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  1. #1

    Default Trekking pole baskets or not?

    I've been trying to find threads about using pole baskets or not using them but with no success. I'd think that having available and using the smaller "mud baskets" from time to time would be a wise choice but maybe this is wrong? I've seen in YouTube some people using them and some not.

    What is the consensus about pole baskets?

    Or is their a link to a similar thread?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Duh....*there

  3. #3

    Default

    don't know of a thread on the subject, I have never put any thought into them. If the poles come with them they stay on, and if they don't have them, owell
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  4. #4
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    Default

    I used to be a basket believer, but recently took them off, no problems/issues also the poles store easier w/o. From a ultralight point of view it not only removes weight but also mass that is at the far end of a swing arm so makes the swinging of the pole easier than just the weight alone (rotational inertia physics stuff).

  5. #5
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    I didn't see the pint of them for the trails I do so I took them off and stuck them in the drawer. If I need them someday for a hike through sand dunes or snow, I'm sure I won't be able to find the again.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I've tried it both ways. Either way, poles will get snagged on rocks and shrubbery several times a day. Not a big deal.

  7. #7
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    If I am going to encounter snow i.e. in the Sierras, I take and use them. Otherwise, I take them off.
    Lonehiker

  8. #8

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    Try hiking in appalacians in fall without them. Youll have leaves up to your grips on poles.

    0.2 oz , not worth worrying about. 99.9% of hikers have way more important things to consider
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-16-2016 at 10:41.

  9. #9

    Default

    Heard one guy complain about his baskets becoming packed with mud. Maybe the right answer just depends on trail conditions at the moment.

  10. #10
    Clueless Weekender
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    Default

    I've heard a lot of arguments pro and con.

    I usually stow my poles using an ice axe loop, and I find the baskets keep them from slipping through. (I also make a couple of twists in the loop.) I also have spent a fair number of miles slogging through cedar swamp, where I think my poles would sink straight down to China without baskets on them (which at least keep them afloat long enough to take one more step).

    In winter, I switch to powder baskets. They make a big difference in not falling off my snowshoes.

    The guy who said that without baskets, you'll be carrying shish-kebabs of autumn leaves the size of cabbages was onto something.

    If your style is "light and fast" and you're more sure footed than I am, you may find the baskets to be weight that you don't need to carry.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  11. #11

    Default

    I tend to take the baskets off except in winter on snow. I find they tend to catch on vegetation and are not necessary in most non-winter conditions. YMMV.
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  12. #12

    Default

    Leave them on. They are worth their weight in gold for when you have to go off trail in woodland situations.

  13. #13
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Default

    I took mine off after a few days on the trail. One actually fell off (never did find it) but I found another that worked along the way. Ended up removing them altogether a day later. I see the point where they help out in muddy situations but I saw a bunch of them along the trail that I picked up and trashed out. Wasn't worth the worry of missing one and having lopsided poles (I'm a little OSD I guess).
    - Trail name: Thumper

  14. #14
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    I don't use the baskets, but unlike most I kept the end caps on, I put a wrap of duck tape to keep them on. I discovered that the poles didn't slide off the rocks and they didn't go so deep in the mud that I had to stop to pull them out. The little bit of weight didn't bother me as my poles are only 6.5 oz. each with baskets and end caps. Works for me!

  15. #15
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Default

    I leave 'em on, otherwise you collect a small tree's worth of leaves.

  16. #16

    Default

    Great responses, thank you everyone.

  17. #17

    Default

    I use winter baskets in winter and if I don't use summer baskets, the plastic threads on the poles rapidly wear out to the point that the winter baskets wont stay on. I also find the smaller mud baskets don't get caught in the ground as often, occasionally they will catch in the rocks but overall they are an advantage.

  18. #18
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    I find baskets a pain on brushy trails, unnecessary in drier, rockier terrain, and a godsend in wetter, softer environments. . . and yes, snow baskets in the snow . . . although calling them powder baskets is probably bit of a misnomer since they aren't really big enough to be best in powder.

    I usually use baskets in the Pacific NW and New England because I don't like frequently loosing 8 inches of my pole into mud or soft forest litter. I usually don't use them in drier climates like UT, AZ, CO. In the mid-west, it's mixed, depending on the season, the location and whether I care enough to bother at the time.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  19. #19

    Default

    I keep mine on, for both the stack-o-leaves issue, and the sinking in soft ground issue. I have lost a basket before, but I have also found some along the trail. Periodic checking to make sure they are tight has become routine.

    If on the AT, when picking up others' lost baskets, rather than trashing them out, leave them at the next shelter you reach. This way, others who have lost a basket may be able to use it. To some this may be trail magic while to others, it's leaving trash behind. Since I like having baskets on my poles, I try to think of it as trail magic.

  20. #20
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I've never been more conflicted on an otherwise trivial matter for gear... I keep flopping back/forth, 50/50. I like 'em on for obvious reasons (fewer leaves, no sinking in mud, etc, etc), but I like having 'em off for all those other reasons (not catching on suiff, etc). I just keep changing them on/off, don't really see an end!

    Right now I'm in the forced "off" position, I suppose because right now I have only one basket on a couple sets of poles....

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