View Full Version : Luxury Lite Hiking Pole(s)

08-30-2006, 09:11
This has to be the most innovative hiking pole(s) I have ever seen:


My old 56" Tracks hiking staff I had used for many, many years was wearing out so I began to surf the net looking for a replacement. I did not like the newer (heavier, perhaps flimsier?) staffs out there and was even considering going to a matched pair of them , since so many other hikers do. Anyway, I found bruce at the above site in Texas and decided to buy his. These are my impressions.

First, about the pairof poles. Bruce talked me out of it, esecially since i was used to using just a single pole. Besides, if i wanted, and changed my mind, I could always buy the upgrade kit that would change my staff into two shorter ones. After getting my new staff, putting it together, using it a while and pondering the whole package, I must say i was quite impressed.

First of all it is not some flimsy 1/2" (or thinner) shaft. It measures a full 3/4" and is very comfortable in my hand. In fact Bruce says it is strong enough to be able to use it as a pole vault over small streams but i dont think I will use it to do that. It is comforting to know, though, that it probably want bend or break if i have to suddenly thrust my full weight against it as in a slip, slide or sudden fall.

An novel and very ingenius innovation I have never seen is how the hand strap is attached to the pole. It is attached to the pole with a Prusik knot that easily slides up or down along the pole and stops the moment any pressure at all is put upon it. So, when going either up or down hill it is now no longer necessary to have to stop and either shorten or lengthen the pole or just live with a fixed length, as I had to do with mine. Instead, with this pole, one only has to slide the hand strap's prusik knot down or up along the shaft, without even having to stop, or even break stride while hiking. I am not particularly fond of the pinkish red color of the hand strap itself, though, but i am learning to live with it.

The staff is made up of sections of carbon wrapped, very hard aluminum sections, as the picture on the above web site shows. It is almost 70" in height and weighs just 12.5 ounces, 3 1/2 ounces less than my old shorter, 56", Tracks, two piece anodized aluminum pole. And this new pole separates into a small23" package for travelling or stuffing on the pack.

Look carefully at the picture and you will see that the handle incorporates a needle knife in it, hidden from view, that some may find more comforting than just the thin blade of a little pocket knife. My old Tracks did have a hidden spike on the end, covered with a rubber foot pad to keep it from punching holes alongside the trails where i walked, and i admit it was comforting to know it was there even though I never used it for much other than to help my footing across ice fields, mostly this past july on the CDT in the Rockys. Hmmmm...I wonder if the needle knife would have served as a short ice axe for my hand, something i did not have then.....

My old Tracks did have a heavy wooden knob screwed onto a 1/4X20 threaded bolt on top of the staff that one could screw a camera onto, stab the pole's spike into the ground and have it serve as a camera mono pod. Since I hike mostly alone, I really liked that capability. So, I cut a short 3/4" dowel to insert into the open tube on top of the staff(into which one could slide one of bruce's umbrellas, which I am also considering) with a 1/4X20 bolt and now it even works for that. I do think Bruce should offer a more professionally made threaded camera adapter than my home- made one as an option on this poles, though. But, it might not appeal to everyone.

Dont know what else to say. I am quite impressed. It is longer, thicker, more versatile and considerably prettier than what I had before. And it never fails to amaze me just how innovative the small little cottage industries are. And, as Bruce says on his web site, these poles are hand made by Texans in Texas, and not farmed out to a third world country. I like that, too:sun

08-30-2006, 12:15
interesting pole.. i've never seen anything like it..
not practical for my taste, but interesting none the less

08-30-2006, 17:19
I saw this at Trail Days this year and was impressed.

We were leaving the concert Saturday night(had to be close to midnight) and as we passed by the LL booth I noticed Bruce as he was getting ready to turn in. We struck up a conversation and must have talked gear for an hour.

My son loved the staff and even used it for an impromptu staff form exhibition to a small audience of passers-by. Good Stuff! :D