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  1. #1
    Registered User 208AT's Avatar
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    Default Do I really need 2?

    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?

  2. #2
    "I need an adult!" sixguns01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208AT View Post
    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.
    "May the Road Rise to Meet You"- The Wolfe Tones

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    Registered User Elder's Avatar
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    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 for information and how to/and why videos
    "You don't have to think fast if you move slow" Red Green

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    Registered User Phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208AT View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    Registered User TheChop's Avatar
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    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.
    No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.

  6. #6
    A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣ Luddite's Avatar
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    IMHO, using only one trekking pole is pointless.
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

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    Registered User TallShark's Avatar
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    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.
    ...God's Country, and Scotch.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208AT View Post
    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

  9. #9
    Registered User Bags4266's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10

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    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!
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208AT View Post
    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. 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...."

    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.
    "some editing should be done in parentheses for clarity where spelling prevents reading."---matthewski

  12. #12

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    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
    Last edited by CrumbSnatcher; 02-07-2011 at 23:03.

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    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.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  14. #14
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    What ever works for you. I use none.

  15. #15

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    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.

  16. #16

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    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.

  17. #17
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    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.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  18. #18
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 208AT View Post
    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.
    2010 AT NoBo Thru "attempt" (guess 1,700 miles didn't quite get me all the way through ;) )
    Various adventures in Siberia 2016
    Adventures past and present!
    (and maybe 2018 PCT NoBo)

  19. #19
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    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.
    2010 AT NoBo Thru "attempt" (guess 1,700 miles didn't quite get me all the way through ;) )
    Various adventures in Siberia 2016
    Adventures past and present!
    (and maybe 2018 PCT NoBo)

  20. #20
    Registered User Sickmont's Avatar
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    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.
    Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. - Steven Wright

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