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Thread: Trekking Poles?

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    Default Trekking Poles?

    I'm sure it's been discussed but what experiences do people have with poles on the trail? I've never used them but I've also never hiked for this long and want to minimize knee pain. Do they get in the way a lot? Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? My shelter doesn't rely on them either, so that might factor into my decision. Thoughts?

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    I feel that they are an absolute necessity. You don't need crazy expensive ones, but they do help in relieving stress on your knees. I do end up kicking them once in a while, but that is no big deal. Some tents even require them for setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
    I feel that they are an absolute necessity. You don't need crazy expensive ones, but they do help in relieving stress on your knees. I do end up kicking them once in a while, but that is no big deal. Some tents even require them for setup.
    I will say Leki has a great warranty so it's not money wasted.

    Your practically buying a well engineered and ergonomic product for life.

    On sale they can be had for ~$120.

    My mother got a set from campsaver or something for $80 on a clearance.

    Most people don't start backpacking with poles. Then they get a set. And then never go backpacking without them again.

    Because the majority of long distance hikers utilize shelters that require trekking poles for setup, they become an essential piece of kit.

    They're are many methods to the madness. Trekking poles are one piece of gear that the majority of hikers would agree are beneficial to a hiker.

    And theyve definitely saved my arse once or twice. Theyve also made me fall once or twice.



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    If you use them now while your young, you may have better working knees when your older.

    They also have other uses, like poking ahead in a mud puddle to find the one solid place to step onto. They can also save you from falling down if you stumble on a rock or trip on a root.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    My normal observation is I see a lot of north bound through hikers ended up at Baxter Peak at Katahdin with poles. They usually have gotten rid of unnecessary gear miles ago yet they justify carrying poles .

    I find that down south I end up carrying my poles in one hand about half the time. There are many miles down south of essentially walking on flat and level old roads along the ridgelines, no need for poles but once there is slope up or down, my poles get used. I find the poles really help on the upslope where I can transfer a load to my upper body. Down slope especially when its bony really transfers a lot of load off the knees. A side effect of carrying poles is that aggressive dogs seem to hang back with poles in hand.

    One caveat is cut the straps off once you head north and the trails get rockier. Straps are great for urban hiking on flat and level stuff but if your hands are tied to the poles with straps and you slip, its highly likely the poles will head in the opposite direction than you are and its recipe for wrist or shoulder injuries. Sure some folks advocate it you use the straps right they will slip off when you fall but actual practice is less positive than theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    My normal observation is I see a lot of north bound through hikers ended up at Baxter Peak at Katahdin with poles. They usually have gotten rid of unnecessary gear miles ago yet they justify carrying poles .

    I find that down south I end up carrying my poles in one hand about half the time. There are many miles down south of essentially walking on flat and level old roads along the ridgelines, no need for poles but once there is slope up or down, my poles get used. I find the poles really help on the upslope where I can transfer a load to my upper body. Down slope especially when its bony really transfers a lot of load off the knees. A side effect of carrying poles is that aggressive dogs seem to hang back with poles in hand.

    One caveat is cut the straps off once you head north and the trails get rockier. Straps are great for urban hiking on flat and level stuff but if your hands are tied to the poles with straps and you slip, its highly likely the poles will head in the opposite direction than you are and its recipe for wrist or shoulder injuries. Sure some folks advocate it you use the straps right they will slip off when you fall but actual practice is less positive than theory.
    Agreed.

    Hiking in NH I'm always using my poles. But we have some pretty uneven terrain.

    For those little 30' flat sections that are mythical here it feels great to hold the poles in one hand and open the stride a little. Or when you gotta do some rack scrambling.

    The biggest times poles have gotten me in trouble. When I should have put them away because of some technical terrain. But sometimes you just don't want to take the pack off and take the 5 minutes to pack your poles. They then proceed to get in your way big time. Especially when you realize you need two hands to climb and now your in a position where you can really store your poles.







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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I will say Leki has a great warranty so it's not money wasted.

    Your practically buying a well engineered and ergonomic product for life.
    Whatís Lekiís policy? I have an ancient pair that will start the AT with me but I donít know if theyíll make it to the end!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    Whatís Lekiís policy? I have an ancient pair that will start the AT with me but I donít know if theyíll make it to the end!
    They have a lifetime warranty on their aluminum poles. If you break a section, they'll replace it.

    They do not warranty tips/baskets/etc. Those are wear and tear items. But if you snap or crack a pole section, they'll stand behind it.

    Carbon poles only have a 1 year warranty.


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    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...4&share_type=t

    Here's my recent experience with Leki.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Agreed.

    Hiking in NH I'm always using my poles. But we have some pretty uneven terrain.

    For those little 30' flat sections that are mythical here it feels great to hold the poles in one hand and open the stride a little. Or when you gotta do some rack scrambling.

    The biggest times poles have gotten me in trouble. When I should have put them away because of some technical terrain. But sometimes you just don't want to take the pack off and take the 5 minutes to pack your poles. They then proceed to get in your way big time. Especially when you realize you need two hands to climb and now your in a position where you can really store your poles.







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    Caps Ridge trail comes to mind

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    They have a lifetime warranty on their aluminum poles. If you break a section, they'll replace it.

    They do not warranty tips/baskets/etc. Those are wear and tear items. But if you snap or crack a pole section, they'll stand behind it.
    Thanks!

    Mine are aluminum... do you know about about the springy inserts inside the poles... those are getting a bit soft on mine. Poles themselves are scratched up but as good as ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidlifeHiker View Post
    Thanks!
    Mine are aluminum... do you know about about the springy inserts inside the poles... those are getting a bit soft on mine. Poles themselves are scratched up but as good as ever!
    That's the only trouble I have. I finally said the heck with it and cut spacers out of a plastic Bic pen barrel to defeat the springy insert. Which reminds me, need to inspect them before the next 500 miler.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    they turn 2 wheel drive into 4 wheel drive
    get a pair that telescopes and put them in your pack when you don't feel like using them.

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    Leki Corklite/w Speedlock2 flip locks for me. Won't leave home with them.
    Blackheart

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Leki Corklite/w Speedlock2 flip locks for me. Won't leave home with them.
    These are my current pair as well. They have saved me a few falls over the years. I don’t like “anti shock” poles- they don’t feel as secure to me.

    Budget or loaner poles at Walmart https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-P...W5SMViJzCcdYBs

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    I have a pair of Mountainsmith Carbonlite aluminum poles that I've had for about 8 years now - cost me around $55 on Amazon. Lots of scratched off paint and I always tell people as soon as they break I am going out and buying a pair of Leki's. But the Mountainsmith poles refuse to die, so no Leki's for me - yet.

    But count me in the group who tells people: "I'm not taking a step on the trail without my hiking poles." They help tremendously especially on the downhills.
    Last edited by Knee Jerk; 03-13-2018 at 22:45.
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    conventional wisdom is that flip-lock is less prone to collapse than twist lock, but I've had no problems with my twist-lock ones (made by Komperdell, branded as LL Bean Hikelite). And while you may not need adjustable length poles, it's nice to be able to collapse them for easy loading in the car.

    I do think they're very useful in reducing ITBS knee pain on downhills. I also use mine for my 1P tent, so a little dual-use there.

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    What individuals feel (believe) is an absolute necessity for themselves should not be assumed is an absolute necessity for everyone else. There is no one right way for all people all the time to backpack.

    Trekking poles are not an essential required piece for all hikers and all hikes.

    Nor are trekking poles essential to the majority of shelters. Customarily shelter designers offer alternatives to erect shelters for those not using trekking poles.


    These statements are not made to advance a pro or anti trekking pole position.

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    Are you currently experiencing knee pain or do you assume you will when you hike for long periods?

    If currently you do have you sought professional medical advice that provides the root causes to address them rather than knee pain which is a symptom? If you do is the pain acute or chronic? Knee pain is a symptom of a wide range of root causes. Knowing this first is more importal than hearing about trekking poles!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobo860 View Post
    I'm sure it's been discussed but what experiences do people have with poles on the trail? I've never used them but I've also never hiked for this long and want to minimize knee pain. Do they get in the way a lot? Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? My shelter doesn't rely on them either, so that might factor into my decision. Thoughts?
    i personally don't see the need for them. i had major surgery on my right knee 40 years ago after a nasty injury. went on to do 5 thru-hikes plus a few thousand other miles. poleless. try walkin' without them before sinkin' $$ into them

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