View Full Version : About using trekking poles

01-12-2003, 02:01 PM
Took a spill going down hill with a pack last month. Appears I hyper extended my knee. So, now that it's damaged I'm thinking about using trekking poles to protect the rest of it and would appreciate any feed back on the following. 1) Would poles have helped - can you use the poles down hill to brace yourself or are you just setting yourself up for a head over heels stunt? 2) If they will work, can you suggest a light weight unit. 3) What do you look for to evaluate a good from poor pole?

01-12-2003, 05:21 PM
Hi Mike,
I swear by my treking poles. I hunt deer in steep canyons and I'm not sure that I could get down with a big heavy pack without an injury if I didn't have my poles. I've found that they conserve energy both uphill and down.

I think that there is a very good chance that poles would have prevented your fall. When using them going down hill I place them infront of me sometimes one sometimes both depending on how steep and then slowly lower myself down.

As far as what to look for, I bought a very expensive pair of Leki treking poles and don't get me wrong I love them and I would reccomend them to any long distance hiker. However I have found that they don't quit fit the bill for a backpacking hunter.

A few of the draw backs are: they are not the lightest poles, They don't collapse down as short as I'd like and the highly touted feature of spring shock absorbers are not the best when you are trying to stabilize yourself on a steep downhill with a heavy pack. They do have a lock out, however, I've found that there is still some spring.

Next time I purchase a pair I'll look for the lightest, shortest collapsing, no springed set I can find.

Hope this helps, I know I had lots of questions about treking poles before I bought them, now I don't carry a pack or meat without them. SW

01-13-2003, 10:13 AM
I am speaking from the stand point of the newly converted. I have done some research (occupational hazard) into the use of treking poles. The greatest benifit of poles is actually realized in down hile movement. Approximately 21% of the load can be taken-up by the poles. The problem with poles is learning when not to use them (heavy tangle type jungle). You will find yourself taking them on every jaunt. I feel more sure footed with them as well as have greater climbing speed. By the way I have only been using them fo one year now, and I don't know how I lived without them.

As to anti-shock verses strait poles is more of a personal pref. The shock absorber is mainly for the elbo. As long as you don't plant heavy and often, you won't need it. It is benificial for down hill as this is when your impact is highest. The spring takes awhile to get used to, especially on tricky terrain. I use poles with shock absorbers that can be turned off (more or less).

I have added a link below to Sierra Trading Post's Hiking pole page. This is a cheap way to get gear.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/...ist_display.htm (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/asp/dept_id.L2~314/dept_name_p.Outdoor+Gear/qx/prod_list_display.htm)

Good Luck and Good Hunting


Nevada Dan
01-13-2003, 01:54 PM
Mike first off here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

I too, have been thinking about poles. Last fall I used a friend's Leki pole during a week long deer hunt in mountainous terrain. I found that most of the time they were tied to my pack rather than being used in my hands. For me personally, the jury is still out. I do know I would use them hauling heavy loads down steep slippery stuff. Between my two hunting partners one swears by them and the other could care less and he's the one with bad knees.

Has anyone tried Stoney Points poles? (I've haven't). They do have an interchanable top so it can work as a trekking pole, a gun rest (Vee top) or a camera\scope monopod (1/4-20 stud)? In theory it sounds good, any field reports? How's the all important weight?

01-15-2003, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the information. For me it's time to watch the knees so I'm going to look more deeply into using poles.

01-19-2003, 03:14 PM
I started using poles several years ago. They make a huge difference, especially on the downhill leg of your journey. Going uphill you also have ability to let your arms do some of the work by 'pulling' yourself up. I use poles every time I hike and on approaches for mountaineering trips. If you want to try them out on the cheap, go to the local Goodwill, grab some old ski poles and tear the baskets off. This way you can see how they will feel and learn the rythym while walking w/poles.

01-19-2003, 04:34 PM
That's a Great suggestion! going to goodwill for a practice pair of treking poles. I was just at a newly built goodwill in our area and they had lots of old ski poles.

02-16-2003, 04:09 PM
Just wanted to thank all of you for the info. Bought a pair from Leki, weigh about a pound, no springs. Tried them with a 30 lb. pack on snow shoes. Sure was nice climbing hills, but none of you mentioned the upper body work out! Anyway, I can see why on hills they are impressive and plan to include them in my workouts. Didn't even feel the pack. Thanks again and good hunting to you all.