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  1. #1
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    Default How long did it take you to get used to trekking pole rhythm?

    I bought 2 poles from walmart and did an overnight round trip from Amicalola to Springer, a few days ago.

    I could not get used to using the poles.

    I know that when you your left foot goes forward, youre supposed to use your right pole, etc..... But I kept using the right pole when I used my right foot..... and the left pole when I used my left pole.

    I could not get into rhythm. It seemed when i intentionally tried to do it properly, I ended up taking larger steps than usual, and had to stop after about 5 or so steps and just carry my poles.

    They did come in really handy tho when i was doing down-hill and had to maneuver around rocks/roots.

    How long did it take you to get into the rhythm and get used to using them properly? (I'm probably not going to walk around town with these to get used to them)
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  2. #2
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    It should be as natural as swinging your arms when you walk. I assume that when you walk you aren't swinging the same arm forward when that leg goes forward as well......

  3. #3
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    Default Poles

    My wife never did get the rhythm down but she did complete the thru hike. It will come or it won't there will be so many other things to solve or ignore as well. . I fussed at her for about a month and finally gave up.



    QUOTE=Ricky&Jack;1879546]I bought 2 poles from walmart and did an overnight round trip from Amicalola to Springer, a few days ago.

    I could not get used to using the poles.

    I know that when you your left foot goes forward, youre supposed to use your right pole, etc..... But I kept using the right pole when I used my right foot..... and the left pole when I used my left pole.

    I could not get into rhythm. It seemed when i intentionally tried to do it properly, I ended up taking larger steps than usual, and had to stop after about 5 or so steps and just carry my poles.

    They did come in really handy tho when i was doing down-hill and had to maneuver around rocks/roots.

    How long did it take you to get into the rhythm and get used to using them properly? (I'm probably not going to walk around town with these to get used to them)[/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    when you take 2 poles on a hike, do you end up using them with almost every step?

    Or are there times u just carry them both in one hand or in your pack and only use it at certain times?

    durring the 18mi hike, I probably carried them in my hand (to keep ready) about most of the time.
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  5. #5
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    Why take them if you aren't going to use them? Unless you need your hands for scrambling, you should use them.

  6. #6
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    My two sticks (not AL poles) are just an extension of my arms. My rhythm isn't coordinated with my walking, I just look ahead, plant the forward stick and walk. Uphills, I use them to help power up sometimes. Downhills, depending on how steep it is, they keep me from face planting forward.

    I'm at work: don't have them to try, but I'm pretty sure I don't use them every step, but every other step or so.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
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  7. #7
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    If I'm on a flat level trail, my pace is fast enough that that the poles can't keep up, but then on flat level trails, I don't really need them to. When the going gets tough, I rely on the poles more. I don't care if I'm doing it "right" or not on every step. In fact I kind of like to keep it mixed up - pole plant every other step (can support one leg if one knee is bothering me more than the other). I'll plant the pole in front of me for a while and then I'll lower my hands and angle the poles behind me for a while, never bringing the tips in frond of my legs. I'll change grips too. Sometimes with palms on the tops of the poles, sometimes without the straps, and sometimes gripping below the handles (mine have an alternate grip down there), which is nice because it's closer to the balance point and the poles swing easy.

  8. #8
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    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...oles_technique
    There are several resources for pole use you can find on Google. I like to use same side poles on the uphills.
    "It goes to show you never can tell." - Charles Edward Anderson Berry

  9. #9

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    When i first started hiking many years ago when i was still a kid hiking with my dad i used treking poles i hated them so on a week long hike through the GSMNP when i was 14 i started carrying them instead of using them I decided i enjoyed hiking with out them so over the years i trained myself to hike with out the use of treking poles, so to make a really long story short on all three of my Thru-Hikes i did not use any type of treking poles, I love the idea of having my hands free, I just don't feel the need to use them, I don't even own a set of treking poles, and i also plan to do the PCT in 2015 without the use of treking poles.

  10. #10
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    you guys are the words of wisdom.
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  11. #11
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    Also, i took my 6month old husky with me. it was his first hike....

    when using poles, its a pain in the butt to control a dog on a leash cause hes always running around you and tripping you. (and if he runs behind you, you cant just swap leash hands behind your back with a pack int he way. so I end up twisting like the tasmanian devil til were straightened). so I kept him off leash til I saw a person coming. He did incredibly better on off the leash then on.
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  12. #12
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    I use alternate side poling on uphills, flats, and slight downhills. IMO, same side poling works well on steeper downhills to lessen strain on knees, simply plant the pole right next to the foot that is contacting the ground. As I get tired, I definitely do not pole every step, and there is little to no "rhythm"....

    Switching up grips, grip locations, poling locations, can work different parts of your arms, wrists, and hands, so as to minimize fatigue from repetitive motion.

    Anyway, if you have a dog, you may want to forget about being able to set up any consistent rhythm, and consider using only a single pole so you have a free hand to control the dog.

  13. #13
    Registered User ScottTrip's Avatar
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    I have completed about 1/2 of my thru-hike on the AT. I rarely use my hiking poles, never have gotten the rhythm..

  14. #14
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    You'll find most thru-hikers these days using poles, but that wasn't true up until around 10-15 years ago. Most middle-aged (and older) hikers find them very useful.

    Personally I use 'em almost all the time on the AT and similar trails. The main advantage is that I tend to walk more relaxed and upright, rather than hunched forward, when using the poles. If I stumble over a root or rock, I know I'll catch myself instantly with the poles. Plus, they're very helpful with stream crossings, where you need to hop from rock to rock.

    Where the trail is level and unobstructed, the poles don't do much for me, and I may just carry them in one hand for a few minutes at a time. Where it gets super-steep, you may need your hands in places to claw your way up or down the mountain. In those situations (mostly rare) I collapse the poles and strap them to my pack.

    With collapsible poles, you might want to shorten them an inch or two on steep ascents, and lengthen them an inch or two on descents.

    Here's a video on using trekking poles: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...e#.U35uVSgvDPs

  15. #15
    Garlic
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    Try one pole for a while, see if that's easier or helpful. I've done much of my long distance hiking with only one pole. The AT is the only long trail on which I used two poles, and it took a few days to get used to the gait.

  16. #16
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    My natural rhythm is to use my poles on every other step. I've tried using em on every step but that just feels too much like work. I don't know how I fell into that pattern.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  17. #17
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    My natural rhythm is to use my poles on every other step. I've tried using em on every step but that just feels too much like work. I don't know how I fell into that pattern.
    Actually paid attention to my poles last night on my walk: the rhythm was each pole going forward with 2 steps of the same foot. I think. Too hard to think about - once I started paying attention, I lost the rhythm.

    Of course, the above is on FLAT Florida sidewalks. Add any type of hill and/or dirt/rocks/roots, etc. there is NO rhythm at all, just a frantic attempt at staying upright while moving forward.

    Which is why I'm still leaning towards taking my rake handle and natural stick instead of my trekking poles.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hiker View Post
    Of course, the above is on FLAT Florida sidewalks. Add any type of hill and/or dirt/rocks/roots, etc. there is NO rhythm at all, just a frantic attempt at staying upright while moving forward.
    Let's just say that usage is, at times, opportunistic.

  19. #19
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Let's just say that usage is, at times, opportunistic.
    I'd say sorta like an epileptic orangutan in combat boots trying to kill cockroaches on black ice while wearing a blindfold, but I don't wanna offend anyone.

    Still, it's a visual................ treat ?
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  20. #20

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    Try going steep uphill, you will find the rhythm.
    And steep downhill.

    Rhythm, depends on the terrain. Flat ground is kind of pointless.

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