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Collapsable Walking Sticks


markp99
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I have been grabbing the occasional branch to use as a walking stick when I find myself getting tired out on the trails. They seem to make a huge difference, especially on my lower back.

 

I am thinking I might like a more permanent solution that that old pine branch! :huh:

 

I've seen a few light collapsable sticks that range in price from $59 to $159.

 

Does anyone have any good experience with such things. I am not so concerned with shaving 3 ounces off the weight, but I am concernd about comfort and function.

 

I see a straight grip vs molded-offest grip. Big diff here?

 

210040767_200.jpg210194217_200.jpg

 

I do like the option of a camera mount at the top of the pole to serve as a mono-pod.

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by markp99
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I went to Academy Sports Outdoors and bought what is essentially a broom stick for $7. I jsut throw in the back of the pickup and pull it if I have to hike some. I've had it over a year. When it gives out, I'll buy another one. ... But the collapsible does make sense :laughing: if you are using a small to mid size car. ... If I did more hiking, I'd buy a for-real walking stick in the area of what you're contemplating. Good luck.

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I have been grabbing the occasional branch to use as a walking stick when I find myself getting tired out on the trails. They seem to make a huge difference, especially on my lower back.

 

I am thinking I might like a more permanent solution that that old pine branch! :laughing:

 

I've seen a few light collapsable sticks that range in price from $59 to $159.

 

Does anyone have any good experience with such things. I am not so concerned with shaving 3 ounces off the weight, but I am concernd about comfort and function.

 

I see a straight grip vs molded-offest grip. Big diff here?

 

210040767_200.jpg210194217_200.jpg

 

I do like the option of a camera mount at the top of the pole to serve as a mono-pod.

 

Any thoughts?

 

The ones on the right are Leki Super Makalu poles. They are, in my opinion, the best trekking poles on the market bar none. They have an adjustable spring that allows them to flex with each plant. They are guaranteed for life against shaft breakage. You break one, pick up the phone and call Leki. They will send out a new section to replace the broken piece with a question asked! These are the Garmin of Trekking poles.

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I've seen a few light collapsable sticks that range in price from $59 to $159.

 

Does anyone have any good experience with such things. I am not so concerned with shaving 3 ounces off the weight, but I am concernd about comfort and function.

 

I see a straight grip vs molded-offest grip. Big diff here?

 

210040767_200.jpg210194217_200.jpg

 

I do like the option of a camera mount at the top of the pole to serve as a mono-pod.

 

Any thoughts?

Those are good choices, but the wife picked up two for us from Wally World, for about $10 each.

Very sturdy for the price and they have a compass on top. the collapse down to about 18 inches and open up to over 4 ft. :laughing:

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I use a pair of them pretty much all the time whe I hike. They are called trekking poles. I first started using them when showshoeing or hiking in the snow and once the snow melted I was so used to them that I kept on using them. Now if I don't have them with me I feel like something is wrong.

 

They are great for balance when crossing streams and take the pressure off the knees on downhills. They also come in handy for knocking down spiderwebs that cross the trails and for poking into dark places looking for geocaches.

 

What I like about them compared to traditional wooden hiking staffs is that they are lighter and they collapse and fit in my pack when I don't want to use them.

 

Check out Sierra Trading Post for some pretty good deals on trekking poles and staffs.

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Until my knees blew out I never used them. One of my hiking buddies uses them and this last winter, where we had to hike over a couple of tricky areas (fording creeks and traversing mudslides) I had to borrow them a couple of times, now I carry them on a regular basis. I got a pair of Eddie Bauer ones at Target for $20...they work just as well as my friends $69 pair and if they get beat up, I dont care....

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You can find the generic kind at Wally, or the Bullseye store for alot less. I bought mine at Bullseye and it is, I believe, an essential tool when hiking in the woods, and especially caching. Think about all the places you have stuck your hand feeling for a cache. Imagine a Black widow, or a rattleheaded coppermocasin under there..

 

It also works well for disciplining unruley kids :laughing:

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I'm not an expert but do use a single Leki like the picture on the left with the straight grip.. It has a wooden knob that unscrews for screwing on a camera for a single pod mounting arrangement. My understanding is that you use the wrist straps most of the time and the hand and fingers only lightly hold the grip - so grip direction is unimportant although offsets grips seem to be more of a marketing angle (no pun intended).

 

Here's a good article on the use of hiking poles

Edited by Alan2
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I was given a LL Bean Leki as a gift and I've picked up cheap target "ski/hiking" poles, 2 for $10. I no longer go anywhere without my Leki. There may be better, I don't know I haven't tried them, but the cheap stuff just don't cut it. Good packing size, grip comfort, stability, collapse strength (I've had sticks 'close' under pressure) is just so worth it.

 

If somebody asks you what you want for Christmas or your birthday, there you go.

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We use Leki poles and wouldn't be without them. The spring shock absorber built in saves a great deal of pounding on the wrists. The shaft takes the shock while you just get the support. That's the most important difference between quality poles and cheap poles and the difference is significant enough to warrant the price.

 

The wrists straps aren't actually used during hiking. In fact, they go in the palm of your hands. We tried the knob type but like the grip type because they are more secure to use when climbing rough terrain.

 

JDandDD

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In my experience, the problem with collapsable ones is that they collapse.

 

In fact, they're most likely to collapse just when you need them most. And you end up face down in the stream you were trying to rock hop across.

 

My girlfriend uses one, and she's very happy with it so far. But then she weighs less than half my weight! YMMV.

 

I use a fiberglass ski pole. I bought a pair of them on sale. I got them long for downhill rock hopping. The strap and the angled grip are important to get right. I wish it had a second grip about 6 inches lower down. I've been thinking about adding one of my own. I'd use the lower grip for general walking, and the higher grip for downhills.

 

I think it's important to get the strap right, so that your wrist can support most of the pressure when you are pushing down, and your hand can relax more.

 

Hope that helps.

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We use Leki poles and wouldn't be without them. The spring shock absorber built in saves a great deal of pounding on the wrists. The shaft takes the shock while you just get the support. ...

 

Yup. My ski poles don't have a spring shock, but I've noticed that the fiberglass flexes a bit to absorb shock and vibration. I prefer it to the feel of straight alluminum or hardwood which can both vibrate and jar when you're on hard surfaced trails or rocks.

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I find this quite interesting as I do not use a pole at all and have never felt the need for one. I have always like to have my hands empty when hiking, which is a big reason I got a camelbak as I hated having a bottle of water in hand.

 

However I may try a walking stick since reading this and see if it works for me.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

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I travel for work all the time and cache while out on the road. This means that my poles have to collapse and fit into my suitcase. I had never investigated the different collapsible poles and made my decision based on which poles would fit. I was lucky that the ones I bought were Leki's. It appears that they are the Cadillac of the treking poles. I have bought several cheaper ones for friends and relatives since and they are just not as good.

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I appear to be collecting these things.

 

A couple of years ago, I went after a local cache that was near a beaver dam. As I recall, I DNF'd on that trip, but I did find a perfect piece of green wood near the dam. It was just the right length and diameter and was carefully cut, trimmed, and debarked by on of the buck-toothed critters. I think it turned out really cool since it is covered with grooves from the little guy's teeth. I applied a few layers of polyurethane and epoxied on a brass tip and it was ready to go. Unfortunately, it doesn't collapse, so I always either forgot it at home or left it in the Jeep.

 

The second one I bought was a mid-range aluminum collapsing staff with a cork grip. I picked it up at Target and it worked fine for my needs.

 

After my accident, I picked up a third. This one is a collapsible shock-absorbing staff with a horizontal grip the allows it to be used as a cane (a necessity). The lower part of this grip is a standard plastic staff grip. Just below that is a foam grip. It is small enough that I just leave it between the driver's seat and door and grab it whenever I need it.

487b31a0-03a6-49a4-b8fa-80ee0cc4092e.jpg

Edited by sbell111
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I love them. My wife got us a set.. we each use one.. and at the time I thought using one was a wimpy way to go, but now that I have it, I use it for all but the very short walks.

 

Even just pushing aside thorns while walking, poking into nettles, lifting rotted bark and logs, probing into holes.

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I used my new poles for the first time tonite. The walk was only ~1.5 mi round trip, but I can say I felt a difference, kind like a small kick in the butt pushing me forward. I actually used only one pole: in my right hand on the way in, left hand on the way out.

 

One thing I did notice was a bit of fatigue in my triceps and deltiods (nice!) I'm happy to get a little upper body workout as part of my walks, so this will be a good thing.

 

My only complaint was that most of the walk tonite was thru a meadow. While the path had been mown, it has been a wile and the grass was several inches tall and did tangle the tip just a bit (I removed the basket, which improved things).

 

My favorite part was probing rotting logs at the cache site with the tip. Very effective and nice not to have to stick my hands in that wet, funky stuff. :(

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I find this quite interesting as I do not use a pole at all and have never felt the need for one. I have always like to have my hands empty when hiking, which is a big reason I got a camelbak as I hated having a bottle of water in hand.

 

However I may try a walking stick since reading this and see if it works for me.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

 

Well, one important use for them that some folks may be overlooking, is snake-probing. I use them to push the grass aside, etc. I'd rather it get bitten than I.

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I bought a collapsible (sp? egads!) aluminum trek pole at Wally Mart for $20. TinyMoon at first thought it was silly, as we already have very nice hand carved wooden hiking staffs. However, a carved wooden hiking staff will not fit easily on the motorcycle, our preferred method of summer caching transport. She no longer thinks it's all that silly. And yes, poles are great for A)summertime, you poke snakes and critters out of the way, and B)wintertime, you sound out the snowbank to see if the ammo box is really there.

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I have thought about making a wood hiking stick that separates into two pieces when not in use. I was wanted to use the same joint as that of a cue stick. As anyone seen anything similar to this?

 

Check with El Diablo. He makes hiking sticks as a sideline and I think I recall him working on a two piece stick for someone. He might be able to tell you what will work and what won't.

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