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Re: Trek (walking )Poles

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avatar Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 02:50PM
a few of my friends swear by them... i'll take their word for it... but i'm curious as to why such a huge price range? Walmart has them for cheap, and sports shops charge over $140 for some... are the upper end / pricier one's over rated? or are they really worth it?

and if any of you use them, what kind would you recommend for hiking in Yosemite area? (Nevada Falls etc)
i heard the shock absorbers are one's to really stay away from?



Like I always say, "if you can't laugh at yourself, let me do it".

My Yosemite Blog: http://yosemiteforrest.blogspot.com/
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:06PM
Materials, and hence weight, probably make a lot of the price difference.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:11PM
I have been denigrated for recommending a cheap solution, but I just use ski poles from goodwill or salvation army. My wife has expensive ones she always forgets to take and ends up using the ones I use. You can cut them down or remove the baskets if you want. If you have some that serve dual purpose as tent poles or shelter poles, that may be ideal.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:11PM
We discussed this in the "Diving Board" thread. And I think I got called a > 50 year old goat.
Or a Generation-Zzzzz Goat since I use them..

Check that thread out again...

I can tell you this... if you buy crap... you end up with crap...
So... if you only gonna use them 4 times a year... then it probably doesn't matter..

BUT:
Leki sells THE best hiking sticks IMO. They are guaranteed for life (maybe not all models).
Dunno why someone said stay away from shock absorbers... I love the shock absorbers..
I've had mine for over 10 years... and they still work a treat. Don't leave home without them.
Leki replaced the bottom sections free o charge (actually only 1 was suspect, not even
broken... and they sent me 2 after simply sending them an email!)

I personally prefer the cork handles, 3 piece, shock absorber... again, 10 years and been
beat to high heaven and still working great...

Takey looky at the Diving Board thread...
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:21PM
My wife and I both use REI "Traverse" poles. They have the shock absorber feature which is great for going downhill. The are made for REI by Komperdell and since they are from REI, we can always return them when, and if, they ever break. We never go on any hike without them.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:23PM
Yeah... I was gonna mention the REI return policy.. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
I wonder what they would say if I brought in a 8 year old tent we no longer use...
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:20PM
Haven't skiied in awhile now... but do they put carbide on tips of ski poles now?
Can you get them?

If not... I'm certain I would go thru a pair of ski poles in a season.. maybe sooner...
(probably on about 4th set of hiking pole bottoms as it is... problem is is that
the plastic wears out holding the carbide and breaks...)

YMMV (feel I have to use this now.. cause I've seen it a number of times now..)
(had to look it up)
tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:31PM
Ours do have tungsten carbide tips.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:33PM
Quote
cornbread
Ours do have tungsten carbide tips.

For poking bears?
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:40PM
I was ready to use one on the bear we encountered on the 4 mile trail but, thankfully, I was able to scare him away before it came to that. I gave him the "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" routine a la Gandalf. I have actually used that twice and it has worked both times.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:44PM
Quote
cornbread
I was ready to use one on the bear we encountered on the 4 mile trail but, thankfully, I was able to scare him away before it came to that. I gave him the "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" routine a la Gandalf. I have actually used that twice and it has worked both times.

Throwing rocks usually works quite well with black bears. It certainly has every time I've done it.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:49PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
cornbread
I was ready to use one on the bear we encountered on the 4 mile trail but, thankfully, I was able to scare him away before it came to that. I gave him the "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" routine a la Gandalf. I have actually used that twice and it has worked both times.

Throwing rocks usually works quite well with black bears. It certainly has every time I've done it.

Those people for whom those manuevers were not successful are not around to testify! <--- add smiley thingy here



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2009 03:50PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:12PM
Quote
eeek
Throwing rocks usually works quite well with black bears. It certainly has every time I've done it.

towards them? or away? lol



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2009 04:14PM by forrestranger.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:35PM
Quote
forrestranger
Quote
eeek
Throwing rocks usually works quite well with black bears. It certainly has every time I've done it.

towards them? or away? lol

Towards them. You don't even have to actually hit the bear; noise of a rock hitting near them when facing off with a human scares the bear.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:43PM
Cork?

Forrest, I dunno why... exactly... but I like the COR-TEC (I think that is what Leki calls it).
I also know that Marmots like it too.. I think it just tastes good...

Seriously, it just feels good.. and if my hands are sweaty the handles don't get all slippery...
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 08, 2009 09:03AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
forrestranger
Quote
eeek
Throwing rocks usually works quite well with black bears. It certainly has every time I've done it.

towards them? or away? lol

Towards them. You don't even have to actually hit the bear; noise of a rock hitting near them when facing off with a human scares the bear.

I've got to say something on this. If you're out hiking in Yosemite and see a bear, DON'T throw rocks at him, you're the one invading their home, so be a considerate guest. Stop, try to figure out where they're going or how you can get around them without posing a threat to them, and let them go on their way. If they're in a campground, or trying to steal your pack (which you shouldn't have left unattended anyway), sure, throw rocks or yell. But most bears aren't problem bears and would just as soon you let them alone. Just give them the respect they deserve, don't block their exit or path, don't be stupid and move closer to get a photo, and they'll invariably go on their way and leave you alone. If not, poke, throw rocks, yell, whatever, but that's never happened to me yet.

As far as trekking poles, the Walmart ones are fine unless you like paying more for fancy stuff. I have several, which have been used for over 3 years now on various hikes by various family members on some pretty strenuous trails, and not one has failed or been a problem. If they are any heavier than the upscale ones, it would be in grams, so big deal. They all have shock absorbers, metal and rubber tips, removable 'skirts' for snow, and I've never had one slip unless I didn't tighten it. The little compasses in some of them are mickeymouse, but they work and if you don't have a real compass can be very handy; a few have come with removable top caps that cover a tripod socket for use as a monopod. I saw a set of 2 for around $18 a couple of days ago, the single ones are about $14 now, but half the cost of ones with fancier names. If the Walmart stigma really bothers you, a little steel wool should take off the thin paint, and you have a nice shiny silver pole and no one will know it's not from REI 8^).

As for cork or other handles, I have both types and don't find any advantage to either. Shock absorbtion...I don't see any reason it would be something to "stay away" from. It's never caused any problems to me, going up or down, and for solo hiking it makes a nice little 'click' when the pole is tapped on the ground, when you get to places where it's good to be a little noisy.

I used to find a stick to hike with. The only reason I went to trek pole (s rarely) is that it can be hard to find one at times, and wastes time (and carrying a stick up the HD cables for example, is pointless, but you can just slip the trek pole(s) in a backpack loop for later.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2009 07:38AM by Sierrafan.
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:09PM
Quote
cornbread
I was ready to use one on the bear we encountered on the 4 mile trail but, thankfully, I was able to scare him away before it came to that. I gave him the "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" routine a la Gandalf. I have actually used that twice and it has worked both times.

Works with bears, sure. Just don't try it on a balrog. I have it on good authority that it won't work with them.

I have a set of REI hiking poles. These are identical to XC poles, but without a basket. So you can use your XC poles if you like. In fact, I've used the hiking poles with baskets to ski.

The carbide tip is harder than granite, so it doesn't slip much.

I use the hiking poles when backpacking, but almost never on day hikes. I find they are helpful if I start to lose my balance, especially on a steep hillside.

Whenever I get around to the Sierra Point hike, I'll bring 'em. Portions of that are on a narrow trail with a steep hillside.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:41PM
Sierra Trading Post sells different Komperdell poles. Made in Austria in many assorted materials and types. They seem to close out older models with minor differences. I suspect that sometimes all they ever do is change the graphics.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/Komperdell.html

Adjustable poles are very handy. Poles work much better when shortened for ascending, and lengthened for descending.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 03:47PM
Quote
y_p_w
Adjustable poles are very handy. Poles work much better when shortened for ascending, and lengthened for descending.

My 2 cents. (and yes, I'm getting paid for this... effectively)

I never change the height of my sticks unless I'm using them for the sticks for my tarp.
I like them at such and such o position and leave them there if going up or down...
regardless of steepage...
(I actually use a knife to scratch the location of optimal lengthage for me so I set them
exactly the same every time)
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:13PM
Quote
bill-e-g
Quote
y_p_w
Adjustable poles are very handy. Poles work much better when shortened for ascending, and lengthened for descending.

My 2 cents. (and yes, I'm getting paid for this... effectively)

I never change the height of my sticks unless I'm using them for the sticks for my tarp.
I like them at such and such o position and leave them there if going up or down...
regardless of steepage...
(I actually use a knife to scratch the location of optimal lengthage for me so I set them
exactly the same every time)

I actually went down the Mist Trail a couple of years ago with a loaded pack. Pulling them out really long helped me a lot in steadying myself on those really tall steps.

In any case, one of the niceties of adjustable poles is that one can shorten them and just strap maybe 28 inches of poles to a pack rather than 50+ inches,.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:16PM
and what is the advantage of cork handles? do they absorb sweat better?
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 04:29PM
Quote
forrestranger
and what is the advantage of cork handles? do they absorb sweat better?

They should be softer against the skin and provide decent grip if it's a rubber/cork composite material. It should cushion a little. My poles have polyethylene handles, but I find they're comfortable enough. I've seen some poles with rubber or plastic foam for cushioning, but I'd think they would wear out quickly.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 07:38PM
I have some Komperdell shock absorbers. Cork handles. I haven't used them aside from the Guadalupe Peak hike. They definitely helped take the load off my legs in general on the way up and my knees on the way down.
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 10:51PM
I have the adjustable length Leki Super Makalu poles with the Cor-Tec grips and shock absorbers. I had a previous Leki version with plain grips and no shock absorbtion. The grips seem to soak up the sweat much better and they just have a better feel. The newer set also has the grips angled slightly forward that seems to relax the wrists more. Because of bad knees, I use my trekking poles going downhill mostly. They have made hiking so much more enjoyable. At the end of long days, my knees would really hurt for a day, or even more. Once I started using the poles on the downhill sections, my knees didn't hurt at all even after 10-20 miles in a day. The poles seem to allow the shock to be absorbed before it gets to your knees.

I also like the fact that if you are on a remote hike, they give you some sense of safety if you turn an ankle or something like that. You could probably limp back to civilization with them if you had to. The other nice thing about the shock absorbers is that my elbows seemed to get some tendinitis when I was using the plain poles. The constant hitting of the trail with the poles was transferred to my elbows I guess. The shock absorbers have eliminated that.

I am sure REI and Kompell make good trekking poles too. But with the great Leki warranty and all other things considered, I would never head to the backcountry without my Lekis. My better half used to laugh at them, until she got into hiking in the Sierras. She used mine one day and decided to get her own set. We don't use them all the time, but on downhill sections they are nice to have.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 07, 2009 07:37AM
Quote
wbmyosemite
I am sure REI and Kompell make good trekking poles too. But with the great Leki warranty and all other things considered, I would never head to the backcountry without my Lekis. My better half used to laugh at them, until she got into hiking in the Sierras. She used mine one day and decided to get her own set. We don't use them all the time, but on downhill sections they are nice to have.

I mentioned Komperdell because I know Sierra Trading Post has a large selection of them at closeout prices. The start to this thread included a concern for how expensive they can get. I think I bought mine for maybe $40 with $1 shipping. It might have also been because I had a 20% discount for being on the mailing list.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 06, 2009 11:14PM
To shock, or not to shock?

I find anti-shock a waste of money.
Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 07, 2009 04:50AM
The anti-shock feature can be de-activated with a simple twist and click of the pole. Also, it should only be used for descents.

Most packs have the velcro straps for carrying the telescopic (collapsible) trekking poles.

As for proper usage, I'm at a loss with finding FREE instructions on the internet. Adventure buddies has a dvd for sale, but IMO this information should be free and widely available to the public so I continue to search.
avatar Re: Trek (walking )Poles
May 07, 2009 06:22AM
Quote
Vince
To shock, or not to shock?

I find anti-shock a waste of money.

So does this mean that you have tried hiking with both shock and non-shock?
And you find no difference? Or?

(I fully expect a response of none (i.e. no response))

For me, I think having the ability to turn off the shock unnecessary.
I like the shock on uphills cause when I get tired and stop I can
lean forward and bounce on them... smiling smiley (I'm a Kid at heart) (pun intended)
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