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Walking Sticks


Moobeat
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Wasn't sure where to post this, but as I dive deeper and deeper into caching and my local foresty I've decided to invest in a walking stick. This brings up the question of what do I look for, where do I go, and how much should I look to spend for something that is worth it?

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Wasn't sure where to post this, but as I dive deeper and deeper into caching and my local foresty I've decided to invest in a walking stick. This brings up the question of what do I look for, where do I go, and how much should I look to spend for something that is worth it?

Walmart has a collapsible one which is really a two pack that sells for around $16.00. They probably wouldn't work for the serious hikers, but they do what I want them to do.

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I use a pair of collapsible, aluminum trekking poles which have become such a part of my hiking that I feel strange walking without them. Two poles reduce the stress on your knees by almost 20 percent and make uphills seem easier.

 

Collapsible aluminum poles, whether single or double, have the advantage of packability. You can toss them

in your suitcase when traveling, as well fold them up and put them in your pack when they might get in your way while hiking.

 

If you check Sierratradingpost.com they often have really good deals on trekking poles and hiking sticks.

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Wasn't sure where to post this, but as I dive deeper and deeper into caching and my local foresty I've decided to invest in a walking stick. This brings up the question of what do I look for, where do I go, and how much should I look to spend for something that is worth it?

Walmart has a collapsible one which is really a two pack that sells for around $16.00. They probably wouldn't work for the serious hikers, but they do what I want them to do.

 

:D DITTO: Got two of the wally world sticks.........supper for braking going down hill, laid my 250+ lbs into them... not a bit of give. Collapsible is a real plus also.............. :D

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I'm using Komperdell, but Wally World's poles are probably your best bet for starting out. I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of money until you get used to them and realize what you like and don't like about the pair you have. A lot of the things people don't like about some poles, other people love. There seems to be much debate about the handles more than anything else.

 

Mostly people seem to say "only get cork handles" or "only get rubber handles" or some such versus the plain old plastic handles available on cheaper models. Not me, I demand those "cheap plastic handles" for several good reasons. They're easily taped over with bicycle handlebar tape if you want comfort for far less money than buying a pair with cork/rubber brand new. They clean up easier, don't smell like dirt and sweat in the trunk of your car in the summer. They don't get torn up as easily being more likely to take a scratch without any major damage. They also stay cooler on your hands in the summer and dry quickly. They also don't absorb sunblock and other lotions/potions. Deet and sunblock along with sweat/blood plust 100F heat in the trunk of your car is enough to make you gag - lol.

 

Opinions vary, but start cheap and decide if you like them first (I admit this is one of the only areas I think this way). I highly recommend them as a person who enjoys the long hikes and has had a bad knee for over 20 years and recent surgery to fix it. Add the stability of crossing streams and something to poke in a hole (other than your hand) to flush out snakes/critters while caching and it's a no-brainer! :D

 

edit: 4 2 spel

Edited by fox-and-the-hound
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Neos1 uses Komperdells and I use Lekis. We have matched pairs but usually only carry one. We would of course carry the pair when we go anywhere with a serious grade.

 

It's definitely worth becoming educated about the different styles and grades. Go to the next event in our area and ask folks to show/tell you what they are using.

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When I started caching, I had a bamboo walking stick. That worked okay for a while. Then I got an REI walking stick, but it would not stay extended if I had to really lean on it. So, I got a Leki walking stick that doubles as a camera monopod. I got it on eBay for a reasonable price.

 

Finally, after completing a very challenging hike going up and down a lot of elevation changes, I bought a pair of Leki trekking pole at REI when they had their 20% off sale.

 

Now, I don't go for a hike without those trekking poles. They are much better than a single hiking stick on lengthy hikes, or hikes up and down rough terrain.

 

A friend who had a wooden hiking stick for 20 years now has a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles. He accuses me of making him "Bi-Polar." :D

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Of course as most know, I'm a fan of wood staffs. If it was good enough for Moses, it's good enough for me. Although I might freak out is mine turned in to a serpent. :D

 

Now for serious hikers, and by serious, I mean those that do difficult hikes, I would probably reccomend the high tech hiking poles. For the normal cacher going a mile or two on a well traveled trail it's not really needed. Unless you live in the mountains, and even then the wood staff will serve just as well on short hikes. They are a little more cumbersome to carry around, but in certain situations are more useful.

 

For some reason wood staffs become very personal to people, especially if they make their own. It's like a part of your history. You can put on trail badges, carvings, etc... to keep a log of your travels. You can't do that with the fiberglass ones, or whatever they make them out of today.

 

El Diablo

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I have bad knees from my teen years. Just started using poles a month ago. Would never go back. I use UrbanPoling hiker edition. I can move a lot faster, am steadier on my feet rock hopping, can check to see if that nice flat place covered in leaves has a rock or a sink hole under it and am learning to identify the sound of pole end hitting plastic in places I am not sure I want to put my hand. I am prone to balance problems and dizziness so the extra points of contact with the ground has enabled me to speed up and find MORE caches.

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I have a aollapseable stick that works really wel for me and was only about $20 but more often than not i use two old ski poles. I keep them in the bed of my truck and after I jump out I grab them and off I go. Since they are scratched up and ugly I don't have to worry about anyone stealing them either. I picked up the pair for $5 at a used sporting goods store years ago for skiing and have since gotten new ski poles and these are now the geo poles.

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