View Full Version : Trekking poles
08-08-2009, 12:13 PM
Does anyone here use trekking poles? I shopped around for some and they seem to be quite expensive and come in a huge variety. I looked at some Eddie Bauer poles at Target and they seemed pretty sturdy but nothing real special ($40). Walmart sells a real cheap pole too ($10) and it looks every bit of cheap.
So my question is...what, if any, trekking pole do you use out on the trails? I think the wooden poles are the sturdiest, but also the heaviest. I plan on using it everywhere, from Colorado snow to the rocks of New Mexico.
08-08-2009, 02:16 PM
I realize that this is probably not the type of thing an avid hiker would use, but we found a couple of ski poles at a yard sale a few years ago. They were only $2 for the pair. We cut them down a bit to the length we needed. My wife has used them a few times on some long hikes.
08-08-2009, 05:07 PM
I have some collapsable poles that I carry for extra's. They work pretty good, but my favorite is my "Hick Stick" which is a Hoe handle that I bought at the CO-OP and did a little carving on.
08-08-2009, 06:26 PM
My hiking stick is a piece of cherry wood limb that I found on a hiking trail and carrried home, cut to length, did some whittling on, wrapped a little parachute cord about the handle end for a grip, and made it into a handy companion for my caching trips.
After stumbling over a small irragular place on an otherwise smooth concrete bike/hiking path and breaking one of the bones in my right leg, my wife told me I needed something to keep me upright. So the hiking stick was born.
I'm 73 years old so sometimes I can be a little unsteady on my feet, especially going over creeks, unlevel ground, or up and down hills. The stick has helped me get up a lot of hills and I have not taken a tumble since I got it.
It has also moved along a few snakes and allowed me to remove and replace caches from places that looked too dangerous to stick my hands into
It is also just wood so I can nail the Arkansas State Parks hiking medallions to it and display my progress in the Ark. State Parkscache adventure and it is a travelbug to record my milage.
08-08-2009, 06:40 PM
Seacykid, did I see your hiking stick at the ArkGeo event at Lake Ouachita? If so, that's one neat hiking stick. I do like the idea of lightweight and also easily attachable to my pack, but I can also see the benefits of a good wooden stick that can be customized.
Any of you good with sticks enough to carve something out?
08-08-2009, 08:56 PM
I started using poles years ago packing and hiking in Colorado, but rarely use them in Arkansas. Poles are particularly useful on uneven terrain and with a load. Lightweight, collapsible, shock absorbing, comfortable grips are a must. REI, Leki, Black Diamond, Komperdell are a few good names. None of the decent poles are cheap, but there are good moderately priced poles. Try REI Outlet.
08-08-2009, 10:02 PM
I have a pair of hiking poles that I bought a few years ago at REI in Portland, OR, in preparation for a climb of Mt. Hood. They were definitely needed in climbing through the snow fields of that mountain. I have found them less useful in Arkansas, although occasionally I will take one of them with me when I go geocaching. The poles are quite handy in turning over rocks, or logs, or poking into places, to avoid snakes and other critters. I have tried hiking sticks in the past, but I really don't care for them because they are heavier and cannot collapse down to a small, compact length. But, like I said, I really haven't found much use for either poles or sticks in Arkansas while doing just general hiking. However, I have seen some backpackers using them on the Ozark Highlands Trail, and they may be handy if you plan on doing some backpacking. As far as where to get good hiking poles, you cannot go wrong with REI. Or you may want to pick up a good quality pair from one of the hiking / outdoors speciality stores here in Arkansas, like Take A Hike or Lewis & Clark. I would shy away from the Wal-Mart poles, unless you just want to get a cheap pair to try them out to see if you like them before investing in a more expensive pair. Remember, you get what you pay for, and the more expensive poles will have a lot better quality and give you better service than the cheapos from Wal-Mart.
08-11-2009, 01:36 AM
i bought what i think is a nice stick from academy. it was $30, but has helped me alot. you guys might think im a young pup, but after i had my back surgery it probably added 30 years to my body. cbjr, seeing his daddy with a hiking stick, wanted me to buy him one. i bought him a cane. ive been using it alot and i love it better than my longer stick. i dont think i have a picture of my stick but heres jr with the one i like best.
08-11-2009, 08:39 AM
A hiking stick has been my constant companion for nearly 20 yrs. It has accompanied me up 12 14ers in Colorado, and below sea level caching in New Orleans. In Arkansas, it's used to push aside briars, beat down poison ivy, scare snakes away, and help keep spiderwebs outta my face:) I have a pair of trekking poles that have served me well over the years (Leki) and an old Tracker with the camera mount on top. But my favorite for years has been the Leki Wanderfreund. This stick has horizontal and vertical grip, and is very handy for snagging, hooking, grabbing, etc.
It has become my most valuable cache-retrieval tool!
Of course, i lost my first one.....left it at a cache somewhere. Spent about 3 days going back to caches i had recently found.....no luck. someone probably took it. So found another on ebay at a real good price ($25) and i'm back in business again.
08-11-2009, 09:20 AM
I have good luck with old graphite golf club shafts.
08-15-2009, 09:11 PM
I gotta vote or the old hoe handle. I had one I used a lot till my oldest son broke it. He could break an anvil with a rubber hammer. I have thought about getting some trekking poles but I just don't think I'd use them enough to justify the cost. I haven't even used my new GPS enough to justify the cost yet. I just can't seem to get into caching much this year.
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