PDA

View Full Version : Hiking Pole(s), Your Thoughts?



highway
09-27-2002, 12:06
Some use them, some don't.
For those that do, some use one, some use two.
Some think they should not be used for the ecological damage done.
Some consider that of little consequence and need the extra legs.
I wonder what's the predominate view?

Hammock Hanger
09-27-2002, 18:38
Wouldn't (couldn't) hike without them. HH

prozac
10-24-2002, 09:56
Wouldn't leave home without them. Have been a godsend for my aching knees. 1001 uses. Tent poles,clothes poles, snake movers, trash pickers etc. Have found the anti-shock feature to be a useless add on that really has no benefit and just adds weight. Curious to see if anyone else likes the antishock feature. PROZAC

Kerosene
10-24-2002, 10:16
Due to the insistence of a number of die-hard trekking pole users on this Forum that I give poles a real chance for an extended period of time, I used them full-time during my 6-day, 85-mile hike earlier this month in central Virginia.

While there are certainly times that they get in the way (rock fields) or make my palms sweat, all in all I think they really helped me maintain a better pace throughout the day with more stability. I was able to avoid blisters by only holding them tightly on extended ascents and steep descents. I did find that I had to be careful about not relying on them too much...sometimes it was smarter just to rely on my sense of balance given the situation. I brought along rubber tips, but the trailbed never made it worth the effort of putting them on and taking them off. I might consider going with rubber tips for rockier portions of the Trail up north.

I also caught myself walking away without them a few times, forcing me to sheepishly return to pick them up, but that occurred less as the week wore on.

I spoke to an older thru-hiker who had converted to trekking poles and also had a tendency to tendonitis in his elbow (which has quite a negative impact on our golf games). Surprisingly, he said that his tendonitis had cleared up at least in part due to his use of poles. While reliance on repetitive motion to address a symptom caused by repetitive motion seems counterintuitive, I must say that my 'golf elbow' seems improved since I returned from my hike.

DebW
11-06-2002, 17:09
I was hiking along in the Whites a couple summers ago when I passed a father and 10 year old son. Just after I passed, I overheard the father explaining to the son "Old people use those poles to avoid hurting their knees on downhills". So beware, use of poles may cause you to be MISTAKEN for an old person! :D Actually, by using poles now I hope to still be hiking when I'm an old person. :)

The Weasel
11-07-2002, 19:58
Deb:


Reminds me of the classic Riddle of the Sphinx, from Greek mythology: "What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs in the daytime, and three legs in the evening?"

Correct answers (with mandatory explanation of why) get your name inscribed in The Weasel's Golden Book Of Over-Educated Hikers.

The Weasel

Hikerhead
11-07-2002, 20:32
I started out with finding a nice straight stick, shaving the bark and knots off, and carving out a little notch on top for my thumb.

Then I ran into a day hiker that had a pack full of tree sapplings that he was planting in the woods. He was using an old pair of ski poles and he said they worked great. The next weekend I bought a pair for a dollar at a yard sale. They served me well for time.

Next, my boss bought me a treking pole for xmas. It had the round wooden ball on top that screws off to use as a monopod for a camera. After xmas I went and bought another pole of the same make for a matching pair.

The wooden knob tends to be uncomfortable doing a long hike, for me anyway.

So I then went and bought a pair of hiking poles that have the anatomical grips. Now, I'm finally happy.

As far as rubber tips or not, I prefer the rubber tips for a couple of reasons. First, they are quite. You will see a lot more wildlife with the rubber tips. Second, they cause less damage to the trail. By saying that, I'm not saying the metal tips chews the trail to pieces. Third, you'll have less slippage on rocks

The only time I have found metal tips to be needed is on ice or picking up trash.You'll also have a nice little collection of leaves on your metal tips that you'll have to clear off from time to time.

DebW
11-08-2002, 10:07
Originally posted by The Weasel
Deb:


Reminds me of the classic Riddle of the Sphinx, from Greek mythology: "What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs in the daytime, and three legs in the evening?"

Correct answers (with mandatory explanation of why) get your name inscribed in The Weasel's Golden Book Of Over-Educated Hikers.

The Weasel

It's a human. The young child crawls on 4 legs, the grown person walks on 2, and the old person uses 3 (2 legs plus a cane). Do I make the Weasel's Golden Book of Over-Educated Hikers?

stranger
12-17-2002, 00:32
The AT has always been trendy and it still continues today, Leki and dozens of other trekking pole manufacturers have been in business forever and it's funny how trekking poles finally caught on in America. Most people I've seen on the trail carry them but don't use them...just because they are in your hands doesn't mean they are doing anything. Learn to use your gear.

Lone Wolf
12-17-2002, 05:18
overpriced. overrated. i never use them. never will.

gravityman
12-17-2002, 10:50
I love them. A lot of gear stores have demos for trial periods. Give them a shot. That's how I got hooked. Now I couldn't do without. Makes me hike faster, especially in bad weather (muddy, snowy).

Gravity Man

WrongBridge
04-05-2003, 15:26
I grew up using a hiking stick and will always do so. Yes they are heavier, and don't collapse and you don't get the cool click sound while you walk on rocks. On the other hand hiking sticks are free and you can even grow them yourself. I planted a vine maple in my parents yard when I was just a wee lad and I have used that tree for all of my hiking sticks since. I guess this is just my funny little fantasy but it seems neat. I gave life to a tree and in return it lends me a new walking stick from time to time. Recently I decided to hike the AT starting March 15, 2004 so I have selected a fine branch in which will become my new partner for the journey. Some carving, burning , feathers and maybe some lay in work will give me my new stick for the AT. See ya on the trail! :banana WrongBridge

smokymtnsteve
04-05-2003, 18:11
.....

Sparky!
04-05-2003, 19:29
I use my pair and would not consider hiking without them. They have saved me from many falls, have a multitude of uses and save my knees so I can continue to hike another day.

I have to disagree with you SM Steve. I hike a lot around PA and I really do not see the severe damage that you mention that the poles do, it might be because of all the rocks though ;).

I believe my little holes that I leave behind with my boot prints are not damaging the trail as much as those big lugged boots I see some wear. I will walk through mud puddles in the trail knowing that my poles will most likely keep my feet under me vice walking around then. Thus IMHO that reduces more wear on the trail than not having poles because without them I am not going to risk injury. The argument that they damage the trail, IMHO, is negated by what trail damage they minimize.

Don't misread me... I am all for keeping the impact we as hikers inflict upon the trail to a minimum. But if you really want no damage done to the trail then we need to completely close down the AT and turn it back to mother nature. But until that happens it is hiker pole users like me who do trail maintenance, financially support the ATC and local hiking clubs, and clean up after thoughtless hikers who leave trash on the trail and at shelters that take care of the trail as best as humans can.

Just my two cents worth...

smokymtnsteve
04-05-2003, 20:01
.....

Sparky!
04-05-2003, 21:12
Now SM Steve, that is not what I mean and I believe you are trying to incite me by twisting my words. The point I was making was that hikers, "LIKE ME " who use hiking poles make positive contributions to the trail through various means and are not destroying the trail. You left your comment open indicating that the poles "damage the trail" which IMHO leads people to think that people who use poles damage the trail and nothing else. I want readers to know that when someone sees another hiker on the trail with polls that they should think about saying that they are "damaging" the trail and begin their lecture. I assure you "I" do more to help and support the trail than I do to damage it. I am not saying that trekking poles don't impact the trail, but then again so do my boots and I am not hiking barefoot! ;)

Please re-read my post.. I made no reference to non-pole users at all But I did make inferences to the benefits of the poles...
1) That they are a piece of gear that has multi uses
2) Poles help some hikers hike and make their trail experience a little more enjoyable.
3) That the poles reduce risk of injury.
4) That I use the poles to hike through puddles and around them. Thus less impact upon the trail

I did find an article on Trekking poles which I believe supports your point AND my point and some pointers on how to minimize the impact of trekking poles.
http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about/pubs/register/archive/RGsprg01.pdf

stranger
04-05-2003, 22:25
If the question is about damaging the trail that's one thing, but poles in general only benefit your body when hiking, that's a fact.

They only put small holes in the trail, much less than a tent stake, very similar to the marks boots make. The problem if there is one is the amount of use the trail gets...not the trekking poles.

I would rather see and hear meager poles than see a huge shelter 3 times a day.

smokymtnsteve
04-06-2003, 20:34
....

stranger
04-06-2003, 20:56
I meant the depth of the hole, not the amount of holes. Either way I usually try to focus on the beautiful scenery around me rather than tiny holes along the trail.

smokymtnsteve
04-06-2003, 21:13
.....

smokymtnsteve
04-06-2003, 21:14
.....

Colter
04-06-2003, 21:29
Proof of their value is the high percentage of folks who switch over to poles during their thru-hike.

I used rubber tips on my poles and they worked great, and did a lot to prevent trail damage. They also were a lot quieter than metal tipped poles. (I had adjustable poles, which were squeaker. That was what I liked LEAST about my hiking poles.) I think poles do substantial trail damage, just as foot traffic does. That's why I recommend rubber tips on your poles. I super-glued mine on, and they stayed on the whole hike.

Poles make your hike safer by preventing many falls, help prevent various strain injuries, work great to hold up various designs of tents and tarps, and are great tools to bluff aggressive dogs.

Sparky!
04-06-2003, 21:42
I, personally, just don't see where the poles are doing anymore damage than lug sole boots are. In your example about the father and son, that is unfortunate, but they could have done that with their boots as well while stealth camping and building a new fire ring... You have had to have seen the trail dug up after a few days of rain and hikers on the trail at peak season.. IMHO that does more damage to the trail than hiking poles. Especially on the hills.

Lets face it, if you have ANY gear you can use it irresponsibly and cause damage to the trail. You know this as well as I.

I commend you on being a Bi-Ped. I would always want you to hike in the manner that makes YOU the happiest and allows you to get the most enjoyment from the trail. But for me, my poles allow me to hike further which in turns allows me to see more, hike more and experience the trail more.

WrongBridge
04-06-2003, 21:55
we might as well start hiking in our bare feet and never ever step off the path and always sleep in the shelters to make no impact on the terrian. God forbid going to the bathroom and digging a cathole!!! granted we have to protect the environment but also we are out there to enjoy and if using poles, sticks ,(crutches from not using the previous!) or whatever helps you then use it! Many times I would have landed on my face if I did'nt have my staff. WrongBridge :)

stranger
04-07-2003, 01:47
Everything has an impact on the trail, plain and simple. I for one really dislike shelters but don't give other hikers slack for using them. I don't give other hikers slack for bringing their dogs on the trail with them...even after being bitten in 01 by a Rottie, and I don't give a damn about cell phones either.

My point is "hike your own hike" and if you really want to lessen the impact on the trail...well then don't hike it. I have been using trekking poles since 1993 and love them.

If you disagree that's fine, and if you think they are bad for the trail that's also fine...and keep thinking that. But many many things make a huge impact on the trail, and a boot does alot of damage in mud...where as trekking poles usually hit the side of the trail where there is much less wear.

You can keep your wise ass comments to a minium however.

Sparky!
04-07-2003, 07:14
SMS. In the article I posted, published by the ATC, they stated they could not find any "scientific or social" research as to the impact upon the trail caused by poles. Where are the facts that show the damage to the trail? If it is your opinion, well then state that instead of the snide retort which leaves much to be desired... if you have a study or something to back your arguement, please present is. I am not above saying I am wrong but the short quips tell me you have nothing other than your opinion.. and we know about opinions... and yes I have provided mine here freely, at the same time I have told you they are my opinions and I also provided something to substantiate my opinion.

Wrongbridge and Stranger are correct ,IMHO, about the OTHER impacts upon the trail. I still stand by my thoughts that they are helpful to the hiker, are not as damaging to the trail as you have stated and in my opinion and use of them help me preserve the trail by staying on the path. That is instead of walking around a large puddle I go through it because of the stability the poles provide.

HYOH

smokymtnsteve
04-07-2003, 10:35
;.....

Sparky!
04-07-2003, 15:23
I have opened my eyes and I still don't see the apparent damage you are talking about. I just don't see it on the AT where I hike in PA or where I hike in VA.

Your comments about mountain bikes on the trail... where does that come into play? I will not engage you in a flaming post that I had first written but instead I will stay on topic and support my opinions with out attacking the person. (Its called taking the high road)

I believe I have made my thoughts known and you have yours and I leave you with that.

Enjoy the trail, enjoy your hike, most of all SMS enjoy the experience that the AT has to offer.

chris
04-07-2003, 15:47
I don't use poles but like people who do use poles. Besides leaving a nice, easily recognizable pattern for me to follow when the trail becomes faint, I also look younger when standing next to people who use poles. Not having to use crutches make people think I'm quite a bit younger than my companions who do use them. And I'm all about what other people think of me.

On a more serious note, I have not seen what I would call anything more than nominal damage caused by pole usage in GSMNP, the (popular) area I know best. There are certainly other, larger problems to concentrate on.

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 14:13
.....

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 14:16
....

chris
04-08-2003, 14:35
I'm not sure if some of SMS' comments are directed towards me or not. But, I thought it was fairly clear that I can easily follow pole users by the marks that they leave. I don't think the damage is that significant, though. I do not know how one would go about measuring damage caused to trails by pole users, however. I will be in the Smokys in a few weeks and will keep my eyes open for damage.

On a different note, a general feature of humanity is for people to be defensive when they are accused of damaging something that they love. This is a natural reaction and is no mystery. I'm certainly not saying anything new here or revealing some unknown truth.

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 14:44
.....

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 14:46
....

chris
04-08-2003, 14:48
If people did, I would no longer have an excuse for not digging cat holes.

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 14:55
.....

WrongBridge
04-08-2003, 16:29
we could always pave the trail!! THAT WOULD SOLVE EVRYTHING oh wait sorry, am I bad. No really poles do make holes and make an impact on the trails. Nothing is ever perfect but at least there are trails :D WrongBridge

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 17:20
....

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 17:23
.....

WrongBridge
04-08-2003, 19:47
One other thing that really messes up trails is the use of livestock. Use of livestock is allowed in the Olympic National Park where I do most of my hiking. I don't believe that hikers and livestock mix for trail use! If you think the use of poles is bad then you should see what donkeys and horses do to the trail! Wow they really mess things up. I don't want to offend anyone that uses livestock for hiking, I just don't think that trails for people and animals mix. Just a thought! WrongBridge

smokymtnsteve
04-08-2003, 19:52
.....

squirrel bait
08-05-2003, 18:32
I agree with WrongBridge. Got a nice piece of Osage Orange that's nearly indestructable. Free. Added bell my self.

dionalaniz
08-06-2003, 03:38
smokymtnsteve, i don't mean this to be offensive at all, but is it possible that your allergic reaction to pole use might, just might, be a reluctance to accept new and advancing technology and that you are using "damage to the trail" as a convenient excuse? Do you have a similiar negative reaction to internal frame packs? High tech synthetic fabrics? Gore-Tex? If you do feel a twinge of "i didn't have that junk in my day!" towards each of these perhaps you ought to re-evaluate you objection to poles.

I'm not saying the above describes you, but it's good to honestly reflect upon oneself now and then. I do have to agree with Sparky. Your objections to poles do appear hyperbolic and irrational, relying more on exasperation (e.g. "can't you see all the holes!") than actual demonstrable harm to the trail.

highway
08-06-2003, 07:40
Just as our footprints do some damage to any trail, so do the tips of our hiker's poles.

We cannot help but leave some vestige of our passing-our footprints-but those millions of little holes punctuating and enlarging the sides of the path before us are distracting to some. Perhaps they are a visual link to the more technical world some are on the trail to escape for a brief time.

As any other item of gear, hiking poles are not for everyone. But, our ability to choose is. Choose wisely!:D

meBrad
08-06-2003, 08:00
I have come to understand that my participation in this forum is counter productive. In an attempt to ammend this I am deleting my posts and have requested to have my account deleted

c.coyle
08-06-2003, 17:32
I bought my hiking stick from that well-respected outfitter, Lowe's Home Improvement Center. A "60" Ash Bow Rake Replacement Handle", Lowe's Part No. 2037600. Less than $8.00. About 1 1/2 pounds. Wrapped the top foot or so with black electrician's friction tape.

Suits me, but I understand this is a very personal thing. I use two poles for snowshoeing, but walking with two has always been awkward for me.

What I've noticed, though, is that I unconsciously move my hand up and down the handle, depending on the terrain. Further down on climbs, almost at the end on steep descents, somewhere in between on level stretches. Other folks have told me they do the same thing.

Here's my question: Isn't making this adjustment with multi-section metal poles that have fixed grips a pain? Do you stop when you get to a climb or drop, and adjust the length of each pole? Or do you just set one length and stick with it no matter what?

Hikerhead
08-06-2003, 18:06
....one length and go with it. If your knees bother you on a long down hill you might want to let some pole out. Otherwise, set them to where you're comfortable and forget about it.

Lilred
08-06-2003, 23:57
..perhaps if we lobbied the makers, and get them to quit putting points on the end of the poles and use a much wider, flatter end with a big rubber cup on the end, like hiking sticks have. Would be much more helpful on the rocks this way. Just a thought. I need the support for my knees, but I think a sturdy walking stick with a rubber end is better for the trail than a hiking pole with a sharp point. Anyone else see the sense of this??

Hikerhead
08-07-2003, 01:06
I have a pair of Komperdell's that came with rubber tips which I lost. I picked up a pair of Lemki rubber tips at the outfitter not knowing if they would work on my poles and low and behold, they have worked just swell. They would probably work on any brand of pole.

Rain Man
08-15-2003, 19:42
My wife and I have owned three pair of trekking poles and wouldn't hike without them. I especially love my Leki light-weight "Titanium" pair WITHOUT the anti-shock springs. I consider the anti-shock feature a noisy, heavy gimmick that fails a lot. :)

IMHO trekking poles are great about two-thirds of the time, awful about one-third of the time, and "just there" another third of the time, and thus worth the effort. So what if I'm not good with fractions?! :)

P.S. We also own wooden hiking sticks and have owned the mono-pod poles with camera base screws under screw-off round tops. Clear as mud? We took them back to REI for the regular trekking poles.

P.P.S. It's very important to use the straps properly!

Rain Man

smokymtnsteve
08-16-2003, 10:02
La fiesta no es para los feos. Que feo es, senor. Super feo, amigo
mio. No puedes pasar aqui, amigo. La fiesta (appalachian trail)
no es para los feos!

Here's to you dion....have no fear I will be happy to evacuate you as you will need this coming NEW YEAR!

Jaybird
01-13-2004, 15:41
i used a wooden hikin' stick...day hiking in Georgia...

i graduated to 1 Leki titanium hiking pole when starting my first A.T.section hike in 2002. (that Leki pole saved me a couple times from falling off a mtn.!)

in 2003, after several other hikers recommended i switch to 2 Leki poles instead of 1....I did! (along with a knee brace) & have been happy with the results ever since.

dont worry about damaging the trail....boots do as much damage....

i hike with some that still use their wood hikin' sticks!

you kids play nice!



see ya'll UP the trail in 2004!

Big Guy
01-13-2004, 23:29
Wouldn't leave home without them. I use two poles. Has saved my old knees and also saved me from several nasty falls.

Kozmic Zian
04-20-2004, 20:47
Yea......Poles? We don need no stinkin' poles, main!:jump

buckhead
07-09-2004, 22:28
:banana I use two. Will never backpackpack without two. I use mine like a cross country skier. I have friends that carry them.

Wendigo
09-26-2004, 22:18
First, a bit of history.

When I hiked the AT in 1985, the Long Trail in 1986 and 1988, and on other various hikes, I always took my old friend, a length of varnished ash I bought at Home Depot, about 7 feet long, and fitted with a heavy rubber "cane" tip protector.

Just this past week, now years in age down the road, I took and tried trekking poles for the first time. Leki Tour Poles with triple springs. I did an 18-mile hike including Monadnock in Southern NH, and here's my take on the poles for that initial hike out.

First, they did, indeed, help. Especially in taking the exertion out of climbing, in a way a single staff did not. On the downhill they seemed to cushion well on the knees. For a 51+ hiker these are important factors.

On the other side of that coin, here's what I had challenges with:

First, the things sounded like an "all day fencing match," as they clanged and banged against rock, even though I spent considerable time trying to "plant" them so as to be quieter. Plus between the time spent in "planting" and in adjusting the poles for ascent or descent length, I felt I lost some important hiking time and my mileage was somewhat slowed. I spent more time looking down for the purpose of planting than I did looking about at the scenery.

On Monadnock, of course, it being so rocky, it was apparent at the beginning just how much scratching the carbide tips do to rock; and some wise guys used them as impromptu "pens" to leave their "mark" at one point. Sad, and insensitive.

My initial conclusion is that I would continue using trekking poles on a long, technical, multi-day trek, perhaps carrying one attached to my pack to adjust back to the "tripod" method I'm more used to. Course I would have that extra pole weight, so I'm not sure how to handle that yet. On shorter hikes, say three days on established trails, I would probably revert to my beloved ash staff (Yes, I am sentimental about it!).

I am not a metallurgist or engineer, but I would be thrilled if a carbide-like material were available to tip these poles which would be kinder on stone and a bit quieter.

I realize I have less experience with these poles than most, so I am interested in hearing how other users have addressed these issues.

Meanwhile...I remain, Wendigo the Windwalker

jackiebolen
09-27-2004, 10:09
I started hiking in Georgia with poles and progressively started to hate them more and more. They were perhaps moderately useful in the Smokies with the snow and ice and mud but by the time I got to Virginia they were all but useless with the flatter trail and my low packweight. They were in fact dead weight and just added to what I had to carry. Read Ray Jardine's Book about his opinion about hiking poles...I definitely agree with him. Poles actually made me fall more times then they prevented it because of getting caught up between my legs when I tried to scratch my arm or blow my nose or something like that.

Colter
09-27-2004, 19:04
It hardly matters what the issue is, you'll find people arguing passionately that their view is correct. Poles, like many topics, are subjective. There are some people who can't stand them, but for every person who has given them a try and didn't like them there are many, many more who have found them to be very useful.

I KNOW poles saved me from falls and made my hike easier and saved wear and tear on my body. Their light weight was very worthwhile. Most folks find the same thing. I don't recall ever falling because of my poles all summer long although I could see it happening on rare occasions.

Many folks don't like the metal pole tips scratching rocks and making all that racket and poking all those holes. Well I agree, and that is why I took someone's suggestion of gluing rubber tips on my poles. That worked GREAT for me and that way I was much quieter, didn't mar the rocks, and didn't poke those holes. If there was a disadvantage, I didn't see it. Springless poles with rubber tips are quite quiet, and I recommend them.

weary
09-28-2004, 09:59
smokymtnsteve, i don't mean this to be offensive at all, but is it possible that your allergic reaction to pole use might, just might, be a reluctance to accept new and advancing technology and that you are using "damage to the trail" as a convenient excuse? . Your objections to poles do appear hyperbolic and irrational, relying more on exasperation (e.g. "can't you see all the holes!") than actual demonstrable harm to the trail.

It's not really an arguable point. Loosened soil erodes more readily than compacted soil. The holes caused by sharp pointed hiking sticks loosen soil which erodes after every heavy rain. That's why modern farmers use no till and minimum till methods. They are preserving their topsoil from being eroded away.

No. It isn't dramatic, readily visible erosion. Just steady, year after year, wearing away of the treadway, a half inch, maybe an inch a year -- a tenth of an inch a month.

But that adds up to at least a half a foot in the decade since I walked north from Georgia. Sixty years ago when I worked one fall digging potatoes in Aroostook county farmers complained about giant granite boulders that they insisted were being heaved up by the frost each winter. One pointed to a massive rock that was two feet above the surrounding land. "Ten years ago, that rock wasn't even visible," he said.

Soil scientists insisted it was erosion, not frost that was causing the fields to disappear. But that farmer knew better. Just as hikers in love with their hiking sticks know better. Sadly, facts are facts.

Yes. I know. You don't have to say it again. Boots also cause erosion. But its illogical to say that because some erosion is inevitable on trails that are used it's okay to add new erosion devices.

Rubber tips on hiking poles would solve most of the problem -- and work better than sharp points on rocks, where sticks are most useful.

Weary

Rain Man
09-28-2004, 12:07
First, the things sounded like an "all day fencing match," ...

I agree absolutely about the noise, but find most of it comes from the "shock absorbing" (?!) springs. So, I switched to Leki's without springs. They are quieter, lighter, and feel more solid. I just like 'em better all round.

My opinion is that hiking poles are great about 2/3rds of the time and in the way about 1/3 of the time, but overall they sure help with balance, spreading the load, and helping the joints. Plus, they can serve multiple functions, as all hiking gear should.
:sun
Rain Man

.

highway
09-28-2004, 13:43
It's not really an arguable point. Loosened soil erodes more readily than compacted soil. The holes caused by sharp pointed hiking sticks loosen soil which erodes after every heavy rain. That's why modern farmers use no till and minimum till methods. They are preserving their topsoil from being eroded away......... Boots also cause erosion. But its illogical to say that because some erosion is inevitable on trails that are used it's okay to add new erosion devices.

Rubber tips on hiking poles would solve most of the problem -- and work better than sharp points on rocks, where sticks are most useful.

Weary

Weary:
Yours was one of the best posts I have ever read. WELL DONE :sun

ffstenger
11-28-2004, 06:42
I use a single stick, made for me by someone special. I never hike without it.
It has a big blunt tip that only makes an impression in very wet soil. It has
a carved handle with spiral groves so my hand doesn't sweat. A thru hiker
last year told me it looked too heavy and called it Moses 'cause it has a nome
face carved on it, so now even my hiking stick has a trail name!! I couldn't
go without it :p

peter_pan
11-28-2004, 08:03
Poles make hiking a pleasure and have many other uses..pitch tarp...sock dryers...hat holder...minor protection......

They are becoming more ubiquitous than the venerable gaiters as the id feature of a hiker... IMHO

swamp dawg
11-28-2004, 13:49
Hiking poles save my legs and I am sure at times my life, I would not be able to hike without them.
Life is good.....Swamp Dawg

neo
12-04-2004, 14:01
i would not hike with out them,they have saved my butt from many a fall:clap :bse :jump use them when tarp camping

weary
12-04-2004, 14:53
I use a single stick, made for me by someone special. I never hike without it.
It has a big blunt tip that only makes an impression in very wet soil. It has
a carved handle with spiral groves so my hand doesn't sweat. A thru hiker
last year told me it looked too heavy and called it Moses 'cause it has a nome
face carved on it, so now even my hiking stick has a trail name!! I couldn't
go without it :p
Nor would I hike without my single stick. It began as an alder sapling, found cut by a trail crew at the foot of Dunn Notch Falls in Maine, one of the prettier blue-blazed side trails that all hikers should explore sometime.

During the next four weeks on a leisurely walk on the Maine portion of the Appalachian Trail between Grafton Notch and Katahdin. I stripped the bark and used my pen knife to improve the handle on that walk. When I got home I attached a bouncy crutch tip I found among the junk on my work bench. That stick -- weight 9 ounces -- got me from Georgia to Katahdin two years later and safely through several thousand trail miles since.

More recently I've retired that stick, mostly because it had so many memories associated with it, and I was afraid of breaking it. I replaced it with a new version. Again from an alder sapling I cut on a trail. Again with a rubber crutch tip. But the new stick has a Komperdell caulk top, complete with strap and built in compass.

The top is held on with a 1/4-20 screw I epoxied into a hole drilled in the top of the stick. The screw doubles as a holder for my camera when I use the stick as a monopod.

This replacement stick weighs 10.2 ounces (a couple of ounces more than necessary). Someday, if I get around to it, I'll cut a narrower stick, and save the extra weight.

Until then I'll just have to get by. I walk five miles, at least five days a week, on very rough woodland trails, uphill and down. Somehow I haven't fallen in years, despite knees more ancient than most who post in these forums.

I find it nice to know that my hiking stick does no discernable damage to trails, keeps me upright, is sturdy enough to break offending branches while bushwhacking and cost very little. The Komperdell tip, strap and compass combination cost me around $12.

I don't see it being sold anymore, but I see a more conventional and somewhat less costly Komperdell hand grip, strap combination remains available.

Weary

Panama Red
12-04-2004, 15:48
I could go with out my leki's for a while but i use them to keep my balance or else ill fall right over plus they are my tent poles. so if its cool to use lekis then i use em , if not then they keep my tent up if anybody asks.

P.s i couldn't do what this banana is doing with out lekis:banana


- Panama red

glover
01-06-2005, 22:48
No way I could have thru-hiked with out them.

Moxie00
03-16-2005, 10:33
I have used the same pair of Leiki Poles for seven years. They have been backpacking with me In Zion, Bryce, Glacier, Organ Pipe National Monument and the entire AT, Ga. to Maine. I am an older hiker and they have saved me countless falls and my knees are in great condition. I prefer a heavy pack, about 50 lbs,, and without hiking poles I would have had much harder hikes. The paint has worn off my poles and I have about 5 yards on duct taoe wrapped around them for quick repairs. I use rubber tips from time to time but one day on my thru hike when the trail was wet and muddy I fell three times when I set my pole and then had it skid on the mud and slide out from under me. I do not use the tips if on mud or ice. They do create small holes in the trail but the first rain washes the holes out. I have replaced the metal tips at least five times.(twice on my thru hike) as they wear out on rocks and roads. I suppose I should send them back to Leiki for reconditioning but I hike every week and couldn't stand to be without them.:)

JoeHiker
03-16-2005, 13:04
This is very likely a stupid question but what happened to all of smokeymtnsteve's posts? They're all just "..." on my screen. Did he get banned or something?

It's tough to follow a conversation when only half of it remains.

Kozmic Zian
03-16-2005, 16:09
I have this theory that folks that use poles were skiers before they were hikers. They seem to think they can ski down them hills. :) But, in reality I find that 'Downers' (those who prefer downs to ups for one reason or another) seem to dislike or not need poles. WHile, 'Uppers'(those who prefer ups to downs for one reason or another) like or need them. I guess that the knees, ankles and legs in general have to do with the former and lungs and endurance have to do with the latter. Or something like that.

I always find that the downs are my favorite part of the hike. I could run and catch my breath. They're easy for me, 'cause I had never hurt any part of my legs. Most folks seem to use poles to break the impact of the step during a descent, having had some kind of leg problems (the poles help in bracing off to lower that impact). Of course those same folks that are taking their time on the down, wip the pants off of me on the assents.

I tried a single pole once. It helped me alot on the assent. I could plant it and then pull with both hands up. I liked it OK, but it seemed to get in the way more than not. I almost lost my b**** several times when it got stuck in some rocks. Finally, I deceided that I didn't really need it as I got stronger with the Thru Hike. I found it physically more rewarding to just use my legs. So much for poles. Each to his Own, Though. KZ@

atmuttley
08-08-2005, 16:51
On a 400 mile hike my wife swore by them, My-self I said I didn't need them. late in the hike I started having foot problems. I "stole" her poles from there on I've hiked with them.
She had anti-shock, mine I went without, now she's without anti shock also. Shave weight anyway we can.

Happy Hiking

Sorcerer
08-08-2005, 17:41
Deb:


Reminds me of the classic Riddle of the Sphinx, from Greek mythology: "What goes on four legs in the morning, two legs in the daytime, and three legs in the evening?"

Correct answers (with mandatory explanation of why) get your name inscribed in The Weasel's Golden Book Of Over-Educated Hikers.

The Weasel
The answer is man: baby on all fours, an adult on two legs, and an old person with a cane. I'm sure somebody got this by now!

fiddlehead
08-08-2005, 23:25
I'm truly surprised at the statistics on the poll. only 10% saying they didn't use poles! WOW, i guess it's true, my buddy told me: "invent it and they'll use it"
I tried a hiking stick on my first thru-hike in '77. Swore by the thing until i lost it on a hitchike to town. Then i learned to hike without it and was surprised to find that i not only didn't need it, but had better balance without it, could keep me hands free to do other things, and could travel faster without it. I guess this was one of my first lessons in the "less is more" philosophies of life. I worried a bit about how i was going to ford a stream until i get there and found that someone else left a stick there for that purpose (i guess they don't do that anymore now that so many have them)
Now, that there is all kinds of new equipment out there and especially tents that need trekking poles for set up, I've found that it is a nice thing to have along if i'm going above treeline or where i expect to have tons of fords. (i just find a branch or swtick before hitting treeline) But i still can't stand using one for hiking. It slows me down and tends to get in my way. I find myself relying on it rather than my balance. I have fallen already and had the thing hit me in the head. If it would have been my eye, well...........needless to say, i don't like to use them. I hiked with people who did and we were going for a record (or at least triplecrown in one year attempt) after 3 days, they got rid of there poles as they too found that hiking was faster without them.
I doesn't bother me at all that they leave little marks here and there, time will erase those, once the fad is history. I don't really like the tick tick tick noise when i hear others coming but chalk it up to they're problem of scaring away wildlife, not mine. I can live with them. for a time.

Slimer
08-08-2005, 23:49
I use em and I really like em. Poles are'nt going anywhere, their here to stay. Some people like this.......some like that.........its all personal preference.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
08-09-2005, 04:31
I used a hiking staff - the old wooden kind with a 1" rubber cane tip - for many, many years. The male dino still uses one. The staffs helped us get thru water crossings, kept us from falling, checked for snakes when leaving the trail and have been known to hold up a tarp or two.

Because of damage from an auto accident, I have to use two off-set walking canes to hike at all today. If they weren't so darn heavy I'd be recommending them to y'all. The crooked handles on the canes allows me to actually bear my full weight with my upper body when my weakened leg just can't handle whatever I'm trying to do. I've been able to catch myself before falling many, many times because the rubber tips 'grip' the ground without sliding when placed rapidly. I've also used the crook as a hook in roots and climbed up a cane on some steep scrambles since I can't push much with one leg. A cane makes a dandy place to rest my fanny when I need to rest my weakened leg. I'm working on a an idea for a tarp-tent that can be supported using my canes instead of the traditional treking poles.

Because of my positive experience with having two points for stability instead of one, the male dino plans to try out trekking poles. He will likely opt to use rubber tips because it is what we a used to using.

Someone asked about SM Steve's posts - it appears he chose to remove his remarks. It certainly does make following the discussion harder, but I guess he decided for some reason that what he had to say wasn't worth reading.

dream
08-09-2005, 08:32
Alot of non hikers that I taken with me on overnights have asked me why I used trekking poles. people ask me "why do you use them when you can hike without them" I always use this analogy. "you can ski without ski poles too right , but do you see anyone skiing in the olympics (the greek type olympics not the Washington type) without them?" which implies that trekking poles are elite tools for hiking or somthing and that serious pro's use them. so I go on to say " Yeah you do see skiers in the olympics on TV not using poles, It's called freestyle and ski jumping." some skiers use poles because the way they ski. poles help some skiers and for other skiers poles would just be useless or detract from what they are doing. a freestyle skier is never going to say to a super G or slalom skier. "Dude , you should do like me and ditch the poles all they do is snag on gates and the extra weight will slow you down. check out how I get all mountain dew on this jump. I could never do this sweet triple lundy backflip legspreader with poles man!" It's just irrelevant to dissagree. to each his own. To some hikers poles are useless. For others they enhance the activity.

kyhipo
08-09-2005, 08:39
well i cant seem to ever find my hiking stick :-? I think the last one was in vrmont or california but heck if it helps ya go for it i like to hike with out them myself .Those skiing poles make me hike funny :cool: ky make me feel like i can fly or do hiking tricks like a skateboarder:D

Big Dawg
08-09-2005, 09:06
I've hiked w/ em & w/o em,, & I prefer 4 "legs" to 2. On extended level to semi-level ground, I'll pack em up,,, but they just seem to give me better balance when hiking up or down big mountains. W/o em, I've had a few spills---once you lose balance, that pack seems to help drive ya to the ground, & on a steep mountainside, this aint good. W/ my poles, I've caught myself from a fall every time, & keep on trucking. :banana

D'Artagnan
08-09-2005, 11:04
I once had a guy ask me "So how are the slopes today?" while we were scrambling over the rocks above Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park near Mount Rogers in Virginia. It took a couple seconds to dawn on me that he was taking a dig at my Leki's. I just said the slopes were smooth and had some fresh powder (note my sarcasm since it was July and raining). He wasn't so clever as the climb got a little more technical and I left him puffing while looking for safe footing over slickened boulders. I couldn't help but grin a little on the inside.

Poles are obviously a matter of personal preference. I simply find that for me they make the experience more enjoyable and safer. They may sometimes get in the way and I do regret they facilitate faster erosion if used without rubber tips, but they have kept me upright on numerous occasions when their absence would have meant a wicked tumble. For that reason alone, I never leave for the trail without them. Your mileage may vary.

trailhopper
08-09-2005, 21:05
I guess it all depends on the person, but I wouldn't go with out them. Have made a few saves from falling with them. Great for going down hill also. I use the anti's and love'em.
but thats me. Give'em a try everyone is different.

love'em hate-- I guess it's personnal

fiddlehead
08-10-2005, 00:25
I use em and I really like em. Poles are'nt going anywhere, their here to stay. Some people like this.......some like that.........its all personal preference.
I'd be willing to make some kind of wager that in 20 years time, you'll see the same question have results of a majority, no, make that 75% saying they do NOT use poles. (that's aprox the percentage carrying them now, right?)
People think they need them until they try it the other way.
Less is More! For Sure!

Slimer
08-10-2005, 03:11
lol............maybe......maybe not...who knows what the future will tell, but if you feel that you need to wager.........throw the dice and cross your fingers.
Some people feel that they need them because they HAVE tried it the other way. Some use tents.....some don't. It all comes down to preference.

fiddlehead
08-10-2005, 23:18
You may be right, but it's my opinion that people use things because of brainwashing. 1st from the Backpacking magazines, and then from seeing so many others using them. (peer pressure)
If i put all the very experienced hikers i know together, I'd say about 35% of them use hiking sticks or poles. (by very experienced, i mean 3-5+ thru hikes) (by the way, 90% of them are using running shoes)
I will admit that they help while hiking with a leg or ankle injury.
Slimer, if you go to the gathering in Oct (Dartmouth college this year) look me up. I sell long underwear at the hikers fair every year (The Underwear Guys) (or i'm showing a video on hiking in Nepal with Rainman (VT)
and we will (possibly) come up with some kind of wager between us. It doesn't have to be money. Maybe loser has to hike the Mexico trail or something (maybe there will be something like that in 20 years???)

Buckingham
08-10-2005, 23:52
Got an old walking stick I bought long ago in Delare Water Gap, I can't bare to part with it now, it's my trusty friend.

Alligator
08-10-2005, 23:59
You may be right, but it's my opinion that people use things because of brainwashing. 1st from the Backpacking magazines, and then from seeing so many others using them. (peer pressure)
If i put all the very experienced hikers i know together, I'd say about 35% of them use hiking sticks or poles. (by very experienced, i mean 3-5+ thru hikes) (by the way, 90% of them are using running shoes)
I will admit that they help while hiking with a leg or ankle injury.
...So 35% of the very experienced hikers you know are brainwashed by backpacking magazines and then by peer pressure? Or have these 35% come to a reasoned conclusion that they find the poles useful? I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.

Slimer
08-11-2005, 00:09
Hey Fiddlehead, I'm not sure if i'll be able to make it to Gathering, but if I do , i'll look you up. It just so happens that i'm looking for a good pair of long underwear, I'd like to see your video as well. We'll figure out something to wager on.......hehe.

SGT Rock
08-11-2005, 07:42
That is funny, I find Backpacking magazine useless after reading it. But while I was skeptical of hiking poles at first, I decided I liked them after using them for a 100 miles. Must have been the squirls on the Pinhoti brainwashing me.

Now Nalgen bottles, there is a truly usless peice of gear people are brainwashed into thinking they need.

MOWGLI
08-11-2005, 08:12
Now Nalgen bottles, there is a truly usless peice of gear people are brainwashed into thinking they need.

I don't agree with that assessment SGT Rock. I find that I often like to carry 2 liters of liquid. The 20 oz gatorade bottles just don't do it for me - although my daughter carries one when we hike. Nalgenes fit nicely (snug) in the side pockets of my pack - so I don't have to worry about them falling out. They are very durable (some would say heavy - not me) and have served me well through the years. On the occasions that I choose to filter (when I backpack with my family), the attachment fits snugly in the bottle top.

Anyway - to each their own.

The Solemates
08-11-2005, 08:14
Other brainwashed gear:

Hiking Poles
Nalgenes
Full-grain leather boots
Self-Inflating Pads
Ditty Bags
Gaiters


...others?

The Solemates
08-11-2005, 08:15
I don't agree with that assessment SGT Rock. I find that I often like to carry 2 liters of liquid. The 20 oz gatorade bottles just don't do it for me - although my daughter carries one when we hike. Nalgenes fit nicely (snug) in the side pockets of my pack - so I don't have to worry about them falling out. They are very durable (some would say heavy - not me) and have served me well through the years. On the occasions that I choose to filter (when I backpack with my family), the attachment fits snugly in the bottle top.

Anyway - to each their own.

1L Pepsi bottles are the same amt, basically the same size, and weigh half what Nalgenes do.

Lone Wolf
08-11-2005, 08:17
I carry a Nalgene bottle too. It has all my nifty stickers on it like "****** You And Your ******in Leki Poles". :D

kyhipo
08-11-2005, 08:29
leki poles:-? are they for skiing or hiking:dance ky

peter_pan
08-11-2005, 08:29
Brain washed...I doubt it....

It took 30 years to convince me a hiking staff or better yet, hiking poles work !!

Thirty miles with poles enabled the next 1,000 miles....I doubt that I'd still be hiking without them....They have saved countless sprains, twists, and falls.

Pan

Alligator
08-11-2005, 09:19
Let's not completely derail the subject by posting a laundry list of every underappreciated piece of gear a small mind can think of. The subject is hiking poles, it's generally enough to keep the conversation going.

Footslogger
08-11-2005, 09:26
To those who poo poo trekking poles I say ..."your time will come".

Unless you want to start fanny scooting down the backside of mountains or crawling down on all 4's you WILL some day (if you choose to continue hiking) find trekking poles (or a hiking stick) a welcome tool.

In the meantime, enjoy your youthful knees while you have them. They are degenerating gradually on a daily basis. The more weight you carry on your back and the harder you hike the faster the process of degeneration occurs. It's not a matter of IF ...just WHEN.

Oh yeah ...and you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for the pricey brand labelled ones. I recently saw a decent multi-section trekking pole in the camping department at Walmart (I know ...some of you hate that store) for about $9, plus the handle has a small compass built into the grip.

Trekking poles are not a gimmick but if you don't like them or feel you need them more power to you.

'Slogger

Lone Wolf
08-11-2005, 09:35
Nope. Don't think so. Thousands of miles of hiking without poles have strengthened the muscles around my ligaments. I had major surgery 25 years ago (tore the ACL,PCL, MCL). Poles are crutches.

kyhipo
08-11-2005, 09:40
I agree with ya wolf and i tore my aclu and never have used poles i think its makes a difference when you have your leggs completey under you.I think people depend on those poles way to much going down hills and up hills and for balance but its their hike:dance ky

Blue Jay
08-11-2005, 09:55
In the meantime, enjoy your youthful knees while you have them. They are degenerating gradually on a daily basis. The more weight you carry on your back and the harder you hike the faster the process of degeneration occurs. It's not a matter of IF ...just WHEN.

I completely disagee with this. The entire evolution of the human race, up until the last century, was walking and carrying weight. The human body is well made to do this. Knee problems are due to various kinds of abuse, too far, too fast, etc. Hiking poles are like someone taking pain killers for a broken leg, it just hides an abuse problem. If hiking poles were required we would have a bone coming down from our wrists to the ground. Hiking poles are a worthless cultural artifact, like someone without a Harley wearing a "Live to Ride" t-shirt.

Alligator
08-11-2005, 10:05
There are multiple types of knee problems/injuries. Some are correctable and some are not. If I stick to exercising my knees, they do impove. Will they ever be 100% again, I don't know, but I doubt it. Crudely speaking, yeah, my trekking poles are a crutch. But they keep me hiking farther and longer, even when I'm in the best of shape.

Now, I'd like to go read a few backpacking rags. Stop putting all this pressure on me, I'm starting to doubt my using them:-? .

Slimer
08-11-2005, 10:17
A Harley?........now there's a worthless cultural artifact.

Lone Wolf
08-11-2005, 10:21
You ever own one Slimer?

The Solemates
08-11-2005, 10:24
I completely disagee with this. The entire evolution of the human race, up until the last century, was walking and carrying weight. The human body is well made to do this. Knee problems are due to various kinds of abuse, too far, too fast, etc. Hiking poles are like someone taking pain killers for a broken leg, it just hides an abuse problem. If hiking poles were required we would have a bone coming down from our wrists to the ground. Hiking poles are a worthless cultural artifact, like someone without a Harley wearing a "Live to Ride" t-shirt.

exactly. exercise strengthens the surrounding muscles and ligaments. but it has to be continual exercise. thats the way the human body works. abuse/too fast is the real cause of knee problems. Like someone going snowskiing once a year for a week without any kind of exercise beforehand. or someone going for a 2 week hike after sitting at a desk doing nothing with their knees for the months preceding. or someone waterskiing over July 4th without conditioning the knees through exercise beforehand.

Slimer
08-11-2005, 10:29
After wrenching on em time and time again, no, I've never owned one.

Alligator
08-11-2005, 10:42
Sometimes people get injuries and no matter what they do afterwards, they are never 100%. Some people have arthritis, etc. Abuse is not the only cause of knee problems, nor is every problem correctable.

Evolution is not about walking, it's about procreation. While I've got a pole touching the ground, it ain't coming out of my wrist.

Footslogger
08-11-2005, 11:12
Nope. Don't think so. Thousands of miles of hiking without poles have strengthened the muscles around my ligaments. I had major surgery 25 years ago (tore the ACL,PCL, MCL). Poles are crutches.========================================= ========
Well Wolf ...you're right and you're wrong on this one. I rarely take much of a firm position on things here at Whiteblaze but this one's different. This one I know something about. It really isn't a debate so I'll share what I know and then let ya'll can hammer it out amongst yourselves.

I see, on average, about 2 dozen patients with knee symptoms/injuries a week here at the clinic. They range from john does to highly conditioned athletes. I know their history/mechanism of injury and I do their MRI's.

Correct ...conditioning/exercise does strengthen the muscles of the thigh and lower leg which to some degree protects the knee joint and compensates for the forces that might otherwise cause injury. Evidence ...about a third of the university football players I examine have torn ACL's from high school sports that were never repaired. The highly developed musculature of their legs compensates for the inherent instability due to the severed ACL. On the other hand ...every one of them (without exception) show signs of early DJD and they are destined to have knee problems for the rest of their lives.

Correct ...trekking poles are crutches. But where you're WRONG is in calling that a bad or unecessary thing. When used correctly, trekking poles assist in climbing and reduce the load on downhills. In addition, they provide some exercise for the hands/arms which otherwise float freely like pendulums in the air as we hike and do no real work.

Stretching and strengthening can and does "postpone" the effects of aging on the knee. Good genes play a part as well. However, degenerative joint disease (DJD) and osteoarthritis (OA) is a fact of life. We're all born with a limited and unreplaceable amount of articular cartilage and meniscal tissue. Torn ligaments can be re-attached or grafted from other areas of the body but they will never be as good or fully functional as the ones you were born with. The moment you have surgery and disrupt the knee joint to repair an injury the clock starts on accelerated DJD.

Walking erect with weight on our backs doesn't in and of itself cause or worsent the problem. On the other hand, unbalanced/unstable loading of the knee from climbing up hills and bouncing or rockhopping down hills does.

That's about it for Knees101. I'll leave the rest for ya'll to work through. Use trekking poles if you'd like and don't use them if you don't ...but if you want to see some knee injuries and/or the natural effects of age related DJD come work with me for a week at the clinic.

'Slogger

kyhipo
08-11-2005, 13:22
no poles:banana unless for roasting hot dogs and marshmellows:dance ky

SGT Rock
08-11-2005, 13:36
I don't agree with that assessment SGT Rock. I find that I often like to carry 2 liters of liquid. The 20 oz gatorade bottles just don't do it for me - although my daughter carries one when we hike. Nalgenes fit nicely (snug) in the side pockets of my pack - so I don't have to worry about them falling out. They are very durable (some would say heavy - not me) and have served me well through the years. On the occasions that I choose to filter (when I backpack with my family), the attachment fits snugly in the bottle top.

Anyway - to each their own.
Mowgli, it's a joke between LWolf and me. :D

Kerosene
08-11-2005, 18:25
Nalgenes fit nicely (snug) in the side pockets of my pack - so I don't have to worry about them falling out. They are very durable (some would say heavy - not me) and have served me well through the years. Note that a 1L Nalgene weighs in at 5 ounces, while a 1L+ (they can hold 45 ounces) Nalgene Cantene weighs only 2 ounces. So, with two bottles in your side pockets you're saving 6 ounces, plus you're getting 40% more potential water-carrying capacity. Once you get down below 30 pounds of carry weight, there aren't a whole lot of places where you can shave 6 ounces in one easy step.

fiddlehead
08-11-2005, 22:35
=================================================
Well Wolf ...you're right and you're wrong on this one. I rarely take much of a firm position on things here at Whiteblaze but this one's different. This one I know something about. It really isn't a debate so I'll share what I know and then let ya'll can hammer it out amongst yourselves.

I see, on average, about 2 dozen patients with knee symptoms/injuries a week here at the clinic. They range from john does to highly conditioned athletes. I know their history/mechanism of injury and I do their MRI's.

Correct ...conditioning/exercise does strengthen the muscles of the thigh and lower leg which to some degree protects the knee joint and compensates for the forces that might otherwise cause injury. Evidence ...about a third of the university football players I examine have torn ACL's from high school sports that were never repaired. The highly developed musculature of their legs compensates for the inherent instability due to the severed ACL. On the other hand ...every one of them (without exception) show signs of early DJD and they are destined to have knee problems for the rest of their lives.

Correct ...trekking poles are crutches. But where you're WRONG is in calling that a bad or unecessary thing. When used correctly, trekking poles assist in climbing and reduce the load on downhills. In addition, they provide some exercise for the hands/arms which otherwise float freely like pendulums in the air as we hike and do no real work.

Stretching and strengthening can and does "postpone" the effects of aging on the knee. Good genes play a part as well. However, degenerative joint disease (DJD) and osteoarthritis (OA) is a fact of life. We're all born with a limited and unreplaceable amount of articular cartilage and meniscal tissue. Torn ligaments can be re-attached or grafted from other areas of the body but they will never be as good or fully functional as the ones you were born with. The moment you have surgery and disrupt the knee joint to repair an injury the clock starts on accelerated DJD.

Walking erect with weight on our backs doesn't in and of itself cause or worsent the problem. On the other hand, unbalanced/unstable loading of the knee from climbing up hills and bouncing or rockhopping down hills does.

That's about it for Knees101. I'll leave the rest for ya'll to work through. Use trekking poles if you'd like and don't use them if you don't ...but if you want to see some knee injuries and/or the natural effects of age related DJD come work with me for a week at the clinic.

'SloggerI'm sure i shouldn't give my opinion here against someone who sees knee problems everyday. but i'd like to share my experiences on this subject.
Both my brother and i had torn ACL's from our highschool sports day (60's) He had his operated on, I didn't. Today, he can hardly walk. He gets shots aprox every 6 months to relieve the pain. My knees are as good as they've ever been. I finished my 1st 100 mile ultra race 4 years ago and can now ski mogels better than i ever could before. I jog everyday and summited my first 20,000' peak last year. The only thing i've done for my knees is to take some Glucosamine and hike, jog, hike, ski, hike, climb, hike. (without poles)
You are probably a doctor and know a lot. I'm just trying to help people open their minds to natures way compared to the American Medical Associations Way. I see my brother hobbling all the time and....................well, enough said.

sean
08-14-2005, 12:05
I think hiking poles are a crutch, they make it seem easier at first, but are less efficient in the long run. I have tried using sticks, and I find myself wasting a lot of energy in my arms. I personally hate the sound they make on rocks, I can hear hikers long before I see them. I have been able to scare a lot of day hikers who do not see my until I am 3 feet from them (they are so concentrated on where they are walking) I noticed my knees hurt a little at first from the decents in maine, but by the time I got to the white mountains, they no longer hurt. I think keeping my pack under 20lbs may play a factor, but I am not entirely sure. Now my favorite part of hiking is going down rocks, hopping from one to the next.

Ridge
08-14-2005, 23:37
It's hard for me to believe that over 10% of those voting uses ZERO pole(s). All I can say is that if they had my knees they sure would.

Colter
08-16-2005, 13:12
and it's not just a "fad." I just spent a week hiking rough country in Alaska's Brooks Range, and much of the time I was carrying a heavy pack. I used a single pole on this trip, and it was invaluable. Was it more work for that one arm? Sure! But overall it made the packing a lot easier. No doubt about it. It also was extremely valuable for stream crossings, making it MUCH safer to cross those slippery rocks.

I don't like the noise of hiking poles either, nor do I care for the scars on rocks. That's why I put rubber tips on my poles. Didn't notice any decrease in performance, and they were quiet, didn't scar rocks, and don't poke little holes in trails.


I'm just trying to help people open their minds to natures way compared to the American Medical Associations Way. I see my brother hobbling all the time and....................well, enough said.

Actually, I think you're trying to say that because your brother is hobbling that proves the cause was the surgery, which may or may not be the case.

I've got lots of friends in the firefighting world who's knees were about shot, and surgery helped most of them immensely. Personally, I'll keep an open mind, but from what I've seen I'll take modern medicine over nature most of the time. Infections are "natural" but I'll use a modern antibiotic IF I need it.

fiddlehead
08-17-2005, 00:36
Actually, I think you're trying to say that because your brother is hobbling that proves the cause was the surgery, which may or may not be the case.

I've got lots of friends in the firefighting world who's knees were about shot, and surgery helped most of them immensely. Personally, I'll keep an open mind, but from what I've seen I'll take modern medicine over nature most of the time. Infections are "natural" but I'll use a modern antibiotic IF I need it. Yes, it was because of the surgery. Turns out the doctor made a mistake and removed too much torn cartiledge. Now he's screwed! Can't be undone. He's 57 and looking at plastic knees already. And he was such a good athlete. I'm so glad i decided not to do it. Like i said, my knees are stronger than they've ever been now and i really believe it's from all the hiking i have done. I've said in the past on here that i used to use poles and really really thought they were the best. But then i tried it again, without them and found that THAT was even better. (my balance got much better, and i didn't fall or almost fall nearly as much) and my hands stayed free to do whatever: (i now carry a video camera a lot or my still camera, or eat while walking, look at the map, data book, gps, keep my hands wrapped up in my pockets to keep them warm sometimes, the list could go on and on. Just try it sometime. you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
If i had bad knees, i'd probably use poles. I'm glad i don't need them.

Crazy Larry #1
08-17-2005, 06:38
overpriced. overrated. i never use them. never will.Wolf, you ever read the Bill W's Big Book? in the back there is a saying that goes like this as quoted by Herbert Spencer, "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

one thing that i keep on hearing from you is "I never will do this or that, that's just not what hiking is....i'm hardcore this or that"

Wolf, even though i like you man, you're missing out on some other experiences that all of us are enjoying when we're out there.....

who put this kind of thinking in your head pal?

what's going to happen when you get old and have weak knees and want to go on a hike then? going to lay around in bed and do nothing, or are you going to get yourself a walking stick that is customed built and go for a hike?

Lone Wolf
08-17-2005, 06:43
Who the hell is Bill W.? And like I said, I have never used poles and never will. I'm tougher than most hikers. Just a fact.

Crazy Larry #1
08-17-2005, 06:45
i use leki's. another good use for them is when i have trail named someone i have them squat to one knee and i use my right handed leki to chrisan them....though sometimes i come down on the swing to fast and knock them out....whatever the case may be, they know what their trail name is after i have whacked into them with my right handed leki....i love them poles, they have many uses fer shure......i've had mine for about four years now, i think i will put rubber tips on them though to see if they grab the rocks better and i don't have to listen to that clanking and clicking when i get into a rocky area.....

Crazy Larry #1
08-17-2005, 06:48
Who the hell is Bill W.? And like I said, I have never used poles and never will. I'm tougher than most hikers. Just a fact.wish i had time for this talk, but got to go to work....tough my grits....Bill W was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous....you probably will never check that out either...because you are tough and can do it on your own......

Lone Wolf
08-17-2005, 06:49
You got that right. You seem to like crutches.

kyhipo
08-17-2005, 08:38
like i said for roasting hot dogs and marshmellows:dance ky

Shroomism
08-17-2005, 15:26
I have never used a pole.

A stick.. yes. I like a good stick. Shamanistic style.

Lilred
08-17-2005, 17:18
I don't like the noise of hiking poles either, nor do I care for the scars on rocks. That's why I put rubber tips on my poles. Didn't notice any decrease in performance, and they were quiet, didn't scar rocks, and don't poke little holes in trails.


You're right, the rubbler tips don't poke little holes in the trails, they poke BIG ones. I used rubber tips for awhile for the same reasons you quoted above, didn't like the noise, didn't like scarring up rocks, but when the ground was wet, I noticed my rubber tips sunk in just as the small tip did and left a quarter size hole. And since the AT is very wet........

I took my poles to the Leki tent at trail days and they told me not to use the rubber tips, except on road walks. They didn't grasp the rocks or roots as well as the carbon tips do, and he was right. I've noticed my poles slip a lot less without the rubber tips on them. I watch and in most cases can avoid setting my poles on rocks. If I'm doing a rock scramble, I simply lift them up and avoid using them altogether. Rock hopping is much easier without poles anyhow.

Crazy Larry #1
08-17-2005, 21:20
You got that right. You seem to like crutches.you got it buddy, the more the crutches, the more the life.....

titanium_hiker
08-17-2005, 21:43
I figure, if you are going to carry tent poles anyway, (hammockers hush) then why not make them crutches?

Crazy Larry #1
08-18-2005, 06:24
Now Nalgen bottles, there is a truly usless peice of gear people are brainwashed into thinking they need.i agree with that, i was a nalgene follower for a period, still have one laying around here somewhere.....a big ole soda bottle works great and a collapsable water bag is of good use around the camp....

TrailSweeper
08-22-2005, 11:54
As a trail maintainer for a number of years I never seen any significant damage due to the use of trekking poles. I use a pair myself, even dayhiking.

c.coyle
08-22-2005, 17:01
I always hike with a Pole. Her maiden name was Czyz. :D

titanium_hiker
08-22-2005, 20:35
As a trail maintainer for a number of years I never seen any significant damage due to the use of trekking poles. I use a pair myself, even dayhiking.
(emphasis mine)

a one post dude- is this because he lurks, and then has joined and posted to correct this horrific misinformation? :eek:
:rolleyes:

TrailSweeper
08-23-2005, 08:13
well I am fairly new here, is that a problem? And what misinformation?

MOWGLI
08-23-2005, 08:28
well I am fairly new here, is that a problem? And what misinformation?

Hey Trailsweeper, I love Upstate SC. Where do you maintain trail? Are you a member of the Foothills Trail Conference?

Regarding the comment above, some folks don't like their world view challenged. ;) While I have seen some damage to trails caused by poles (the Bigelow Range comes to mind - near Avery Peak), I too use the instruments of Satan. In fact, I hear that Pat Robertson wants to have me assasinated for using them. :D

I am sometimes bothered by the click click click sound that the poles make. Hiking in Colorado with my daughter recently, she asked me out on the trail "how come your poles don't make alot of sounds?" I told her that I tried to carefully select where I placed the poles so that I could walk as quietly as possible through the woods. Thereafter, she tried to walk a bit more deliberatively with the poles.

But I digress (as per usual).

TrailSweeper
08-23-2005, 11:13
I live near Charleston, have hiked the entire Foothills twice, and have helped with maintainence on the trail. Yes I am an FTC member. I have worked with the ATC Konnarock trail crew for the past 8 years on numerous projects. I worked for a number of years with the Potomac ATC in the Lee ranger district, in VA, where we constructed the Massenutten Trail. I volunteer time to many trail crews along the AT.
While there is some damage to outslope on some sections of trail I have never seen any significant damage that was directly caused by poles. I use rubber tips on mine where needed.

Sly
08-23-2005, 12:02
IMO, the concern of Leki-type hiking poles causing damage to the trail is way over-rated. The clickity-clack is a good thing, in griz country. I've never seen a Leki pole in scat!

beartrack1
08-23-2005, 12:34
They havevn't saved my knees, really, but they do help me to maintain ballance while fording streams and trekking through some of those stretches of trail where there has been little to no maintaincence for a year or so. My poles are also tools when at camp or at other times, example, I keep a camera mount fastened to one pole via a velcro wrap so I can mount my little digital camera to the end of the pole and just stab the pole in the ground and get in the picture.

sierraDoug
08-24-2005, 02:07
I've never felt the need for poles. I tried using a single one on a four day trip and found it a little useful but not worth bothering with.

As cool inventions go Pacerpoles look great. Almost makes me want to try them out. They can be seen and had at http://www.ula-equipment.com/pacer_poles.htm and the makers site (with lots of info) is http://www.pacerpole.com/index.html Anybody tried them?

titanium_hiker
08-24-2005, 16:08
TrailSweeper: no no, I wasn't saying you were wrong... I was playing devils advocate, with the debate that you shouldn't use poles because they damage the trail causeing landslides and globalwarming and and and... :)

It was a tongue in cheek post, because finaly someone who has more expertise than just a hiker (in the fact that you watch a section of trail) more than these read a book and spout forth types. (again, here I go again- tongue in cheek folks!) Has posted about their observations.

Welcome to Whiteblaze!
titanium

Alligator
08-24-2005, 20:56
IMO, the concern of Leki-type hiking poles causing damage to the trail is way over-rated. The clickity-clack is a good thing, in griz country. I've never seen a Leki pole in scat!The clickity-clack was pretty useful in letting a copperhead know I was coming last weekend too. Reached forward to plant the pole and what looked like a spring in grass shot to the side of a rock. I didn't touch it with the pole, I was off to the left some, my feet were a step or two back. It was right in the middle of the path I was taking through the rocks.

nicodemus
08-16-2006, 17:33
When I found out how much impact is reduced on the knees and hips, and then multiply that by how many miles you go on the AT, it's remarkable how anyone would want to do it without them. I know that purist will disagree, and that's fine. I keep the rubber tip covers on mine, keep a spare set in the pack, and they keep ya' truckin along.

Ridge
08-16-2006, 18:02
Thanks for using the rubber tips, too bad other hikers consider they are doing the trail a favor by using metal or carbide tips.

I assume you are using 2 sticks instead of 1. Using 2 sticks doubles your comfort and safety.

FLHiker
08-16-2006, 19:02
I'm a convert. I used to be the tough guy calling those with poles sissies. Then on a whim- I took my ski poles (not the best for hiking) on a day hike and saw the light. They can also be multifunctional. I carry a tarp now and use the poles to set that. Also, (I'm not a thru or even a section hiker) I carry an SLR camara with a tele lens. One pole has a quick attach for the camara/ lens (monopod), the other has a Y adapter that lekki sells, that allows me to use both poles as an improvised but extremely effective bipod (those familar with photography can appreciate the great benifit this can be.) Then I carry the super light weight mini tripod (4 oz)

When I'm on easy terrain, they usually go on the pack (I find them annoying when you don't really need them)

This is my set-up that I have developed (partly driven by the camera) I would borrow some, or use ski poles to try it out and see if you like them!!

Alligator
08-16-2006, 21:19
Thanks for using the rubber tips, too bad other hikers consider they are doing the trail a favor by using metal or carbide tips.

I assume you are using 2 sticks instead of 1. Using 2 sticks doubles your comfort and safety.I guess folks weren't using them much back when you thruhiked. How many years ago was that??

fiddlehead
08-16-2006, 23:31
When I found out how much impact is reduced on the knees and hips, and then multiply that by how many miles you go on the AT, it's remarkable how anyone would want to do it without them. I know that purist will disagree, and that's fine. I keep the rubber tip covers on mine, keep a spare set in the pack, and they keep ya' truckin along.

I really don't think it's a matter of being a purist or not.
It's more like: someone dreamed this up and has marketed it so that most hikers have bought it hook line and sinker.
You won't see ultra runners use them and they put in a lot more miles than thru-hikers generally.
When i am training for a hike, i am doing about 25 miles per day but i come in in the middle of the pack. My teacher runs about 25 mpd when he is just maintaining himself and adds another half again when training. He wins races. He carries a small day pack when training.
He is about 6'4 and weighs about 220. His knees are fine. He's been running like that since way before i met him in 97.
It's all in your head. I will admit they are good for a ford but unless you are in Tibet where there are hardly no trees, you can find a stick or piece of tree to use. Same for your tent pole.
I've tried them, they are a crutch for me. My balance is much better when i don't have anything in my hands. I can go much faster if i want and can keep my hands warm. Leather boots, hip belts, water pumps, extra shoes, poles, are in the same category as snake bite kits, hatchets, big knives, and guns: don't need them out there.
But of course, bottom line: HYOH and most importantly: Have Fun!

fiddlehead
08-16-2006, 23:33
I really don't think it's a matter of being a purist or not.
It's more like: someone dreamed this up and has marketed it so that most hikers have bought it hook line and sinker.
You won't see ultra runners use them and they put in a lot more miles than thru-hikers generally.
When i am training for a hike, i am doing about 25 miles per day but i come in in the middle of the pack. My teacher runs about 25 mpd when he is just maintaining himself and adds another half again when training. He wins races. He carries a small day pack when training.
He is about 6'4 and weighs about 220. His knees are fine. He's been running like that since way before i met him in 97.
It's all in your head. I will admit they are good for a ford but unless you are in Tibet where there are hardly no trees, you can find a stick or piece of tree to use. Same for your tent pole.
I've tried them, they are a crutch for me. My balance is much better when i don't have anything in my hands. I can go much faster if i want and can keep my hands warm. Leather boots, hip belts, water pumps, extra shoes, poles, are in the same category as snake bite kits, hatchets, big knives, and guns: don't need them out there.
But of course, bottom line: HYOH and most importantly: Have Fun!

miss that edit button again.
line 6 should say: when i'm training for a run
sorry. I don't know why i get the edit button sometimes and other times i don't? ??? ??

Ridge
08-17-2006, 00:27
I guess folks weren't using them much back when you thruhiked. How many years ago was that??

It was before your stay in the Alachua County Jail.

Skidsteer
08-17-2006, 06:38
miss that edit button again.
line 6 should say: when i'm training for a run
sorry. I don't know why i get the edit button sometimes and other times i don't? ??? ??

Fiddlehead,

You're probably seeing an edit button if you try to edit within a few minutes of posting. The permanent edit button is only visible to members who donate.

Alligator
08-17-2006, 07:19
It was before your stay in the Alachua County Jail.
Nope, that inmate you were playing wife for was somebody else.

I didn't think you could do the math anyway. Apparently, you seem to think that 2005-1996=5.
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=101261

4-19-2005

It's 11:50 on my watch, my wife has just told me some crap about this is the surprize birthday present she has been dieing to give me. I am now somewhere 405 miles from the PCT trailhead I don't know if I going to hike or to view. I've just been told I'm hiking the entire PCT or its a divorce for me. Hum, I got to think about this one. After I hiked the ATC 5 yrs ago I promised the world to conquer, well I think, I think, she's trying to make me do it. I've been influenzed by heineken all the way. Her brother has access to a lear jet and this crap has been planned for months. Im on my pc with my usual modem/verizon connection... I need all the help I can get from the whiteblaze.net crowd to get me thru this. I need my sierra zip woodburning stove and all my other stuff. I'll never make it without it. help // later

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=101266
4-19-2005

My soooo beautiful wife has arranged a PCT hike for me. This is so great, I think, I will let you know in a few days when I'm out of water and shi# out of luck. The ATC thru hike will always be number 1 when it comes to hikes. I live near it and its always been like a "Moon Shot" for me. I made it 5 yrs ago and itl seems my bug ass mouth has gotten me into a PCT hike. Im ready damn it. I can do it. I just want to know where to start. Point me in the right direction. Ridge out,
It's amazing the level of detail your wife knows about your thruhike, but she thinks you thruhiked in 1995.
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=106386

Shelters seem to be my husbands biggest concern when it comes to hostility on the trail. He will no longer stay in one because of all the bad stuff that happened during his 95 hike. You get all kinds of hikers in them and all sorts of stuff happens. He says it wouldn't hurt his feelings if all where torn down, stacked up and used for fire wood. He claims the bad outweighs the good in the case of shelters. He may be correct. hikerwife
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=102725

I would like to say as the wife of a 95 thru-hiker that the habits he picked up in the aprox 2200 miles are possibly the nastiest, obnoxious known to womankind. I'll mention a few that he calls "trail law"

1. "never, but never, wash your socks"

2. "take a shower only when your hiker friends can no longer id you."

3. "Always eat any food left behind by women you would go to bed with, after all you gotta kiss her".

Just SICK,SICK, signed: discussed hikerwife ps: He may wish he hadn't given me his WB log-in info before its over. But as slow as they are hiking the PCT I'll be a widow.
<!-- / message -->or was that 1994?
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=125324


Sent my husband a bottle when he made the 1/2 way point of his 94 thru-hike. Its very pricey but then a thru-hike (at least half of one) is worth it. He drinks Guinness and Heineken mostly but occasionally will hit the hard stuff.

Skidsteer
08-17-2006, 07:50
It's amazing the level of detail your wife knows about your thruhike, but she thinks you thruhiked in 1995.


:D And her grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation seem eerily familiar.

Righteous bust, Alligator. Again.

hopefulhiker
08-17-2006, 09:39
On trekking poles, At first I really didn't see the need for them.. but I thought I would try them out and I liked them...
I used the Leki Makalus almost the whole way. Tried to get them replaced in Gorham but their was the outfitter there was lousy and wouldn't replace.. I had to buy a brand new set to replace one bent pole.. This is the exception, Leki is a good company and the company helped me out later... I would like to see a lighter pole still..
I used the poles to set up the tarptent. I used the "blind man" style with the poles, putting one pole out at the same time as the opposite foot.. On down hills I took the straps off. Sometimes on long ups or downs I would change the length to match the grade.. They saved me from bad falls many times. Only rarely did I collaspe them and put them away..Sometimes this was easier than trying to climb with them.. On retrospect I would have left them behind going up the Big K...
My thinking is to reduce pain and injury while still having a good time.. I took lots of Ibuprophren too.. I think overall if one is willing to carry the poles then one has every right to use them without being degraded for it. I would say 90% of the thru hikers had poles or sticks last year..

opqdan
08-17-2006, 10:32
I go on a day hike just about every weekend during the summer, and this last weekend was the first time I had used poles.

I had previously avoided them due to the price. What if I bought them and decided I did not like them? Sure, I could sell them, but not for what I paid. I was in Target the other day and noticed that they were selling trekking poles in their camping/outdoors department. They were marked as Eddie Bauer brand (blech!), but they seemed pretty good quality. Nice angled handles that don't slip when moist, aluminum shafts, carbide tip (I assume), removable baskets and rubber tips, anti-shock, and only weighed a couple ounces more than other sets. Best of all, they were less than $15 each, so I could almost get 5 pairs for the price of some Lekis. I figured that they were worth a try at that price, so I bought them.

I tried them out on sunday on a 9 mile hike in the North Chagrin Reservation in NE Ohio, and I must say that I am impressed. As I said, I started assuming that poles were going to offer no difference, and I have hiked without poles for my whole (short) life, so I don't think "brainwashing" and Backpacker magazine (which I've never read) had anything to do with it.

I liked the advantage that they gave me when trying to balance, and they were especially usefull when going downhill as they kept me from pitching forward. I can't really comment on the anti-shock feature as I never notices it. Unless I try a pair without the feature, I suppose I won't really know whether it is worth it though.

I found that the biggest advantage was that they gave me something to do with my hands, and kept me from constantly fiddling with the straps on my pack.

The only negative was that I would sometimes kick the basket and cause the shaft to rotate, which would then collapse when I put any sort of weight on it (much to the amusement of my hiking partners). This was fixed by adding a little more torque when tightening the sections.

Overall, I liked using them, but more testing is in order. I can't comment on the knee issue, as my young knees are in fine condition (here's hoping I cant keep them that way).

soulrebel
08-17-2006, 10:36
F U and your F'ing leki poles. take that

Time To Fly 97
08-17-2006, 10:56
For me: required gear. I NEVER home without them:

15% of weight off knees - great for downhills
Promotes more upright posture - more air in lungs
Full body working instead of just legs - great for uphills
More points of contact - great for snow, slippery sections
River fording - added safety for underwater slippery rocks
Use as tarp poles if tarping
Checking to see if there is solid ground in front of you
etc.
etc.

I use LEKI hiking poles and probably always will: replaceable carbide tips, lifetime guarantee, shocks, every outfitter carries them, parts easy to find, absolutely reliable. I still have the ones I thru-hiked with in addition to a another set. The paint is long gone, but they work fine!

Here is how I use them while hiking:

Lekis height to my arms at 90 degree angle.

FLAT trail: I grip the handles in the normal position with my arms pretty straight. I hold the lekis low, and they hit the ground a couple feet behind me. I use them push myself forward, like cross country skiing. This is almost the same motion as your lower armwhen stiff arming a canoe stroke (for any canoers out there). I can easily add speed this way, or just transfer some of the effort to my arms.

HILLS: I drop my grip to lower portion of handle and pole itself, which is lower down, and put all my weight on the straps which are adjusted so that about 2 inches is below the handle. This allows me to use the straps to absorb a lot of weight without having to grip the handles so tightly. On hills, I push down on the lekis rather than pushing back - I plant the leki in front of me and kind of walk past it while resting weight on it. On downhills, the lekis stay in front of me and I use them as brakes, being careful to lean forward to keep my weight on my full boot instead of just my heels.

Over time, I have developed about six different walking/pole combinations that I use depending on terrain, switching to a different muscle group if I am getting fatigued, etc.

I bought my first pair at Walasi-Yi in Georgia, thanks to some great advice. Now, I'm happy to enthusiastically pass that advice on to anyone who is considering them for their hikes. Hope your "aha" moment puts a big smile on your face too!

Happy hiking!

TTF

Big Dawg
08-17-2006, 22:57
F U and your F'ing leki poles. take that

Nah, we'll pass.

grow up....... :rolleyes:

fiddlehead
08-17-2006, 23:32
Fiddlehead,

You're probably seeing an edit button if you try to edit within a few minutes of posting. The permanent edit button is only visible to members who donate.

I donated $40.
Maybe that's not enough???
sometimes i see it right after i post but usually not.
(perhaps 5% of the time)
I donated back in April. maybe that was too long ago now?

saimyoji
08-18-2006, 01:51
:D And her grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation seem eerily familiar.

Righteous bust, Alligator. Again.

Well, I couldn't access the first three links. I must not be priveledged enough, or maybe I pissed of DC at some point.

About hiking poles: I've never used them nor really spoken with anyone about them. What are the specific techniques you use to make them most effective? How much do they REALLY help you?

saimyoji
08-18-2006, 01:51
Well, I couldn't access the first three links. I must not be priveledged enough, or maybe I pissed of DC at some point.

About hiking poles: I've never used them nor really spoken with anyone about them. What are the specific techniques you use to make them most effective? How much do they REALLY help you?

Oops. The quote wasn't supposed to be there. :o

Skidsteer
08-18-2006, 06:39
I donated $40.
Maybe that's not enough???
sometimes i see it right after i post but usually not.
(perhaps 5% of the time)
I donated back in April. maybe that was too long ago now?

Check with Attroll, Fiddlehead. For some reason your name isn't on the list of donating members.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showgroups.php

Alligator
08-18-2006, 09:28
I donated $40.
Maybe that's not enough???
sometimes i see it right after i post but usually not.
(perhaps 5% of the time)
I donated back in April. maybe that was too long ago now?FH, the sponsor block is different from donating members. I remember Attroll mentioning this somewhere.

Alligator
08-18-2006, 09:31
Well, I couldn't access the first three links. I must not be priveledged enough, or maybe I pissed of DC at some point.
...My links? They should pop up, maybe you have a popup blocker set? I will edit my post and add his posts.

nicodemus
08-19-2006, 19:44
I really don't think it's a matter of being a purist or not.
It's more like: someone dreamed this up and has marketed it so that most hikers have bought it hook line and sinker.
You won't see ultra runners use them and they put in a lot more miles than thru-hikers generally.
When i am training for a hike, i am doing about 25 miles per day but i come in in the middle of the pack. My teacher runs about 25 mpd when he is just maintaining himself and adds another half again when training. He wins races. He carries a small day pack when training.
He is about 6'4 and weighs about 220. His knees are fine. He's been running like that since way before i met him in 97.
It's all in your head. I will admit they are good for a ford but unless you are in Tibet where there are hardly no trees, you can find a stick or piece of tree to use. Same for your tent pole.
I've tried them, they are a crutch for me. My balance is much better when i don't have anything in my hands. I can go much faster if i want and can keep my hands warm. Leather boots, hip belts, water pumps, extra shoes, poles, are in the same category as snake bite kits, hatchets, big knives, and guns: don't need them out there.
But of course, bottom line: HYOH and most importantly: Have Fun!Hey sorry, it took so long for my reply to this. I would love it if the use of hiking sticks was all in my head. Sad to say it's not. 15 yrs ago I was in a head-on car crash and both of my knees got pretty mashed and the lower back right along with it. Walking around the grocery store can be a true pain. But if I keep going it's gets better, that's why I hike with them. And I did ask a friend of mine who is a physician and hard core cyclist and runner about them. She agreed that it takes at least 20% of the impact off of your knees using the poles. But I do agree with you that I do like my hands empty while walking, but the physical recovery time, for me, is better with poles.

highway
10-02-2006, 07:20
I do see the need, for me at least, for one hiking pole. But I just cannot see my using two, as in skiing. I use my single pole as an extra foot print/balance when walking fast over rocky but level ground to keep from slipping and can't see how two poles would make me move faster. It would appear, again to me at least, that two poles over one would be just one more item to keep track of.

The single pole works great for the obvious uses: support for those first few steps in the morning before the feet become loosened, going up/down talus, fording streams, balance on footprint width, angled ledges around mountains, etc. I have foot damage and i really would use two if I saw the value. I must be missing something, I guess

Jaybird
10-03-2006, 05:17
I do see the need, for me at least, for one hiking pole. But I just cannot see my using two, as in skiing. .........................................etc,etc,e tc,............................................... ................................... I have foot damage and i really would use two if I saw the value. I must be missing something, I guess



Yo Highway:

dont know your age...but, if you have foot problems...then theres a real NEED for two hiking poles.
i began section-hiking the A.T. in 2002 with 1 trekking pole...& quickly found out that i'd get stressed shins & feet & knees with only 1 pole...consider two...

good luck with yer hike!

RockyTrail
10-03-2006, 18:36
I do see the need, for me at least, for one hiking pole. But I just cannot see my using two, as in skiing. I use my single pole as an extra foot print/balance when walking fast over rocky but level ground to keep from slipping and can't see how two poles would make me move faster. It would appear, again to me at least, that two poles over one would be just one more item to keep track of.

The single pole works great for the obvious uses: support for those first few steps in the morning before the feet become loosened, going up/down talus, fording streams, balance on footprint width, angled ledges around mountains, etc. I have foot damage and i really would use two if I saw the value. I must be missing something, I guess

You're right, you can't "see" it...until you try it. Makes a heck of a difference for me, I never thought it would, especially if you're over 40.
It doesn't make you move faster; in fact it slows you down on level flat paths (I stow'em or just carry at those times which is infrequent on the AT). Sometimes they are a hassle to keep up with but I use'em as tarp poles also.

Ribeye
10-03-2006, 19:47
I started the AT with poles and by the time I reached MD I just stopped using them. I think it takes a ton more effort to hike with poles than without them, and I also found that I enjoyed walking without them more as well. I think it's a personal decision, but I believe poles to be overated.

Lone Wolf
10-03-2006, 20:07
I started the AT with poles and by the time I reached MD I just stopped using them. I think it takes a ton more effort to hike with poles than without them, and I also found that I enjoyed walking without them more as well. I think it's a personal decision, but I believe poles to be overated.

Finally someone agrees with me.:D I don't eat cheese either.

rickb
10-03-2006, 20:25
I don't eat cheese either.

Then what the hell are you doing with it? :eek:

virtualfrog
10-04-2006, 01:13
On tricky trail, I'm likely to be just carrying my poles w/ me (at least uphill). Same on flat trail.

On tricky downhills, they've probably saved me uncountable falls/slips. On smooth up or downhills, I love my trekking poles. I can move so much faster/easier w/ them, it's amazing.

Oh yeah...they're great for polevaulting mudholes, which seems to be what I use them for most, lately.

Cherokee Bill
11-05-2006, 19:42
:D Purchased a pair this summer and can not think of hike without them! Up or down the Mtn. makes no difference, it farrrrrrrrrr easier with them;)

saimyoji
11-05-2006, 20:35
I grabbed a set at Walmart a week or so ago. Made it much easier on my knees, but they got in the way alot too. The walmart ones suck, though, as the metal tips had worn to nothing after only a 4 mile hike!!

And don't even try to blame it on the rocks here....:D

highway
11-06-2006, 06:37
What about all those deep little holes that trekking pole users punch into the ground, millions of times, leaving those deep depressions alongside the trail where that carbide tip punched its way into the soft ground?:-?

Lets see, LNT "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints" doesnt address all those damaging holes from those trendy trekking poles, does it?

But, thats my opinion

Lone Wolf
11-06-2006, 06:41
LNT of what? The trail itself is one big eroded scar so what's a few holes here and there?

highway
11-06-2006, 07:08
They enlarge that scar.

Lone Wolf
11-06-2006, 07:14
Not by much.

weary
11-06-2006, 09:04
....so what's a few holes here and there?
Totally insignificant. But we are not talking about "a few holes here and there." Poles leave millions of holes times several thousand thru hikers. And additional millions from day, weekend and section hikers.

Lone Wolf
11-06-2006, 09:13
Aerates the soil. Lets small plants and flowers grow.

Alligator
11-06-2006, 09:35
Aerates the soil. Lets small plants and flowers grow.I doubt makes a difference for small plants, but it could have some positive effect for large roots.

And rain that enters the holes is more likely to infiltrate the soil, decreasing sheet and rill flow of water. Compacted soils have low infiltration rates. That's why water bars are necessary, to divert and slow down flow.

highway
11-06-2006, 10:46
They are still unsightly!

Alligator
11-06-2006, 10:52
They are still unsightly!So's the big scar you are walking on;) . Try looking around to the left and right:) .

Lone Wolf
11-06-2006, 11:03
They are still unsightly!

Nothing can or will be done. Banning poles maybe. At least I don't use them.

hopefulhiker
11-06-2006, 11:24
Lekis saved me from pretty bad falls. Didn't think I needed them before the hike.. I wouldn't do it again without them...

highway
11-06-2006, 11:31
So's the big scar you are walking on;) . Try looking around to the left and right:) .

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I behold those as unsightly and unnecessary. The scar now, where others have tread before us, we can do little about, other than to try and not enlarge it much with our passing..

its a personal thing!

onesocktwin
11-06-2006, 11:40
It is a personal thing. Easier on the knees and has saved me from several falls. Leave the rubber tips on to minimize the offensive holes.

highway
11-06-2006, 11:50
It is a personal thing. Easier on the knees and has saved me from several falls. Leave the rubber tips on to minimize the offensive holes.

That is a great compromise but I wonder why so few do it?

Alligator
11-06-2006, 11:55
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I behold those as unsightly and unnecessary. The scar now, where others have tread before us, we can do little about, other than to try and not enlarge it much with our passing..

its a personal thing!You could walk barefoot.

Perception is definitely key. What you perceive though, and what is actually happening, has not been reconciled.

I see little marks on top of a much larger scar as simply a different shape of footprints.

StarLyte
11-06-2006, 12:40
You could walk barefoot.

Perception is definitely key. What you perceive though, and what is actually happening, has not been reconciled.

I see little marks on top of a much larger scar as simply a different shape of footprints.

I have walked barefoot on Trail, it's a beautiful feeling.

RockyTrail
11-06-2006, 17:09
As a Leki user, I don't understand why anyone would NOT want to use the rubber tips. I glue them on. The pole has a much firmer plant and does not sink in (or make a clicking noise on rock). Impact is not any different than a wooden hiking staff when you use the rubber tips.

The sharp points may be useful on ice, but I don't hike on sheet ice...:eek:

sirbingo
11-28-2006, 11:22
I don't use hiking poles but my one of my hiking friends does... I think they are great for traversing streams. He will use them to get through a difficult stream or area of trail and then toss them to me and I'll use them.

I think they are great for aiding in balance. I don't think I need them for general walking of the trail.

jasonklass
11-28-2006, 22:45
I used to think they were stupid until I tried them. Now, I use them all the time and my knees thank me! They're also indispensable for bridge and stream crossings.

Programbo
12-10-2006, 12:11
It is a personal thing. Easier on the knees and has saved me from several falls. Leave the rubber tips on to minimize the offensive holes.

But perhaps all the knee/ankle/fall problems are due to the fact that so many hikers now seem obsessed with weight and are using the lightest smalled packs they can find which force them to walk in an un-natural manner to fight the pack not carrying or transferring the weight correctly...As hard as it seems to believe a pack weighing 7 pounds will actually feel lighter,carry the weight better and conserve your energy more and at the same time allow you to walk in a natural manner than a 2-3 pound pack...Plus using the poles burns up more energy...I borrowed a hikers poles (Which he helped me adjust for my size) recently down in SNP on a day hike and after 2 miles I said..This is so stupid! and gave them back...I give poles my worst rating ever 9 thumbs up! :p

rafe
12-10-2006, 15:13
No doubt the AT is a "trendy" place. Hardly anyone used poles on the AT 20 years ago, though may one in four thrus carried a hiking pole (or "staff.") In 1990 I though poles and staffs were for wimps. But now deep in middle age and approaching senility, I wouldn't hike without them. On super flat or super steep bits of trail, they're not much use, though. So I'd only use telescoping poles that I can put away.

Lone Wolf
12-10-2006, 15:14
I ain't got em' and never will.:)

highway
12-10-2006, 18:03
Sometimes I think their use is a trend born of advertising hype from places like the Backpacker Magazine pages, ranking right up there with the uselessness of goofy gaiters. Both items are just occasionally useful, like extra balance for the poles (a single staff would do) or protection against an occasional pebble for the goofy gaiters, but hardly seems worth their cost or effort generated carrying any of them.

But, thats just my opinion.

rafe
12-10-2006, 18:29
Sometimes I think their use is a trend born of advertising hype ... But, thats just my opinion.

Opinion based on experience?

Let me pose this question... do you know of a serious hiker who used to hike with poles and now hikes without them?

Roland
12-10-2006, 18:32
Today, I hiked in knee-deep snow. The snow was so light and fluffy, snowshoes would have provided little advantage. Thanks to my goofy gaiters, I stayed warm and dry.

The snow covered most rocks, roots and other trail hazards; sorta like walking blindfolded. Thankfully, my trendy poles helped me avoid a few spills.

If I lived in FL, I might have a different opinion. HYOH.

rafe
12-10-2006, 18:47
Today, I hiked in knee-deep snow....

Knee deep? In the Whites? It must have fallen this week, eh? I skied last weekend at Sunday River, expecting to see at least a frosting of snow on the peaks... but no. (Every flake of snow at S.R. was man-made.)

hopefulhiker
12-10-2006, 19:03
I saw cheap treking poles at Target for $15 a piece. They looked better than the ones at Wal Mart....

Scaper
12-10-2006, 19:22
I have never used them . In hindsight the only time during my thru-hike they would have come in handy, would be to fend off pesky dogs or to ford a couple streams in Maine.

Roland
12-10-2006, 19:25
Knee deep? In the Whites? It must have fallen this week, eh? I skied last weekend at Sunday River, expecting to see at least a frosting of snow on the peaks... but no. (Every flake of snow at S.R. was man-made.)

Little snow in Bethel. Nearly bare at Wildcat and Pinkham. Plenty of snow on Starr King and Waumbek.

Bravo
12-11-2006, 11:27
Opinion based on experience?

Let me pose this question... do you know of a serious hiker who used to hike with poles and now hikes without them?

How serious? I used to use them now I don't. I'm considereing using just a single staff now. Not really for the help with the walk but I just like something in my hand. Also helps push a snake off the trail when you can't get around. Lots of rattlers in the desert.:)

A stick also helps keep other hiker's dogs away!

highway
12-11-2006, 11:41
How serious? I used to use them now I don't. I'm considereing using just a single staff now. Not really for the help with the walk but I just like something in my hand. Also helps push a snake off the trail when you can't get around. Lots of rattlers in the desert.:)

A stick also helps keep other hiker's dogs away!

I also agree. Its probably the only three reasons why I use a staff-except for the desert part. For that I'd have to substitute its use pushing the palmettos back some so as to spot the rattlers (& moccasins) underneath before passing, then using it as a 'snack flicker' to move them!

I heartily agree:)

Ramble~On
12-12-2006, 17:22
I have never used them . In hindsight the only time during my thru-hike they would have come in handy, would be to fend off pesky dogs or to ford a couple streams in Maine.

:-? Hey ! Not to open a great big can of worms:rolleyes: but that comment you made about fending off pesky dogs could spark a great big debate.

Err...Ummmmm what I meant to say was that I don't hike with hiking poles but I do hike sometimes with a hiking stick....actually it's one of those Tracks staffs that has a wooden ball on the top of it.
The tip comes off to reveal a nasty sharp pointy metal spike to ward off highwaymen and rougue dogs...(not really, its for ice but we'll pretend its for dogs for sake of arguement:rolleyes: )

To me it serves about as many uses as a bandana so it has a few miles on it.

People I've talked to that use hiking poles Leki or whatever all seem to love them....I have tried them and they're not for me...I'll stick to my stick.

sirbingo
12-15-2006, 12:54
Other brainwashed gear:

Hiking Poles
Nalgenes
Full-grain leather boots
Self-Inflating Pads
Ditty Bags
Gaiters


...others?

With out gaitors I get all sorts of rocks and pepples in my shoes.

ahodlofski
12-17-2006, 16:05
Has anyone experimented with or used the tents that use hiking poles as supports? Saw one on Rei and thought it might save weight...why carry tent poles and walking poles....

rafe
12-17-2006, 17:01
Has anyone experimented with or used the tents that use hiking poles as supports? Saw one on Rei and thought it might save weight...why carry tent poles and walking poles....


Tarptent and Six Moons both make tents that use hiking poles for support. There's just one little problem. Hiking poles don't bend like tent poles do, so they can't be used to form nice curvy shapes. The other thing is, the tents that use hiking poles are all single-wall, AFAIK.

I've ordered (but not yet received) the Tarptent Rainbow, which is kind of inbetween... it can be pitched with or without hiking poles.

Lyle
01-25-2007, 18:41
Just thought I'd pass this along - seems appropriate to this thread.



http://www.northcountrytrail.org/news/downhill1.htm

Jaybird
01-26-2007, 06:06
Just thought I'd pass this along - seems appropriate to this thread.
http://www.northcountrytrail.org/news/downhill1.htm





Hey Wolf....are U reading this?????
Damned scientific evidence!
hehehehehehe:D

highway
01-26-2007, 07:20
But the article does not address the fact that the increasing use of all those trendy hiking poles still leave those pesky little holes behind the footsteps of each hiker using them. That aspect of their impact was not elaborated upon, nor was it even considered.

In fact, it is my impression that, other than from a very few on this site, little attention has been given it at all. It was refreshing to have seen in ATC's issue of "A.T.Journeys", July-August 2006 issue, at least a small blurb about this on page 7, titled, 'Impact of trekking poles', which I will include here:

"A recent week spent on the A.T. raised in my mind, and not for the first time, the issue of the increasing use of ski poles and the potential damage incurred thereby to the Trail environment."

"Being in my seventies, I have for some time felt the need for a 'third leg,' for both balance and support. I have a stout, but light hiking staff to which I have added a substantial rubber 'foot,' and I would not hike without it. I seldom, however, leave a multitude of holes behind me as I chug along. On the other hand, the large number of young, strong hikers (including one ridge runner who will remain anonymous) whom I encountered last week on the Trail, seemingly schussing down the path on their ski poles, could be easily tracked by the countless divots they were leaving behind. Does the Conservancy have a position or any trail regulations on this practice? I hope these observations and my inquiry stimulate some discussion on this in A.T. Journeys."

Ron Levine
Raleigh, North Carolina

ATC does not have a policy, per se, on trekking poles, beyond its longstanding endorsement of Leave No Trace ethics, which would encourage (as manufacturers do when it comes to environments such as the A.T.) use of rubber tips and baskets.

So, I would suggest that, if the two pole trend appeals to you, at least put a rubber cap on your tips

fonsie
01-26-2007, 07:23
Well I been useing a stick since the early 90's, until a year ago I spent 110 on a pair of leki titanium treking poles. I use them all the time, I put the rubber ends on them. I just got tired of the leaves building up on them and sliping when I come to the rocks. Now I admit Stupid uneducated people allways ask me"are you going sking" I just look at them keep my mouth shut and hope they loose there balence and fall. I kno thats ****ed up, but theres alot of dumb asses out here in the world. Just I used traditional backpacking gear till about a year ago. Lighter is so much better, Ok enough thats a differant form. But I like my four leg hiking, takes off 5-8 pounds off each leg. So if your like me with a 20 lb pack thats alot of help going up and down the mountains.

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 07:27
Those little holes are good. they aerate the soil.

highway
01-26-2007, 08:10
I doubt they 'aerate' as much as deepen the path, widen the path, and crush more of alpine tundra mosses when above tree line.

Imagine yourself trying to follow along a very narrow, deeply rutted single path which is the Trail, trying to stay in it as much as possible so as to minimize your impact upon it while there, yet you continually see along the higher banks beside you the multiple millions of little stab marks into the ground from the tips of the hiking poles of the trendy yuppies who have blindly gone before you.

You are not beginning to turn into one of these are you?:D

fonsie
01-26-2007, 08:33
L.Wolf stop downing them I have seen every other post is you putting them down. ok we get you don't use them. Another thing I use the rubber boots on the bottom of mine. That way I leave no trace, and I leave the leaves on the ground also.

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 10:04
L.Wolf stop downing them I have seen every other post is you putting them down. ok we get you don't use them. Another thing I use the rubber boots on the bottom of mine. That way I leave no trace, and I leave the leaves on the ground also.

yo spanky. i'm not "downing" poles. i said they're GOOD for the soil.

rafe
01-26-2007, 10:11
yo spanky. i'm not "downing" poles. i said they're GOOD for the soil.

LOL. You've managed to dis trail maintainers and pole users in one short sentence. You're a piece 'o work, Wolf. ;)

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 10:13
Imagine yourself trying to follow along a very narrow, deeply rutted single path which is the Trail, trying to stay in it as much as possible so as to minimize your impact upon it while there, yet you continually see along the higher banks beside you the multiple millions of little stab marks into the ground from the tips of the hiking poles of the trendy yuppies who have blindly gone before you

that's why i blue-blaze so much. i leave white-blaze purist trail for you anal, pole-using weenie types. did i mention that poles and shelters suck?:)

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 10:14
LOL. You've managed to dis trail maintainers and pole users in one short sentence. You're a piece 'o work, Wolf. ;)

what do you expect from a complete freakin moron such as myself?:banana

saimyoji
01-26-2007, 10:16
Imagine yourself trying to follow along a very narrow, deeply rutted single path which is the Trail, trying to stay in it as much as possible so as to minimize your impact upon it while there, yet you continually see along the higher banks beside you the multiple millions of little stab marks into the ground from the tips of the hiking poles of the trendy yuppies who have blindly gone before you.


Much of the trail is lined here and there with trash, a much more unsightly aspect of human use. Perhaps we should refocus our efforts on LNT.

"Pennywise but pound foolish." :-?

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 10:18
Much of the trail is lined here and there with trash, a much more unsightly aspect of human use. Perhaps we should refocus our efforts on LNT.

"Pennywise but pound foolish." :-?

the actual trail is an ugly scar. a few more holes ain't gonna hurt.

Big Dawg
01-26-2007, 10:18
LOL. You've managed to dis trail maintainers and pole users in one short sentence. You're a piece 'o work, Wolf. ;)

I think he's serious:-?

Makes sense to me. Aeration of soil allows water (rain) to soak into the soil rather than run off and cause erosion. My gosh, if the folks who are bothered by little holes in the ground from poles, then I can only imagine how they feel about the effect of lugg soled boots.:eek:

saimyoji
01-26-2007, 10:27
I think he's serious:-?

Makes sense to me. Aeration of soil allows water (rain) to soak into the soil rather than run off and cause erosion. My gosh, if the folks who are bothered by little holes in the ground from poles, then I can only imagine how they feel about the effect of lugg soled boots.:eek:

Or all those damn roads they have to drive on to get to the trail....or the parking lots around those giant steel/concrete boxes where they buy all their fancy hiking gear. Talk about habitat destruction....

I've got about 20 lbs of perspective going to the lowest bidder. :-?

rafe
01-26-2007, 10:28
the actual trail is an ugly scar. a few more holes ain't gonna hurt.

So get off the AT, get off the blue blazes, and start whackin' the bushes. Don't need no stinkin' trail. :cool:

Lone Wolf
01-26-2007, 10:38
So get off the AT, get off the blue blazes, and start whackin' the bushes. Don't need no stinkin' trail. :cool:

no, i'll keep walking on the scars. they don't bother ME.

icemanat95
01-26-2007, 11:08
I've gone from using one Leki to Two for a while, then back to one, now I use a stoutish hiking stick fitted with a tungsten bit at one end. I put a rubber end over that which just allows the bit to barely protrude. For most conditions this is adequate. When the going gets slick I pull off the rubber and let the bit do the job.

mweinstone
02-03-2007, 18:35
did mr leki think one day,.."ill make a store bought stick for walking !"

mweinstone
02-03-2007, 18:38
walking poles are most like the game in that star trek enterprise episode where they all get hooked on the game you play with a headset that beams lights into your eyes. im wesly crusher, the one whos not fooled.

mweinstone
02-03-2007, 18:43
polefolk are like some kinda out of control weird borg addicts trying to convert everyone. your like jihadists for poles.your totaly brainwashed and scary.pole natzis!

Big Dawg
02-03-2007, 20:32
polefolk are like some kinda out of control weird borg addicts trying to convert everyone. your like jihadists for poles.your totaly brainwashed and scary.pole natzis!

ohhhhhhh,, hogwash:rolleyes: HYOH:D

Big Dawg
02-03-2007, 20:36
did mr leki think one day,.."ill make a store bought stick for walking !"

No, he made em for skiing,,,,,, and then some smart dude said,, "hmmmmm, I bet they'd help me hike up and down mountains", and the rest is history.:D

4 legs are better than 2,,, just ask a mountain goat.:cool: