View Full Version : Ski Poles?

03-10-2009, 15:03
Just wondering if anyone has used ski poles instead of poles designated for hiking. I wanna know the pros/cons.

It just seems I can get ski poles for cheaper and they seem to be much sturdier. I've heard ALOT of complaints about trekking poles breaking, no matter the quality. Thanks for your input and opinions!

03-10-2009, 15:47
For all my long hikes since the AT (Long Trail, PCT, Colorado Trail, CDT and the recent BMT trek), I've ONLY used ski poles.

Unless you shell out lots of $$$$ they are typically lighter, always less expensive, very dependable, etc.

The con is that they do not have anti-shock (BFD for me I say. :D) and they do not adjust. Makes transporting somewhat more difficult and not as easy to work with for certain shelters.

Overall, I have had good luck and use with cheap ski poles in X amount of miles of hiking.

03-10-2009, 18:13
First time I needed a pole I bought an old ski pole in Gunnison, CO, limping off the Colorado Trail. When I started bringing them along from home, I started bringing my backcountry ski poles, which are adjustable anyway. I use the poles for my tarpent, so the adjustable poles are nice. I used those until I found some ultralight carbon fiber jobs on sale. So for me it was a progression. But no, you don't need to buy specialized trekking poles.

By the way, ski poles will bend and break too if you fall on them right. You won't have sliding joint problems with them, though.

03-10-2009, 19:25
My wife & I have been using ski poles while hiking for the past seven years. Our neighbor left them at the dumpster and we grabbed them. We removed the baskets and modified the straps and voila. They're light, seemingly indestructible, and we sure couldn't beat the price.

The Weasel
03-10-2009, 20:52
No real disadvantages, except that it is difficult sometimes to fit rubber tiTps on them.


03-11-2009, 10:36
I've used bamboo cross country ski poles for at 800 miles on the AT. They're a bit lighter than aluminum poles and often sturdier too. I finally stopped using them when I had worn the tips off.



03-11-2009, 16:29
added bonus for the ski poles (without baskets...) -- you can push them into the ground as tent stakes, and you won't lose them! you can usually change out the grip strap for lighter webbing...

PJ 2005
03-12-2009, 14:42
To me, the telescoping function of trekking poles make them worth the extra money. It gives you more flexibility when you need to improvise a tent stake, tent pole, splint, etc. Ski tips, since they aren't made for rock, wear out faster and they aren't replaceable. You can buy extra Leki tips for $10 and pop them on at any outfitter.

I hike and ski and prefer to have specialized poles for both :)

PJ 2005
03-12-2009, 14:46
It's also worth mentioning that Leki will clean and repair your poles for free, for life. They usually have a shop set up at trail days. Yes, I'm a Leki fan... one pair for the whole trail and still in great shape.

03-12-2009, 19:09
See..two equally valid set of opinions that work well. Heresy..I know. ;)

03-16-2009, 15:10
I went to the YMCA thrift store and bought a pair of ski poles for $2. That's the best $2 I have spent.