Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Need help buying trekking poles..

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Need help buying trekking poles..

    I am looking to buy some trekking poles but know nothing about them. I was hoping to hear from more experienced hikers. I have a trip planned up in ANWR in June and thought I may benefit from some additional support. Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    What kind of trip are you doing? If it is a float trip then you probably won't see the value in going for the high end super light poles. I like the Black Diamond poles with the "flick-lock" system. I have a set of the elliptical aluminum ones that are supposed to be stronger which is a good thing when you weigh over 250. Many people swear by the Leki poles but I have also heard of the twist lock on them wearing out especially if it is overtightened. There are also a lot of people that feel the anti shock feature is a necessity. I couldn't justify the extra expense, and I honestly don't really know what the benefit of the anti-shock is.

  3. #3
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    648

    Default

    I dislike the anti-shock feature because it adds weight and the little bounce you get tends to be disruptive to balance. I really like the extended foam grips for mountain hiking as you can drop your hand lower on the uphill side without shortening the poles. I have used the twist locks exclusively and have had them collapse occasionally. Set will be flip locks. This time of year you can get a great set on sale at REI. They change out colors every year and get rid of “last year’s” color.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    I had the same question in anticipation of the '08 hunting season. On the advice of a few guys here last year I bought Black Diamond poles. I decided on the Eliptic Contour Shock and my partner bought the Eliptic Contour. We both preferred the shock model for the shock absorption and the two-fisted grip. The non-shock model would be better with the long grip but I can't imagine why you wouldn't want the shock absorber, too. Mine are not spongy or springy. In fact you aren't aware the shocks are there until you use other poles that don't have them. Climbing shale and scree the pole tips hit rock a majority of the time. The vibration cushion was appreciated and the tip had less tendency to bounce and skid off the rocks. I never noticed any weight difference, either. I have no experience with other brands but can attest to the solid locking of the Black Diamond poles. Since I had access to the identical poles with and without shock absorption I also recommend the shock models. For most days one pole is enough, but I really liked having two on the slimy downhills. The best part of trekking poles is the ability to stake and pitch a sil tarp to get out of the wind or rain. The trekkers serve as tent poles for that purpose. Very handy.

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    931

    Lightbulb Improved Balance - Shared Burden

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I am looking to buy some trekking poles but know nothing about them. I was hoping to hear from more experienced hikers. I have a trip planned up in ANWR in June and thought I may benefit from some additional support. Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.
    Couple things first...

    1.) Trip to ANWR? Cool - but what kind of trip?
    What kinds of terrain - rocky, tussocks, gradient, super wet or dry, cold or warm, etc.?

    2.) Day hiking around, multi-day trekking w/ loads, or hunting, etc.?

    3.) Primary transportation... plane, boat, foot, etc.?

    The only suggestions I can say for you so far is...

    A.) Just possessing some type of serviceable poles for trekking (no matter what mix of features, complexity, and cost) are going provide a monumental enhancement to your balance (gaining stability), facilitate breathing, lend a hand to pace or stride, increase safety, decrease fatigue, and distribute burden of heavy backpacks. In other words… having some trustworthy poles is better than no poles at all, and I’d give no mind to the folks that don’t believe in poles for trekking.

    B.) You should find what poles, features, and price ranges fit. I’d look long and hard at the MSR military surplus poles (Denali II Military) between $10-$20 bucks a pair!!!

    C.) If you’ve got dough to spare and are looking for some additional features… take a look at the grips (ergonomic angles, fit, materials, anti-shock, self arrest aids or camera, firearm, shelter & other adaptations, etc.), also take a glance at the shafts themselves (1,2, 3 pieces, metals vs. composites, adjustability options, weight, strength, splice into avalanche probes, shelter poles, baskets, tips, color, etc.)

    D.) Product Warranty or store satisfaction guarantee!!!

    Hope this helps… please provide a bit more info on likely terrain, your general use, physical conditioning or limitations, trip duration, cost and so on… likely will point you in the right direction.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Lots of great info here guys, I appreciate it. As for the trip, it is a rafting trip down the Kongakut, but we will be hiking some each evening to ridges and what not. And we will have 4 or 5 days that are dedicated to full day hikes up higher terrain. My big priority with these hikes aside from just enjoying the scenery will be photography. I will have a Lowepro Dryzone full of DSLR/lenses/tripod/etc.. but weight won't be more than 25-28 lbs. I am a bit out of shape currently and weigh 296. Hoping to be around 250 when I hit the Kongakut so I can get more out of the trip. It is the wonderful scenery that is taking me there, but in my current couch potato status, I won't have the endurance to get high enough to get the landscape shots I am after. The terrain will be varied, some low lying tundra will be wet/soft, but most the hiking will be on low/moderate tundra going up ridgelines and undoubtedly more rocky as I get higher up. On all of our other float trips, it has been about the fly fishing, but this trip will have better hiking opportunities and I want to take advantage of this. Physical conditioning is my first issue of course, but I also thought that having some trekking poles may help lighten the load a bit. Particularly as I am crawling my fat a$* around toward the tops of the mountains. Even at 250 and in better shape, I suspect by the time I get up there I will be pretty beat. I also thought the trekking poles would make for a safer return as I go back down. At 6'6" 296, I am not exactly a swan if you know what I mean. I would hate to twist an ankle or do something stupid on day two of a twelve day trip. The main thing I am worried about it snapping the little poles like a twig. So stronger is better. The elliptical sounds like what I am looking for. Not interested in blowing money, but I don't mind paying extra if there is a tangible benefit. Any additional thoughts/suggestions most appreciated. I appreciate your input.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1

    Default Hiking poles

    I have had several pairs of Leki poles they are expensive but they have the spring thing which I like I have a bad elbow and I think it helps. Main thing for me is I only use ONE at a time. Even only using one pole I bruise evenly on the toes on right and left foot and my chiropractor says I'm walking evenly he loves it. ONE at a time gives you all the advantages of hiking with poles but is less bulky and cumbersome if you have to stow it for climbing rocks or something like that.
    Watch how the parts lock together. Sometimes the twist locks don't work I bought a new pair of winter poles this weekend and I had trouble getting them to lock the first time out. A guy in my group had a different kind of locking mechanism I had never seen before but he said it was terrific. Ask about this whereever you go to buy these.
    They are great for walking and saving your knees but the best is the help in stream crossings over rocks and such.
    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Welcome to the forum

    Thanks for your input on the trekking poles.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    717

    Default

    I second LuJon, I like the "flick lock" systems on the Black Diamond poles better than the twist style locking system for the telescoping section. Seams that they would be easier to fix in the field if they were to have a problem. My wife and I have made alot of trips with our Black Diamond poles in the last two years with no trouble.

    Leki is probably the biggest name in trekking poles and are always rated highly in Backpacker Magazine's gear review. Black Diamond rates very well also. You can pay as much as $150 for poles, but you don't have to go expensive on trekking poles. A $60 pair will get the job done and hold up well under average use. Some manufacturers have a heavy duty pole made for larger guys and would probably be worth the few extra dollars.

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    I found a decent deal on the Black Diamond Spire elliptical poles. Normally, $129, found them for $99 on Spadout. Thought I would check back here before pulling the trigger. Any thoughts on these?

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    614

    Default

    i used to use leki, they slip over time and you have to replace parts. i now use black diamond flick locks. those that you pictured above, if a great deal get them, but... i would get BD poles with the flick lock mechanism at both attachment points, as those you pictured only have it on one joint. get the BD ones that flick lock system is soooo much better then the leki twist lock system.

  12. #12
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I found a decent deal on the Black Diamond Spire elliptical poles. Normally, $129, found them for $99 on Spadout. Thought I would check back here before pulling the trigger. Any thoughts on these?

    I would not buy those. They have the binary lock system on the bottom latch which has been problematic. I have the regular countour eliptical but you can get the countour eliptical with shock for the same price as the spires and you get the proven flick lock system on both latches instead of the binary lower one on the spires.
    http://www.basegear.com/black-diamon...our-shock.html


  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Cool. Do they come in gold/silver? Kidding. Thanks man. I will check them out. The locking mechanism sounds like a big deal on trekking poles. Glad I ask a question here before buying. I appreciate the input.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14

    Default

    My tips... trekking poles can help take some of the load off your feet, but they will sometimes catch on rocks & things. They're also a little pointless if you do much off-trail hiking, but they're fine if you don't. Some people us them to pitch their tents instead of tent poles, but those styles of tents don't seem sturdy enough for Alaska use.

    I'd recommend something adjustable that's very light. Try looking for Gossamer Gear and Titanium Goat; their poles are around 3 oz. each, I think.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  15. #15
    Member Roger45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    966

    Default

    Pole feature failures IMHO: 1.) twist lock...they come un-locked at the worse possible time (Murphy's Law); 2.) anti-shock...extra weight, can come apart and explode everywhere, more irritation than it is worth; 3.0 simple twist on basket...better take a dozen with you as you will be losing them at every mud hole you come to.
    Pole features that work IMHO: 1.) Black Diamond solid locking system for the lower 1/3 section of collapsible poles; 2.) Black Diamond plastic grip lock in the upper section; 3.) the bend at the handle/grip for wrist relief.

    For me, the Black diamond previously mentioned is almost the perfect trekking pole. I have a ton of miles on mine...used year round in Alaska. Never a failure even at -20F
    "...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

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    For me, the Black diamond previously mentioned is almost the perfect trekking pole. I have a ton of miles on mine...used year round in Alaska. Never a failure even at -20F

    The blue/silver or gold/silver(spires)? I am a little confused about the different locking mechanisms to be honest.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  17. #17

    Default

    I think you get about 90% of the value of treking poles if you use just one. My wife and I often carry just one set for the two of us. I find I especially like them when coming down steep terrain. They make it a lot easier to keep your balance. Also less tiring, because without them it seems like you expend a lot of energy maintaining balance.

  18. #18
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Just my opinion again, but almost ALL my packing is off trail and I will not go with out them. I used a single staff for years and it is OK for hiking, but with a sheep or bou in the bag I strongly recommend two. Note pictures posted on the other hiking pole thread.
    Dave

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    The blue/silver or gold/silver(spires)? I am a little confused about the different locking mechanisms to be honest.
    look at the above pics of poles. the blue/silver ones have the "flick-lock" system at both joints, while the gold/silver ones have the "flick-lock" at one joint and another mechanism on the other one. the non-flick-lock can slip just like leki's twist lock. i would get a BD set of poles with flick-lock at both joints.

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Will do. Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •