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  1. #1

    Default Does hiking poles are necessary ?

    I wonder if hiking poles is necessary for the AT thru hike ?

    Bcoz it is hard for me to try and imagine myself walking with 2 poles are attached to my hands the whole trail..

    What da ya think ?

  2. #2
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    Totally unnecessary.

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    Not necessary for some. Very popular, though. Get a little fit (like hiking on the weekends), take it easy for the first few hundred miles, and don't push things. I saw a fair number of people in 2002 that started without poles and bought a pair at NOC after pushing too hard in GA.

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    at least 10 characters
    Last edited by Jersey Bob; 10-27-2004 at 15:18.

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    Registered User walkon's Avatar
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    For moving fast and covering miles poles are magic. they improve balance, protect knees, and are also useful for tarp rigging, fending off wild animals, crossing streams, etc... after an hour or so of usage they become extensions of your arms, basically 2 extra legs. i am not old and in very good shape and i wouldnt hike without them.
    walkon

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    Registered User Mr. Clean's Avatar
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    :banana

    And they do help if you have bad knees, like I do, on the uphills and downhills. If your knees are okay, don't bother with them.
    Greg P.

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    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Without hiking poles I average about 1.5 miles per hour.
    With hiking poles I average about 2.1 miles per hour, and at the end of the day my knees do not hurt, , , , as bad.
    I also need my poles (I use two) to: set up my tent, navigate stream crossings, lean against while resting, Support my pack so I can lean against it as a back rest, etc.
    They also give me the feeling of 4 "wheel drive" on the steep sections.

    So to me, they are very important, if not totally Vital.

    But I have seen many do as well or better than me without them.

    Doctari.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

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    A.T.2000 retread's Avatar
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    I agree with Chris. A lot of people early in their hike were downplaying the importance of poles and bragging about not needing glorified crutches blah, blah, blah. By the time we were all at Harpers Ferry 3 of these [email protected] were hiking with them. While I'll admit they don't do much on level ground...only about a third of the A.T. is level. They definately help on the ups and downs and mine keep me upright several times when I would have otherwise fallen down. I too will never leave home without them.


    Speaking of which...did anybody else keep count of how many times they fell?

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    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Not necessary but I will not even day hike without a pole. I never use two, but always one. I can't count how many falls I have avoided because of my pole. As mentioned above, the pole will speed you up on a rocky, or slick trail. In my opinion it is the most important piece of my first aid kit.

  10. #10
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    I can't find the info now, but had learned that hiking with poles takes thousands of pounds of pressure off your legs during a days hike,,,, that, & the other positive info above are the reasons I bought my poles, & they have become 1 of the most important pieces of my gear,,,,, can't tell you how many times these poles have saved my a$$ from a fall. Most poles have straps, therefore making it easy to drop---drag poles---while using your hands for something else---like snapping a good picture, taking a drink, getting something out of your pocket, etc... They really do become extensions of your arms that feel natural. I suggest renting a pair from a hiking/snow/ski shop & try them out for a weekend hike. My guess is that you'll return the rented pair & buy your own?!!

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    Registered User Smooth03's Avatar
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    Not a neccesity. But I won't ever hike without polls again.

    As Rigg MEGA03 said, "hiking with poles is liking hiking with four wheeled-drive."

    In essence, poles will protect your knees and ankles over the long stressful miles of the AT. And they will also help you go faster by keeping your center of gravity over the middle of the trail. Its a personal decision, but I think that most people who give poles a shot over a few hundred miles agree that they are a great hiking tool. Especially for long distance hikes.

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    Default Hiking Poles ...

    I can think of 2 good reasons to use trekking poles on a distance hike. First and foremost is the positive effect they have on your knees. Treking poles take a significant amount of the load/impact away from the knees if used correctly on downhills. They also provide an extra source of balance.

    The second reason to carry trekking (and this is a subjective advantage) is to use as a tent pole. I just happended to carry a tent on my hike last year that used trekking poles a means of support.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  13. #13
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    Default Poles

    In my 30's I did not use poles. Now that I am in my 60's find them necessary. All the reason above are true, they give you better balance, greater support in precarious places, and I find that going up mountains my arms are able to carry some of the load rather than hanging there in a useless state.

    A little story - last year in CT. I came to a swollen stream. Two hikers, young, without poles, were talking over how they were going to get across on a very narrow log. I walked right across with my poles and waited on the other side. Both fell off and both proclaimed that they were going to get poles.

  14. #14

    Default One stick ?

    I think about going with one pole...

    Is it okey or you would recommend me to go with 2 ?

    Is there a big difference between 1 or 2 poles ?

  15. #15

    :banana

    Quote Originally Posted by Roee Dotan
    I think about going with one pole...

    Is it okey or you would recommend me to go with 2 ?

    Is there a big difference between 1 or 2 poles ?
    No you have to use two poles. You cannot look cool with one pole. Plus with only one pole you cannot get a false sense of security go too fast too far too soon hurt your knees and rely on medication for the rest of your hike.

  16. #16
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    Default haiku poles

    uphill never ends
    Lekis bite the dirt
    knees say ahhhhh

  17. #17

    Default ahaha

    ahahahahaha

    I see you had enough of me :-)

    Sorry sir.

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    Much of the physical benefits of poles can be obtained just by a little conditioning and practice at balance. Walking down hill (and up) is an art that, if you give yourself enough time to learn it, is no more difficult on your knees that walking on flat ground. Many people do not give themselves the time to learn it, go hard, get hurt, and resort to poles. They then proclaim them to be necessary to save knees. Of course, as we age the body starts to change and perhaps they become more necessary. Also, some people want (or need) a little extra comfort in knowing that they can stab out with their poles and prevent a fall. There isn't any right or wrong choice here, as we are all different hikers. However, before spending the cash on a set of poles, try going pole-less at the start. Take it easy and pay attention to where you put your feet. There are lots of places along the trail to buy a set if you decide they really are for you.

    I do not think that poles are useful at all for stream crossings, and here is why. If the river is deep and fast (say mid thigh), the poles are not heavy enough to stay planted and the current simply sweeps them away. If the stream is below the knee, then just leave your shoes on and walk across. No big deal there. If the stream is deep and slow, and you want something for balance, just pick up a log and use it. I forded a lot of big, fast streams last summer on the PCT and on none of them would poles have been useful. I've forded many, many streams in the Smokys and for none of them would poles have been useful. The AT in the Smokys is pretty dry, but get on the slopes (particularly the southern half of the park) and valleys and you'll face many, many stream fords.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roee Dotan
    I think about going with one pole...Is it okay or you would recommend me to go with 2 ?Is there a big difference between 1 or 2 poles ?
    Roee:

    if you're gonna hike with trekking poles...go fer TWO!

    i used 1 trek pole for a couple years...til i limped into NOC after 7 days...rented 2 there & bought a knee brace...did 7 more days with no knee probs....previous post is correct...in that.. if you do enuff conditioning you might not need them...but, they saved me from falling down a mountain-side a few times....hehehehehehe

    good luck!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

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    Almost all thru-hikers use trekking poles. For many reasons, primarily because they save the knees. You'll get a pair too.

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