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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    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.
    It is
    But in places where trail is like stairs...with 12-15" high steps... (Much of gsmnp for example) You cant avoid dropping body wt onto lower leg going downhill, because you cant balance over that downhill step while slowly lowering wt.. Unless go down sideways.

    . With poles you can, and can go slower with less impact

    Invariably people with injuries are going down sideways or even backwards for this reason, to lessen impact.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-28-2016 at 14:20.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    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 saying you don't have a point. Just try it. The scale won't lie. On any given step at a given point that is the weight savings, albeit modest, that you gain.

    In the end, it's a personal choice. That "savings" may very well be seen or the gains mitigated by many other factors. And there may be, and probably are, many other gains to be had by having your hands free.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    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?
    I've been hauling 75 lb packs since 1980, in fact my last pack weight for a recent November 21 day trip topped out at 100 lbs mainly due to hauling 9 extra lbs of water for dry campsites during the Southeast drought, a drought soon to end. My next trip's pack weight god willing and the creeks DO rise will be around 85 lbs. No complaints here.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    It is
    But in places where trail is like stairs...with 12-15" high steps... (Much of gsmnp for example) You cant avoid dropping body wt onto lower leg going downhill, because you cant balance over that downhill step while slowly lowering wt.. Unless go down sideways.

    . With poles you can, and can go slower with less impact

    Invariably people with injuries are going down sideways or even backwards for this reason, to lessen impact.
    One can also simply go slower more conscientiously and not pound and heavily plod carelessly as they descend trail or in areas of steps. BTW much of the riser height of steps in GSMNP are constructed and maintained intentionally to be 12" or less. Reducing deep(high riser) step downs and step ups should be a critical consideration for every hiker and backpacker conscientious of efficient lower impact backpacking mechanics and technique regardless if trekking poles are used or not. Where riser height is significant beyond 12" it makes sense to slow down and avoid high impact regardless if trekking poles are used. It makes good practical hiking and backpacking sense to be aware of mechanics and technique without the need to rely on trekking poles to compensate for this lack of awareness. Once these awarenesses have been recognized and applied THEN perhaps consider trekking poles...not the reverse process of starting out relying on trekking poles that can lead to masking and compensating for ignorances. See the distinction I'm making?

  5. #45
    Registered User flatgrounder's Avatar
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    I won't ever hike without them. Saves Knees! Good arm workout on steep uphill.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I've been hauling 75 lb packs since 1980, in fact my last pack weight for a recent November 21 day trip topped out at 100 lbs mainly due to hauling 9 extra lbs of water for dry campsites during the Southeast drought, a drought soon to end. My next trip's pack weight god willing and the creeks DO rise will be around 85 lbs. No complaints here.
    You are fortunate if you're body has not been somehow impaired. How are your knees, ankles, spinal alignment, musculoskeletal strength? You look fit and I strongly suspect your nutritional approaches and lifestyle that include low inflammatory aspects assist you. Plus, in all due respect, you're not hauling 75 lb loads many miles per day. The wear and tear is less for you then someone attempting 15 mph avg with a 75 lb load.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpolk84 View Post
    Not saying you don't have a point. Just try it. The scale won't lie. On any given step at a given point that is the weight savings, albeit modest, that you gain.

    In the end, it's a personal choice. That "savings" may very well be seen or the gains mitigated by many other factors. And there may be, and probably are, many other gains to be had by having your hands free.
    Yeah, that stray itchy nose cotton, mosquito landing on a brow, and ripe thimble or huckleberry can easily be reached.

  8. #48
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    I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

    Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

    Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?
    Where are you keeping the camera that is too difficult to reach with poles hanging from a wrist? I'd suggest velcro on the straps, but that makes them unpredictable at times you need full predictability, and will also spook wildlife if you have managed to sneak up on something and have to pull the velcro apart.

    Poles haven't gotten in my way for this. I use either a small Cannon digital camera attached to my pack strap, or a DSLR camera I have modified a fanny pack to carry off the side of my pack so I can reach it quickly without having to drop the poles off my wrist(s). I use the fanny pack because it has a deep pocket and the camera won't fall out easily when its placed into it, allowing me to keep it unzipped (or mostly unzipped so by putting my hand into it the zipper will travel and allow the camera to be removed. My poles can hang from the wrist straps and drag behind me so I don't trip over them. I can honestly say anything that I have come across that needs a photo quickly I have not lost due to pole constraints this way.
    Last edited by Traveler; 11-28-2016 at 16:48.

  10. #50
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    I never bothered to use the straps on my poles, so you can't get a quicker release system than that.
    I also enjoyed the "Stow-on-the-Go" trekking pole attachment on my Osprey Volt.

    While I was on the JMT, I tried to be very methodical about what I did with my stuff so as to not loose anything when you're out in the middle of nowhere. One of the things I did was to always hang my poles from the sinch cord portion of the "Stow-on-the-Go" so that there wasn't any possibility that they slip and go sliding down a steep hill side or fall into some other challenging place to retrieve (I was particularly careful when stowing the poles for a picture while on a bridge).

  11. #51

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    This feature is standard on most pole systems: quickly pull arm straight backwards through the strap loop, forearm parallel to the ground, fingers pinched together in a conical shape whilst firmly holding the shaft in your other hand. Practice practice practice!

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatgrounder View Post
    I won't ever hike without them. Saves Knees! Good arm workout on steep uphill.
    A good arm workout can also be had pumping and lifting arms while constricting arm and chest muscles or doing resistance upper body training with the assistance of another hiker so both of you can get some fitness time in simultaneously. You don't NEED trekking poles to add upper body fitness exercises while hiking and backpacking. Easy to do as you're walking along. The occasional strong horizontal tree branch or lean to rafter makes an equally acceptable pull up bar. Push ups can be done just about anywhere. Benching a 30 lb backpack has benefits to upper body agility and strength too. BENEFT: no marketing hype needs to be swallowed or costly extra gear needs to be bought.

    My 17 yr old nephew who has a solid brick six pack developed his abs largely by constricting and releasing ab muscles while standing not stressing spine doing sit ups or on machines. Same can be done to some effect for the arms.

    If you really want to add fitness it doesn't necessitate costly gym memberships, 1000's of dollars of machines in the home, or new fangled shiny fitness toys or special blenders, cooking equipment, or supplements purchased through late night infomercials that promise rock hard abs, the easy way to to greater fitness and health, etc. Trekking pole purchases, and supposed reliance on and use, CAN be thought of similarly.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Where are you keeping the camera that is too difficult to reach with poles hanging from a wrist? I'd suggest velcro on the straps, but that makes them unpredictable at times you need full predictability, and will also spook wildlife if you have managed to sneak up on something and have to pull the velcro apart.

    Poles haven't gotten in my way for this. I use either a small Cannon digital camera attached to my pack strap, or a DSLR camera I have modified a fanny pack to carry off the side of my pack so I can reach it quickly without having to drop the poles off my wrist(s). I use the fanny pack because it has a deep pocket and the camera won't fall out easily when its placed into it, allowing me to keep it unzipped (or mostly unzipped so by putting my hand into it the zipper will travel and allow the camera to be removed. My poles can hang from the wrist straps and drag behind me so I don't trip over them. I can honestly say anything that I have come across that needs a photo quickly I have not lost due to pole constraints this way.
    Thx Traveler for sharing. I've lost more shots of mountain lions, wolves, lynx, bobcats, Brown Bears, wild horses, Pronghorn, ringtail cats, and all manner of birds and birds of prey, and other wildlife in their natural state/natural behavior while attempting to free my hands of trekking pole straps, silently lean them on something, removing a small pocket camera from a hip belt pocket and get the shot. The noise, movement, and additional time of simply ridding myself free of trekking poles is most often enough in itself that I lose the opportunity for the shot I'm desiring.

    I'm not about to remove trekking pole straps because I see them as almost necessary unless I plan on losing them while crossing steep snowfields, fording, or sliding down slopes while contouring on steep slopes or using on steep ascents/descents.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimskywheel View Post
    This feature is standard on most pole systems: quickly pull arm straight backwards through the strap loop, forearm parallel to the ground, fingers pinched together in a conical shape whilst firmly holding the shaft in your other hand. Practice practice practice!
    Simple sounding. Maybe not simple in practice. I have tried umpteen times to perfect a quick release from trekking pole straps yet it's the number one thing that cause me to lose opportunity to get the shots I desire. I have yet to perfect what you share. Maybe, I should more thoroughly study Houdini's upside down get of a straight jacket trick too.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I've lost so many photo opps attempting to release hands from trekking pole straps in time to get at my camera and get the shot.

    Anyone know of trekking pole straps with a damn quick release system?
    LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

    In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.

  16. #56
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

    In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.
    Wrong! The straps help prevent falling and/or dropping the poles. They are very useful.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

    In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.
    Laugh if you like, but that's not my experience. When worn correctly, I don't have to grip as hard, just lay the bottom of my hands on the straps.

    As for falling, I'm a master at that. Every time I fall I just let them fall free from my hands with the strap still around my wrists-- no problem.

    I know some say there's a risk of injury, but I've never experienced injury, and I've fallen many many many times.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Thx Traveler for sharing. I've lost more shots of mountain lions, wolves, lynx, bobcats, Brown Bears, wild horses, Pronghorn, ringtail cats, and all manner of birds and birds of prey, and other wildlife in their natural state/natural behavior while attempting to free my hands of trekking pole straps...
    You forgot Sasquatch.

  19. #59
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    WRONG!

    I have over 45 years experience skiing, both at resorts and in the backcountry. YOU NEVER EVER EVER EVER WEAR POLE STRAPS!!!! That's not personal choice. That's survival. Here are the reasons you don't ever wear the damn straps.

    1. Trees. Trees grab your pole basket. If you let go, all is well. If you are wearing a strap, you will get turned. And fall. This is true for trekking or skiing, but the results are faster and more deadly skiing at speed.
    2. Roots/Rocks/Holes. These things grab your poles and won't let go. On a downhill, no worries, unless you are strapped to the pole. Picture it...
    3. Falling. You've somehow gotten one pole between your legs and are falling. Easy. Let go of the pole and stick your hand out to help arrest your fall. Oops. You've got a strap on. Your arm is now dislocated at the shoulder or broken. And, you may have impaled an important anatomical part with your pole. Or, you fall on a downhill and cartwheel or roll. Instinctively, you let go of your poles and they fly away harmlessly. Or, not. If strapped, the tips of the poles are behind your outstretched hands, waiting to impale your eye, face, chest, etc...
    4. Jamming your thumb. If you put the straps on incorrectly, you WILL eventually jam your thumb. No bueno.
    5. Photos. Hilarity ensues when an important shot is encountered and the subject is wearing pole straps!

    The only reason to wear the strap? So you don't drop your pole....

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    LMAO!!! YOU DON'T USE THE STRAPS! EVER!!!!

    In a fall, if you wear the straps, you are risking serious injury. Cut them off.
    to each their own.
    I would never ever use poles without the straps.

    But then again Im reasonably coordinated

    What I ski...I need a pole to self arrest. So yeah, I wear straps.
    Unless bumps in trees.

    Many yrs of skiing , no pole related injuries.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-28-2016 at 21:34.

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