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Hiking Poles


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We suggest that you get the telescopic kind that can be reduced to the size of your suitcase... just in case you want to fly and cache. We also suggest that you get the kind that has a shock absorber for going down hills. Bee Crazy uses two sticks which is very helpful for her to keep a good stride going, while I only use one. The GPS is always in the other free hand.

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I have a pair of telescoping Komperdell trekkin poles. You can find good deals on poles here. I like them because the length is adjustable and they collapse and fit inside my pack when I don't need them.


I have anti shock poles (spring loaded handles), but find the feature to be of limited value, so I have it turned off most of the time.

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Some folks prefer wooden staffs, using the telescopic poles only when traveling. With this in mind, we bought a couple of the inexpensive telescopic poles at Wal-mart to see if we liked using them. And if we didn't we'd have them for traveling anyway without too much invested. These poles can get pricey at REI and the like.


Anyway, at just under $10 each, they've held up pretty well so far, helped prevent a couple of injuries already, and we're pretty happy with them overall. We'll probably invest in slightly better ones next time around, but these were a pretty good buy. I like the feel of wood, but the lighter weight and telescopic features are big advantages in my book.

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I am an ultra light backpacker and I have seen many different mfg's here and there. It really depends on what kind of hiking you want to do. If you are a dayhiker where you go out for the day or afternoon then just about any kind of stick will do. I would get the telescoping kind as well. When compacted all the way down they fit real nice in the car or for travelling on a plane or in a park bus.


If you want to get more serious with your hiking you can spend a lot of money on a pair of carbon walking poles that virtually have no weight to them at all. I really like my Peak Ultralight Cabon poles. They are made of a carbon material and weigh just at 8 oz for the both of them. I even cut off the straps because I never used them and they seem to get in the way. There are some poles that weigh less than 5oz but they get pricey and they are not telescoping.


1. Get telescoping poles

2. Get the lightest pair you can afford.

3. I suggest you use two for your hikes. they really add a level of stability.

4. I have tried the ones with a shock absorber and I did not find them to be any more useful than the ones without. When I go down hill I just go a big slower and that seems to be all I need. But I have heard people sware by them. It is just that you only find the shock absorber oples on the high end of the price range so expect to spend upwards to $100 for the pair them.


To me it is all in the weight. I rally like my poles and I would never hike without them - ever.



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we bought a couple of the inexpensive telescopic poles at Wal-mart to see if we liked using them.  . . .


Anyway, at just under $10 each, they've held up pretty well so far, helped prevent a couple of injuries already, and we're pretty happy with them overall.  We'll probably invest in slightly better ones next time around, but these were a pretty good buy. 

After seeing your post I bought one of the Walmart $10 poles. Seems like a nice pole for little money. It's lighter, more versatile and easier to carry than my wood stick. One issue -- I haven't yet figured out how to tell when they're clamped tight enough not to slip. A couple of times I thought I had it tight, but when I leaned on it it began to collapse. Probably just takes a little getting used to.

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I found a nice, sturdy stick in the woods a few years ago. I brought it home and stuck it in the closet and forgot about it. I found it the other night and started carving some pictures on it and painted it. It looks so awesome so far and I can't wait to use it! Best of all....it was free and it gave me something to do. :rolleyes:

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A really really nice geocacher gave my husband a pair of Komperdell's and me a pair of Leki poles. I have no idea how long he had used them before he gave them to us, but we have used them for almost a year now, and have had no problems with either set. We consider ourselves lucky to have such nice poles (and such a great friend!). I would recommend either.

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I've also thought of making my own pole, but in reading all sorts of instructions from the net on how to make it, and the type of wood to use, I think I'll try it and go with trial and error.


Have the basic idea, but I guess the best way to learn is from your mistakes.....I should really know a lot with all the mistakes that I've made. :ph34r:

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It's really easy to carve your own, believe me. I used my set of Exacto knives. For me, the one with the rounded blade worked best. I guess I got lucky on the stick I picked up in the woods. It is really easy to carve on. I painted it with some craft paint I picked up at Wal-mart. My husband happened to have some rubber tips lying around that fit perfectly on the end!

Edited by mudda_UBER
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I have a nice telescoping stick but usually use one I made of a heavy wooden broom stick, with a hole drilled near the top end for a cord loop, and the bottom end sharpened a bit. The wooden stick is stronger than the aluminum and if I lose it or break it ... so what. The chief advantages of the telescoping stick are lightness and the ability to adjust the length to the situation, and for transport. But for some applications, like crossing rocky steams, the strength and durability of the wooden stick really pay off.

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Sports Authority is having a sale on leftover ski poles.......29 bucks for a set ain't too bad.

My daughters are forever picking up a stick as soon as we hit the woods.

I made my own telescoping pole out of 2 old tent poles and a bike handle grip. The poles are light steel and very strong.



Edited by Lizooki
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Melt it. Make sure you don't get it on your GPS also. I did and now have to use a rubber band to keep the battery cover on.

And I got it on my display coverglass (coverplastic?) making it difficult to read the display. I did this within short time after getting the new unit.

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With all that being said, you might want to check out some of the threads on this site and make your own walking stick. I just finished my first one and enjoyed making and using it. Just another option! :rolleyes:

I would be more than happy to give advice on making your own if you are interested. You can view my work at Geo-Hiking Stick I no longer sell them to the general public, but more than willing to haelp you.


El Diablo

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I have heare nothing but good things about El Diablo's work (inprevious logs).


I started out using a maple sapling I cut down by Lake Superior. It got me throught my first 2 months. When winter really arrived, I had problems with it on the icy paths.


I now use a telescoping Komperdell Walking stick I purchased at REI. It has a carbide tip and a compact basket. It has saved my butt more that a few times.



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Melt it.  Make sure you don't get it on your GPS also.  I did and now have to use a rubber band to keep the battery cover on.

Wow, didn't know that. Thanks for bringing that up Rev. and thanks for telling me DWM. Glad I asked.

Yeah...I have a pair of TREK'R aluminum trekking poles with plastic grips. I use DEET towelettes because they are easy to fit in my cache bag, and because I don't like spraying my face with DEET. The towelettes make it easy to control where the DEET goes, but you get the stuff on your hands. Then I grab my hiking stick, ad my hand sticks fast to the grip. There is no real damage, but the grip will be sticky for the rest of the day--very annoying.


EMS has some nice poles with cork grips. I plan to ask for one for Christmas.

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Also, some sunscreen products will melt certain types of rubber. I try to wash my hands thoroughly after applying sunscreen or insect repellant to avoid damaging plastic and rubber I might touch, but this is not always possible. For this reason, I did not put a plastic or rubber grip on my wooden hiking stick.

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I used an old hockey stick. Cut off the blade, spraypainted it green(although I just bought some camo paint and may repaint it soon). It already had a good tape grip at the top(though it had been red, I changed it to black). It's sturdy and works just fine. I'm thinking about the whole drilling a hole at the top to add some kind of cord also. But right now, it's good enough! :P

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