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208AT
01-24-2011, 19:52
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

sixguns01
01-24-2011, 19:56
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

It's all up to you. Some love them and some don't. Two poles will keep you stable on rough terrain, water crossings, and descending some steep terrain. Also, leviate more pressure off your knees. All that said, I use my walking staff I made many years ago on the trail and finished at home.

To each their own.

Elder
01-24-2011, 20:15
Yes, Two is the correct answer.
People who walk with one, or none, take an average of 6% more footsteps.
This is accounted for by a slightly longer, more relaxed stride and no hesitation staeps on the ups/downs.
plus balance
plus braking on the downhills
and propulsion on the up hills.
Learn to use the straps too, they allow you to relax or grip as needed...not just grip.

You might note the majority of finishers use pairs..
Start young, save your knees!

oh, yeah.. I'm the Leki guy!
check out www.leki.com (http://www.leki.com) for information and how to/and why videos

Phreak
01-24-2011, 21:12
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?
You don't need 1... you don't need 2. They aren't necessary but I rarely hike without 'em. I either use two or none. One pole throws off my rhythm.

TheChop
01-24-2011, 21:17
Depends on how you use them. I have a friend that has two but he sort of just has them as stabilizers. I use mine in a very coordinated way where I get my upper body into the equation a lot more. When my left foot goes forward my right pole goes forward with it. When the right foot goes forward the left goes with it. My friend tried this on a hike and didn't like it so his poles land completely separately from his foot falls.

It really depends on how you use them.

Luddite
01-24-2011, 21:25
IMHO, using only one trekking pole is pointless.

TallShark
01-24-2011, 21:45
I learned very quickly that if you're going to use poles, the correct form IMO is two. I have gotten more miles in with two poles due to propelling myself forward and i wouldn't go back to a single pole.

Lone Wolf
01-24-2011, 21:48
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

no. 1 is fine

Bags4266
01-24-2011, 21:53
Well I us to use one because it was easier to eat and drink while walking. But two poles as said before are explosive up hills.

elray
01-24-2011, 22:02
I'm really fond of two poles for several reasons. They keep my forearms nearer the level of my heart thus preventing my hands from swelling on long days. The extra balance that they afford will increase your speed dramatically without added exertion. They are easy to learn, one afternoon with trekking poles and you're an expert!

Awol1970
01-24-2011, 22:40
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

ummm do you FEEL like you need to get another pole? I mean I suppose 2 would look cooler than one.:rolleyes: But if one works.....

This kind of fascinates me. Thousands have completed a thru with either a stick or nothing at all until somebody decided "Heyyyy I spent all that $ in Vail for those poles and I hate skiing...heyyyy wait a minute....i wonder if they would work for walking....:eek:"

And now MOST would consider you an idiot if you don't have something long and hard clasped firmly in both your hands at all times.

FWIW when i go on walkabout i carry a stick or one swissgear cheap ass pole I got at Wally. Mostly to poke things with. Its hard to use tobacco and pick my nose during breaks with both hands occupied.

If you wanna walk with two sticks and got the cash then walk with two sticks.

CrumbSnatcher
01-24-2011, 22:44
IMO 2 poles are much better than 1
IMO hiking without poles then switching to poles is like a truck switching from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive.
sometimes both poles were in the backpack, sometimes only hiked with one pole, usually had both poles out, especially when hiking faster and on the move
depended alot of miles and different types of terrain, and sitituation

garlic08
01-25-2011, 00:24
I hiked the two long trails out west with one pole, then used two on the AT and I'm glad I did for the steeper, rougher terrain. But either way works, so does no poles. I enjoyed having one hand free for the map, compass, or water bottle.

Most people who bring two poles don't use them very well, anyway--they're just along for the ride. If you're a XC skier, you'll probably do very well with two poles.

jesse
01-25-2011, 00:33
What ever works for you. I use none.

Spirit Walker
01-25-2011, 00:33
I did the AT with no poles, but eventually started using one pole. For me the pole's main use is balance - it has stopped me from a lot of falls, helped me get over some big blowdowns and across a lot of streams and rivers. I tried two poles a couple of times and ended up with a stiff neck. My other big use of my single pole is clearing sticks off the trail. I love flicking sticks out of my way. I found that more difficult when I had two sticks. Two poles will take more strain off your knees than one if used correctly, but from what I've seen, few hikers use them correctly.

RockDoc
01-25-2011, 01:19
The pole bit is quite a new thing.
We've hiked without poles for about a million years, so it's hard to understand why they are so indispensible to some...

Back in the 70's many of us carried a stick, sometimes more elegantly called a "hiking staff". We never thought of carrying two of them, or using them to take weight off our legs. Their main purpose was to lean on while stopped, to prop up the huge Kelty frame backpack, and to wack attacking dogs with reliable consequences. Some of us became quite attached to our hiking sticks, I had a whole collection my favorite being beaver-chewed sticks from Montana beaver dams.

In the 1980's I went trekking in Nepal and saw all these old French people hiking up the Thoroung La with two crutch-like ski poles. They all had them and I found the constant click click click sound quite annoying.

Well, there here now...

OK I understand you might need to use these sticks as crutches if you have weak knees, etc. But as a geologist I think that the damage these carbide tips do to the trail and the landscape is unacceptable vandalism.

skinewmexico
01-25-2011, 11:32
I prefer two, especially going downhill, but use one all the time. The trails I am usually on are so narrow that using two poles is next to impossible.

ShelterLeopard
01-25-2011, 11:42
I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

I started with poles. Lovely ultra light poles. I used them for a month or so and thought I loved them, then realized that my balance was terrible and I was essentially banging off rocks and they were in the way all the time. Then I forgot my poles at a hostel in Virginia (or N. Carolina?) and didn't go back for them. It was a good choice- they weren't a burden anymore and I learned good balance. I did not miss them a bit.

ShelterLeopard
01-25-2011, 11:43
And while sometimes they helped me keep myself from falling, if I really took a spill, the got in the way and made it worse (but I might be less... coordinated then some). I was able to catch myself better without poles, and stumbled less because of my better balance.

Sickmont
01-25-2011, 12:53
Sometimes, while hiking around here in FL, i use a walking stick instead of my poles but i find myself passing the stick off from my right hand to my left every few miles and vice versa. I guess i'm subconciously telling myself to bring and use BOTH of my poles.

Luddite
01-25-2011, 12:54
But as a geologist I think that the damage these carbide tips do to the trail and the landscape is unacceptable vandalism.

Yeah they sure do scratch up the rocks out there. I'm thinking about putting a piece of plastic on the tips

Buffalo Skipper
01-25-2011, 12:58
Yeah they sure do scratch up the rocks out there. I'm thinking about putting a piece of plastic on the tips

I hike with mine with the rubber feet/tips. I have seen that these are intended for road walking (asphalt), but I find they give great traction on rocks. In icy conditions, I would remove the tips. Otherwise, I like them on.

And, I always carry 2 poles.

Lilred
01-25-2011, 18:32
I like my poles when I've got a really good stride going. I used to ski, so they have always been comfortable and natural for me. However, if I'm rock hopping, they get put up. Much harder to be a goat with hiking poles.

sarman
02-07-2011, 22:48
Sometimes I use none. Sometimes I use one. Most of the time, I use two.

maybe clem
02-08-2011, 11:45
My hiking partner, "360," hikes with just one hiking pole. He does fine. It comes down to personal preference.

slugger
02-08-2011, 12:17
The only way to know is to get out in the woods and try it!

I found that during my first backpacking trip I didn't have any, or even know about them at that point. After going the first day and seeing people with poles my hiking companion and myself crafted a single walking stick and did a day with that, when the day came to and end it was evident we both found having a single stick favorable. The next day we made a second walking stick and did the whole day with two poles. Again we found that better still. We ended finishing the trip with two poles but only because we tried all of the other ways first. When we got home we both ended up buying a set of Black Diamond poles, which I really like.

JohnEbner
02-13-2011, 05:27
I use 2 and they have saved me from a fall numerous times. I suppose one would be better than none if you are comfortable using it. The consensus seems to be that most people that try them seem to continue using them.

Buzz Saw
02-13-2011, 08:11
http://www.backpacker.com/gear/ask_kristin/183 This link takes you to a video on proper poles use. If you hold the poles the way she shows you can let go get a drink or reach for something with out dropping your pole. I regularly let go of my pole and let it dangle from my wrist while walking to get a drink or eat a snack bar. Just like when on skis you want to be able to let go of the pole to grab at something or just keep it from being trapped in your hand, but don't want to have to climb back up a slippery hill to retrieve it. To each his or her own do what make you feel comfortable, but check out the video.

LoneRidgeRunner
02-13-2011, 08:21
Yes, Two is the correct answer.
People who walk with one, or none, take an average of 6% more footsteps.
This is accounted for by a slightly longer, more relaxed stride and no hesitation staeps on the ups/downs.
plus balance
plus braking on the downhills
and propulsion on the up hills.
Learn to use the straps too, they allow you to relax or grip as needed...not just grip.

You might note the majority of finishers use pairs..
Start young, save your knees!

oh, yeah.. I'm the Leki guy!
check out www.leki.com (http://www.leki.com) for information and how to/and why videos

I've tried one and I've tried 2 and I've tried none. I won't go without 2. And I prefer the Lekis. Not tried any other brands though except Wal-Mart junk and they didn't hold up. There's one WB member that will call you a sheep if you use poles but he's arrogant and a general (well..you know) so I wouldn't pay any attention to him. Bottom line though is it's entirely up to the individual as is everything else even though some whiteblazers seem to think their way is the only way.

Greenmountainguy
12-03-2016, 14:01
I rarely use two but when the load is not crushing carry two. One can be used as a tent pole for some of my set ups. I suppose I can dump one and probably should.

Time Zone
12-03-2016, 14:43
I could get by fine with 1 pole ... as long as I knew in advance which way I was going to fall, so that I could move my 1 pole to that side.

Since that's impossible ... I carry 2. Your call.

You could buy a pair, try going with 2, then try with 1. If you end up using just 1, you'll have a backup at home.

egilbe
12-03-2016, 14:53
Necro bump

Puddlefish
12-03-2016, 15:18
Dayhiking, I'll use a single, lightweight wooden stick. It keeps my hands active so they don't hang down and get numb, it's really just for emergency balance recovery. I hold the dog's leash with the other hand.

Distance hikes. I need two poles for my tent. My new dog has bad shoulder and can't do the miles. I use the poles to compensate for the weight of my pack, make sure I don't start to lose my balance, minor propulsion.

So, whatever fits your hiking style.

Cheyou
12-03-2016, 15:43
One was good enough for Moses . I have tried parting the waters. No luck yet . Let you know when it works .
just a thought should try another type wood . Think he used carbon fiber ???

Thom

rafe
12-03-2016, 16:00
The only time I use just one (or zero) is on extreme steeps.

FreeGoldRush
12-03-2016, 20:02
A few weeks ago I hiked up to Springer (we live about an hour from Amicalola) and had the fortunate of meeting a SOBO thru hiker who had just finished his hike. He had one very well used pole. It was just hollow aluminum hitting the ground it was so well used. He was very comfortable with it. However, I hike with two poles. They also serve as tent poles.

Dogwood
12-03-2016, 20:20
One used as staff was fine for an AT thru. Wasn't in a rush. Two were used for some of a PCT thru. Bigger days were the norm. None were used for a CDT thru. MPD avgs were almost equal to the PCT thru. It all can work. Tired of all the statements of absolute need or absolute no need for everyone all the time. Trekking pole opinions are so based on individual preferences.

When I did use one I switched hands using it. If I didn't I might have looked like a one sided Fiddler Crab when done.

rickb
12-03-2016, 20:59
A BSP ranger gave me a single hiking stick someone had left at Roaring Brook CG as I headed up Katahdin.

It served me well and made it down to Springer 33 years ago this week. About 6" shorter.

No way I will ever walk with two poles-- just not natural. :-)

Dogwood
12-03-2016, 22:10
Rick you still have the same stick 33 yrs later? I just gave away to one of my nephews the staff I used in 06 to hike the AT. It had like 8K on it, an old twisted hickory stick I made from a small branch. I was going to mount on the wall like a stuffed water buffalo head I bagged on Safari. It was either that or a shower or window curtain rod.

rickb
12-04-2016, 07:29
Rick you still have the same stick 33 yrs later? I just gave away to one of my nephews the staff I used in 06 to hike the AT. It had like 8K on it, an old twisted hickory stick I made from a small branch. I was going to mount on the wall like a stuffed water buffalo head I bagged on Safari. It was either that or a shower or window curtain rod.

It's in the garage somewhere-- by the end of my hike was it too short to use anymore even though I found a crutch tip along the way to help prolong its life..

I think your stick probably ended up in the best place possible.

With 8k miles on yours, I can only imagine how many times yous must have saved your butt. It might not be an exaggeration to say your life (and mine for that matter) might literally be very different without them.

Which is probably why mine didn't end up as stake in the garden.

rocketsocks
12-04-2016, 08:48
Had it not be stolen out of the back of my truck a few years back I'd have a stick that was 27 years old...alas, someone does.

Greenlight
12-04-2016, 09:29
How much have you hiked in your life? Borrow a second pole or order some cheapo's on Amazon and get out there in the woods to test them. You're lucky to be in Ohio with hundreds and hundreds of miles of great hiking trails. You'll soon know whether the second one is of any value to you. I suspect it will be, because the balance, stability, and weight re-distribution from the lower to the upper half of your body will be readily apparent. Especially on downhills.


I have one hiking pole,but do I really need to get a pair?Does the extra make that much of a difference that I should get another?

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 09:30
This data is fascinating! Thank you. Carrying two poles has always left me the option of stowing one and using one if the situation dictates. Collapsed poles are about as long as my pack and affix with the ice ax loops now standard and optional on many packs. For example: when road walking in icy conditions, or my favorite: when hitch hiking alone. A single pole in hand I hitch. When picked up I place my pack, collapse the single pole and get in with it. Hi! Thanks, I'm holding this very conspicuous giant spike back here by the way and I have a perfectly legit reason for it. As a result, I never get the sensation that I need a gun in space.


Yes, Two is the correct answer.
People who walk with one, or none, take an average of 6% more footsteps.
This is accounted for by a slightly longer, more relaxed stride and no hesitation staeps on the ups/downs.
plus balance
plus braking on the downhills
and propulsion on the up hills.
Learn to use the straps too, they allow you to relax or grip as needed...not just grip.

You might note the majority of finishers use pairs..
Start young, save your knees!

oh, yeah.. I'm the Leki guy!
check out www.leki.com (http://www.leki.com) for information and how to/and why videos

rocketsocks
12-04-2016, 10:43
For me it depends on where I'm going. Where I hike I don't have a lot of water crossings or super rocky areas so a wooden staff works just fine, but if I was hiking in that section of trail where boots go to die I prefer two trek poles...really a mater of preference each has to work out for themselves.

Patrickjd9
12-04-2016, 11:03
I would like to use two, but use only one because of arthritis in my hands. Need to be able to swap hands and rest them alternately.

pilgrimskywheel
12-04-2016, 12:44
http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=3375

Hmmm. Here's some more fun facts about them poles! Reduce load by 7 kilos! They're an ancient tool! A weapon in hand! 6% fewer steps holy

Greenlight
12-04-2016, 18:58
The pole bit is quite a new thing.
We've hiked without poles for about a million years, so it's hard to understand why they are so indispensible to some...

Back in the 70's many of us carried a stick, sometimes more elegantly called a "hiking staff". We never thought of carrying two of them, or using them to take weight off our legs. Their main purpose was to lean on while stopped, to prop up the huge Kelty frame backpack, and to wack attacking dogs with reliable consequences. Some of us became quite attached to our hiking sticks, I had a whole collection my favorite being beaver-chewed sticks from Montana beaver dams.

In the 1980's I went trekking in Nepal and saw all these old French people hiking up the Thoroung La with two crutch-like ski poles. They all had them and I found the constant click click click sound quite annoying.

Well, there here now...

OK I understand you might need to use these sticks as crutches if you have weak knees, etc. But as a geologist I think that the damage these carbide tips do to the trail and the landscape is unacceptable vandalism.

I think "vandalism" is taking it a bit farů My two cents


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

egilbe
12-04-2016, 19:29
I think "vandalism" is taking it a bit far… My two cents


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I guess wearing crampons because they may scratch rock is a no-no, too? :p

rafe
12-04-2016, 19:34
I guess wearing crampons because they may scratch rock is a no-no, too? :p

I've heard arguments against lug-sole boots (aka waffle stompers) because they tear up the trail.