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sparky2009
02-27-2010, 20:33
I was wondering what everyone thought of the straps on trekking poles. Personally, I don't see the need and since they're in the way, I remove them. I just got a new set of Leki's and removed the straps such that they can be re-attached in the future if I ever change my mind about this.

Bags4266
02-27-2010, 20:37
Mostly not, big difference when I do though.

Mountain Wildman
02-27-2010, 20:44
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaILfy0MsEI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skXVMA5nShA

I found these short videos really helpful.

white_russian
02-27-2010, 20:45
Are you sure you have seen the correct way to use the straps? When used correctly, straps are an integral part of how the trekking pole can work. Have you used them by putting the hand through the bottom so the strap is around the top of the wrist and coming up through the palm?

I love the straps because I don't have to have a firm grip on the handle.

Elder
02-27-2010, 20:48
The straps are an integral part of the trekking pole...without
you have to grip harder, hands are colder, you have to work more.
Done correctly they allow you to reach further and on the power side push further.
Your hands are mostly relaxed.
They are Lekis so I know the strap is good, learn to use it.

Oh, and don't be a gram weinie..leave the baskets on too!
Baskets protect the tip, the lower shaft and the trail, by limiting the little holes.

We didn't put straps on them for no purpose!!

Toolshed
02-27-2010, 21:21
Ditto on keepiung the straps on.
I sometimes see folks with the straps loosely around their wrists. When possible, I explain that you need to put your hand up throught the strap and then down onto the grip. The leverage is much greater,the grip is enhanced and the hand does not need to be clenched as much - In fact, I usually never grab the handles, just letting them rest against my palms using the strap as a lever. Enjoy your poles and put them back on....:)

Bags4266
02-27-2010, 21:46
I only use one pole and switch hands often, thats wht I usually don't strap in.

Doctari
02-27-2010, 21:58
Are you sure you have seen the correct way to use the straps? When used correctly, straps are an integral part of how the trekking pole can work. Have you used them by putting the hand through the bottom so the strap is around the top of the wrist and coming up through the palm?

I love the straps because I don't have to have a firm grip on the handle.

My thoughts exactly. Use them correctly, & the straps can be a blessing.

I don't even hold on to my poles, my hands are just in a neutral position & swing naturally, the poles do help as I walk along, doing so with nearly no effort on my part.

weary
02-27-2010, 21:59
The downside of all straps used around your wrist, regardless of whether you use them "correctly" or not, is that in a fall, they are apt to get entanglred with your arm and cause a fracture or serious strain. Why? If you use a strap around your wrist, it is not easy to get out of quickly. So an unexpected fall, is more apt to cause more serious injuries.

Because for many years I've hiked without a staff or a pole, I tend not to use a strap. If I keep it on the pole, it simply provides a better handgrip.

But, thanks to White Blaze instruction, I also know the "right" way to use a strap. But the right way doesn't lessen injuries, it just allows straps to be used with a minimal expenditure of energy.

Weary

tomsawyer222
02-27-2010, 22:12
straps also get really annoying the hotter it gets. i just remove mine i am used to using a plain old walking stick anyway so it dont matter too me. I dont really go around looking for the most effiecent way to hike

Lilred
02-27-2010, 22:30
If straps around the wrist were so dangerous when falling, then nobody would snow ski due to all the broken bones from poles. I've skiied for ten years in my youth with pole straps around my wrist and you want to talk about some serious falls!!! never once did they cause me injury, and I fell every time I skiied, and I skiied a LOT. Put your hand up through the strap, from bottom to top and use your wrist to move the pole forward. You barely have to hold the pole. When faced with a climb they easily dangle from your wrist. I had an animal chew through one of my straps, and darned if I didn't drop that pole every time I used that hand to do something. Kept forgetting it wasn't attached to my arm. Drove me nuts!!

white_russian
02-28-2010, 00:13
straps also get really annoying the hotter it gets. i just remove mine i am used to using a plain old walking stick anyway so it dont matter too me. I dont really go around looking for the most effiecent way to hike
So do you carry cast iron to cook on since you don't go around looking for the most efficient way to hike?

Pretty much everybody thinks about pack weight and that is the heart of hiking efficiently, but things like wearing trail runners instead of boots and correctly using poles are really just an extension of that.

Lyle
02-28-2010, 04:12
Use PacerPoles and you do not need to worry about straps or how to use them. Not necessary. Best poles out there, most comfortable by far and most efficient.

Bronk
02-28-2010, 05:38
In 2002 a guy named Two Scoops fell off the trail near Clingman's Dome and dislocated his shoulder. He blamed the straps on his hiking poles, saying he wasn't able to brace himself for the fall. He left his pack and hiked down to Newfound Gap and hitched to a hospital...a few days later he hiked back up and his pack was still there, leaning up against a tree right next to the trail where he left it...had it happened a couple weeks later when the road to Clingman's Dome was open it might have gone missing.

Helios
02-28-2010, 08:11
I took the straps off my poles. I use them more like a walking staff and for setting up my tarp. The efficiency of using the straps weighed against how I hike just didn't add up. So off they came. To me they were more of a nuisance. If your pack is that heavy, or you are hiking that fast that a little extra push is needed, then they'd help. My pack is light, and I stroll along the trail so they aren't needed at all for me.

To each their own.

Colter
02-28-2010, 08:27
I have a pair of ultralight trekking poles that come without straps (as do other brands of ultralights) and I don't miss them. As a matter of fact on my AT thru-hike I removed the straps from my standard Lekis. But that's just my style. For some people straps are genuinely useful.

QuarterPounder
02-28-2010, 08:34
Good Stuff.

For years I used a 4 ft "stick". Now, I have a pair of Leki poles.

I've never used the straps and thought about taking them off. After reviewing these posts and the youtube, I'm leavin' them on... and may learn to use the things the correct way:)

Thanks

12 Days and counting.....

World-Wide
02-28-2010, 09:27
[QUOTE=white_russian;978459]Have you used them by putting the hand through the bottom so the strap is around the top of the wrist and coming up through the palm?

I use the straps this way also! Makes stepping down easy and places less stress on the wrist! JMHO :) World-Wide

mikec
02-28-2010, 12:22
The straps are very useful if you loose your balance and/or fall and are able to hold onto the poles. I've been in situations where a pole would have either floated away in a raging stream or fallen down a steep mountain. So I think that the straps help you hang onto the poles in certain situations.

climber2377
02-28-2010, 12:36
i like the straps, they give me support on my wrists and i find i can hold the poles loosely in my hands. i think its a big mistake to take them off.

dmax
02-28-2010, 13:00
I like useing the straps...But I do take my hands out of the straps on certain descents just incase I do fall.

lobo41
02-28-2010, 13:38
I learned today that I have been using the straps on my poles incorrectly for over 15 years. Will start using them correctly henceforth. No plans to take the straps off. Even though I had my hand placed throught the strap correctly, there have been times the strap has kept me from losing a pole over a steep embankment or cliff.

Kerosene
02-28-2010, 13:41
Has anyone besides me had the tip of a pole get stuck (usually in a crack between rocks) while strolling along and then almost have the strap pull you backward onto your tush? Seems to happen to me almost every trip.

Skiing in Snowmass many years ago, I was traversing from the uppermost lift over to one of the bowls when the basket of one of my poles caught on a spruce tree. I was abruptly yanked backwards and down into the soft snow beneath the tree, from which it took me 15 minutes to climb out.

Lyle
02-28-2010, 14:07
PacerPoles allow much more precise placement of the tip. Very rarely will you get one stuck in a crack in the rocks or roots. Another great advantage to this great design.

JonnyWalker
02-28-2010, 14:13
I've found that after a lot of practice with my poles any time the tip gets stuck I now instinctively jerk my wrist which normally unsticks it. I've also gotten pretty good at doing a 180 degree one footed dodo dance when that doesn't work. Haven't fallen down yet though*knock on wood*.

sparky2009
03-07-2010, 22:09
I appreciate all of the input from everyone. I started leaving off the straps on my old Swiss Gear poles because I couldn't make them comfortable no matter how I had my hand in them. I assumed it would be the same with the Leki's. I'll put the straps back on and try them for a while just to see how they'll do.

buz
03-08-2010, 10:25
Sparky,

Give them some quality practice time with the straps installed, and fiddle fart around with the proper length of the strap. I am in the "I like them and use them" camp, for me, I think they help me hike faster on level ground, can actually let the pole go on the end of the stride, and having a light grip all the time limits fatigue.

The_Saint
03-08-2010, 12:04
Are you sure you have seen the correct way to use the straps? When used correctly, straps are an integral part of how the trekking pole can work. Have you used them by putting the hand through the bottom so the strap is around the top of the wrist and coming up through the palm?

I love the straps because I don't have to have a firm grip on the handle.

You'll really love them when you slip and fall that the pole locks your arm in place and it snaps like a twig. I know two people this summer that happened to. I don't use straps, none of the ridgerunners use straps. I don't recommend them at all.

traildust
03-08-2010, 12:08
Are you sure you have seen the correct way to use the straps? When used correctly, straps are an integral part of how the trekking pole can work. Have you used them by putting the hand through the bottom so the strap is around the top of the wrist and coming up through the palm?

I love the straps because I don't have to have a firm grip on the handle.


ditto. you'll miss them going down the mountains and make big steps when you ride the poles.

traildust
03-08-2010, 12:10
You'll really love them when you slip and fall that the pole locks your arm in place and it snaps like a twig. I know two people this summer that happened to. I don't use straps, none of the ridgerunners use straps. I don't recommend them at all.

If you use them correctly, when you fall your hands should release from the pole. My wife fell twice face first and her poles freed from her palms but stayed on her wrist and she had no injury. Then again, go ahead, hike without them and see how it goes. Each his own.

scottdennis
03-08-2010, 12:37
I have to admit that I didn't like straps until I saw a video on REI about how to wear them properly. Since then, my hands hurt less when I use them because I don't have a death grip on the poles and have support at the wrist.

So I fall in to the crowd that loves my strap now.

The Flatulator
03-08-2010, 13:51
I can't imagine hiking by NOT using the straps! You can relax your grip on the poles and not worry about losing them. If tightened correctly, they also aid in helping to push off while headed uphill. Make sure to come up through the strap from the bottom and then grip the pole with the strap between your pole/strap as you normally would; between your thumb and index finger with a lighter grip. Some of the weight/shock will be transmitted to your wrists and your efforts will be much more comfortable. For me...I only use one pole as hiking in Maine requires a lot of grabbing of rock and tree limbs and roots when ascending/descending. Best to have a free arm available. Of course, I have been hiking that way for over 35 years, so I am a little set in my ways....Use the straps!!

beakerman
03-08-2010, 14:02
I made my own walking stick/pole and I put a nice ropework strap on it. I have my hand up to my thumb through the strap and grip the pole. I find it much more stable when treading down into or up out of a ravine when that litle extra balance is nice. I have a much more stable grip this way.

The shaft is nicely carved to look like twisted rope too--quite nice what you can do on a rainy day in camp.

DrRichardCranium
03-08-2010, 14:10
No, I use the straps.

I used to do cross-country skiing, so I use my trekking poles the same way a skier does.

Cookerhiker
03-08-2010, 17:54
When I first began using poles in '04, I threaded my hand through the straps but don't know if I did it "correctly" or not. I stopped using the straps years ago and have never had sore wrists or hands. But based on what I'm reading in this thread, I'll give the straps another try.

Jester2000
03-08-2010, 18:35
Use them. There's a reason they're there -- it's not just so you don't drop them. If you have trouble figuring out how they're supposed to go, take your poles to an outfitter who sells them and they'll sort you out.

scottdennis
03-09-2010, 09:59
When I get really tired, I turn the poles upside down and slip the straps over my feet. Then I can use my arms to help my tired legs move. :D

GA BASS
03-11-2010, 22:34
anyone know where to get replacement straps?

buz
03-12-2010, 09:31
Maybe try leki for replacement straps, but I don't know. Leki website also has good info on strap use.

GA BASS
03-13-2010, 23:37
thanks, i stopped by REI today (scratch and dent sale) they had a set of poles broken in half and gave me the 2 ends with the straps for free. Thanks REI. I was worried i was going to have to get new poles and then a new stickpic.

Tinker
03-14-2010, 00:04
I set up my poncho-tarp today by running the guylines through the straps. It's quick and easy.
I teach cross country skiing. Every year I tell folks how to use their straps to push themselves and most of them are thankful for the tip.
Btw: If your straps are too loose, you'll end up with your hand on the wrong part of the grip. For XC skiing, I have my straps technically too tight, so I can put my thumb on the top of the grip for more push. I have Leki hiking poles with a nice broad flat top on the grip which I use when going downhill rather than lengthening the poles for short stretches.

sparky2009
03-19-2010, 20:01
Just got back from a 3 day hike with the Leki's outfitted with the straps. Even though they were a little on the loose side, I still could see the benefit of the straps allowing me to relax my grip a little. They were much more comfortable than the straps on my other poles (Swiss Gear's from Wally world). Tightening up the straps a little more will probably make them perfect. They are a pain to adjust but doable.

Elder
03-19-2010, 20:23
Just got back from a 3 day hike with the Leki's outfitted with the straps. Even though they were a little on the loose side, I still could see the benefit of the straps allowing me to relax my grip a little. They were much more comfortable than the straps on my other poles (Swiss Gear's from Wally world). Tightening up the straps a little more will probably make them perfect. They are a pain to adjust but doable.
Take them by Mahoneys and let them teach you how to adjust them.
They should be easy to adjust. :sun

Roland
03-19-2010, 20:27
When you learn how, you'll be able to adjust the straps faster than you can say "Jack Robinson".

sparky2009
03-20-2010, 10:50
When you learn how, you'll be able to adjust the straps faster than you can say "Jack Robinson".

Ok, maybe saying that twice but understand it now :o It's much easier than I thought.

Blue Jay
03-20-2010, 11:16
You'll really love them when you slip and fall that the pole locks your arm in place and it snaps like a twig. I know two people this summer that happened to. I don't use straps, none of the ridgerunners use straps. I don't recommend them at all.

Please don't say that. I really enjoy watching this, absolutely hilarious. I've seen it countless time on roots and never with an injury. Pole people forget their arms are connected to their legs thru their bodies. They truly think the force of gravity just goes away when they take the pressure off their poles. The pole catches and down they go. I used to try and warn them but they think physics does not apply to them, so I just enjoy it. Same with:banana

q-tip
07-04-2010, 22:35
The straps are integral to the effectiveness of trekking poles. If you go through the strap from the bottom and put the handle between your thumb and fingers, it will provide sustantial assistance.. I have been using them soncxe 1998. Not keen pon twist locks-my Leki Makalu fail constantly.
Just got new Black Diamond sticks.---YEAH!!!

5th
06-04-2014, 16:30
Though I heartily recommends using the straps, I have to respectfully disagree with the "proper" way to use them. I put my hand through them when they are down and rest the strap under my palm just forward of my wrist. I snug the strap so it fits just tight enough to put my fingers correctly on the grip when I rest on the 'sling' provided by my strap. I do this for three reasons:

1. When I put my hands up through the straps and then grab the pole as normally suggested, then push off hard, the force of the push tries to twist my hand from "palm in" (on the grip) to palm down and forces it backward at the wrist. The way I wear the straps. the pressure is on the outside edge of my hand (the "karate chop" area) near my wrist and there is no twisting tendency. My wrist can resist the forces in this direction far more easily so it takes less energy and my wrist doesn't get tired or sore.

2. When going downhill I can slightly rotate my hand in the strap and transfer the pressure to the base of my palm, which is much better than the (still) twisting forces I get with the traditional method. This lets me "brake" much harder with almost no stress on my wrist or hand.

3. Most importantly, when I am on level ground, I can swing my poles forward with out hanging onto them at all. In fact, whether I go uphill, downhill, or along flat ground, I rarely hang onto my pole grip. My fingers simply curl loosely around the grip to stabilize the pole, but I can stick my fingers and thumb straight out (think jazz hands) and still control the swing and placement with no loss of pushing power. My poles automatically swing and plant with the natural swing of my arms, my hands/grips never get sweaty, and when I need to push off or brake the forces still naturally drive through my palms.

I have spent considerable time trying the traditional strap usage, and it was more work and more stress on my wrists. I had to actually hang onto the poles at all times (though lightly) or the pole would drop out of my hand, and all the stresses were trying to twist and bend my wrist back. I've been using my non-standard method for a decade now over 100's of miles of hiking in the PNW. I have bad knees and I lean on my poles hard.

I don't want to argue about all this. I just felt I should point out that the "correct" way may not be the preferred way for some people. I'm sure it works well for most, but not for me. I am of course receptive to comments.

Carry on.

Sarcasm the elf
06-04-2014, 18:45
.......................

colorado_rob
06-04-2014, 19:23
I carried straps for about 20 years of trekking pole use, never ever used them, finally wised up and now cut them off (or remove them, if possible).

I prefer to exercise my hand/fore arm muscles, and straps are just plain annoying anyway.

PLUS I do a lot of tree-skiing, and out of habit, never use straps on ski poles (you do not want to use pole straps when tree skiing!!!).

July
06-04-2014, 19:47
I carried straps for about 20 years of trekking pole use, never ever used them, finally wised up and now cut them off (or remove them, if possible).

I prefer to exercise my hand/fore arm muscles, and straps are just plain annoying anyway.

PLUS I do a lot of tree-skiing, and out of habit, never use straps on ski poles (you do not want to use pole straps when tree skiing!!!).

Never even carried poles for the first 20, and when I did start enjoying the benefit (which are many) I sure did'nt want straps attached. I guess straps may be in the future....but not yet :D

Franco
06-04-2014, 20:28
This is a video I shot to show how I use trekking poles and about half a way in there is a demonstration of what happens when you trip using the straps the two different ways .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR4zHbamFGM

5th
06-05-2014, 11:48
That grip would be safer if you can let go as you fall. I instinctively cling. There is no safety advantage for me.

Although I lengthen my poles on downhill, I do not shorten them on uphill. When going uphill, I plant the pole beside my feet, not in front of me, because I need to drive backward hard. If I plant forward of my own feet, I have to drive by rotating my wrists as much as by pushing with my elbows and shoulders (which are far stronger). I extend my arms in front of me and plant near my feet, then pull until the grips near my torso then I push. Poles work in alternating fashion until I need to really lean on them and then the swing together.

I think that the conventional wisdom is fine if you primarily use the poles for balance. If you use them to propel yourself forward up a hill (or even of flat ground), I don't think that is going to ideal for everyone. Often when aggressively pulling up a hill I will actually lift myself off both feet from time to time. I'm probably the outlier here, but I don't believe there is only one right way.

HYOH

Namtrag
06-05-2014, 12:30
Am I the only one who plants and pushes off using my poles every step I take? (I believe it's called Nordic walking) I see so many people just lollygagging with their poles, and it makes me wonder why they even bother having them. They just sort of dangle them out in front and tap the ground with them in a random fashion as they walk.

handlebar
06-05-2014, 21:12
Am I the only one who plants and pushes off using my poles every step I take? (I believe it's called Nordic walking) I see so many people just lollygagging with their poles, and it makes me wonder why they even bother having them. They just sort of dangle them out in front and tap the ground with them in a random fashion as they walk.

No. That's how I use mine and rather than tightly gripping the pole, I insert my hands upwards (as with ski poles) and put most of the pressure on the straps. Going uphill, on the level, or only slightly downhill, I plant the poles about even with the opposite foot and push off. I find that lengthens my stride by an inch or two adding about 1/10 or 1/5 mph to my speed. Going steep downhill, I use my palms and plant the pole a little ahead to belay myself.

birdygal
06-07-2014, 09:45
I never used the straps, got a new poles and tried using them the way they are supposed to BIG mistake for me , I slipped and tore the ligaments in my shoulder, a year later and my shoulder is still not healed. I do keep them on because when not using my poles they are easier to hold on to 2 straps than 2 poles

wormer
06-08-2014, 07:12
A couple of weeks ago, while using my Black Diamond poles I tripped and fell forward while hiking the AT at Crocker Mountain. The pole strap actually kept me from falling onto my knees and I was able to regain my footing. With the amount of down/side force that was put onto the poles I was surprised they didn't break or at least bend.

Wise Old Owl
06-08-2014, 09:11
I pulled them off a few years back but put zip tye's in small loops inside the openings so I can still hang em off the pack or use them as tarp poles.

Wise Old Owl
06-08-2014, 09:33
Just a reminder there is an old school product of Shelf Stable Bacon you can cook and keep unrefrigerated up to 30 days in your pack. You won't need a lot, so don't worry about the price. You can repack this into smaller quantitys and refrigerate the unused portions for later trips. http://www.broadbenthams.com/
27294

July
06-08-2014, 09:56
Just a reminder there is an old school product of Shelf Stable Bacon you can cook and keep unrefrigerated up to 30 days in your pack. You won't need a lot, so don't worry about the price. You can repack this into smaller quantitys and refrigerate the unused portions for later trips. http://www.broadbenthams.com/
27294
Does the bacon come with straps?

shelb
06-10-2014, 22:45
I used to think they were useless; however, I have learned to make them useful!

My friend has arthritis, and she has Leki poles that have more than a strap - it is actually a "grip" that goes around the hand and between the thumb and forefinger. Her mom picked them up somewhere, and they have no idea where or what the purpose of the specialized grip is for. If ANYONE knows about this, please let me know as I have another friend interested (the local hiking/sports stores do not have a clue!).

Franco
06-26-2014, 07:32
Shelb
Sounds like one of the Nordic Walking poles. look them up.

CalebJ
06-26-2014, 09:16
No. That's how I use mine and rather than tightly gripping the pole, I insert my hands upwards (as with ski poles) and put most of the pressure on the straps. Going uphill, on the level, or only slightly downhill, I plant the poles about even with the opposite foot and push off. I find that lengthens my stride by an inch or two adding about 1/10 or 1/5 mph to my speed. Going steep downhill, I use my palms and plant the pole a little ahead to belay myself.
This is exactly how I use mine. By coming upwards and using the strap, you don't actually need to grip the poles when applying downward pressure. Much easier on the arms and hands. When you open your hand and lift upwards, there's enough slack in the strap that it doesn't lock your wrist in place.

Jake2c
06-30-2014, 12:35
I like the straps for all the obvious reasons but figure it's up to the person using the pole.

Carryless
07-02-2014, 18:58
Straps help you pull your sticks out from rocks when they get stuck and you have passed by the insert point.
Strap help you push down on sticks when climbing.

"May all your steps be without blisters and the driving rain be only at you back" Myself

ny breakfast
01-29-2015, 18:28
i used the straps a few times when i started out. you do feel the gain that they provide, i find them to much to fiddle with as i much prefer running my poles maxed out and being able to grip up and down the pole easier, i cut everything off my poles and put a short grip that i liked with baseball bat wrap the rest of the way down that i would grip, with a rubber gasket at the base of the grip. i like having more hand positions available to me without the fiddle factor, it's just what i like but the straps are there for a reason HYOH see what works for you

gbolt
01-29-2015, 19:31
If I got rid of the straps...how would I know which pole was the right versus left? lol. Actually, I like the lightweight ribbon straps on my Leki Corklite Poles. They seem to work in conjuction with the grips and help me keep a good, steady, and relaxed rythm. I was only half joking, because I compared the shape of the straps as they pass across my palm, or better yet, the portion of the strap my palm rest on. The one closest to each thumb is a thinner peice of the strap. If it's thicker, the pole is in the wrong hand. I can now tell without looking because of friction on the thumb pad, if the ribbon strap is wrong. But as has been mentioned before...to each their own.

HighLiner
01-29-2015, 22:11
I didn't read all the posts but when crossing certain streams in Maine they were essential, at least in my opinion. Slip in the water and the first thing you will instinctly do is let go of one. Say good-by to it if the water is swift. Been there done that!

Bansko
03-15-2017, 22:29
Oh, and don't be a gram weinie..leave the baskets on too!
Baskets protect the tip, the lower shaft and the trail, by limiting the little holes!

I leave my baskets on but I completely understand why some take them off. It's not just weight; baskets have an annoying tendency to jerk your arm back when they become wedged behind a root or rock.

KDogg
03-16-2017, 20:20
I used straps for the entire AT. After you hike with them for a while (several months!) you get used to gripping very loosely and relying on the straps for support. From much experience with falling, the poles never got in the way when using them correctly with the straps. The straps also allowed me to "drop" the poles when climbing and not have to stop and put them on my pack. I'm older and have bad knees (worse now that I have a thru under my belt) and the poles were indispensable. Can't recommend them enough.

MikekiM
11-24-2018, 10:15
I used to swear by pole straps.. For all the reasons stated above.

Then I made a set of DIY 4 oz carbon fiber poles using Gossamer Gear handles and no straps and now I swear by no straps. I did contour the grips so that I can hold them with nearly no pressure and that helps a lot.

Dogwood
11-24-2018, 14:10
I didn't read all the posts but when crossing certain streams in Maine they were essential, at least in my opinion. Slip in the water and the first thing you will instinctly do is let go of one. Say good-by to it if the water is swift. Been there done that!
Impromptu stick(s) gets it done too. Maine is the pine tree state with abundant varieties and number of trees. Many well used trails just by giving a quick look around around teh shoreline where folks tend to cross you'll very often find previously used staffs.

jefals
11-24-2018, 15:02
I didn't read em all either. But I've also dropped poles before, and the thought hit me long ago that I could lose one over the side of a steep ridge. So I use the straps, mainly for that.
I'm told, if you use the straps correctly, then if you fall your hand can slip out. I guess that's a good thing - not really sure.

Redbird2
11-24-2018, 16:13
I always use the straps. They've saved me from losing the pole and falling down when the pole gets caught between rocks etc

QiWiz
11-29-2018, 18:26
I used straps for the entire AT. After you hike with them for a while (several months!) you get used to gripping very loosely and relying on the straps for support. From much experience with falling, the poles never got in the way when using them correctly with the straps. The straps also allowed me to "drop" the poles when climbing and not have to stop and put them on my pack. I'm older and have bad knees (worse now that I have a thru under my belt) and the poles were indispensable. Can't recommend them enough.

+1 I really can't say it any better than this; also drop the poles when taking pictures.

Time Zone
11-29-2018, 19:47
I always use the straps. They've saved me from losing the pole and falling down when the pole gets caught between rocks etc

Same here - in addition to allowing me to avoid the strain of a continual death-grip, straps have saved me from accidentally littering a steep mountainside with a dropped pole.

cmoulder
11-30-2018, 08:01
Fully realizing that those who use trekking pole straps consider those of us who don't to be weirdo, contrarian outliers and just plain wrong! I can explain why I don't and how it came to be.

Hiking here in the Northeast there many places where there are a lot of little ups and downs, and being someone who does not prefer to use poles on flat or gentle up and down trails, I found myself constantly switching back and forth between briefly using the poles to go up or down a hill, and then carrying them again, either one pole in each hand or both in one hand. For this kind of use, I found that this endless repetition of engaging and disengaging hands from the straps to be a constant annoyance. With conventional poles I noticed that I could go pretty much all day without ever using the straps.

One fateful day I did a hike with some new friends, one of whom was using some Gossamer Gear LightTrek poles. He let me try them, and Ooohh-la-la, it was love at first swing, and about 10 seconds and 100 feet down the trail I knew I just had to have some very light poles. However, that same day my friend managed to break one of them during what was a 'garden variety' trail stumble, so I thought perhaps they might be a skosh too light. I also really-really-really don't like twist lock, so after considerable mulling I decided to make my own 2-section, flicklock version. Distilling a very long saga down to one sentence, I made my own with some China-sourced carbon fiber tubes, GG grips and Black Diamond flicklocks and Distance Z pole tips.

On the trail, I did indeed notice that it took more hand strength to hold the GG grips than I liked. I looked at my old Leki grips on the Makalu Ti poles that seemed easier to grip, observing that there is a little 'shelf' where the index finger wraps around the grip. So I took a Dremel tool and sanded out the GG grip, making the shelf a little deeper than that on the Leki grips. This finger rest made a huge difference! It reduced hand strain enormously because now my thumb wrapped around the grip and also helped 'lock' the index finger into the recessed area. Additionally, the pole can be held with the middle finger on the shelf and the thumb over the top of the grip, resulting in a very, very low amount of hand strain.

Later on, I decided to do the same finger rest treatment to the bottom of the grip, adding a small tube of EVA foam below the GG grip to extend the bottom of the grip. This makes it easy to slide the hand down the grip for steep uphill sections without having to release the flicklock and shorten the pole... very handy IMO.

Recently on one set of these poles (of course I have a few sets from various prototype testing!) I added some Black Diamond Distance straps and have been testing those. They work fine, although when I start off using them in the morning I find that later I revert to habit and simply don't use them... I truly find them unnecessary with the grip mods I have incorporated.

So even though I don't use straps, I have put considerable thought, effort and testing into the process and am not some uninformed doofus on this topic.

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Cheyou
11-30-2018, 09:48
Fully realizing that those who use trekking pole straps consider those of us who don't to be weirdo, contrarian outliers .

True :0) And worse things ha ha

thom

CalebJ
11-30-2018, 09:56
Recently on one set of these poles (of course I have a few sets from various prototype testing!) I added some Black Diamond Distance straps and have been testing those. They work fine, although when I start off using them in the morning I find that later I revert to habit and simply don't use them... I truly find them unnecessary with the grip mods I have incorporated.
So even though I don't use straps, I have put considerable thought, effort and testing into the process and am not some uninformed doofus on this topic.
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What do you do with all the prototypes as you move on to new designs?

cmoulder
11-30-2018, 13:10
What do you do with all the prototypes as you move on to new designs?

I keep rotating them to see how they hold up over time... I currently have 3 pairs and my oldest original pair have well over 2k mi on them. And I try new things with them, such as the test with straps, and the grip extension thing on the bottom. One pair are fixed-length, 2-section units that weigh about 3.9oz per pole. The ones with the straps weigh about 4.4oz each (and they're also a little heavier because I spliced some leftovers on the lower sections) and the originals weigh about 4.1oz each. For winter I'm also trying out some Hitor poles I got on Amazon... they're less than 7oz with snow baskets and it's astonishing that they're selling these for about $30 a pair.

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MikekiM
11-30-2018, 21:22
Fully realizing that those who use trekking pole straps consider those of us who don't to be weirdo, contrarian outliers — and just plain wrong! — I can explain why I don't and how it came to be.

Hiking here in the Northeast there many places where there are a lot of little ups and downs, and being someone who does not prefer to use poles on flat or gentle up and down trails, I found myself constantly switching back and forth between briefly using the poles to go up or down a hill, and then carrying them again, either one pole in each hand or both in one hand. For this kind of use, I found that this endless repetition of engaging and disengaging hands from the straps to be a constant annoyance. With conventional poles I noticed that I could go pretty much all day without ever using the straps.

One fateful day I did a hike with some new friends, one of whom was using some Gossamer Gear LightTrek poles. He let me try them, and Ooohh-la-la, it was love at first swing, and about 10 seconds and 100 feet down the trail I knew I just had to have some very light poles. However, that same day my friend managed to break one of them during what was a 'garden variety' trail stumble, so I thought perhaps they might be a skosh too light. I also really-really-really don't like twist lock, so after considerable mulling I decided to make my own 2-section, flicklock version. Distilling a very long saga down to one sentence, I made my own with some China-sourced carbon fiber tubes, GG grips and Black Diamond flicklocks and Distance Z pole tips.

On the trail, I did indeed notice that it took more hand strength to hold the GG grips than I liked. I looked at my old Leki grips on the Makalu Ti poles that seemed easier to grip, observing that there is a little 'shelf' where the index finger wraps around the grip. So I took a Dremel tool and sanded out the GG grip, making the shelf a little deeper than that on the Leki grips. This finger rest made a huge difference! It reduced hand strain enormously because now my thumb wrapped around the grip and also helped 'lock' the index finger into the recessed area. Additionally, the pole can be held with the middle finger on the shelf and the thumb over the top of the grip, resulting in a very, very low amount of hand strain.

Later on, I decided to do the same finger rest treatment to the bottom of the grip, adding a small tube of EVA foam below the GG grip to extend the bottom of the grip. This makes it easy to slide the hand down the grip for steep uphill sections without having to release the flicklock and shorten the pole... very handy IMO.

Recently on one set of these poles (of course I have a few sets from various prototype testing!) I added some Black Diamond Distance straps and have been testing those. They work fine, although when I start off using them in the morning I find that later I revert to habit and simply don't use them... I truly find them unnecessary with the grip mods I have incorporated.

So even though I don't use straps, I have put considerable thought, effort and testing into the process and am not some uninformed doofus on this topic.

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No way I can avoid adding a follow-up to this ^^^

For years I was a die-hard wrist strap user. I've had the same pair of BD Distance Z poles for ages and swore by the straps. On a trip earlier this year I had the good fortune to try cmoulder's DIY poles, above, and oh my... I was hooked the moment I tried them. The weight difference compared to the Distance Z's was immediately obvious and though I used his poles for only a short while, I was sold. It likely won't surprise that I made a set of my own with his help. Mine came in at 4.1 oz per pole. Half of what the BD's weighed.

Once I had some time without the straps I realized a few things I hadn't in the past. Like mentioned above, I was often annoyed at having to take the straps off and on. Trying to get into a hip belt pocket with a pole tethered by a wrist strap was a real pain. Every time I stopped, had to handle my gps or take a drink, it was strap on, strap off. I didn't realize how annoying it was until I no longer had to do it. The second realization was much more subtle. The wrist straps on the Distance Z's are asym.. there is a left and right.. and each has a little L and R inside the end of the strap. Being the anal retentive I can be, I always made sure I used the proper pole/hand assignment. When I no longer had to do THAT I was reborn! Grab a pole and go.

I did the same type of contouring of the grips, although the finger ledge on mine is a bit deeper. I find that I can hold the poles with very, very little pressure on the grips, yet when I needed to lean heavy on them I had no problem. I also loved that I could easily adjust my grip.. up and down. That was something I couldn't do with the BD poles as the straps very much dictated where your hand goes, with nearly no variation.

I am still undecided whether the adjustable length we have on these poles is for me. The only time I adjust the length would be for use as a spreader over a hammock tarp and I don't do that often. I'll live with these for a bunch more miles before making a decision but converting them to fixed length might be something I do in the future and doing so would easily get each pole sub-4 oz.

On a recent trek we did, the poles pictured above went on their maiden voyage. I chuckled frequently when I noticed he wasn't using the straps.

CalebJ
11-30-2018, 22:19
Would either of you be interested /able to write up the process of DIYing the pole setup you're using?

tflaris
12-01-2018, 09:06
I use the straps. Find them to be beneficial except when trying to get your hand back through the strap loop.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cmoulder
12-01-2018, 10:10
Would either of you be interested /able to write up the process of DIYing the pole setup you're using?

I should do a separate thread on this.

Basic materials are GG grips (https://www.gossamergear.com/products/cork-trekking-pole-grips), BD z-pole baskets (http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/trekking-poles/z-pole-basket-BD1121260000ALL1.html#start=30) and flicklocks (https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/skiing%2Fspare-parts/flicklock-13-mm-replacement-BD0109250000ALLS.html) (13mm), and roll wrapped carbon fiber tubes (https://www.ebay.com/str/HaoZhong-Carbon-Fiber-Tube/11mm-20mm-3k-Carbon-Fiber-Tube-/_i.html?_storecat=7139194011) from ebay, 2x 13x11mmx1M (ODxIDxL), 2x 11x9mmx1M and 1x 9x7mmx500mm.

When you look at the cost of materials it becomes obvious that going this route is a lot more expensive. It might be better — and would definitely be easier — to get some GG LT poles (they're 2-section) and modify the grips, and I'm fairly sure they could be converted to flick lock. For the grip extension, EVA foam tubes can be found at fly fishing suppliers such as Mudhole (http://www.mudhole.com/Components-Rod-Building/handles-grips-components/Fore-Rear-Grips-Handles).

With the high-quality/crazy-cheap China-made trekking poles available these days, it is hardly worth it unless you're after that last Nth degree. As I mentioned above, I got some of the $30 Hitor poles (https://www.amazon.com/Hitorhike-Carbon-Fiber-Trekking-Poles/dp/B07DCB9TBX/ref=mp_s_a_1_31?ie=UTF8&qid=1532561457&sr=8-31&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=carbon+fiber+trekking+poles&dpPl=1&dpID=41WGuMr6p7L&ref=plSrch) for winter and the quality is superb.

If still interested in 'rolling your own', PM me and I can provide more detail. Some of this can be found on BPL as well.

MikekiM
12-01-2018, 23:23
I had researched the GG LT poles long before deciding to make a set. Sure it would have been a lot easier and possibly stronger than what I made (I did snap a tip off on my second outing, but no question it was user error during the build process). My motivation for making them? Without question I am a hardcore DIY'r and chose to make them just because I could. Second reason was the uber lite weight. The LT4's are 4.1 oz with the twist lock, which I don't really care for. Mine are 4.1 oz with the flick lock. And as mentioned, if I decide to go back to a fixed length pole, I'll get sub-4 0z per pole for sure. Third reason is I like to know how things are made so in the event something fails I am better equipped to make a repair. Next.. The LT4's are $76 per pole. If not mistaken, my parts for the pair weren't much more than that. And last... pure pride. Nothing is better than saying... yep, I made that.

bighammer
12-03-2018, 12:07
Can't imagine poles without straps, but it's your gear, your hike, use 'em upside down if you like.

CalebJ
12-03-2018, 12:14
I should do a separate thread on this.
Basic materials are GG grips (https://www.gossamergear.com/products/cork-trekking-pole-grips), BD z-pole baskets (http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/trekking-poles/z-pole-basket-BD1121260000ALL1.html#start=30) and flicklocks (https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/skiing%2Fspare-parts/flicklock-13-mm-replacement-BD0109250000ALLS.html) (13mm), and roll wrapped carbon fiber tubes (https://www.ebay.com/str/HaoZhong-Carbon-Fiber-Tube/11mm-20mm-3k-Carbon-Fiber-Tube-/_i.html?_storecat=7139194011) from ebay, 2x 13x11mmx1M (ODxIDxL), 2x 11x9mmx1M and 1x 9x7mmx500mm.
When you look at the cost of materials it becomes obvious that going this route is a lot more expensive. It might be better — and would definitely be easier — to get some GG LT poles (they're 2-section) and modify the grips, and I'm fairly sure they could be converted to flick lock. For the grip extension, EVA foam tubes can be found at fly fishing suppliers such as Mudhole (http://www.mudhole.com/Components-Rod-Building/handles-grips-components/Fore-Rear-Grips-Handles).
With the high-quality/crazy-cheap China-made trekking poles available these days, it is hardly worth it unless you're after that last Nth degree. As I mentioned above, I got some of the $30 Hitor poles (https://www.amazon.com/Hitorhike-Carbon-Fiber-Trekking-Poles/dp/B07DCB9TBX/ref=mp_s_a_1_31?ie=UTF8&qid=1532561457&sr=8-31&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=carbon+fiber+trekking+poles&dpPl=1&dpID=41WGuMr6p7L&ref=plSrch) for winter and the quality is superb.
If still interested in 'rolling your own', PM me and I can provide more detail. Some of this can be found on BPL as well.
Thanks for all the detail. I'll probably follow your lead on the Hitor's for now and save the notes for later. It's crazy how expensive the raw CF tubes are compared to buying a premade pole set. This sounds like a fun project to tackle down the road though. Thanks again!

Just Bill
12-04-2018, 13:30
I should do a separate thread on this.

Basic materials are GG grips (https://www.gossamergear.com/products/cork-trekking-pole-grips), BD z-pole baskets (http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/trekking-poles/z-pole-basket-BD1121260000ALL1.html#start=30) and flicklocks (https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/skiing%2Fspare-parts/flicklock-13-mm-replacement-BD0109250000ALLS.html) (13mm), and roll wrapped carbon fiber tubes (https://www.ebay.com/str/HaoZhong-Carbon-Fiber-Tube/11mm-20mm-3k-Carbon-Fiber-Tube-/_i.html?_storecat=7139194011) from ebay, 2x 13x11mmx1M (ODxIDxL), 2x 11x9mmx1M and 1x 9x7mmx500mm.

When you look at the cost of materials it becomes obvious that going this route is a lot more expensive. It might be better — and would definitely be easier — to get some GG LT poles (they're 2-section) and modify the grips, and I'm fairly sure they could be converted to flick lock. For the grip extension, EVA foam tubes can be found at fly fishing suppliers such as Mudhole (http://www.mudhole.com/Components-Rod-Building/handles-grips-components/Fore-Rear-Grips-Handles).

With the high-quality/crazy-cheap China-made trekking poles available these days, it is hardly worth it unless you're after that last Nth degree. As I mentioned above, I got some of the $30 Hitor poles (https://www.amazon.com/Hitorhike-Carbon-Fiber-Trekking-Poles/dp/B07DCB9TBX/ref=mp_s_a_1_31?ie=UTF8&qid=1532561457&sr=8-31&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=carbon+fiber+trekking+poles&dpPl=1&dpID=41WGuMr6p7L&ref=plSrch) for winter and the quality is superb.

If still interested in 'rolling your own', PM me and I can provide more detail. Some of this can be found on BPL as well.


I had researched the GG LT poles long before deciding to make a set. Sure it would have been a lot easier and possibly stronger than what I made (I did snap a tip off on my second outing, but no question it was user error during the build process). My motivation for making them? Without question I am a hardcore DIY'r and chose to make them just because I could. Second reason was the uber lite weight. The LT4's are 4.1 oz with the twist lock, which I don't really care for. Mine are 4.1 oz with the flick lock. And as mentioned, if I decide to go back to a fixed length pole, I'll get sub-4 0z per pole for sure. Third reason is I like to know how things are made so in the event something fails I am better equipped to make a repair. Next.. The LT4's are $76 per pole. If not mistaken, my parts for the pair weren't much more than that. And last... pure pride. Nothing is better than saying... yep, I made that.
Hmmm... Tim mentioned you two were particular about your grips. So much so that I explored and got pricing set for 'gripless' poles as a potential future option.
Seems you both prefer the Gossamer Gear grip... or is it simply that it is a convenient item to purchase separately for DIY?

The flicklock thing on a SUL pole is interesting too... I thought they were 'weight prohibitive' but can see that being a stupid light problem if the twist lock is too prone to failure. I'd be curious to hear more on that... though also curious if it's a localized problem. Things tend to take a beating in your neck of the woods.

MikekiM
12-05-2018, 07:34
Hmmm... Tim mentioned you two were particular about your grips. So much so that I explored and got pricing set for 'gripless' poles as a potential future option.
Seems you both prefer the Gossamer Gear grip... or is it simply that it is a convenient item to purchase separately for DIY?

The flicklock thing on a SUL pole is interesting too... I thought they were 'weight prohibitive' but can see that being a stupid light problem if the twist lock is too prone to failure. I'd be curious to hear more on that... though also curious if it's a localized problem. Things tend to take a beating in your neck of the woods.

Bill,

I'm not sure I am so particular about which ones I used, but the set we were testing that weekend weren't nearly as comfortable as.. well.. any of the others I have used. Initially I was excited because they looked very much like the grips on my BD Distance Z's, but once we got to using them it became more apparent that the finger ledges were in the wrong spot...

I really like the BD Distance Z grips and if they were available for purchase I would have made the CF poles using those (and maybe regretted it). But I can't find them anywhere. What makes the GG grips such a win is the contouring. Without the customizing, they aren't nearly as comfortable nor would they work so well without wrist straps. I've the tried the BD grips without straps and they don't have the magnetic feel I get with the customized GG grips.

As far as the flicklocks... I don't have the weights handy, but I recall that the heaviest component in the CF pole materials list was indeed the flicklock. I had precious little time to play with the twist lock on the test poles so can't comment more than that I like the low profile design. That said, I'd bet that if all the pieces of the twist lock were weighed (the screw, washers, rubber expansion bit and any mounting hardware), it might be the same or heavier than the simple resin flicklock and one screw. It's crazy simple to service/replace and I can't imagine a way they can be damaged. I'd be that if you stepped on the flicklock the CF shaft might break but the resin lock would survive.

The CF poles aren't for everyone. If I didn't have the same set of Distance Z's for as long as I do, I might not have considered an SUL option. On the past three outings I put a serious hurt on my poles.. tossed them, sat on them (well, I fell on them) caught them between rocks.. they worked great. Had I been wearing wrist straps it's likely I would have damaged them.

cmoulder
12-05-2018, 09:31
Hmmm... Tim mentioned you two were particular about your grips. So much so that I explored and got pricing set for 'gripless' poles as a potential future option.
Seems you both prefer the Gossamer Gear grip... or is it simply that it is a convenient item to purchase separately for DIY?

The flicklock thing on a SUL pole is interesting too... I thought they were 'weight prohibitive' but can see that being a stupid light problem if the twist lock is too prone to failure. I'd be curious to hear more on that... though also curious if it's a localized problem. Things tend to take a beating in your neck of the woods.
Yep, I am particular about the grips, but it is funny how all the current features are the result of evolution and testing. And the main reason I ended up with the GG grip is that other replacement grips are nearly impossible to come by. I found something on alibaba that looked like it might work but minimum order was 1000 sets or some such.

I used the stock GG grips for quite a while before trying the finger ledge cut out, and the contrast between the required grip strength was stark. Later on, I added the EVA tube at the bottom of the grip so I could quickly slide hands down the pole temporarily when needed, although this has been a feature of many poles for a very long time. The final mod to the GG grips was to make the second finger ledge lower down, and to sand off the bottom flare to make them more comfortable when used in the 'choke down' mode.

If you could somehow CNC or mold these grips in one piece, I think you'd have the best darn grips on the planet.

And I agree with MikekiM that the weight difference between twist and flick is probably very, very minimal.

I was very impressed with the superb quality of your prototype hike/spreader poles. However they were a bit noodly for hiking, appearing to use something like 12/10mm or 11/9mm upper/lower sections... with wall thickness unknown. I've had good luck with the 13/11mm (1mm wall thickness) for some time, and I've had a couple of incidents where they were shock loaded enough that I thought they were goners. Maybe I just got lucky... you can break any pole if you land on it just the wrong way. But in any event I wouldn't recommend them for klutzy people.

Just Bill
12-05-2018, 10:47
I don't claim any expertise on the matter... not being familiar with Carbon Fiber generally or a trekking pole user personally. That's why I worked with Josh who does know Carbon Fiber.
These are his poles at heart and from what I understand the walls are thicker than the Gossamer Gear poles. http://www.rutalocura.com/trekking_poles.html

I was a bit skeptical of the small diameter over all as we use .610" and .710" pole (15.5 and 18mm roughly) to build the bridge spreader bar sets. However he's a bit limited as well in what he can get made up as he's already committed to some of those 1000+ piece orders so sizing up wasn't really an option. After about 3 or 4 rounds though... as bridge spreaders they've proven to be pretty bomber spreader bars.

His tubes are all custom made and come in inches so it's not a totally clean conversion. I believe the upper shaft is a .450" or 11.5 mm roughly.
I know in talking with Josh he felt the GG grip was roughly .50 so some type of fill may be needed to make the grip work but he didn't have enough requests come through to have really messed with it. This is actually his second round of grips and was informed by customer feedback. So at worst most of his customers find the grips adequate if not great.
I can get a 'gripless' set in as I believe I mentioned to one or both of you.
If you guys both have more of your original tubes... It might be possible to replicate something similar to what I'm doing if you can find a pole tip that fits the larger diameter tube. If you're using a Black diamond tip... I can get the adapter to snap onto those for that end and you could fabricate the grip side adapter.
Here's what mine look like again- https://1drv.ms/f/s!Apygyt54yYPwg7g3TpmRntjgzkvFlA
My initial concern about adding a flick lock is that it would be inline with the compression when used in spreader bar mode as that's where this started for me. So if you're crushing out the griplock everynight in your bridge that maybe a nonstarter there.
After that... I guess I'd probably want to hear about more failures of the twistlock before I gave them a shot. In my limited use it was user error that was the issue, though they are a bit finicky I attributed that to my lack of experience and the SUL nature of them. Once setup right I didn't have any issues. Again... I'm leaning on Ruta Locura's feedback and I'd think he would have bit the bullet on the change if it was a common issue.

Thus far nobody has complained about them collapsing in use; but expanding their use as a trekking pole is the next test. No issues with the grips, but I believe most are using them with straps.
I also believe the terrain in your area is a bit harder on things... the AT in general is a bit harder on things really... but NY/PA type terrain is quite a bit different than the south or midwest where testing is going on for me. Though the big bonus in working with Josh and adapting his trekking pole to my design was that it was an established trekking pole first.

If anything it should result in a stronger unit overall as when used as a spreader bar it's being loaded properly. Grizz did a few Gossamer Gear conversions but I recall there being some concerns about stressing the poles (even if they didn't snap) and having that stress show up later during trekking pole use. As we all agree... trekking poles are one of those things that break period... SUL or not. On the hammock side, most doing conversions are pretty light folks and good at babying their lovingly crafted creations. Handing things off to the general public is a different level of testing and I don't think we're talking more than a few dozen folks who have really done it.

All that said.. I see the appeal of what you're both getting at in the grip. Besides getting good ergonomics for pushing off and better natural grip... I think the deeper notch helps with lifting/recovery as well?
It looks like you have that nice natural pivot point/snap forward action that the strap user enjoys. My wife has pretty bad carpal tunnel and the straps help a ton with that... but I do agree that I am noticing a growing number of folks moving away from the straps... or at least considering it. You know the drill... poles come with straps and the first thing they all teach you is how to use the straps properly so I think it's just something folks 'do' without thinking about it much. Once you've learned one way it's hard to unlearn it.

Foams/rubbers/synthetics come in so many flavors as well and it could also be that GG 'picked a winner' in that department too. Course there's always the cork fans who raise their hand in protest too at some point.

Overall... I simply don't have the years of experience using trekking poles to inform my design and am fairly well documented here as generally being against trekking poles. Ruta Locura provided a nice shortcut but I still like to look at things critically. I've probably logged a whopping 100 miles of trekking pole use but around here that's often just walking the flats putzing along. They help me a ton when hiking the dunes.. but not exactly a punishing test of durability for the poles. I've probably put 200+ nights of bridge use on them now personally... so I feel I've accomplished that goal at least with these.
I like the idea of integrating and harmonizing systems... but only if each component still does it's job as a standalone piece of gear.

Just Bill
12-05-2018, 11:17
Hmm... those Hiltor poles look suspiciously like the Costco poles? (Cascade Mountain Tech).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E0ZBZI/ref=sspa_dk_detail_5?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B007E0ZBZI&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=21517efd-b385-405b-a405-9a37af61b5b4&pd_rd_wg=QHS2L&pf_rd_r=7FGBJ6NGZ6280VMNG956&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_w=PvWQA&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pd_rd_r=c2e1c514-f89d-11e8-938d-b52a24014cb0


If so... https://1drv.ms/f/s!Apygyt54yYPwg-xp2ZNsoztdEInvEg

I was able to to a bridge pole conversion on those a few years back, the grip looks like the same possibility exists with those.

The Fizan Compacts have the wrong type of tip, but the Cascade tech poles worked.
I only did two of them but seemed to work out okay.

Other than the significant cost savings though... for a bridge pole conversion you're still sort of in the same boat.
You're adding two ounces or so to a 13-16 ounce pair of poles to save 3-5 ounces of spreader bar.
So the conversion seems more 'doing it to do it' than for any functional reason.

Least that's how I look at it if you're spending the bucks... either don't and just carry the heavier trekking pole or really go for it.

But while we are on the topic... Guess Cascade Mountain Tech could be a cheap source for grips if you could peel them off the pole sections or contact them directly...
https://cascademountaintech.com/collections/trekking-pole-parts?page=1

cmoulder
12-06-2018, 08:15
Hey Bill,

First off, what Josh/RL did with making those convertible poles for you is amazing — that's a hard trick to pull off and what he did was clean and clever. Whatever material he uses for the grips is perfect IMO.

Damn, I wish the USA would finally go all metric, as the gummint has been threatening to do for the last few decades lol. I'm halfway decent at making rough conversions in my noggin between metric and avoirdupois/SAE but it sure gets tedious and inconvenient at times.

The CMT and Hitor poles have significant differences — tube diameter, locking mechanism (CMT ain't so good), straps (Hitors ain't that good, actually) — and some similarities such as grips and tips, but the Hitors are roughly 1.5oz (each) lighter. They're probably both pumped out of the same factory in China. Many CF poles (such as the REI Powerlock/Komperdell) are as heavy as good aluminum poles, so what's the point except for the "carbon cachet"?

Just Bill
12-06-2018, 10:15
Hey Bill,

First off, what Josh/RL did with making those convertible poles for you is amazing that's a hard trick to pull off and what he did was clean and clever. Whatever material he uses for the grips is perfect IMO.

Damn, I wish the USA would finally go all metric, as the gummint has been threatening to do for the last few decades lol. I'm halfway decent at making rough conversions in my noggin between metric and avoirdupois/SAE but it sure gets tedious and inconvenient at times.

The CMT and Hitor poles have significant differences tube diameter, locking mechanism (CMT ain't so good), straps (Hitors ain't that good, actually) and some similarities such as grips and tips, but the Hitors are roughly 1.5oz (each) lighter. They're probably both pumped out of the same factory in China. Many CF poles (such as the REI Powerlock/Komperdell) are as heavy as good aluminum poles, so what's the point except for the "carbon cachet"?

Thanks! (on behalf of Josh and myself).
The pole itself is his basic pole, and he'd found that perfect section of tube to snap onto the tip end which solves that problem nicely. I never liked the 'bobbin' trick much and it still loads the tips on their weak point and results in failures in the field often enough. Plus you've got a bobbin that is easy to lose or could easily cut your hammock. His tip solution resolves that problem and keeps the load inline. I designed the upper system based upon what I came up with on the CMT pole conversions. Even when you design a webbing pocket or modify the bridge to catch a handle... you're still cross loading the pole and/or relying on a flexible system to load the pole correctly. The handle itself can often be bulky enough in my recessed bridge designs that it interferes with load transfer... so bottom line is you need to get the handle away from the edge.

Josh has CNC milling in house so making 'spikes' (pole tips) as he calls them for any tube size is possible. Above all though, he does very nice work. Can't recommend him enough for anyone looking for good CF.

I did ask him about perhaps getting a block of the handle material he used (a blank). Maybe something in 2"x 2" that could be custom shaped, but since he orders out the handles he doesn't have it handy. Suppose it wouldn't be impossible to track that foam down though. (or glue up a block). I was under the impression you and Mike weren't too fond of the material itself either...

And yes... I agree overall on your other points. If you're going to go for it and use high tech materials you should get the results.
Otherwise it is just lipservice/marketing, and money spent for no reason.

MikekiM
12-06-2018, 22:28
I happen to really like the material on the test set we had. It's the same as the BD grips. What didn't work well for me was the profile of the grip. If I remember correctly we were all in agreement that the finger ledges were misplaced. I think I have a few pictures of them.. will have to look. A blank that could be custom contoured would be a fun option.

Just Bill
12-07-2018, 14:14
I happen to really like the material on the test set we had. It's the same as the BD grips. What didn't work well for me was the profile of the grip. If I remember correctly we were all in agreement that the finger ledges were misplaced. I think I have a few pictures of them.. will have to look. A blank that could be custom contoured would be a fun option.
I know for sure I can get them without a grip set on them.

You guys might be several moves ahead of me from there. I'm not sure what epoxy to use to bond the CF and the foams.
Josh gets the handles made up so he doesn't have raw foam around. Not sure of a great source for that though I believe Minicel or Volara are both good choices?

https://www.foambymail.com/MT200/minicel-t200.html

https://www.foambymail.com/VA2/volara-foam-type-2a.html

Volara only comes in 1/2"

Minicel can be purchased up to 4" thick, though I'd guess 3" would be plenty.

This may be the one... https://www.foambymail.com/VA2/volara-foam-type-2a.html

MikekiM
12-09-2018, 12:01
I know for sure I can get them without a grip set on them.

You guys might be several moves ahead of me from there. I'm not sure what epoxy to use to bond the CF and the foams.
Josh gets the handles made up so he doesn't have raw foam around. Not sure of a great source for that though I believe Minicel or Volara are both good choices?

https://www.foambymail.com/MT200/minicel-t200.html

https://www.foambymail.com/VA2/volara-foam-type-2a.html

Volara only comes in 1/2"

Minicel can be purchased up to 4" thick, though I'd guess 3" would be plenty.

This may be the one... https://www.foambymail.com/VA2/volara-foam-type-2a.html

For the GG grips, I used two part five minute epoxy.. all the other glued components (really only the baskets) were Qwik Set JB Weld. I followed cmoulder's suggestion for securing the grips. Seems the tolerances on the hole in the GG grips are pretty loose. One grip needed a bit of coaxing to get on while the other went on with zero friction. Before gluing the grips on, I did a loose wrap of Gutterman thread with a layer of epoxy.. just enough to build up the shaft a bit. Let that cure fully. Then epoxy'd the grips in place over the thread wrap. Worked a charm..

Gambit McCrae
12-10-2018, 10:39
I use the straps when climbing, but when in dense rocks, wet rocks, slick muddy trial: I take my wrists out of the straps. The poles do not make your shoes have more traction, so if your gunna slip your gunna with or without poles. And I have come very close to breaking my carbon poles because I slipped on a rock and either fell on or bent the pole due to my wrist being in the strap.