Author Topic: Hiking/Trekking Poles  (Read 802 times)

fboab

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Hiking/Trekking Poles
« on: 13 September, 2021, 03:29:22 pm »
I searched but couldn't find anything...

What are our collective thoughts?
Good, bad, a waste of time?
All comments and experience welcome.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #1 on: 13 September, 2021, 05:16:21 pm »
Found them really helpful for powering up steep grassy slopes. Got lots of help from upper body. Less so when tip-toeing along a sharp ridge in a howling gale.
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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #2 on: 13 September, 2021, 06:42:27 pm »
I tend to use one as a walking stick for rough walking.
Some years ago, walking the GR20 with Annie, she wondered why I hadn't brought any sticks.  I answered that I wasn't a quadruped.  After a final, 1000m descent, my knees changed my mind for me.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #3 on: 13 September, 2021, 06:55:43 pm »
I’ve never tried them, for two reasons:

I’ve got arm muscles more like a cycling climber than a rock climber, so always assumed that the extra power I’d gain would be limited and my arms would tire before my legs.

They strike me as cumbersome when they’re not useful. For instance, I like to take photos. I don’t want them rolling down a hill or tripping people up while I’ve put them down.

But I’m aware that I’ve never tested these assumptions. Maybe I ought to.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #4 on: 13 September, 2021, 06:58:02 pm »
Use them for going downhill for the knees.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #5 on: 13 September, 2021, 07:03:07 pm »
brilliant.  Tiny bit of help uphill, massive help on the descents, especially if I'm in a bit of a hurry.  And they hold up the tarp when I stop for a brew in the rain.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #6 on: 13 September, 2021, 07:04:57 pm »
I have used them on and off over some decades.

Cons,
 - they are an annoying weight to carry if not in use, and if on a rucksack it's yet another thing to knock items off of shelves in shops.  (See also my hatred of umbrellas and how people poke me in the eyes with them.)
 - On very rocky ground they distract me from my normal balance of just stepping/striding from rock to rock - I usually skim/float over those surfaces very easily as a biped.
 - On slippery ground such as ice they totally make me lose my balance.
 - They make you look like an idiot when you walk with them.

Pros,
 - I have found them useful on rough terrain such as coastal paths which is just up and down grassy surface.  They do seem to assist an uphill walk.
 - When I have had a bad leg (similar pain to sciatica once, and the other time it was knee pain) they have been an assistance and helped me walk further.
- I recently hunted them out of the cupboard to see if they extended high enough to be tent poles for a tarp, which they were, as they might be going back on the rucksack for longer walks in wet weather so I get a shelter at lunch stops.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #7 on: 13 September, 2021, 07:06:49 pm »
brilliant.  Tiny bit of help uphill, massive help on the descents, especially if I'm in a bit of a hurry.  And they hold up the tarp when I stop for a brew in the rain.

LOL - cross post (forum logged me out) on same final point.

I've only ever found them a help on the uphill though.  Probably my technique but I fall over them when going downhill.

Kim

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #8 on: 13 September, 2021, 07:25:50 pm »
Barakta uses one to good effect as an additional proprioceptive balance input, without bearing weight on it.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #9 on: 13 September, 2021, 09:10:48 pm »
My daughter and I walked Scafell Pike the same day that Triathlon X was doing it in the opposite direction. Everyone apart from the first 3 runners had poles.

How quickly do you learn a good technique? Is it learnt or does it come naturally?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #10 on: 13 September, 2021, 09:21:41 pm »
Good for long or steep descents and / or loose terrain. 
Good in alps or places like Nepal etc. that excel at the long descent
On alpine glacial terrain or Scottish winter  usual approach is ice axe one hand and walking pole other hand.
Get in the way on technical terrain so stow them on rucksack if scrambling or similar
Not good on limestone pavement.
Good if carrying a heavy load such as when backpacking.
Good for river crossing if you need to wade across
Reduce forces through knees by about 30% I believe,

FifeingEejit

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #11 on: 13 September, 2021, 10:24:12 pm »
Use them for going downhill for the knees.

This.

Also useful for spreading the effort between arms and legs on the way up.

How quickly do you learn a good technique? Is it learnt or does it come naturally?

Pretty natural I found for spreading the load of climbing/descending, bit like marching.

Working out how to use them to protect other weaknesses (like my buggered ankle) is very much down to what you're trying to do, I can land on my right foot if I use a pole to give me control of the landing, can't really risk that without poles. Occasionally goes wrong if I've not tightened them properly... 

Regulator

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #12 on: 14 September, 2021, 07:44:38 am »
Big thumbs up for me.  As Mike said, some help when going uphill but the biggest help is downhill.  I definitely notice the difference between walks with and without them.

Technique is important, as is proper set up.  Too many people have their poles set too high.

Asking which poles to get is a bit like asking a cyclist what bike to get (and that's before you get into Nordic walking poles).  I do tend to favour Leki (4 sets) but I've also got a pair from Decathlon and I used Pacerpoles for my Camino.
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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #13 on: 14 September, 2021, 09:04:53 am »
I have a couple of cheap ones (one from Aldi, one from a motorway services).

Absolutely fantastic if you have weak or damaged ankles. Provide that extra bit of stability that prevents a fall or twisted ankle.

Great knee saver. MrsC uses one when walking; she has arthritis in most joints and her knees suffer particularly badly. Despite not having a lot of arm strength, they still take a bit of load off knees.

I agree that they are a bit of a pain when not in use, but must rucksacks have some loops for storing them.
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quixoticgeek

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #14 on: 14 September, 2021, 11:19:57 am »


Absolutely essential. After walking down an alp and being in tears by how much pain my knees had. I bought some th next day. They are fantastic. Recommend.

J
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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #15 on: 14 September, 2021, 01:28:04 pm »
I use a traditional wooden walking stick. Saved by bacon on a scree slope once (jam it in and stop sliding). Definitely helps going down hill.
Weirdly since I did my shoulder in badly a few years ago I find that walking even on the flat for more than a few miles makes it ache badly but if I take the walking stick it doesn't even though mainly on the flat I'm just carrying it. It must do something to my balance.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Regulator

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Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #16 on: 14 September, 2021, 03:42:38 pm »
@fboab - do you want to borrow some to 'try before you buy'?
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #17 on: 14 September, 2021, 04:22:38 pm »
Thanks reg but I got Mr Smith to get some for me. I went for Leki, too.
I had a chronic knee event last weekend and am not going to have a chance to 'train' with them before I stride off over Feldom Ranges with a guide and an audience.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #18 on: 14 September, 2021, 05:28:49 pm »
Very useful when I'm carrying gear for overnight or longer, but I've stopped using them for day trips. Very useful for long descents, stream crossings, and other obstacles. I tend to prefer the various Black Diamond models.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #19 on: 14 September, 2021, 05:51:40 pm »
More useful on steep or rugged terrain though than for general walking in lowland areas? I've never quite seen the point for that, but I'm a bit curious.

Re: Hiking/Trekking Poles
« Reply #20 on: 14 September, 2021, 07:30:11 pm »
More useful on steep or rugged terrain though than for general walking in lowland areas? I've never quite seen the point for that, but I'm a bit curious.

I find them more useful on steeper terrain.