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Thread: Trekking Poles

  1. #1
    Mini Goon Matt K's Avatar
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    Just wondering how many of you out there use trekking poles and if they're any use?
    I mainly do walking in the lakes and yorkshire dales so a bit of help on the uphills might be nice but I've also heard that they are good for support on the downhills as well.

    And which is the best pole out there? - as in Trekking poles, not Polish people.



  2. #2
    Initiate ecco's Avatar
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    I've never used them and don't intend to. Having said that, many people (with much more experience than me)on this forum swear by them.

    I just don't believe in the physics. I don't believe that over an extended period of time, the arms can provide any measure of substitute for the leg muscles. Thats why you only hear the click clack of poles - there's no effort made after a while. If you are going steeply uphill, I think its better to do the old hands on knees method - much more efficient.

    They might have their place on descents and river crossings but they are an encumberance in my opinion. Poles are almost as bad as hydration bladders !

    >

  3. #3
    Initiate ecco's Avatar
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    I've never used them and don't intend to. Having said that, many people (with much more experience than me)on this forum swear by them.

    I just don't believe in the physics. I don't believe that over an extended period of time, the arms can provide any measure of substitute for the leg muscles. Thats why you only hear the click clack of poles - there's no effort made after a while. If you are going steeply uphill, I think its better to do the old hands on knees method - much more efficient.

    They might have their place on descents and river crossings but they are an encumberance in my opinion. Poles are are as bad as hydration bladders !

    >

  4. #4
    Initiate Bastard's Avatar
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    The cheap ones from Aldi, Lidl or Go Outdoors. A pair is only £12.50 at Go Outdoors at the moment, you can buy them and decide if you like them, if you do you can then buy some posh ones.

    BTW I've never used them but I have got a pair fo cheap Aldi ones to test one fo the days.

    The main reason I've never used them before is because I think they look silly (said by a man who wears a buff and tracksters).

  5. #5
    Initiate ecco's Avatar
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    I hate them so much, I said it twice !

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Moggy's Avatar
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    I got a pair of the ones from gooutdoors for 12.50 when i was ordering a montane featherlite smock.

    I got them for the other half to try out when we were out walking, she said they were great so i gave them ago and thought they were good for up and down hills and on slippy/boggy terrain but a bit of a nuisance on the flat as it means your hands are tied up and cant be used for getting sweets from pockets or reading the map/gps

    however i shal definately be getting another pair...just not sure which brand yet lol

  7. #7
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    I dabbled with the use of poles a couple of years ago, using them for my walks over a period of about 4 months.

    The fact that I stopped using them probably tells you enough about my opinion of them.

    I found the benefit of using them to be negligible (and yes, I was using them 'properly'!), yet the pain in the ar*e of carrying them around, getting them caught between my legs during little scrambles, etc. etc. convinced me to ditch them. They've been sat in my utility room gathering dust for the last two years.

    For me, the major benefit of poles was for extra stability when negotiating stepping stones across rivers/streams. Still not enough to convince me I should carry on using them though.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon Chris Stevens's Avatar
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    I'd never be without mine on a walk, that's for sure - main reason being I've got no cartilage or ligaments left in the right knee - hockey damage in 'me youth'. For anyone with similar problems I'd say they're almost essential, for those in A1 health they probably just get in the way.

  9. #9
    Goon Bad Wolf's Avatar
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    Same as Chris; dodgy knees I wish I`d started using pole 10 years ago. ALthough I do find them to be a pain on stiles and public transport. Lethal weapons

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Andy Howell's Avatar
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    Overall I think they offer real advantages. And Pacer Poles are quite extraordinary - you move over the ground like a rocket!

    However, you do need to be careful how you use them on scrambly ground - over reliance on them here can be quite dangerous.

  11. #11
    Goon Rob .'s Avatar
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    Deffinately a benifit, but mainly on going uphill for me, noticed that with poles i don't get the burn in my thighs i get without using poles.

    Cheep poles are fine as long as you reallise that they are not made of the same quality materials the 'branded' poles are made from and therefore are more likely to bend or locking mechanisms fail.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Ach, it's like most other gear, some do and some don't. I did a trek with one and then the same with 2, and preferred 2 poles to speed up the pace and lighten the load (or whatever the physics are). I'll try the PacerPoles when the Leki's die on me.

    But then again, I'm no a fit young chicken like others on here. My knees sometime aches, and bones creak. So the extra support is useful to me.

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Use them all the time, extra contact, propell me uphill and good support going downhill. Also good for cheking out the depths of boggy paths etc. Some now use them for tent poles.

    Personally I wouldn't be without them although I was like several other posters and didn't think I would ever appreciate their benefits.

    Waste of time on rocky ridges though as they get in the way.

    Slainte.

  14. #14
    ‹bermensch Peewiglet's Avatar
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    And Pacer Poles are quite extraordinary - you move over the ground like a rocket!

    Speak for yourself, Rocket Man!

  15. #15
    Mini Goon Dan E's Avatar
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    Always take em with me. I recently broke my leg and now will definately keep using them. I also used one as a cane once I ditched my crutches :P

    Knee's are sensitive things, and if you take off even 2 lbs of force with every step by using poles, it adds up. Over a day, over many days. Why not use em?

  16. #16
    Ultra King
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    Is there an echo in here?

  17. #17
    Ultra King
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    "...a bit of a nuisance on the flat...".
    So strap em to your pack. It only takes seconds.

    I poo-pooed them until a mate I trust implicitly convinced me that with my crappy knees they would be a great help.
    I had held out against them for a long time but I wouldn't be without them now especially when toting a fully packed 60 litre bag.
    I rarely use them on a day hike but I still take them with me.
    No inconvenience at all and particularly useful if you turn an ankle or an episode of arthritic knee pain kicks in.

  18. #18
    Initiate morph's Avatar
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    ive been trying out some cheap aldi poles recently. i have never been convinced they are of much use so i bought a cheap pair to try out.

    my findings are that for a day out walking in the hill, with a small daypack they dont have much use (providing your in good health) however if your backpacking across mountainous terrain for two days or more they really help. taking some of the strain from knees on the descents is a real blessing.

    however, i also feel they may slow down my pace which leads to the feeling of being less tired. but thats just a suspicion of mine. I also blame them for worsening a shoulder injury when i slipped on some very slippery rock last month.

    so im still unsure if theyre a good thing or bad.

  19. #19
    Mini Goon Sorefoot's Avatar
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    Have multiple bad joints, especially a very bad knee. Without poles I can't go up mountains (Specifically, I can get up them, but not down them!) So for anyone with dodgy joints, they are definitely worth a go. I use the ones with walking-stick style handles, though, as they are easier for bracing weight on during a descent, and I'm used to using such aids anyway. I came off Bowfell once without a second pole, and couldn't walk well for 6 months, but with them, came off Skiddaw, Helvellyn etc recently without major problems. But I do have a particularly rubbish knee.

  20. #20
    Mini Goon
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    It seems like you love em or hate em. Me I love mine. My knees are not 100% so the extra heave ho they allow me on up and down is very welcome. I do enjoy using my arms and as has already been said they take a lot of pressure off the legs during a good day out. Also forleaping (yeh I know poor knees) across boggy/beck bits and checking out depth of bog they're invaluable and do decrease the landing pressure. For scrambling bits I just release my grip and let the poles hang for a while from the straps to allow me to grab rock, it works most of the time. One thing not mentioned so far is just the rhythm thing. I do like the pace rhythm that I get with poles.....yeah that might be me you've seen humming in time with my pole pace.

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