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EarlyStarter
04-06-2010, 12:49
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?

Hooch
04-06-2010, 13:01
http://www.collectiveroots.org/files/u3/can_of_worms.jpg

Hikes in Rain
04-06-2010, 14:00
A quick search of the forums indicates that yes, it's absolutely necessary, even more, in fact. Or that it's foolish to do so. Doesn't seem to be much middle ground.

bulldog49
04-06-2010, 14:01
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?



Is it necessary to ask such a dumb question?

Manwich
04-06-2010, 14:02
Is it really necessary to shave the bark off of heavy sticks from the ground when you can just buy your own trekking poles?

LimpsAlong
04-06-2010, 14:23
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?

What the heck is wrong with you! If your'e not spending wads of cash on the latest poles, well then sir, you just ain't got it goin' on! Two sticks indeed!:mad:

shelterbuilder
04-06-2010, 14:25
Well, I have a P-38 in my pocket, so let's have at it!;)

My answer is "no", and from the way you worded the question, your answer might be "no", too.

It sounds like you're trying to save some money - maybe??? If that's your over-riding concern, then just go out and get 2 sticks, etc.

Your sticks may not be as lightweight as commercially-made poles, they won't be height-adjustable (won't matter if you made them for you), and, unless you do a lot of work on them at home before you leave, you won't have wrist-cords, padded grips, or any kind of tip on the end. They will wear down over time. But, if a shortage of funds is a problem, and if you don't mind having a "project", then have at it!

I use ski poles in winter, but when the snow is gone, I switch back to my single walking stick. I've carried this one for years - it's got an upper and lower grip area (unpadded), a wrist strap, and a neoprene tip to absorb shock. Heavier than a pole? You bet! Would I part with it? Not for a million bucks!!!

And, yes, I'm CHEAP, but that has nothing to do with my choice!:D

YMMV.

beakerman
04-06-2010, 19:54
I prefer my big heavy single walking stick to any of the poles you can buy. I do trail maintenance on the LSHT even when I'm just walking along and that my big old walking stick is perfect for flinging fairly large log/sticks from the trail when taking the road less traveled. It also is good for those times when you want to pry on something a little to shift it so it doesn't bind the saw. It also gives me something to do during down time in camp--say a zero day or a rain day--I do a little carving or knot work on it just because I can. You can't carve your space age titanium alloy 0.00005gram $1000 set of poles...and in the worst case if it breaks I got nice dry fire wood. So I'll take my heavy walking stick.

Spokes
04-06-2010, 19:59
Sticks, bamboo, or trekking poles they'll all work. Pieces of rope will not.

Rocket Jones
04-06-2010, 20:16
I used my broomstick with a cane tip for years and loved it. I put it aside when Santa brought me a pair of Pacer Poles. I love them too. Use what works for you, but don't dismiss alternatives out of hand.

Roland
04-06-2010, 20:20
Is it necessary to ask such a dumb question?

With that attitude, I bet you'll make lots of friends here, and on the trail. :rolleyes:

Wise Old Owl
04-06-2010, 21:59
I used my broomstick with a cane tip for years and loved it. I put it aside when Santa brought me a pair of Pacer Poles. I love them too. Use what works for you, but don't dismiss alternatives out of hand.

There's some humor there, like "So how did you get your trail name?" :cool:

But I'm not allowed to poke fun here anymore....some folk just get to uppity and whip out their magic wand.....:D

Great post - good advice.

Kel, the "Stickman"
04-06-2010, 23:47
Hooch... that's a mighty tasty lookin' can o' worms you got there! Your point couldn't have been made more clearly...

Stickman

FamilyGuy
04-07-2010, 00:52
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?

No - you can use two sticks. However, they will not be as strong, cannot be adjusted to easily carry on your pack if necessary, and they can give you splinters. I hate splinters.

jesse
04-07-2010, 04:25
I don't hike with any kind of pole(s)

Kel, the "Stickman"
04-07-2010, 07:18
I make walking sticks, and use them when out for a day hike, or shorter hikes. I find a single stick to work well in that instance. However... on extended hikes I prefer trekking poles. I'm not an expert in any sense, but know what works for me, at this time. The poles give me better balance and alignment, and take a whole lot more stress off of my old bones, on the longer hike. The wooden hiking sticks "feel" better to me on the shorter hikes, where my pace may be much slower, and still provide me with a level of balance, etc. ... Basically, hike with what feels right for you, what works for you. (any gear...) If it stops working for you, then make changes to your gear. No one will tell you that you can't, albeit folks will be very helpful in making suggestions.

Stickman

Old Hiker
04-07-2010, 07:20
I don't hike with any kind of pole(s)

You got something against people from Poland?!? :eek:

Just askin'. ;)

Yukon
04-07-2010, 07:58
Trekking poles rock! :welcome

kanga
04-07-2010, 08:02
my question is, why are you questioning this? if two sticks works for you, what do you care what everybody else thinks?

kanga
04-07-2010, 08:03
I don't hike with any kind of pole(s)
racist!:D



The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters.

Wise Old Owl
04-07-2010, 08:06
Good Morning Kanga, I see you didn't have your coffee yet, how are the animals?

kanga
04-07-2010, 08:13
You got something against people from Poland?!? :eek:

Just askin'. ;)


dammit!! http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-angry013.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

kanga
04-07-2010, 08:15
Good Morning Kanga, I see you didn't have your coffee yet, how are the animals?
heehee! i have coffee with godiva white chocolate. we have a new boy. i am sitting in the comfort of my office and he is feeding the cows! ha!

Yukon
04-07-2010, 08:36
I used my trekking poles to fight off a wombat once, so they are absolutely neccessary...

Wise Old Owl
04-07-2010, 09:21
I didn't know Wombats were a problem in NY

wirerat123
04-07-2010, 09:52
I prefer trekking poles, my wife (missjessy) prefers sticks for now. It's all according to preference.

I'll let you know how my future bamboo hiking pole project turns out.

Scrambler
04-07-2010, 09:55
I have never used poles at all to hike. I plan on doing some long distance hiking so I'm guessing, based on what everyone says, that I have to get them. My question is: How easy are they to get used to?

Yukon
04-07-2010, 09:59
I didn't know Wombats were a problem in NY


Maybe it was a grizzly bear, I can't remember the specifics...

Yukon
04-07-2010, 10:00
In all honesty though, I love my trekking poles :)

kanga
04-07-2010, 10:00
Maybe it was a grizzly bear, I can't remember the specifics...
if you slept with your food, that wouldn't happen.

Jaybird
04-07-2010, 10:05
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?


NOPE...not NECESSARY!...but, you can whittle for several hours & put a finish on it & get it exactly right...(if your time is worth nothing)

OR...you could buy some trekking poles for $100 (or slightly more) that have been ergo-tested & tried by long distance hikers...& work for anyone with knees.

Good luck with your hike!


section-hikin' Clarks Valley,PA NOBO to Greenwood Lake, NY
Apr 24-May 8
w/ "Jigsaw"

Yukon
04-07-2010, 12:20
if you slept with your food, that wouldn't happen.


Point taken...

Jester2000
04-07-2010, 13:39
A quick search of the forums indicates that yes, it's absolutely necessary, even more, in fact. Or that it's foolish to do so. Doesn't seem to be much middle ground.

There's plenty of middle ground, and it's expressed in these forums all the time.


Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?

Here's my answer: it's not necessary to do anything at all. It's not even necessary to go hiking. And if you choose to go hiking, you could carry anything at all in your hands, or nothing. Asking other people to tell you about your preferences seems strange to me.

But if your question involves whether you can replicate what commercial poles do by shaving the bark off of two sticks, the answer is: you can make hiking sticks that way, but not trekking poles. Whether you think the engineering that goes into trekking poles is worth the money is your decision. I think it's worth it.


I have never used poles at all to hike. I plan on doing some long distance hiking so I'm guessing, based on what everyone says, that I have to get them. My question is: How easy are they to get used to?

Pretty easy, I think. I started using mine 500 miles into a thru-hike. It took me a few days to get used to them. And maybe the best thing to do for those without experience with trekking poles (who are always the folks starting these threads) would be to borrow a pair for a few weeks and try them out on a trip that lasts a bit longer than a weekend (7-10 days). Then they'd be able to judge for themselves whether they're worth it or not for them.

Dances with Mice
04-07-2010, 14:15
.... Doesn't seem to be much middle ground.


There's plenty of middle ground, and it's expressed in these forums all the time.Silly Jester. There is no middle ground for poles. You can use them on the ground to the left of the trail, the right of the trail or both but if you're using them in the middle ground you're doing something wrong.

Hikes in Rain
04-07-2010, 15:11
And you're likely to hurt yourself!

kanga
04-07-2010, 15:31
There's plenty of middle ground, and it's expressed in these forums all the time.



Here's my answer: it's not necessary to do anything at all. It's not even necessary to go hiking. And if you choose to go hiking, you could carry anything at all in your hands, or nothing. Asking other people to tell you about your preferences seems strange to me.

But if your question involves whether you can replicate what commercial poles do by shaving the bark off of two sticks, the answer is: you can make hiking sticks that way, but not trekking poles. Whether you think the engineering that goes into trekking poles is worth the money is your decision. I think it's worth it.



Pretty easy, I think. I started using mine 500 miles into a thru-hike. It took me a few days to get used to them. And maybe the best thing to do for those without experience with trekking poles (who are always the folks starting these threads) would be to borrow a pair for a few weeks and try them out on a trip that lasts a bit longer than a weekend (7-10 days). Then they'd be able to judge for themselves whether they're worth it or not for them.

are you playing the anti-jester today?

Tin Man
04-07-2010, 16:18
Following some advice here, I left my trekking poles at home one trip. After I took a nasty fall and suffered some nasty bruises and one pretty banged up knee, I decided some anti-bigcompanymarketingploy bs is bs. Don't let anyone else's opinion or sense of style interfere with what works best for you.

signed,
Tin Man the Klutz

RGB
04-07-2010, 16:26
Sticks.

And if you leave your house at home, neither are needed.

10-K
04-07-2010, 16:30
Everytime I pass someone that isn't using poles I wonder how they do it. Seriously.

Hikes in Rain
04-07-2010, 16:39
I wonder how I used to do it. Way back when, I used to start out without anything, then grab a stick. Got tired of grabbing sticks, and carved my own full time staff. A few years ago, it cracked while saving me from a bad fall. I retired it with honor (it leans up against my framed AT map marking my progress), and before my next trip, my wife gifted me with a pair of Leki Ultralights. After a mile or so, I was amazed at how much difference two well engineered poles make. While I can't see myself braining a bear with them like my old staff, I figure the odds of having to do so are well in my favor, and that the benefits outweigh the risks. After all, I never had to use my old staff in self-defence, although it does have a couple of scars where a dog tried to steal it so we could play!

moytoy
04-07-2010, 16:48
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?

Do both, or at least one then the other later. Whittle yourself a couple of sticks and go try them. Learn the use and technique of Nordic trecking. If you like the feel and if it helps you to go faster, further and with less effort and you feel like spending the extra money get the good China made stuff.

My homade trecking poles weigh 17 oz each. Black diamond poles weigh 10 oz each. I walk 3-5 miles a day and once each year I walk about 100 miles in 7-10 days. If I ever do a thru on the AT I might go for the lighter poles.

icemanat95
04-07-2010, 16:51
I went back to a wooden stick/pole. It's got a bit more heft to it, which I like. Putting a lanyard, wristloop on isn.t tough at all and it can be completely adjustable for height as well. What I did was to get a piece of 8mm accessory cord from a shop that sells climbing equipment. You'll need several feet. Fold it in half?loop it in half and wrap it around the hiking stick as a prusik knot. The virtue of the prusik is that it tightens down hard when weighted, but releases when given slack. So you can easily adjust the height of the lanyard or remove it entirely with no fuss or muss. The rops can be repurposed as needed. The size of the wrist loop formed can be adjusted be securing the ends to one another with fisherman's knots. These will allow you to form an adjustable loop for different grips.

It's a neat little system that I was turned on to by Brad at Kingfisher Woodworking.

kanga
04-07-2010, 17:17
Everytime I pass someone that isn't using poles I wonder how they do it. Seriously.
hahaha! well i will tell you. it is just a matter of the lesser of two evils. sometimes my knees hurt, but the one time i tried poles, i fell down anyway and stabbed myself in the side with one of the poles. plus, my hands were in the loops and my brain couldn't talk to them so i couldn't put my hands down to catch myself. believe me, it is much safer for me and everyone around me if i don't carry poles.

Tin Man
04-07-2010, 18:00
hahaha! well i will tell you. it is just a matter of the lesser of two evils. sometimes my knees hurt, but the one time i tried poles, i fell down anyway and stabbed myself in the side with one of the poles. plus, my hands were in the loops and my brain couldn't talk to them so i couldn't put my hands down to catch myself. believe me, it is much safer for me and everyone around me if i don't carry poles.

i can relate to that... i still fall down with my poles, just not as often... or as hard...

the trick with the loops is to not put them on past your hands... on your wrists is asking for trouble

beer thirty... later

GGS2
04-07-2010, 19:00
the trick with the loops is to not put them on past your hands... on your wrists is asking for trouble

Don't agree. I grew up using ski poles to trek across the fields to the ski hills. Always used the wrist strap technique, and it never did any damage to me. The trick is to avoid the death grip. The pole and strap will help to support and propel you, but they will not immobilize your hands when used properly.

I even used to keep my poles in their straps on my wrists while riding rope tows. No-one but me now living may remember these death traps, but the idea was to wrap a thick rope around a drive wheel on an old truck chassis. The rope went up the hill around a wheel at the top, and back down to the truck. You were supposed to grab the rope in two hands (one in front and the other around behind your back), upon which you would be jerked off your feet and dragged up the hill. Actually, you're not supposed to grab tight. Just let the rope run through your hands and gradually close the clutch, so to speak.

This procedure was fraught with peril, such as the heavy rope dragging you down into the ruts in mid flight, or the rope rotating as you rise up, entraining your mittens, and your jacket sleeve, etc. BUT, poking yourself with your poles was the least of it. Do it right, and your poles will help you, not endanger your kidneys. I swear!

kanga
04-07-2010, 19:07
thank you, but i am much better on my own. i'm retarded and will hurt myself.

Jim Adams
04-07-2010, 20:46
If you don't buy treking poles then everyone will laugh at you...but they do make it hard to carry your beach ball!:)

geek

Plodderman
04-08-2010, 10:09
I have my own sassafras hiking stick that I have used for years.

GGS2
04-08-2010, 13:47
I have my own sassafras hiking stick that I have used for years.
And if the worst comes to the worst, you can make tea!

Tin Man
04-11-2010, 22:48
thank you, but i am much better on my own. i'm retarded and will hurt myself.

okay, i think i am retarded too. i hiked this weekend without sticks and didn't fall once. with my sticks, they tend to get stuck and i fall. go figure.

Blue Jay
04-12-2010, 09:19
Everytime I pass someone that isn't using poles I wonder how they do it. Seriously.

A few of us have evolved past using your arms to walk. :eek:

Elder
04-12-2010, 09:39
Yes, We prefer tool use! :eek:

kayak karl
04-12-2010, 10:03
okay, i think i am retarded too. i hiked this weekend without sticks and didn't fall once. with my sticks, they tend to get stuck and i fall. go figure.
i hiked this weekend with sticks and didn't use them. i'm challenged:)

K2
04-12-2010, 14:17
Slightly related; I don't like to start new threads unless absolutely necessary:

Ok, just got my first set of treking poles (shock absorbing). No instructions, but mentions lots of features. So now I have several questions:
1) Are the plastic tips for protection when traveling, or are you suppose to actually hike with them?
2) Do you walk with the metal tips bare? Are they replaceable? Can you/should you get other kinds of tips?
3) These poles mention they have a shock absorber locking feature, but I can't figure out how to lock them. Any ideas?

Hikes in Rain
04-12-2010, 15:54
If you mean the clear(ish) plastic tips, yes, take them off before hiking. They're to protect things from the carbide tips. I mention the clear plastic, because poles can come with black rubbery slide-on tips for use on pavement. Usually in the woods, you hike with bare metal tips.

Most polls have replaceable tips. Not sure what brand you got, but usually they pull out with pliers, and the new ones tapped into place. You shouldn't have to worry about replacing tips for a good long while.

Several different locking mechanisms out there, too. Pretty common are the twist-lock. Just twist then until tight, and test by leaning on them before you actually use them, to make sure they're locked. (Mine have the twist lock type, so that's the only one I know).

Over The Hill
04-14-2010, 21:21
Short answer: Nope.
Long Answer: spend some money and get some poles. Shop around...
I got mine for 18.95 each. Nice grip, padded, handstarp, two tips for differnet surfaces, and most importantly: Adjustable, which is nice to be able to do depending on if your climbing or descending or walking the flats.
as an side, They are also nice to wrap duck tape neatly around since they are perfectly round. That way I have a mini roll of duck tape on each pole for emergencies and it doesn't take pack space.

jtbradyl
07-13-2010, 21:51
I've never seen Bear Grylls use sticks or poles.

Jester2000
07-13-2010, 22:24
I've never seen Bear Grylls use sticks or poles.

That's because Bear's crew is carrying the gear.

Greenmountainguy
12-03-2016, 13:58
Is it really necessary to spend over $50 on trekking poles when you can just shave the bark off of two sticks and make your own trekking poles?
The answer would seem obvious: no. Trekking poles are lighter and can be collapsed. That is obvious too. I have wood poles, but do not carry them on steep terrain or on many overnight walks. They are just too lacking in flexibility and packability.

gbolt
12-03-2016, 14:29
I have both, but use them differently. A walking stick is singular and longer. Mine is a little over 5ft. It has a carved bear on top and is over 30 years old. I got it when a hike was slowed as I picked up and discarded stick after stick and never did find one that I liked, or wouldn't snap under weight. I put a crutch tip bottom on it and have worn through that tip about 3 times now. Still use it when day hiking and not "back-packing".

I purchased trekking poles because they help my speed, decrease the strain of downhills on my knees (more than the stick), help propel me up hill and finally help with Tarp Porch Mode; serving as extra tent poles. The versatility and the ease to break them down and store them on today's packs, make them worth the cost in my mind. Then again age is a big factor in whether they are needed or not.

egilbe
12-03-2016, 14:54
Really? Another necro bump?

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 14:42
37276 Hand made poles of the PCT: free, light, effective, disposable, and they look cool.

JJ505
10-31-2017, 23:36
Just search youtube and there are tons of videos for diy of trekking poles. Though most of them are from old golf clubs, a couple use bamboo. I imagine it would be an interesting project if you were so inclined. Years ago, I made a hiking stick with a bamboo stick. I replaced it with sassafras (like someone else here) which strangely enough is very light.I have a yucca stick but have only sanded it. I have liked the sturdiness and security of a large stick, but I am going to try trekking poles. You can't put a hiking stick in your luggage and fly anywhere.Also I have been watching the videos for using trekking poles and there are some techniques that seem to help me hike a bit faster. I do take a collapsible hiking pole on trips, it was not cheaper than trekking poles though, it's too long and not adjustable.

Christoph
11-01-2017, 09:09
I used Walmart poles. 20 bucks. They lasted the entire trip and saved my butt more than a few times. I saw quite a few out there with walking sticks this year though.

Grampie
11-01-2017, 09:24
Just some info: I thru hiked and I used trekking poles. I believe that they prevented many falls. For the past 15 years I have served as a volunteer caretaker at the cabin on Upper Goose Pond. The cabin is located 1540 miles from Springer. I would say that 90% of the long distance hikers that stop at the cabin are using trekking poles. Many hikers start without them, but soon discover their usefulness.

JJ505
11-02-2017, 15:23
I used Walmart poles. 20 bucks. They lasted the entire trip and saved my butt more than a few times. I saw quite a few out there with walking sticks this year though.

I'm sure if you don't mind re: brand name or a few ounces you can get perfectly good trekking sticks for less money than DIY. Just bought some off Amazon for under $40 (understand you can get them a little cheaper if you have a Costco account). I doubt you really save any money making your own, and that DIY would be more because you enjoy making stuff/using stuff you make.

cmoulder
11-02-2017, 15:55
I'm sure if you don't mind re: brand name or a few ounces you can get perfectly good trekking sticks for less money than DIY. Just bought some off Amazon for under $40 (understand you can get them a little cheaper if you have a Costco account). I doubt you really save any money making your own, and that DIY would be more because you enjoy making stuff/using stuff you make.

True, you won't save money making your own.

However, I made some for myself and have made a few (VERY few, as in 3) sets for friends to fit some particular specs I was looking for which were not available commercially. The parameters were 1) carbon fiber, lightweight but a bit more robust than the material use in GG LightTrek poles, 2) 2-section, 3) adjustable length, and 4) cam lever locks (flicklocks, not internal twist cams). The ones I made utilize carbon fiber tubes found on ebay, Black Diamond distance pole tips and flicklocks, and GG Kork-a-lon grips. Mine ended up weighing 4.3 oz each, and have been quite durable I haven't done a thru with them but overall they've got well over 2000 miles on them with no problems.
But with the cost of materials and time to make them (depending upon how much my labor is worth) they probably cost over $200. :o

Sometimes that's what it costs to get exactly what you want!
40841

rocketsocks
11-03-2017, 05:39
A maple two piece pool que has a nice balance and thump factor of about a 8, a wiener trident is a nice accessory to round out the package.

illabelle
11-03-2017, 09:36
How on earth can we have a productive discussion about walking sticks without a good picture?
40844
This 4" specimen was found on a tent at Big South Fork on a chilly morning last weekend. We moved him/her to a tree in hopes it would be a safer place. You can see a nub to the left of the head where one leg is missing. I understand they can regenerate lost limbs. :)

rocketsocks
11-03-2017, 17:51
How on earth can we have a productive discussion about walking sticks without a good picture?
40844
This 4" specimen was found on a tent at Big South Fork on a chilly morning last weekend. We moved him/her to a tree in hopes it would be a safer place. You can see a nub to the left of the head where one leg is missing. I understand they can regenerate lost limbs. :)Those are for hikers that don’t know how to hold walking sticks, this model holds you...takes a little gettin’ used to.

JJ505
11-10-2017, 17:56
True, you won't save money making your own.

TTACH=CONFIG]40841[/ATTACH]

You did a nice job. Not sure what the grips are.

JJ505
11-10-2017, 17:56
Can you edit? Okay sorry, just wanted the picture.

cmoulder
11-10-2017, 18:07
You did a nice job. Not sure what the grips are.

They're Gossamer Gear Kork-o-lon (https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/trekking-poles/products/cork-trekking-pole-grips). They look like cork but they're actually some sort of EVA foam.