Page 2 of 13 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 12 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 256
  1. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-07-2016
    Location
    Monroe, New York
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I took the advice on a thread on WB and purchased a cheap set of poles at Walmart. I used them on two short hikes before I felt that they were a natural part of walking. Now I love them--especially now on that I'm trekking in snowy areas and areas with wet leaves all over.

  2. #22
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    57
    Posts
    7,888
    Images
    296

    Default

    Essential? Of course not. Thousands of hikers have done long hikes without poles.

    Useful? For me, yes. They help keep my knees from hurting so much on the downhills, they keep me from falling multiple times per day, and they hold up my tent.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,771

    Default

    While I've seen people stabilize their balance often with trekking poles while fording, crossing snowfields, and on descents I've also witnessed some brutal falls because a pole suddenly unexpectedly broke, especially on a steep descent, a pole unexpectedly didn't have or maintain good purchase as assumed it would while momentum was expected to be absorbed by a supposedly solidly planted trekking pole tip, again on descents, tips get caught in trail construction, on roots, slip into holes, get caught in rocks, etc on descents resulting in heels over head injuries, trekking pole grips getting in the way of preventing a fall or preventing a hiker from absorbing a fall by allowing them to put their hands and arms quickly out in front of them, etc. I've seen several seriously injurious face plants with one hiker's teeth being knocked out because trekking poles got snagged on nearby brush and grass as he attempted to absorb the fall by outstretching his arms in front. Another hiker the same thing happened on rather wide but brushed large rocks single track resulting in a severe head injury as his one trekking pole got caught up on boulder and he smashed his head on a rock as he fell. I've seen more than two dozen times a hiker leaning on trekking poles standing around and a pole unexpectedly break or the pole tip loose traction resulting in falls. Most of those times weren't serious but on two occasions it resulted in serious complications. Once a hiker fell off off the trail down a steep slope into the manzanita underbrush where she got sliced up badly and puncturing/lacerating her arm(hospital trip) and another time resulting in a man falling sharply onto one trekking pole while standing around that resulted in a severely bruised spleen almost rupturing it which can be life threatening if happening in the back country(hospital trip, had to be medivac).

    Much more primary to preventing slips, trips, and falls AND preserving knees, feet, hips, and shins AND preserving energy AND maintaining a rhythm is conscientious energy efficient and ergonomic body mechanics, conscientious foot placement, having a greater overall awareness, choosing individually appropriate footwear based on anticipated conditions, lighter less voluminous loads, PROACTIVELY seeking to prevent or diminish the effects of physical issues with knees, feet, joint cartilage, muscle and bone via nutrition and smart training, flowing with momentum rather than abruptly fighting it, being aware of and employing energy positive physiology, and letting oneself decide if trekking poles are needed. Do not cede to the trekking pole/outdoor gear market or supposed "essential" backpacking gear picture as decided by "expert gear gurus" your ability to make that decision based on what you know is individually appropriate.

    While there's a lot of potential upside to trekking pole use, which is what's most often heralded, there's another con side that isn't spoken about nearly as often.

    8 yrs of HS and college basketball, 4 yrs post school Summer Pro and semi pro basketball league, 9 yrs of HS and college tennis(mostly hard courts), semi pro(satellite circuit) tennis, lifelong runner, lifelong long walker/hiker/backpacker, some mountaineering/some light climbing experience, 15 yrs+ of high impact aerobics(wise to give up the high impact aerobics), and a career in Landscape Design and Horticultural Grower that has me on my feet outdoors in all manner of terrain and season, I don't always need or desire trekking poles as an essential part of my kit.

  4. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-12-2009
    Location
    Spring Lake, MI
    Age
    54
    Posts
    1,452

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    Grab a cheap set and try them out. Some swear by them (like me) and some say they're just something else to carry.
    I can't go without them... but then I am on the elderly side ... My young sons always wanted them - particularly liking them on the climbs and descents... As Christoph said, get a cheap set (Walmart = $19.99). Carry them for one to two weeks and decide.
    Last summer, I saw a few people without poles ... after 100 miles... say they want them in the future..

    Speaking of cheap poles. My first Walmart pair lasted at least 400 miles...

    good luck!

  5. #25
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,255
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    As others have said, poles have a multitude of uses.

    For years, I've hiked the Smokies with a single 6' tall pole (the extra height is great for those creek crossings and steep decents).

    This summer, I took a hike that required I fly, and it was going to be cost prohibitive to take the 6' pole. So I bought a set of poles that collapse down.

    After coming back home and returning to my 6' pole, it seemed that I was walking faster using the pair of poles rather than the single extra tall pole.

  6. #26
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-11-2016
    Location
    Norton, Kansas
    Age
    39
    Posts
    490
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    12

    Default

    If you buy cheap ones wear them out before buying good ones check the goodwill if hiking is prevelant in your area.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  7. #27

    Default

    Yep. As others have said, once you use them, you won't go without them. And all have mentioned how much their knees have been saved, how they help avoid falls, clear cobwebs, use for tent poles, etc., but they are also useful to "relocate" snakes from the middle of the trail to the tall grass beside the trail. (I didn't want to walk around the snake in the tall grass in case said snake had a friend there.) So yep. Get the poles. If you don't like them after three trips, then you can get rid of them. If you do like them, thank us all when you have benefitted from the advice. But be sure to learn how to use them to their full advantage. (ie: use the hand straps around the wrists and turned the correct way to avoid injury in a fall if that happens, and have the poles set to the correct height for your arms.)

  8. #28
    Leonidas
    Join Date
    04-26-2016
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    884

    Default

    They are also quite helpful when night hiking. Saved me several times and my wife even more.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  9. #29
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,133

    Default

    During my first few solo desert hikes I've carried hiking poles (actually old adjustable skiing poles) and saw them as kind of an rescue insurence in case I hurt a foot or sprained an ankle.
    I also loved to be able to better push myself forward on sandy stretches.
    What I found super annoying is to have to put them somewhere at the many times I wanted to do somthing manual, like taking a foto, get a drink, etc.
    I completely stopped using poles nowadays.
    My wife loves them still as it's limiting the problem of swollen hands in the heat.

  10. #30

    Default

    Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
    Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

    When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
    After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

    I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit

  11. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-25-2015
    Location
    Sugar Hill, GA
    Age
    53
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Take a mop in one hand and a broom in the other. Turn them upside down pretending they're trekking poles. Now get on a scale and with one in each hand let them touch the ground. Don't push, just rest them on the floor and check your scale. The weight you're distributing is enough reason alone to hike with them, IMO.

  12. #32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
    Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

    When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
    After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

    I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit
    You bring up a good point. So too in my early days of backpacking I never used or needed a hiking pole. I did alot of bushwacking in those years and hiking poles just got supremely in the way when ducking and weaving and climbing over blowdowns and duck-walking under low rhodo and thru terrible thickets or needing both hands for tough trails. Now I'm pitiful and it's like On Golden Pond time whereby I stay on regular trails and rarely bushwack anymore and shuffle and totter from one campsite to the next as a feeble girlie-man. Bushwacking in the Southeast mountains with a 75 lb pack is a young man's game. No hiking poles need apply.

  13. #33

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    If going downhill too fast dont destroy knees, it at least leads to tendonitis and stress fractures.

    Poles help you slow down and reduce impact loading. Literally you can go slow motion.

  14. #34
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-17-2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Age
    60
    Posts
    4,673

    Default

    Do *I* need them? Yes, for the reasons mentioned above.

    Does *EVERYONE* need them? Clearly not as people have been walking long distances for over 100,000 years without them. However walking sticks have probably been used for over 100,000 years. Gandalf found his quite useful, although it didn't save him from the Balrog. Now if he only had some Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Corks, who know what would have happened.

    Do *YOU* need them? Only you can answer that.

  15. #35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by becfoot View Post
    I took the advice on a thread on WB and purchased a cheap set of poles at Walmart. I used them on two short hikes before I felt that they were a natural part of walking. Now I love them--especially now on that I'm trekking in snowy areas and areas with wet leaves all over.
    I would be careful about buying a cheap set as the reason for disliking then might be because they are poorly designed and made. Now you don't have to buy the top of the line either.

    What I did was read the reviews on Amazon, rei, and other sites and decided what I liked. It went on sale at rei and I bought it there. One nice thing with rei is they tend to have knowledgeable people and a great return policy, if needed.

  16. #36
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jpolk84 View Post
    Take a mop in one hand and a broom in the other. Turn them upside down pretending they're trekking poles. Now get on a scale and with one in each hand let them touch the ground. Don't push, just rest them on the floor and check your scale. The weight you're distributing is enough reason alone to hike with them, IMO.
    Upper arms, forearms, and hands account for about 10% of total body weight. Maybe, you're not distributing the amount of wt you think? Not that big a deal from an energy expenditure perspective leaving arms mostly down at sides or slightly in front of body or resting on pack straps. Can easily stretch arm appendages out in all directions to add balance, increase forward and sidewards momentum, swing to create rhythm, and get a more full body work out when desired. Of course that doesn't include increasing additional points of contact which spread out forces.

    There's an implication in this culture that with age one has severe debilitating balance, stability, and body and mental functions. One might look to cultures that don't have this bias such as Okinawans who regularly tend to gardening well into their nineties, have an overall high level of happiness, interacting entire age ranging social structure, have holistic(whole being) approaches to life, and consider their diets. Is it all in their genes. NO.

    With age people tend to be more aware of slowing down and conscientious movement thereby possibly in some aspects being more body stable than run and gun get er dun perhaps in haste attitudes some hikers have. Some of the most body stable and balanced people I've witnessed hiking and backpacking are 60+ yr olds that have cared well for their body.

  17. #37
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-25-2006
    Location
    Croswell, MI
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,932
    Images
    68

    Default

    Need? no

    Useful? ABSOLUTELY

  18. #38
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    If going downhill too fast dont destroy knees, it at least leads to tendonitis and stress fractures.

    Poles help you slow down and reduce impact loading. Literally you can go slow motion.
    Sure, trekking poles can help slow a hiker down descending but can't that also be accomplished by simply mindfully slowing down on descents period? Seems good mindful hiking practice to slow down and avoid high impact body jarring movement and giving greater heed to conscientious stable movement regardless if trekking poles are being used.

  19. #39
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    You bring up a good point. So too in my early days of backpacking I never used or needed a hiking pole. I did alot of bushwacking in those years and hiking poles just got supremely in the way when ducking and weaving and climbing over blowdowns and duck-walking under low rhodo and thru terrible thickets or needing both hands for tough trails. Now I'm pitiful and it's like On Golden Pond time whereby I stay on regular trails and rarely bushwack anymore and shuffle and totter from one campsite to the next as a feeble girlie-man. Bushwacking in the Southeast mountains with a 75 lb pack is a young man's game. No hiking poles need apply.
    Hauling 75 lbs is demanding of the body regardless of the age of the person hauling this size load. For a moment, entertain the possibility that hauling a 75 load as a young man has consequences to that person when they become older.

    Maybe hauling a 75 load shouldn't be any age group's desire?

  20. #40
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,771

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    Almost everyone uses them. Some people use 1 wood stick or something like that instead, and some don't use anything
    Many people are a bit dismissive of them until they try them, then it's hard to go back. That was the case with me.

    When I was in my early 20s I would hop off every rock and go downhill on rugged terrain at around 4 mph. Not too surprisingly, I developed some knee issues
    After using poles and hiking smarter for a year or two, that worked itself out. I'm sure hiking smarter helped more than the poles though.

    I also enjoy the full body workout, using poles to help climb at a nice pace while saving my legs a bit
    Hiking smarter, with conscientious ergonomic and energy efficient movement, taking care in foot placements, having a greater self awareness, lightening the load, protecting oneself with a whole body/holistic outlook, and adopting lifestyles and diet that support and promote whole body health, all reduce physical/emotional stress and risks of falls. This should be the primary goal. If that breaks down or has been ignored trekking poles can help. If one wants to trekking poles can help facilitate many potential positives but they are not essential for everyone or all the time.

Page 2 of 13 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 12 ... LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •