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Thread: Trekking poles

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Question Trekking poles

    I am sure that this is in here somewhere but the search feature does not function on this computer for some reason. Has anyone tried the Black Diamond Alpine CF trekking poles? I am not looking to spend a fortune but I am suposed to be getting my Barneys pack in a couple weeks and I am planning a 2-3day hike in the chugach mountains the end of the month. I am budgeting $130 for a set but would prefer to spend as little as possible. The important thing to me is that they are sturdy and quiet as they will primarily be used for sheep hunting. I am not set on the BD's they just look good from the reviews so if you know something beter then toss it out. I will say I also was thinking about the polecat poles since they have a rifle rest mono-pod option...
    Ideas?

  2. #2
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I was going to post something similiar to your post. I'm hoping you get some suggestions as I'm looking for a set of trekking poles as well to use for my upcoming goat hunt in September.

  3. #3
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    A little over a year ago I upgraded to the Black Diamond Spire Elliptical Trekking Pole from REI http://www.rei.com/product/750185 . I was skeptical of the bent handle and even more so of the locking system. I previously had poles that had the shock absorber and were strictly twist-to-tighten and got tired of them collapsing at all the wrong time from how I walk (twisting movement of my arms). I have used these BD poles 3-5 times a week for over a year (and all winter) climbing Lazy Mountain and the Butte. Other than scratches, they are like brand new. Both the lower lock and the upper plastic snap lock have worked perfect even after 100's of opening and closings. I have never had one collapse while walking with them. I have never had a basket fall off. The bent handle is 100% more useful than the shock absorber IMHO and there is not the extra weight. I would rate them 10 out of 10
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  4. #4

    Default Trekking Poles

    I have a couple sets of Leki trekking poles. I haven't really used them hiking yet because the only hike I've been on this year backpacking was through brush/swamp/ or on a wheeler trail. All of which aren't exactly where trekking poles shine IMO. They are just another thing to carry in your hands. Where they do shine in my past experience is with heavier loads above brush line where they can't get tangled up. Also snowshoeing was a lot easier and more stable with these as I found out this past spring. Like roger said I wouldn't be too concerned about shock absorber style. Just find some that feel comfortable.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Luke, you need to talk to Bob about this at work. According to Pete (Sheep Man), he says that x-amount of weight put down on the poles equal x-amount of weight lightened off your shoulders (or something to that effect). Let us know what he says...

    P.S. "Bob" has climbed the highest mountain on every continent and knows a thing or two aboug hiking...

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default trekking poles

    Sorry this is off Lujons topic but it brought another question to mind: is it really necessary to spend all that money on the poles? I am new to the mountain hiking and I just planned on using old ski poles for my hikes/hunts. Will these "work"?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Yes they will work. I am gonna spend some more $$ because I am going after sheep solo and will be above tree line for 10 days probably just wearing out my kenetrek mountaineering boots but hopefully some of that will be with 100lbs of sheep meat on my back. I don't want too much added weight and I do want the poles to be colapsable so I can stow them easily. I don't want them to be loud and clanky and most importantly I don't want them to break! And that is my justification for spending the money (hey the wife bought into it).

  8. #8

    Default Leki Wanderfreund

    I have used the Leki Wanderfreund walking staff for over 12 years now and it has served me amazingly well--even saved me on a solo Kodiak bear hunt from impaling myself on a branch when I fell with my backpack fully loaded with a bear hide.

    In the last few years they have modified the models and the design of the top handle but I imagine the quality is still there and the new models would be just as useful.

    The twist and lock mechanism is easy to use and hasn't ever given me troubles and is very strong (won't collapse under large weight).

    What is different on the Leki Wanderfreund from many others is the handle at the top--I find this "t-top" feels natural because of how your wrist turns at your side when walking and it doesn't fatigue my wrist and can support much more weight than a ski pole style handle in my opinion.

    It also can also be used as a field expedient rifle rest when shooting.

    And with the adjustable height feature I set it at a different height based on terrain/climbing up versus down a hill, and how much I am weighted down under a packed load.

    However, some folks don't like this type of handle and prefer those designed like "ski-poles"--my brother always uses ski poles and doesn't like borrowing my Leki---so it is each to his own and you should look at both styles to see which you prefer.

    Whichever you prefer the bottom line is I cannot imagine hunting without one--whenever I see hunting videos of folks climbing up, or even worse, down a mountainside without the added safety and load-lightening features of a walking staff I cringe--And of course you see hunters using their rifle as a crutch in these videos as well which is just plain wrong.

    I would like to see a study of hunting injuries, let's say like broken legs or twisted ankles and query the hunters if they were using a walking staff at the time--I imagine the vast majority were not.

    There are even other unintended multiple uses for walking poles--get one with a carbide tip and it can be used to impale salmon in a survival situation. Also, many tarps/survival shelters require something like a walking staff to set-up--having one that can adjust in height like the Leki provides that much more flexibility to tighten up the tarp.

    Here are some links to look at the Leki if you are interested:
    http://www.rei.com/product/767064
    http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/770028
    http://www.nextag.com/leki-wanderfreund/search-html

    I would have to say that honestly the Leki Anti-shock Wanderfreund has been one of my overall best purchases ever for hunting--it is essential, never leave home without it gear.

  9. #9

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    Another model to think about are Titanium Goat's collapsible poles, which I've been thinking of picking up. They're very light and have a camera mount available.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

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    Default REI Peak UL

    I have used these poles for a couple years now. Never had a problem with them collapsing and last year I put a bend in one that should have caused it to explode!! But it did not. Just straighted right our when I took the weight off it and never had an issue.

    They are 13oz total, just put em on the scale. Made by Komperdell.

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    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default ah ha

    alrighty, I see now. Thanks for the input. I guess I am stuck with the cheapo yard sale poles since I gotta get those kenetreks/lowas and a tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Yes they will work. I am gonna spend some more $$ because I am going after sheep solo and will be above tree line for 10 days probably just wearing out my kenetrek mountaineering boots but hopefully some of that will be with 100lbs of sheep meat on my back. I don't want too much added weight and I do want the poles to be colapsable so I can stow them easily. I don't want them to be loud and clanky and most importantly I don't want them to break! And that is my justification for spending the money (hey the wife bought into it).

  12. #12

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    Go see Marc Taylor, he's got the Leki Makalo Titanium poles and I believe they are less than $130 for the pair. I've been using them for 2 years and love'em.

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    Check out Sierra Trading Post,they always have good deals,and go find a 20% coupon on the web.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I picked up the Black Diamond Eliptical poles. They are a bit heavier and not much cheaper than the Carbon Alpine poles but I think the added strength will be worth the weight for me since I am 6'5" 250lbs. I know the CF poles are prone to catastrophic failure if you smack them against something just right where the aluminum poles are more likely to slowly bend. The last thing I want is a pole to bust while I am leaning on it 3/4 the way up a scree slope with 130lbs on my back!
    I picked up a set of BD trail poles for the wife they are nothing really special a little heavier than mine and they do have the BD clamping system which I like. I will hopefully have a report late this month as we are trying to plan an eklutna trip as soon as I get my new pack delivered from Barneys.
    Lanche: you and the wife have any plans for next time you are back?

  15. #15

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    I've got the BD Switchbacks and I love the BD clamping system. I've never had a problem with them in the three years I've been using them. I've heard great things about BD's eliptical poles (with the only negative being the weight), and I'll be very curious to hear what you think of them.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    Sorry this is off Lujons topic but it brought another question to mind: is it really necessary to spend all that money on the poles? I am new to the mountain hiking and I just planned on using old ski poles for my hikes/hunts. Will these "work"?
    I started with an old set of ski poles with an Orthopedic surgeon told me to start using poles. First, yes they will work. That said, they are extremely heavy and to short. The grips are not *right* either. That is why I went to trekking poles.

    Go to REI outlet store on-line. They have 10% off anything ordered by the 12th, and they have a set of trekking poles on sale ($150 normal, under $90 before the 10% discount)...worth looking at IMHO.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    Sorry this is off Lujons topic but it brought another question to mind: is it really necessary to spend all that money on the poles? I am new to the mountain hiking and I just planned on using old ski poles for my hikes/hunts. Will these "work"?
    I'd have to say yes to this question. I does matter.
    I have some Red Feather poles that I use(d) for everything until recently I decided that I'd take out my husbands poles instead.
    They are called PoleCat. These things are amazing. I didn't know that I would even care or have preference to certain poles.
    This would be the kind that I would suggest. Little does my husband know, but they are officially going to be MY poles on our sheep hunt and he's going to have to order new ones.
    Poles matter. I have only ever in my time of hiking and climbing been able to find another hiking stick or pole. The stick I have was from my first 14,000ft climb in Colorado, so I keep it for more sentimental reasons now, but that climbing stick is the only thing close to this PoleCat.
    http://www.mytrailgear.com/t3m62-vxx.html
    Lurker.

  18. #18
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I would suggest going to Wiggy's and get the poles that Marc has in there. I got a set last year, can't remember exactly how much they were, but they were less than $130. A lifesaver for sure. My hunting partner became a believer right away after he borrowed one of them for the trip. He went and bought the exact same set for him and another for his dad a few days after we got back. Very lightweight, strong, adjustable, comfortable grips, totally awesome.

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    I have used the BD Spires for over a year and I am on my second pair. I love the Flicklock mechanism. It is so easy to use and works every time. I have used Leki's and always ended up with problems with the twist mechanism after a couple of seasons of hard use.

    I did say I am on my second pair. I did a February Boundary Waters trip in Northern Minnesota I slipped on a portage trail and jammed a pole sideways causing the bottom pole to bend, and when I snapped it back it broke. I called BD customer service and they sent me a new pair of poles.

    The now have a carbon fiber elliptical pair http://www.bdel.com/gear/contour_elliptic_carbon.php that looks very interesting.

    Jason B

  20. #20

    Default BD Alpine CF

    The poles you asked about are the ones I currently used and I think they are great. Best I've used so far. I've had Leki's, Komperdell's and a couple cheaper brands and all have failed to some degree. Mostly the twist-locks quit working (how many others out there have had to pull the sections apart and use your teeth like pliers to unfreeze a twist-lock?). The flick-locks have proven more dependable and you can operate them with gloves on. The big advantage of trekking poles over ski poles is the ability to adjust the height. I do this a lot more with the flick-locks then I did with twist-lock poles. I don't think you'd regret getting the BD CF Alpines. Plus, REI has a sale coming up so you can get them for 20% off.

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