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Thread: Help I need Walking Poles

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    Well after much tooing and throwing ive decided to invest in a set of walking poles, but to be honest they all look a much of a muchness and I just cant make my mind up. I would be glad of any guidance you guy and gals can give me..

  2. #2
    Mini Goon Mark Edis's Avatar
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    I prefer anti shock poles as they are easier on the wrists - try them for feel in the shops and then see what price you can get them for on the internet.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon Tim Grenham's Avatar
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    Dont like the shock absorbers myself. I feel that if I want to use a pole then theres no point in putting it on the ground and then it disappearing another couple of inches when you put any weight on them. I'd get bog standard ones for as cheap as possible.

    I agree with trying them in shops though

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Richard Watkiss's Avatar
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    I've used both and would always go for the extra comfort the anti-shocks give you -
    especially on rocky descents when it stops your wrists / elbows getting jarred quite so much. Some you can dial down so it's not the full spring.

    Another thread on this same topic a few months ago came up with Leki or the (British) Mountain King brands as good investments.

    Mark, shame on you! Support your local independent outdoor shop (unless of course you're stuck in a town with one of the chains of shame as the only outdoor shop)

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    Mine are bog standard ones with anti-shock - they don't "disappear a couple of inches though", maybe a centimetre or so, and antishock makes no difference on soft ground anyway, I find. They're not a posh brand name, they're just whatever this little shop in the Dales happened to have when I was there!

  6. #6
    Goon
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    If everybody follows Mark's example then sooner or later (most likely sooner) there will be no decent gear shops left........

  7. #7
    Mini Goon Prismatix's Avatar
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    I only use one and I only use it nowadays in mud, so shock-absorption isn't an issue. I'd recommend avoiding one with a paint finish (especially a bright green one like mine) as they get the mange after a few damp years and look dreadful.

    Pick up one of those key-ring carabiners when you buy it so you can carry the thing on your pack straps/belt pack or wherever when not in use. The crab should be smaller than the handle of the stick, obviously.

  8. #8
    Widdler
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    i prefer to go without anti-shock - i don't use the poles all the time, and every gram of weight less counts!!!

  9. #9
    Mini Goon Mark Edis's Avatar
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    The gear shops do very well out of me as my credit card statements testify!!!
    Being in Bracknell the close ones are Cotswold, Field & Trek and Snow & Rock so no independants to support.

    Shopping around is no bad thing as most of the chains will price match and there are some great deals out there.

    I tend to make the most of the mail order services available form the independants but as it a hell of a drive I'll check out gear in the locals

  10. #10
    Widdler
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    Shopping around isnt bad at all. As i dont have immediate access to decent outdoor shops, I do find the internet a good source of window shopping even though ive not purchased anything on it yet. I think if you definatly know what your after the internet can be a quicker way to compare prices, and with alot of smaller store now posting their web pages it can only be a good thing.


  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    Paul - totally agree. I shopped around for a tent this month - all the large chains were selling at £120 plus postage. A small independent shop (with website) got it for me for £97, postage included. Good deal all round - I was happy, the small shop was happy with the sale, and the huge chains are hardly going to miss £120 in their profits!

  12. #12
    Widdler
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    Not only are you getting better value for money, but better customer service. I went into Snow and Rock in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago after a new pair of boots and the kid that served me didnt know his arse from his elbow and tried selling me something that i didnt want, i then went to an independant shop in Stoke and I was there talking to the assistant manager for 2 hours (Much to the discust of my girlfriend) about where he'd been walking that weekend. I ended up spending an arm and a leg in there as a result and that was after a 10% discount.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon Mark Edis's Avatar
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    Got to admit that Snow & rock in Chertsey is one of the better ones, but only if you're talking to the right sales assistant.

    My favorites in addition to those shown left are:
    www.needlesports.com
    www.outside.co.uk
    www.rockrun.com
    All Independents

    Check out the factory outlets too, if you don't mind seconds:
    http://chezphil.org/factoryshops/all.html
    This was the only way I could afford a down sleeping bag


  14. #14
    Goon stove man's Avatar
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    www.gossamergear.com (US based but happy to ship to UK)

    Carbon fibre poles that weigh 60g each vs half a ton for all the major brands. Carbon inately absorbs shock by virtue of its structure. Fixed length saves weight and reduces the number of things to go wrong.

  15. #15
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    fixed length = too short downhill and too long uphill.

    (don't wear any socks - that'll give the same weight saving!!!)

  16. #16
    Widdler
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    I must admit all the ones ive looked at are adjustable, cant imagine carrying a full length walking pole attached to my rugsack!

  17. #17
    Mini Goon Mark Edis's Avatar
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    How many rugs do you keep in your sack?

  18. #18
    Goon Greg Carns's Avatar
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    I posted a thread on this a couple of months ago and was recommended anti-shock. I tried both in the shop and preferred the more positive feel of the standard - I wasn't really keen on the give in the anti-shock but it's down to personal preference. Mine were cheap (£15 each) from ultimate outdoors in Betws-Y-Coed (their own brand) but I think they are made by a company called "Masters". I've used them a lot since including a 16 mile ( plus 7000ft ascent/descent) last Sunday and they really save your legs (I have a dodgy right knee) and without them I couldn't have done it. The weight didn't really come into it for me (just the cost)! I've not noticed any jarring on my elbows with them either - best £30 I've ever spent!

  19. #19
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    £18 a pair from Gaynor's. Great value and do what it says on the tin - nothing more nothing less. Light enough to stash on the sac, I've even taken them ultralight backpacking when my knees have been playing up. Didn't want to spend a lot because I rarely use them.

  20. #20
    Goon stove man's Avatar
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    Why would you buy a trekking pole and carry it strapped to your rucsac :-)

    Worth trying fixed length to see if you can live with it - I wonder how many people who believe they can't have tried it. Arms can cope with a lot of up and down movement... Also, how often are you really going to stop hiking to fettle with your poles?

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