion here on WB.

ScareBear
11-30-2016, 07:45
Well OK Captain America I stand corrected. There are in fact apparently no gear requirements - they are indeed recommendations. When I was there in '14' waiting for the permit lottery, buying a bear canister etc., we waited intentionally so as not to have to fool with crampons. I was under the distinct impression they too would be a requirement. I should have found three referenceable sources to cite when I made this assertion. I will now no doubt suffer the ignominious fate of Steven Ambrose. I never suggested it was a technical climb - ascent means go up. As for the rangers having no authority, ahhhhh OK. That smells like bovine scatire to me, so we'll have our research team look into it. Quick question: when were you there? I hear you talking about Whitney and Rainier and the "maybe no ice or snow", and what folks do there, but ever been there skiing with your ranger pals? Are these are academic assertions about places you, what? Looked up on line? Cool. Virtual mountaineering is getting to be a real popular pastime. Well sport, you got me - poles optional on Whitney. Rangers can only make suggestions. (Giggles) I'm going in to the fridge and put a gold star on your chart.

So. Let's recap. You were wrong. You posted bullcrap as if it were the truth. Instead of being an adult and saying "Ooops, my bad. You are correct, sir.", you begin your reply with an ad hominem( Always the sign of a weak mind beginning a foolish attempt at deflection.). Then, you begin to compound your bullcrap with nonsensical deflection "I was under the distinct impression..." and then instead of explaining how you came to be "under the distinct impression", you denigrate my proof, as if the truth is something to be made fun of by saying that "I should have found three referenceable sources to cite when I made this assertion." No. You simply shouldn't have spewed bullcrap as if it were the Gospel. You should have just admitted your mistake and mea culpa'd and moved on. But you didn't. You doubled down...

You then doubled down by attempting another childish attempt at deflection by calling into question my first-hand experience with Rainier and/or Whitney. What does that have to do with the truth? Answer? Nothing. Not one damn thing. Been up both though....Whitney is a freaking hike in the summer. No different than bagging any number of 14'ers in CO. No different.

Then, you continue to poke fun at the truth with eye rolls like this "Well sport, you got me - poles optional on Whitney. Rangers can only make suggestions. (Giggles)". Yep. Mountain Rangers(no such thing as a "back country ranger") have no authority to stop your ascent because you are barefoot and pack-less. Ask one.


So, instead of taking your lumps for posting outright falsehoods, you go after the person who called you on your BS.

Childish. Foolish. Bombastic. Non-remoresful. Sarcastic. Untrustworthy. Are you running for elected office?

ScareBear
11-30-2016, 07:55
Plus, Pilgrim, you want to come off as being a "mountaineer". I don't know what your definition of "mountaineer" is, but if your "mountaineering" is limited to a non-technical ascent of Whitney and you thought poles and/or crampons were a legal requirement to do so....you may be a poseur, not a "mountaineer"...just sayin...

rafe
11-30-2016, 08:01
I sincerely hope this thread doesn't represent the quality of the posts and WB users. I honestly expected higher quality more substantial discussion here on WB.

Says the #1 poster on the thread... :rolleyes:

MuddyWaters
11-30-2016, 08:30
The Rangers I met did want to verify that I had a permit and a bear canister.



..and a wag bag in Whitney zone

Dozens of day hikers walk up Whitney each day, no jackets, no acclimatization. Only a water bottle if they smart.

Several people do die each yr on Whitney however. And theres one or two spots going around boulders on summit trail where a stumble or misstep would be a very bad thing

Im not much for ooh ahh-ing city lights, but seeing the lights of Lone Pine, about 10,000 ft below thru the pinnacles at 330 am on dark night...was pretty cool sight.

Deacon
11-30-2016, 08:50
Plus, Pilgrim, you want to come off as being a "mountaineer". I don't know what your definition of "mountaineer" is, but if your "mountaineering" is limited to a non-technical ascent of Whitney and you thought poles and/or crampons were a legal requirement to do so....you may be a poseur, not a "mountaineer"...just sayin...

Wow, what rhetoric. Why not give him a final kick in the gut while he's down.

lemon b
11-30-2016, 09:37
I think the older one gets the more benefit trecking poles offer. I use one now. Has kept me from falling and they can extend the useful life of our knees. When young I would not have considered using them. With age wisdom happens.

rafe
11-30-2016, 09:59
I think the older one gets the more benefit trecking poles offer. I use one now. Has kept me from falling and they can extend the useful life of our knees. When young I would not have considered using them. With age wisdom happens.

That point has been made but is worth repeating. Thank you.

Clearly not addressed to you: I strongly resent the implication that use of trekking poles reveals weakness, poor life style choices, susceptibility to commercialism, peer pressure, etc. Poles are just part of the overall kit that we choose to use (or not use) as part of this odd recreation of ours. Same goes for gaiters, Guthook apps, and ground sheets.

Well into my seventh decade, I'm grateful for the technology that makes it possible and keeps it enjoyable.

Traveler
11-30-2016, 10:53
That point has been made but is worth repeating. Thank you.

Clearly not addressed to you: I strongly resent the implication that use of trekking poles reveals weakness, poor life style choices, susceptibility to commercialism, peer pressure, etc. Poles are just part of the overall kit that we choose to use (or not use) as part of this odd recreation of ours. Same goes for gaiters, Guthook apps, and ground sheets.

Well into my seventh decade, I'm grateful for the technology that makes it possible and keeps it enjoyable.

+1 Poles have added at least 10 years onto my hiking life, probably longer. They provide a lot of benefits and make the time much more enjoyable. Don't use them if you don't want to, but for me, I make sure my poles are by the door before I put on my footgear.

Traillium
11-30-2016, 11:02
+1 to Another Kevin including his non-inflammatory reasoning.
I'm not an expert hiker, but in my 43 days on Ontario's Bruce Trail, I did develop my personal style and appreciation for hiking pole usage.
I'd say that most of the time, I carried both of them in my right hand, swinging them horizontal to the ground, i.e., not using them.
In any situation I thought a fall was likely, I could swing them into use within a step. Almost all of the time I actually used them, I did not use straps. They hung loose.
If there was an extended uphill without falls being likely, i.e., a smooth track, I slip into my straps and benefit from their proper use.
If in any situation I felt that a fall was possible, i.e., rocky sections (of which there were many), or slippery or muddy sections, I specifically didn't use straps so that if I did perchance fall, I could drop the poles to avoid being caught in the straps.
On the road-walking sections, I'd often collapse and store my poles.
I've been a cross-country skier for nearly 50 years, so I appreciate the range of different ways of using poles.
I will now never hike without my poles, since I now personally understand their value for hiking.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 11:17
[QUOTE=MuddyWaters;2108089]

Several people do die each yr on Whitney however. And theres one or two spots going around boulders on summit trail where a stumble or misstep would be a very bad thing

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 11:18
Please go hiking without poles.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 11:28
37229 Chris "Sherpa" Fowler. Missing. Tragically, last seen hiking with no poles in an area where some real hardcore mountaineers might scoff at the need for them.

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 11:41
The question was: "Do you really NEED trekking poles?" Answer: "No." Only you know what you "need". And, full disclosure: I didn't really use a hand cannon to fire a tungsten carbide grappling hook in my Dragon's Tooth ascent either. And, I never zip lined from there to Joe Mitchell's barn at Four Pines either. I also did not ghost write Band of Brothers. It was all just posing for my upcoming reelection campaign. Please don't kick me while I'm down - I've actually been standing corrected for hours now. My legs are more tired than the time I went up Max Patch without my Lekis! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Soggybottom
11-30-2016, 12:08
I started using them 4 years ago. I have saved myself from falls from heights, in streams, down hills, they help take stress off your knees and joints. I use them for my zpack tent. I recommend the alpine cork black diamond long distance poles. If you have a problem with them they will back you up. Hope this helps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 12:29
37230 Hers'e a pic I like. That's me on the Crater Lake Trolley '14' with trekking poles I made because the Leki twisty lock dealios finally pooped the the sleeping bag on me after 3 years of continuous use. Yes, continuous as in 1,095 days and "never through". We hiked from the PCTKO to Snoqualmie, turned around and hiked back to Weed CA. Then SOBOed VA for kicks on our way to the CDT. (No idea how many miles that is - lots I guess.) Why did I make my own poles? No reason - I thought they looked cool.

Another Kevin
11-30-2016, 14:19
+1 to Another Kevin — including his non-inflammatory reasoning.

It had better be non-inflammatory. If I don't use my poles, my knees can get quite inflamed.

Thanks for the acknowledgment! As far as the rest of the thread goes,

http://s.quickmeme.com/img/5d/5d73d76d2bacc4c3843b9ddebae795dda0c13326d7c8af33b1 98d894ecd8041f.jpg

pilgrimskywheel
11-30-2016, 14:54
Don't forget to vote Pilgrim this coming election. Remember: a vote for Pilgrim is a vote for trekking poles! :banana:banana:banana:banana:welcome

ScareBear
11-30-2016, 20:38
37229 Chris "Sherpa" Fowler. Missing. Tragically, last seen hiking with no poles in an area where some real hardcore mountaineers might scoff at the need for them.

Have you no shame?

This post is repugnant. You are speculating on so many levels to justify your absurd position. You are willing to claim that Sherpa is missing because he didn't have poles. And you base this upon WHAT, exactly? ? ? Other than your obsessive need to be seen as some authority on a subject that people who are reading this thread are laughing at you over......stop it. Show some respect for Sherpa and his family. **** about Sherpa and poles, for a start. Check yourself. Exhibit some restraint. I'd tell you to quit making an arse of yourself, but I suspect that after a lifetime of such behaviour, you are going to be resistant to change.

Traffic Jam
11-30-2016, 21:03
I can't go without them... but then I am on the elderly side ... My young sons always wanted them - particularly liking them on the climbs and descents... As Christoph said, get a cheap set (Walmart = $19.99). Carry them for one to two weeks and decide.
Last summer, I saw a few people without poles ... after 100 miles... say they want them in the future..

Speaking of cheap poles. My first Walmart pair lasted at least 400 miles...

good luck!

This is the most offensive post in this thread!
Excuse me? Elderly? I'm only a few years younger and I sure as hell ain't elderly!

:D


(Some of y'all need to chill. Better yet, go for a hike, with or without your trekking poles).

Venchka
11-30-2016, 21:50
This thread is more bloated than the 3 page Patagonia fleece blather.
Wayne


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Greenmountainguy
11-30-2016, 22:14
This has really become too distasteful for me to even read at length.
I started making my own collapsible staff from high strength tubing somewhere around 1975. A tad earlier than the current thing. No days I mostly use a reinforced carbon fiber ski pole that can take hellish abuse without so much a crack. When weight or the length of the ski pole is an issue, I go with collapsible poles. Cheap Walmart/KMart aluminum ones if the risk of damage is high, collapsible carbon fiber poles for easier conditions.
They (or it, I mostly use one) have saved my ankles and my hash many a time, including a month ago on the Glastonbury Loop. Then too, my Appie tent/tarp uses a trekking pole for the front end.
Here is an idea friends: If you want to use one or two poles, use them. If you don't, don't.
Either way, let us stop insulting each other. Is it a deal?
Let us pray for the soul of this thread and bury it with its sins.

sheepdog
11-30-2016, 22:23
I once hiked with two Poles, a Check, and a mad Albanian.

jjozgrunt
11-30-2016, 22:43
https://i.imgflip.com/1f26bj.jpg (https://imgflip.com/i/1f26bj)via Imgflip Meme Generator (https://imgflip.com/memegenerator)

Ok thats the post of thread, and I will now never buy twist poles even if we don't have any type of big cat here, just in case.

This thread has been interesting reading, many "expert opinions" both for and against. Really you will only find out if they are for you by trying them. I use them for all the reasons mentioned including holding up my duplex. Here are some more reasons.

Down here they also come in handy for checking the other side of logs before stepping over them. Had a lowland copperhead strike my pole a couple of years ago, doing just that. (5th or 6th most venomous snake here).

Knocking down the web with of a 4" golden orb spider, just love them, not! crawling on my face in the morning.

Holding back all the friendly bushes and vines we have here, especially in the rainforest, like Wait-a-while vine and Gympie bush. (thorns and stinging)

Helping you run across the top of the water when the advice to cross above the rapids, and therefore no crocodiles (according to all the experts), doesn't prove correct.

I'll try to describe this maneuver, meeting a boar sprinting down the trail in thick bush and and using the poles to propel yourself up and over it, to a 2 point landing beyond the boar.

Attaching your umbrella to a pole to provide shade, when sitting in the desert.

That's just some other uses I've found for them.

MtDoraDave
12-01-2016, 21:59
To answer the original question, yes I really need trekking poles.

I'd estimate that once each day hiking on the AT, they have prevented me from landing on the ground from a slip, trip, or ankle roll. Also the occasional sudden shift of gravity that sometimes occurs when fatigue sets in is handily set right again by a quick jab of trekking pole.

The reasons I first tried them: spider web clearing here in FL, and my hands would swell after hiking a while. I was afraid my rotator cuff injury would disallow their use, but it hasn't caused any recurrence at all.

...and lighter tent options are available to trekking pole users.

Dogwood
12-01-2016, 22:30
Giant Golden Orb Weavers spiders and gypsy moth caterpillars dropping down inside your shirt, yippee.

Wake up drowsy. Knock the palmetto bugs gathered out of the trail runners. Squeeze those fire ant pustules. Pack up. Head out with crusted up eyelids. Suddenly remember you're in Florida so you look down to avoid coral and rattlesnakes. Than bam, caught in a huge orb weaver spider web that entraps you like subtle cloud of sticky cotton candy threads.

jrwiesz
12-01-2016, 22:43
I once hiked with two Poles, a Check, and a mad Albanian.


I normally hike solo, but yesterday, I hiked with two poles!

So, how come when camp was set, there were three poles?:eek:

MuddyWaters
12-01-2016, 23:02
Giant Golden Orb Weavers spiders and gypsy moth caterpillars dropping down inside your shirt, yippee.

Wake up drowsy. Knock the palmetto bugs gathered out of the trail runners. Squeeze those fire ant pustules. Pack up. Head out with crusted up eyelids. Suddenly remember you're in Florida so you look down to avoid coral and rattlesnakes. Than bam, caught in a huge orb weaver spider web that entraps you like subtle cloud of sticky cotton candy threads.

That old thick yellow web is tough.

Had my daughter on back of 4 wheeler in woods once when she was about 10.
Ran thru a web on a trail accidentally
Long story short, daughter ended up with a huge golden orb weaver on her (we call them bannana spiders)
She jumped off the moving bike screaming, she lost touch with reality for a few seconds, scared the heck outa me

Ktaadn
12-02-2016, 12:01
While I've seen people stabilize their balance often with trekking poles while fording, crossing snowfields, and on descents I've also witnessed some brutal falls because a pole suddenly unexpectedly broke, especially on a steep descent, a pole unexpectedly didn't have or maintain good purchase as assumed it would while momentum was expected to be absorbed by a supposedly solidly planted trekking pole tip, again on descents, tips get caught in trail construction, on roots, slip into holes, get caught in rocks, etc on descents resulting in heels over head injuries, trekking pole grips getting in the way of preventing a fall or preventing a hiker from absorbing a fall by allowing them to put their hands and arms quickly out in front of them, etc. I've seen several seriously injurious face plants with one hiker's teeth being knocked out because trekking poles got snagged on nearby brush and grass as he attempted to absorb the fall by outstretching his arms in front. Another hiker the same thing happened on rather wide but brushed large rocks single track resulting in a severe head injury as his one trekking pole got caught up on boulder and he smashed his head on a rock as he fell. I've seen more than two dozen times a hiker leaning on trekking poles standing around and a pole unexpectedly break or the pole tip loose traction resulting in falls. Most of those times weren't serious but on two occasions it resulted in serious complications. Once a hiker fell off off the trail down a steep slope into the manzanita underbrush where she got sliced up badly and puncturing/lacerating her arm(hospital trip) and another time resulting in a man falling sharply onto one trekking pole while standing around that resulted in a severely bruised spleen almost rupturing it which can be life threatening if happening in the back country(hospital trip, had to be medivac).



I'll be sure to never get caught hiking near you. I haven't seen this many severe injuries in my entire life. Anywhere. For any reason. Let alone all related to one piece of hiking equipment.

Furlough
12-02-2016, 12:26
That's why I am questioning whether I need them. My tent does not require the trekking poles. I can pick up a big stick for chasing away cobwebs and thornbrushes. My only concern is balance. Maybe they would help with that?

SueJhiker - like you being North of 50 - I do find my poles help with balance and stability. This along with the added benefit of helping the knees both up and down hills, and assisting in general going uphill - sort of a 2nd pair of legs - does as Muddy said make poles beneficial.

Furlough

Ktaadn
12-02-2016, 15:04
They are a fad fed by strong retail marketing. Nobody used them before the late 1980's. Europeans favored them before Americans did (I saw French people using them on the Annapurna trek in 1983; I thought they were klutzy even then).

The American style traditionally was a wooden staff. Still is for quite a few hikers. Strong, no worries about breakage, attractive and natural. Great protection, strong support to prop up a heavy pack. Mine gets a lot of compliments. Not so much when I use Komperdells... but I like to support the mining industry too.

I had no idea that a fad could last for 35 years.

Ktaadn
12-02-2016, 15:48
They all are pics of people that could care less about whether I use trekking poles or not, have likely hiked more miles than 99% of the posters on WB in the last yr, and aren't preoccupied with feeling the need to take sides on using trekking poles in this forum. :rolleyes:

They all are folks that don't allow themselves to get into circle jerk debates because the'd rather be out hiking going with their flow doing their thing. ;)

They are people that consider their options and make choices that best reflect their approaches and needs. ;)

Circle jerk? I haven't heard that term in a long time, but thanks for the chuckle. :p

pilgrimskywheel
12-02-2016, 22:41
No shame. No fear. No remorse. No sympathy. No time for your jawjackin. Go into the back country unprepared and die. Go into the back country unprepared and require a rescue for your living or dead body and you put others lives at risk. Advocate going into the back country unprepared, and you put others lives at risk. Why not argue against seat belts? Condoms? Helmets? Or, anything else you know zero about in practice.


Have you no shame?

This post is repugnant. You are speculating on so many levels to justify your absurd position. You are willing to claim that Sherpa is missing because he didn't have poles. And you base this upon WHAT, exactly? ? ? Other than your obsessive need to be seen as some authority on a subject that people who are reading this thread are laughing at you over......stop it. Show some respect for Sherpa and his family. **** about Sherpa and poles, for a start. Check yourself. Exhibit some restraint. I'd tell you to quit making an arse of yourself, but I suspect that after a lifetime of such behaviour, you are going to be resistant to change.

pilgrimskywheel
12-02-2016, 23:10
37266 Unprepared. Missing. Assumed dead. Enough said.

pilgrimskywheel
12-02-2016, 23:53
Actually I base this on the missing hiker post on this website's homepage tool. What is repugnant is that dilettantes like yourself have a forum to lead others to their discomfiture or, to their doom. Re read this thread. I am both respectful to this boy, and his grieving family. I manage to do so without name calling too asshat. Check myself? Don't come out to our wilderness and die because you have no idea what you are doing - it really ruins it for those of us who work to keep our **** together. Please and thank you.



Have you no shame?

This post is repugnant. You are speculating on so many levels to justify your absurd position. You are willing to claim that Sherpa is missing because he didn't have poles. And you base this upon WHAT, exactly? ? ? Other than your obsessive need to be seen as some authority on a subject that people who are reading this thread are laughing at you over......stop it. Show some respect for Sherpa and his family. **** about Sherpa and poles, for a start. Check yourself. Exhibit some restraint. I'd tell you to quit making an arse of yourself, but I suspect that after a lifetime of such behaviour, you are going to be resistant to change.

pilgrimskywheel
12-03-2016, 12:50
http://hubpages.com/sports/Whats-Killing-Americas-Hikers

PLEASE: Read this article

CalebJ
12-03-2016, 12:52
http://hubpages.com/sports/Whats-Killing-Americas-Hikers


PLEASE: Read this article
It's an interesting article, and might be relevant if you wanted to post it in an entirely different thread.

pilgrimskywheel
12-03-2016, 13:09
This article is about unprepared hikers dying, and scoffing at, or minimizing hiking's inherent risks. My view is that a hiker without trekking poles is less prepared than a hiker with them. Want to go less prepared then the next guy into a wilderness - go! There's a reason why everyone else is holding a pair of poles. If I were on a boat and everyone else had a life preserver on I'd wonder: are my reading comprehension scores high enough?


It's an interesting article, and might be relevant if you wanted to post it in an entirely different thread.

rafe
12-03-2016, 13:49
The problem with your argument, Pilgrim, is that trekking poles, while generally useful, really aren't on the essentials list. They'd be way down on the list of priorities for survival. To argue that point is folly. Thousands of thru hikes were done without them. They were a rarity among summer hikers until about fifteen, twenty years ago.

The 1990 "Philosopher's Guiide" has an eight page equipment checklist, and another twenty pages on trail ethics and general trail wisdom ("Sapientia Callis.") Poles aren't mentioned in any of that.

pilgrimskywheel
12-03-2016, 14:04
You don't need boots, tents, sleeping bags, a stove, or for that matter a pack either really. In theory you can go barefoot and naked into the woods with a fanny pack on - like my boy "Coppertone". The question is: why would you want to? Poles are not necessary, but they sure do help. Last word I swear it. Thanks for all of the stimulating dialogue!

ScareBear
12-03-2016, 14:12
The problem with Pilgrim's argument(besides spouting false crap and invoking the name of a missing PCT hiker) is that he is trying to sell the belief that hiking/trekking poles are an essential piece of safety gear. That to hike without them is reckless/careless/foolish. That to hike without them means your aren't prepared properly for a foray into the wilderness on the AT, at least...

He can't realize the foolishness in his belief. You can't reason with him. I'd like to point out that no real mountaineer(unless ski mountaineering) carries hiking poles while climbing, and I've never seen them used while hiking to the climb, so how much of a safety necessity are they? The answer is: They are not. In fact, as I pointed out earlier, if you wear your hiking poles with the straps on you risk far greater injury than if you didn't use hiking poles at all. Also, even without straps, it is my honest opinion that poles can cause falls or create havoc and injury during a fall. They are an AID to those who desire or NEED them. Those who don't desire nor NEED them are not committing any kind of SAFETY faux pas, except that they may in fact may be SAFER without them(reference my earlier argument concerning straps/injuries)!!!!

Pilgrim's safety belief about the poles and his obsessive need to call them out as a necessary safety item is just that, a belief. A belief I and many others do not share, for all the prior reasons and probably some others I have not yet pondered...

Cheyou
12-03-2016, 14:54
They weren't issued to me in the USMC . Somehow I survived.

Thom

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 13:04
http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=3375

Sorry, couldn't resist. (One more broken promise!) I'm standing by my position. If you do your homework and still think poles are useless and are not connected to safety as you hike then well, insert venomous barb here. Talk about spouting "false crap" try this on for size: "...if you wear your hiking poles with the straps on you risk far greater injury than if you didn't use poles at all." (Cue laugh track.) Why do they all have straps then? Hmmm? How about you drop 7 kilos from overall pack weight, and take 6-7 % fewer steps, and add about 1/4 mi. an hour in range? Aside from not breaking your keister, an experienced hiker will understand the direct relationship between these aforementioned factors and overall safety: LIGHTER, FASTER, STRONGER, LONGER.

[QUOTE=ScareBear;2109077]The problem with Pilgrim's argument(besides spouting false crap and invoking the name of a missing PCT hiker) is that he is trying to sell the belief that hiking/trekking poles are an essential piece of safety gear. That to hike without them is reckless/careless/foolish. That to hike without them means your aren't prepared properly for a foray into the wilderness

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 13:26
Yes, I know it recommends strap removal in the article if you think you'll have a dixie. I think this is poop too. Put on a winter weight pack, don poles with straps and lean as far forward as you can while holding your body in-line and hold. Next, try without straps. The straps are the breaks which prevent your wet, numb, hands from slipping off the handles and sliding violently and suddenly down the shafts. For a field test I suggest again trying to go up, or more significantly DOWN Roan Mountain in the rain this spring when and inch of wet icy leaves mat the trail. And yes, if asked I'd say the event will DEFINITELY be safer WITH poles. Because you won't end up dropping violently on your arse a half dozens times, which I can just about personally guarantee you will without poles. This and it won't take all day - you can stay with your pole-carrying counterparts. Will you die, disappear, or bring about the end times if you don't? No. But, you'll thank me if you do.

ScareBear
12-04-2016, 13:49
You cite an article to support your untenable position(the article doesn't come close to saying that poles are necessary safety equipment) and then you denigrate it when it agrees with my position on loops. Since a fall can happen at anytime, why would you wear the loops? It really isn't rocket science. The poles are a balance aid. They aren't a climbing aid in that you cannot put all your weight on one pole and expect it to survive. If you are putting substantial weight on the pole via the straps or not, you are not using them correctly. A good test of proper pole use is shown if you have poles with "shock absorbers" or "anti-shock" poles. If you are routinely engaging the mechanism to its stop limit, then you are using the poles incorrectly.

Look, Pilgrim, you are the dude who "was under the distinct impression" that crampons and poles were mandatory regulated gear to climb Mt. Whitney and that the Mountain Rangers wouldn't let you ascend without them. You spouted that crap to support your untenable position that poles are necessary/mandatory parts of your gear in the backcountry. I'm giving you a break about using them "mountaineering", as you are no mountaineer and everyone who is that read your idiocy is still laughing at you about that.

Poles can be necessary if the person has balance issues. They are an aid to those with knee issues. The are helpful in crossing streams. They can hold up your tent. I use them every time I hike the AT or snowshoe in the Rockies. But they aren't mandatory except for those who could not safely hike without them, due to physical limitation. Just give up your argument that to hike without them is dangerous, foolish or somehow leaves you unprepared in the wilderness, because its just not true.

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 14:07
Yes, I made a mistake. My present sense impression was crampons and other essential hiking gear - like poles because I find them critical - were a requirement when going up Whitney. Yes, shoulda, coulda, woulda fact checked that one if I thought I was going before a senate subcommittee hearing to testify. (See: "Mea culpa".) In so far as the definition of "mountaineering" is concerned we can argue semantics all day, however this point is trivial and not germane to question, or its answer. And, moving on... Here is my OPINION just so we're nice and sparkling clear: I think going hiking without poles is the height of stupidity. I'll guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that. It's been charming, and I hope you never hike with poles.

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 14:31
"...you are no mountaineer and everyone who is that read your idiocy is still laughing at you about that." ScareBare

PS: Hey thanks man. All that from "Do I need trekking poles."? Wow. "Everyone is gonna laugh at you!" I haven't heard that since I spent recess dodging bullies on the play ground. Always entertaining - I think na-na na-na boo-boo is the appropriate response here. Thanks for clearing up what I'm not, and what you are - dude.

imscotty
12-04-2016, 14:50
ScareBear and anyone else who is interested. The Ignore list is your friend.

Click 'Settings' at the top, look for the 'Edit Ignore List' about 2/3 of the way down on your left. Click that and then add the name of any attention needy troll who has no real interest in an honest exchange of ideas. Makes for a more enjoyable experience on whiteblaze.

The way to kill an internet troll is to starve it of attention.

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 14:53
Thanks Scotty - finally some useful information.



ScareBear and anyone else who is interested. The Ignore list is your friend.

Click 'Settings' at the top, look for the 'Edit Ignore List' about 2/3 of the way down on your less. Click that and then add the name of any attention needy troll who has no real interest in an honest exchange of ideas. Makes for a more enjoyable experience on whiteblaze.

The way to kill an internet troll is to starve it of attention.

johnnybgood
12-04-2016, 15:08
ScareBear and anyone else who is interested. The Ignore list is your friend.

Click 'Settings' at the top, look for the 'Edit Ignore List' about 2/3 of the way down on your less. Click that and then add the name of any attention needy troll who has no real interest in an honest exchange of ideas. Makes for a more enjoyable experience on whiteblaze.

The way to kill an internet troll is to starve it of attention.

This is brilliant...and it works. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 19:34
http://www.pressherald.com/2016/09/17/at-instructor-ill-fated-hiker-disregarded-common-sense/

Notice anything?

dhagan
12-13-2016, 11:15
Yes! You are not allowed on the trails without them. This went into effect 12/01/16.

Dogwood
12-13-2016, 17:03
Yes! You are not allowed on the trails without them. This went into effect 12/01/16.

Yes, according to the Black Diamond Komperdell Leki Backpacking Hiking Act of 2016 by mandatory decree one must have a kit that includes approved sanctioned logo trekking poles when hiking. Glittering streaming tassels, UL paint, Fair-trade cork grips, and snow baskets may not be included.

ScareBear
12-13-2016, 18:01
Yes, according to the Black Diamond Komperdell Leki Backpacking Hiking Act of 2016 by mandatory decree one must have a kit that includes approved sanctioned logo trekking poles when hiking. Glittering streaming tassels, UL paint, Fair-trade cork grips, and snow baskets may not be included.

Bear bells. You forgot bear bells...

ScareBear
12-13-2016, 18:01
And, break-away pole straps...just sayin...

Soggybottom
01-17-2017, 19:51
Love my poles. They have saved me from many a bad fall. Plus using poles allows you to cross streams without getting wet.


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Cheyou
01-17-2017, 20:36
Love my poles. They have saved me from many a bad fall. Plus using poles allows you to cross streams without getting wet.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Trekking poles are so good you can walk on water just by using them

Soggybottom
01-17-2017, 20:38
Why the trolling? This is supposed to help those who ask questions.


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Cheyou
01-17-2017, 20:54
Why the trolling? This is supposed to help those who ask questions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Have you read all 11 pages ?

Pondjumpr
02-22-2017, 11:48
I bought a pair several years ago and had never used them until recently. I must say that I really liked hiking with them. I will also say that learning how to best use them is very important. On my first outing, I adjusted mine several times on the ascent until I found the right length. using them to assist in forward motion proved to be great. Lengthening them and using them on he descent was possibly the most noticeable benefit. My knees always bother me on the way down. I'm 6'5" and right at 230#. They made the trip down much more enjoyable and controllable.

All that to say, I am now a fan and will likely use trekking poles from now on.

shelb
02-24-2017, 02:16
They seem like they would be cumbersome to me, but I have not yet hiked a long distance.

Maybe you don't need them, but your knees do!

CalebJ
02-24-2017, 10:59
Yours might, but lots of people still prefer to go without them. I've tried and backed away from trekking poles more than once now because my knees don't feel any better at the end of a trip with them. If you need them, then you should absolutely carry them. Just don't assume they're essential for every body.

Kaptain Kangaroo
02-25-2017, 04:24
Hey... I don't think anyone has mentioned that using poles helps prevent "fat finger" syndrome :)

You know how your fingers swell up after a big mile day......poles stop that !!
(or is that just me..?????)

Traveler
02-25-2017, 08:35
Hey... I don't think anyone has mentioned that using poles helps prevent "fat finger" syndrome :)

You know how your fingers swell up after a big mile day......poles stop that !!
(or is that just me..?????)

FWIW, I have the same results. Without poles my fingers will swell up, using them prevents that.

rafe
02-25-2017, 08:43
For what it's worth -- I just picked up a pair of CF trekking poles at Costco for $30. "Cascade Mountain" brand. Flip locks. Cork handles. They look quite nice. Someone mentioned them here on WB ages ago, but my local Costco just began carrying them.

ScareBear
02-25-2017, 10:43
For what it's worth -- I just picked up a pair of CF trekking poles at Costco for $30. "Cascade Mountain" brand. Flip locks. Cork handles. They look quite nice. Someone mentioned them here on WB ages ago, but my local Costco just began carrying them.

For the price, these poles cannot be topped...IMHO...YMMV...

Here is info on the company. Dealing through Costco cuts their margin drastically, but they make it up with volume and positive name recognition through mass sales. Pretty smart...

http://www.cascademountaintech.com/

Kaptainkriz
02-25-2017, 13:03
Same here. I forgot my poles on a day hike a few weeks ago...forgot how much easier it makes things for me until I hiked without again.

FWIW, I have the same results. Without poles my fingers will swell up, using them prevents that.

Cheyou
02-25-2017, 16:40
For the price, these poles cannot be topped...IMHO...YMMV...

Here is info on the company. Dealing through Costco cuts their margin drastically, but they make it up with volume and positive name recognition through mass sales. Pretty smart...

http://www.cascademountaintech.com/

i broke one in Pennsylvania. Got caught in rocks . Carbon fiber is not for me I'll stick with aluminum.

Thom

Gonecampn
02-26-2017, 17:37
I've tried poles on two different occasions now. The first time was while hiking in Cheaha AL several years back. This last time, I thought they would save my knees on the downhill of Angels Landing in Zion. I tangled up with them several times and felt really awkward. Of course that is a paved trail. I know some folks who swear by them!

swjohnsey
02-26-2017, 20:42
Uncoordinated folks probably shouldn't use poles.

cmoulder
02-27-2017, 10:33
Uncoordinated folks probably shouldn't use poles.

+100 Something I have noticed is that often people will persist in using poles when they should be stowed or held horizontally in one hand, such as when doing steep rock scrambles or when rock-hopping across boulder fields. In these situations foot and hand placement become a lot more critical and also looking for solid pole placements complicates this process and probably causes MORE trips and falls. :o

Cheyou
02-27-2017, 10:43
+100 Something I have noticed is that often people will persist in using poles when they should be stowed or held horizontally in one hand, such as when doing steep rock scrambles or when rock-hopping across boulder fields. In these situations foot and hand placement become a lot more critical and also looking for solid pole placements complicates this process and probably causes MORE trips and falls. :o

We could devise a test and score trekking pole purchasers before they buy. Like the walk and chewing gum test. Closed eyes arms out put finger on nose test . DUI test . ;0)

thom

dudeijuststarted
02-27-2017, 10:49
I have a tendency to throw them far away from me in lightning storms. There's a free pair laying around somewhere up on Thunder Ridge, VA.

cmoulder
02-27-2017, 11:15
We could devise a test and score trekking pole purchasers before they buy. Like the walk and chewing gum test. Closed eyes arms out put finger on nose test . DUI test . ;0)

thom

Not a bad idea! :D

IMO for a beginner there's nothing inherently wrong with not knowing these things, and there are some people that will quickly (or slowly) figure them out on their own, and still many others who need to have it pointed out to them. And no matter what there are some who will insist on doing it their way, unsafe as it might be, even after breaking a few poles and landing on their faces a few times. And of course it's always possible to hurt ourselves while doing everything right. Whatever, stuff's gonna happen, but I'll take my chances with good practices and techniques.

ddanko2
02-27-2017, 12:05
I have personally never used them, but also am not against them. Of my two longest hikes (450 miles and 200 miles), I simply enjoyed having my hands free for water bottles, snacks, consulting data books, etc. From the sound of it, i'll be using them in due time when my joints start stiffening up with age :)

peterkoovs
01-29-2018, 13:57
Same here. I forgot my poles on a day hike a few weeks ago...forgot how much easier it makes things for me until I hiked without again.

Totally agree, i did my first trek without a trekking pole and next with a trekking pole. I felt it takes a lot of pressure of your knees.

AllDownhillFromHere
01-29-2018, 15:27
I have a tendency to throw them far away from me in lightning storms. There's a free pair laying around somewhere up on Thunder Ridge, VA.
Charming behavior.

Dogwood
01-29-2018, 18:02
235 posts and counting.

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blw2
01-29-2018, 21:53
I have a tendency to throw them far away from me in lightning storms. There's a free pair laying around somewhere up on Thunder Ridge, VA.

That's been in the back of my mind for some time...metal poles in a tent seem like lightning rods. trecking pole pitched tents especially.

tawa
01-29-2018, 23:14
Do you need them---depends on who you ask!
Interesting experience this fall---while going thru Maryland and forging a stream between calf and knee deep--a rock shifted when I was almost across and the result was me in the water. Not fun!!
Got home and my buds said hey Tawa I thought those hiking poles were suppose to prevent those kind of accidents.
My reply---I'm 65 and thats the first time that has ever happened! then pointed out the numerous times each yr that hiking poles have saved my ass!!
So no hiking poles are in no way guaranteed to prevent all mishaps but my experience is they have saved me and aided me all so many times!
I like the odds and will continue to use them!

Dogwood
01-30-2018, 03:41
Yes, you need trekking poles.

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Dogwood
01-30-2018, 03:42
No, you don't need trekking poles.

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rickb
01-30-2018, 04:26
No, you don't need trekking poles.

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Soinds like a compromise is needed to resolve the conflict:

Take a just one.

Gabigabs
03-27-2018, 23:00
I wouldn't say you really need them, it's a very personal choice, and many people finished thu-hikes without them but there are situations they come in extremely handy. I hardly ever carry them on day hikes or weekend trips but I loved them on PCT for water crossings and they definitely helped my knees during long descents.

Sunsets
04-13-2018, 16:56
I never had used them prior to my AT thru-hike last year. They saved my ass too many times to count. In addition to stability they helped with pace, and lessened the strain on my knees on downhills. I think a day hike with a small pack would be a different story. I am walking the camino is Spain this year with a pack weight of 15#'s. I doubt I will bring the poles.

I heard arguments for with and without last year on the trail. It boils down to preference and whether you have a tent that requires poles to set it up.

Skinny Rooster
04-13-2018, 18:50
I need them. I have no idea if you need them.

MuddyWaters
04-13-2018, 19:39
Dont need them
Or a pack

Or shoes for that matter.

But some items make things easier

George
04-14-2018, 09:21
Dont need them
Or a pack

Or shoes for that matter.

But some items make things easier

what is really "needed" to hike

about the same as to live
so oxygen, water and nutrition - everything else is optional

also, kinda short season without clothing/ shelter

TallahasseeTom
04-14-2018, 12:28
Hiking smarter, with conscientious ergonomic and energy efficient movement, taking care in foot placements, having a greater self awareness, lightening the load, protecting oneself with a whole body/holistic outlook, and adopting lifestyles and diet that support and promote whole body health, all reduce physical/emotional stress and risks of falls. This should be the primary goal. If that breaks down or has been ignored trekking poles can help. If one wants to trekking poles can help facilitate many potential positives but they are not essential for everyone or all the time.


Still using my 6-ft. bamboo pole. Great for downhill. I only have to release my grip then tighten it again to "automatically" make it longer for downhills. I think this beats the devil out of trekking poles. Also it was once very useful when used as a "bayonet" (and my Quantico Marine corps training) to repeal a very aggressive black bear on the trail to the Chimeys in the GSMNP.
I wouldn't have wanted to have only trekking poles for this encounter. Also useful for once throwing a timber rattler off the trail. Six feet sometimes exponentially better than a 4-ft. pole.

shelb
04-14-2018, 18:11
I need them! They have saved me from many rolled ankles, falls, stumbles... Plus, they have assisted with climbs when I was exhausted! I would not hike without them!

BuckeyeBill
04-14-2018, 20:00
No I would say they are not needed, but I still will not hike without mine for every reason previously mention. It is and individual choice. If you don't want to spring for the more costly poles, check a wally world for a pair. I would suggest flick locks over twist locks.

Shooting Star
04-14-2018, 23:57
When I was younger and backpacked without trekking poles (they weren't common in the 80's), I took a
fall about every trip and was always lucky to not get hurt. As an old guy hiking with poles, I've only fallen
once. I shorten them for climbs and use my upper body more for going up steep trail sections. For long
downhills, I lengthen them and notice that they help a lot with knee wear and tear. And if I am in really
rocky sections of trail, I collapse and stow them in the pack. With trekking poles, you're more like a 4 legged
critter than a 2 legged one. But everyone has to choose what works for them...