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Trekking Poles #2

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    • The ones I have now are by Black Diamond that I got on Steep and Cheap for $25 for the pair.
      They are only 2 pieces so there's only 1 place to adjust each pole. They have the flip type lock and that set-up holds much better than I thought it would. I also use my poles as part of my tent pitch. Although, to be honest I don't know if these ones would be long enough to use with our Tarptent Rainbow. So if your poles need to be part of your tent make sure you know what length they need to be and shop accordingly.
    • grip - cork is supposed to sweat less than rubber.

      adjustment - external locking (some may be called "flip") will hold better than the twist type.

      shock absorbing - just something else to break.

      sex - female poles come in pink. just kidding, female poles are lighter, shorter, and most probably most important, the grip is not as wide.

      if your are not an rei hater they have a one item 20% off coupon for members thru the 23rd.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • Black Diamond Cork Ergo here too. The cork is less slippery than rubber handled ones. The only downside might be that the cork absorbs sweat better and therefore salt and you might have a critter chew on them depending on where you leave them at night- I've never had it happen in the woods, but at home my puppy took a little bite out of one of my handles. But now I always know which is the left stick and which is the right. ^^
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • I've had the Black Diamond Distance FL Z-poles and the Black Diamond Trail poles. In my opinion the z-poles are better because the strap doesn't loosen while your walking. It's essentially pointless to use poles if the straps are loose.

      I'm looking at the Black Diamond Alpine FL Z-poles. If they made an adjustable Alpine Carbon Z-pole I would probably splurge on them.

      blackdiamondequipment.com/en/t…BD112175_cfg.html#start=2
      Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
      Dr. Seuss Cof123
    • After a hike I wipe mine down before closing them up, that way the dirt doesn't get up inside the poles. Also with fliplocks there is a little screw that holds them on and controls how tight they latch. Once or twice a year mine will loosen up and need to be re-tightened. The flat screw driver blade on a miniswiss works just fine to tighten them. You'll know when they need tightening as they will shorten up on you while your hiking.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      After a hike I wipe mine down before closing them up, that way the dirt doesn't get up inside the poles. Also with fliplocks there is a little screw that holds them on and controls how tight they latch. Once or twice a year mine will loosen up and need to be re-tightened. The flat screw driver blade on a miniswiss works just fine to tighten them. You'll know when they need tightening as they will shorten up on you while your hiking.
      Something I didn't do this past winter after a day snow shoeing! I shortened the poles and threw them into my trunk and forgot abut them...They ended up okay but were sticking up a bit and had to clean them well.
      RIAP
    • Rasty wrote:

      I've had the Black Diamond Distance FL Z-poles and the Black Diamond Trail poles. In my opinion the z-poles are better because the strap doesn't loosen while your walking. It's essentially pointless to use poles if the straps are loose.

      I'm looking at the Black Diamond Alpine FL Z-poles. If they made an adjustable Alpine Carbon Z-pole I would probably splurge on them.

      blackdiamondequipment.com/en/t…BD112175_cfg.html#start=2
      I like how those fold up.

      It seems Black Diamond is a preferred brand. My first, and only, set was Leki. .
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      ...but at home my puppy took a little bite out of one of my handles. But now I always know which is the left stick and which is the right. ^^
      This could actually be useful since on my poles the straps are chiral - technical word for the fact the left strap is different from the right strap. I've been meaning to mark my poles so I know which is which. Logic say that if you guess randomly, you will get the right pole in the right hand 50% of the time but it doesn't ever seem to work out that way. There's a little R and L on the straps, but that wore off a while ago.

      TrafficJam wrote:

      Thanks, sounds like I should look for flip locking and cork. My old ones were twist lock and I had a lot of trouble with them, probably because I didn't do maintenance and cleaning.
      Cork is a personal preference. Some people like it and some don't. Flip locks seem to be popular with almost everyone.

      jimmyjam wrote:

      After a hike I wipe mine down before closing them up, that way the dirt doesn't get up inside the poles....
      I should do that but I always forget. Bad OMO
    • The reason I like Skurka's book is that he doesn't preach about what equipment I should use. Instead he works through his process of decoding what HE should use. He points out that optimal gear will be different for each hike and each person. What is important is the process of working it out for yourself.

      I got my current poles just after reading Skurka's book and intended to remove the straps for the reasons he cites. But I decided to wait until after my first hike. I hiked the first day without using the straps and the second day with. On day three I went back to not using the straps but quickly decided they were right for me and have used them ever since.
    • odd man out wrote:

      The reason I like Skurka's book is that he doesn't preach about what equipment I should use. Instead he works through his process of decoding what HE should use. He points out that optimal gear will be different for each hike and each person. What is important is the process of working it out for yourself.

      I got my current poles just after reading Skurka's book and intended to remove the straps for the reasons he cites. But I decided to wait until after my first hike. I hiked the first day without using the straps and the second day with. On day three I went back to not using the straps but quickly decided they were right for me and have used them ever since.
      Ive said this either here or TOS regard to poles, I never used them(hiking), and when I started backpacking again didn't use them. After maybe my third 3 day weekend backpacking trip and the pain in my knees, mostly down hill, I bought a set and would never think twice about not using them! They help, and the straps if you know how to use them in conjunction with the poles work wonders as well going up hill.
      But to each his own!
      RIAP
    • I have Black Diamond cork grips. I remove the straps. The fliplocks are much easier to use especially the undo. Work well with gloves or mittens etc.
      My recommendation is whatever pole fits your taste for grip and look but try to select fliplocks.
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • Massdop had Leki Corklite with fliplocks this week. I ordered a pair. They are just like the one I have been using except the color of the straps.

      I like Skurka and his book, but I personally appreciate the straps.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • sheepdog wrote:

      I use bamboo snow shoe poles. They are about $2 a pair here at Goodwill. I've got about 700 miles on my latest pair. Light, durable, cheap, and I like real wood. The only downside is that they don't collapse.
      Collapsin' is important, isn't it? There are times when you can't really use the poles and they're in the way. Eg. up or down South Arm. or maybe when hitching into town.
    • i thru'd with a single tree branch; and i used that only to "give my arm something to do" rather than just hang there.

      after my thru i upgraded to a single bamboo stick. that's my favorite of anything i've used. i used a broom handle one season. that worked fine.

      this spring i bought a pair of lekis to see firsthand what all the hype was about. as i looked at the various options it struck me that if poles were sold by size - rather than one size fits all with a mechanical adjustment feature - that the main complaint about poles (the adjustment feature breaking) would be resolved. i still only use one pole. and i've got my eyes open for another bamboo stick.
      2,000 miler
    • rafe wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      I use bamboo snow shoe poles. They are about $2 a pair here at Goodwill. I've got about 700 miles on my latest pair. Light, durable, cheap, and I like real wood. The only downside is that they don't collapse.
      Collapsin' is important, isn't it? There are times when you can't really use the poles and they're in the way. Eg. up or down South Arm. or maybe when hitching into town.
      I've hiked a lot with them and it's never been a problem. Last October I hiked a couple hundred miles through VA. I started to get concerned about the poles and some ammunition before catching an Amtrack train. Fortunately I hitched a ride back with some Ohio guys and my wife came down from MI. and picked me up. If it's flat and I don't need my poles I just carry both in the middle of the pole with one hand.
      bacon can solve most any problem.
    • max.patch wrote:

      .. it struck me that if poles were sold by size - rather than one size fits all with a mechanical adjustment feature - that the main complaint about poles (the adjustment feature breaking) would be resolved. i still only use one pole. and i've got my eyes open for another bamboo stick.

      Well, not quite exactly. If you're on a long ascent or long descent, you can set your poles a bit short or a bit long, respectively, to make them more useful and manageable.

      This summer up in the Mahoosucs and on the Presidential range, I did a lot of walking with one pole, since I'd often need one hand to grab onto the terrain or trees or whatever. Mahoosuc Notch is a no-pole zone for me.
    • rafe wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      .. it struck me that if poles were sold by size - rather than one size fits all with a mechanical adjustment feature - that the main complaint about poles (the adjustment feature breaking) would be resolved. i still only use one pole. and i've got my eyes open for another bamboo stick.
      Well, not quite exactly. If you're on a long ascent or long descent, you can set your poles a bit short or a bit long, respectively, to make them more useful and manageable.

      This summer up in the Mahoosucs and on the Presidential range, I did a lot of walking with one pole, since I'd often need one hand to grab onto the terrain or trees or whatever. Mahoosuc Notch is a no-pole zone for me.
      I was about half way down the scramble from Dragon's Tooth before I realized the poles were more problematic than helpful.
    • odd man out wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      .. it struck me that if poles were sold by size - rather than one size fits all with a mechanical adjustment feature - that the main complaint about poles (the adjustment feature breaking) would be resolved. i still only use one pole. and i've got my eyes open for another bamboo stick.
      Well, not quite exactly. If you're on a long ascent or long descent, you can set your poles a bit short or a bit long, respectively, to make them more useful and manageable.
      This summer up in the Mahoosucs and on the Presidential range, I did a lot of walking with one pole, since I'd often need one hand to grab onto the terrain or trees or whatever. Mahoosuc Notch is a no-pole zone for me.
      I was about half way down the scramble from Dragon's Tooth before I realized the poles were more problematic than helpful.
      Agree totally with both Rafe and OMO.
      Katahdin is another poles no help on. For Dragonstooth and Katahdin type climbs some light gloves are very useful. Saves skin.
      Resident Australian, proving being a grumpy old man is not just an American trait.
    • After getting my sling this summer I used just one pole for two weeks and it really slowed me down. After putting the sling away and using both poles I did 18+ miles each of the next two days.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • one of the funniest things I heard on the trail was coming down from Dragon's Tooth. I had finished the scramble and was on the easy approach trail. It was a weekend so there were loads of day hikers going up. I stop to let a couple go by. They were both quite overweight and struggling to climb over a rock that was about the size of a carry on suitcase. The woman says to her partner "I see now why they rated this hike as strenuous". I just started to laugh. She looked at me and asked "does it get much worse?"
    • odd man out wrote:

      one of the funniest things I heard on the trail was coming down from Dragon's Tooth. I had finished the scramble and was on the easy approach trail. It was a weekend so there were loads of day hikers going up. I stop to let a couple go by. They were both quite overweight and struggling to climb over a rock that was about the size of a carry on suitcase. The woman says to her partner "I see now why they rated this hike as strenuous". I just started to laugh. She looked at me and asked "does it get try much worse?"
      I hurt my knee there, which in less than a week hadme going home early back in 2014. :(
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I used Black Diamond Trail poles on the AT. Payed like 50 € for them but had to replace the tips at least 4 times.
      Tossed them in a garbage can in Washington DC because people looked at me like I am some sort of freak. City dwellers.. :)

      I got the Gossamer Gear LT4 now (they are on sale right now, fyi) and they are definately great poles.
      Not sure if they would last an entire thru - but I like the feel and the weight of the poles. Will thoroughly test them in AZ/UT in the next months.
    • The slope on the north side of Dragon's tooth, just before you reach the top, is one of the steepest you'll find on the AT. It doesn't last long. But this is one place where, if you have poles, you'll need to stash them.

      As I recall there's a short section where you're basically working your way up (or down) a cliff, using rebar anchored into the cliffside.
    • rafe wrote:

      The slope on the north side of Dragon's tooth, just before you reach the top, is one of the steepest you'll find on the AT. It doesn't last long. But this is one place where, if you have poles, you'll need to stash them.

      As I recall there's a short section where you're basically working your way up (or down) a cliff, using rebar anchored into the cliffside.
      Yeah, that was the part I was wishing I was watching someone who knew what they were doing.

      Obviously I didn't, and thus ended up hurting my knee. :(
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • rafe wrote:

      The blazes go right up the side of the cliff. The person in the photo still has poles in their hands. Hmm.
      [IMG:http://www.trailgallery.com/photos/14317/tj14317_052013_121310_737991.jpg]
      That looks the spot on Dragon's Tooth where the last time I climbed it, I came across a little snake. Luckily I did still have my hiking poles and I flicked the little bugger off the cliff with my pole.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference