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Thread: How many trekking poles are needed for long distance hiking

  1. #1

    How many trekking poles are needed for long distance hiking

    Planning to go hiking in mountainous areas with friends for next break and gonna be around 3 days for the journey. Not quite sure about the ideal number of trekking poles to take. Could you pls help advise based on your own experience? Tks

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    I find that two poles are more useful than one when going over rough ground. They keep you well balanced; whereas with just one you tend to go somewhat lopsided.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
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    2 or none.
    Unless you only have one arm...

  4. #4
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    One is entirely fine - and useful! - for me For once I'm far from alone in this - also useful for people over thousands of years of history.

    You do use them differently of course.

  5. #5
    Initiate Toot's Avatar
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    I started off using just one pole to see if I'd get on - ancestor use over thousands of years must count for something, right? There were advantages to single pole use that suggested two would be no less useful despite extra weight. What really swung the two-pole decision for me is the imbalance of aches or limps and uneven gait that I would get using just one pole over extended distances or arduous ground. JK hints to the same above I believe. Twin pole use is a somewhat different and more efficient method as I find it, compared to single pole use.

    When I'm out now I have two poles available. So far as walking goes they're either both stowed or both in use. As Mole said, it's use two or use none I reckon.

    One thing though - if you've never used poles before (which I rightly or wrongly assume is the case by your asking of our experience rather than relying upon your own) then you may find single or twin pole use a bit strange and pole(s) use probably wont be most efficient effective or comfortable to start with, in which case the things may prove more disadvantage than advantage. I've heard one exasperated new user describe his two poles as "like having a grouchy octopus attached to your wrists"!

    There used to be a good piece about pole use on OM by one of the regular contributors - if someone better than me at finding it can do so and provide a link it's probably worth a read. As with any new kit, but especially something you may put considerable reliance upon use of, it is certainly worth practising before embarking with it untested or unfamiliar on a lengthy journey I reckon.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Shewie's Avatar
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    Spam me up

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Taz's Avatar
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    Two, but I do rely on them quite a bit (hips n knees), many years back when I was still young n strong I used one for backpacking.

  8. #8
    Only ever two..... you will walk round in circles with just one

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  10. #10
    I locate that two posts are more helpful than one while going over unpleasant ground. They keep you all around adjusted; while with only one you have a tendency to go to some degree disproportionate..

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Carpenter View Post
    One is entirely fine - and useful! - for me For once I'm far from alone in this - also useful for people over thousands of years of history.

    You do use them differently of course.
    Hi Martin, will try one with some even ground next time. For this journey might be bit tough with long distance in rough and rocky ground. And one may be used as backup if the one is broken by accident

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kilgour View Post
    I find that two poles are more useful than one when going over rough ground. They keep you well balanced; whereas with just one you tend to go somewhat lopsided.
    Tks John, will go with two poles. Will check out how they work out by then.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    2 or none.
    Unless you only have one arm...
    Hi Mole. People may have different preferences. Some of my friends like to use one pole for flat ground. They said it could somewhat help release the burden for the joints, especially when with heavy backpack.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rosiekay01 View Post
    I locate that two posts are more helpful than one while going over unpleasant ground. They keep you all around adjusted; while with only one you have a tendency to go to some degree disproportionate..
    Tks Rosie. Prefer to cover this journey with two poles. Have you got any outdoor experience with only one pole?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Clinch View Post
    Quite useful pages, lots to take in, tks Peter.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jim turner View Post
    Only ever two..... you will walk round in circles with just one
    Hi Jim. That's a true story for trekking with one pole for some cases. Though it may work for some easy ground.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    Two, but I do rely on them quite a bit (hips n knees), many years back when I was still young n strong I used one for backpacking.
    Tks Taz. Will try both one or two for different situations. This time will go for two. BTW you are still shining as shown in the left picture. Really great to be able to embrace outdoor since a teenager.

  18. #18
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Aslongdeal, if you try a search on OM Forum utilising the built in search engine it will bring up many many more differing opinions on using poles over not using poles, on using just one or two, on pole types from basic to Pacer Poles etc. There really seems to be no one correct answer to this question really, as it is such an individual thing in the end, ok. Trial and error, personal experiences good and bad and much much more; all listed for posterity on this in the main body of past posts upon the popular subject there, all free for the reading. The second link I just found, so include it too in case it helps you at all.

    For good example this recent OM Forum thread on the subject right here below link, listing a fab link to the most useful 'Pete's Pole Pages'!
    http://forums.outdoorsmagic.com/showthread.php/76583-Trekking-poles?highlight=knee+injury#b04bdptx15J0v0yJ.97

    https://backpackinglight.com/hiking_poles_technique/
    Last edited by Trevor DC Gamble; 25-03-2017 at 04:47 PM.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Taz's Avatar
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    Aslongdeal, I find using 2 no bother once you get used to them, they almost become part of your body. There is a way of stowing them quickly using a few loops, see if I can find the link.

    Not sure about shining lol, feel my age these days at nearly 50

    Here you go, simple yet effective looking, but no good for scrambling.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=0h0m14s&v=JSX2iKZXw6U
    Last edited by Taz; 25-03-2017 at 07:50 PM.

  20. #20
    Initiate Toot's Avatar
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    Peter Clinch - they're exactly the pole pages I was referring to. Hope they're of use to the OP. I'm not sure what the protocol is so I wonder, is it OK if I point new pole users to those pages other than via this forum?

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