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  #1  
Old 11-11-2017, 12:53 PM
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Default Trekking poles

I'm adding trekking poles to my pack and am struggling to make a final decision.

I really want aluminum poles as they are more likely to bend and not break vs carbon fiber. I'm trying to stay right close to 1 lb for the pair.

I've narrowed down to 3 poles.

All black diamond. All on sale at cabelas.

Trail ergo cork. Have cork handles and ergonomic grip angle. But, plastic flicklocks and only collapse to 29". If I strap to sides of pack, the length won't matter. 1lb 1oz.

Trail pro. Foam handles instead of cork. Metal flicklocks. Straight shaft. Collapses to 26". 1lb 2oz. Like the metal flicklocks, like the collapsed length. Would prefer cork handles.

Alpine cork carbon poles. All graphite which I worry about. Metal flicklocks. Cork handles. 1lb 1oz. 26" collapsed length.

What's more important? Cork vs foam handle? Collapsed length? Do metal flicklocks really matter?

If I strap them on the rails of my pack, length is a non issue. If I put them in the pack, the longer poles might be too long when I upgrade packs. As of now, they handles come just to the bottom of the inner cinch.

Any one have any thoughts on which ones to go with?

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Old 11-11-2017, 1:24 PM
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Have heard good things about the Black Diamond Carbon Cork with Ergo grips so I'd assume the aluminum ones would be good too.

Re: alum v.s. carbon- If aluminum bends can you bend it back without splitting the metal? If not, go with carbon. Costco sells (sold?) the Cascade carbon trekking poles that seemed to be a great value.
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Old 11-11-2017, 1:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Casual_Shooter View Post
Have heard good things about the Black Diamond Carbon Cork with Ergo grips so I'd assume the aluminum ones would be good too.

Re: alum v.s. carbon- If aluminum bends can you bend it back without splitting the metal? If not, go with carbon. Costco sells (sold?) the Cascade carbon trekking poles that seemed to be a great value.
All of the black diamonds I listed get really good reviews. The carbon cork are a consistent top choice amongst gear sites. As you know, if carbon breaks it is done. Whereas aluminum could be straightened if not kinked and if it breaks, what is left could be used.

I wish they made the trail pro cork. Aluminum straight, shaft, cork handles, SS flicklocks.

The questions I have to really answer for myself.

1. Is cork a significant enough upgrade to accept either carbon shafts or a longer collapsed length?

2. Does the longer shaft really make a difference in packability? (Insert joke about longer shafts being better.)

3. Are metal flicklocks an important consideration?


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Old 11-11-2017, 1:45 PM
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Have only used mine for hiking/ backpacking on established trails so it may be different than hunting but I have had no issues with my BD Trail Shock poles that have plastic flick locks.

A guy I watch on youtube/ instagram swears by cork handles. Mine are foam and get kind of sweaty.

Not sure about packability since most of the people I've seen strap them to the outside of their packs. I have never considered packing my poles inside my pack just because I wouldn't want the metal tips ripping through the pack or my sleeping bag etc (same with my tent stakes and poles). And the packs I use have loops and ties meant for holding trekking poles/ ice axes outside the packs.
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Old 11-11-2017, 1:51 PM
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Look around for a pair of Leki poles. I've hiked much of the Appalachian Trail with them and I still use one when walking the dog to chase neighborhood mutts away. They are strong, well built and collapse quite well for strapping to a back pack.
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Old 11-11-2017, 1:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Casual_Shooter View Post
Have only used mine for hiking/ backpacking on established trails so it may be different than hunting but I have had no issues with my BD Trail Shock poles that have plastic flick locks.

A guy I watch on youtube/ instagram swears by cork handles. Mine are foam and get kind of sweaty.

Not sure about packability since most of the people I've seen strap them to the outside of their packs. I have never considered packing my poles inside my pack just because I wouldn't want the metal tips ripping through the pack or my sleeping bag etc (same with my tent stakes and poles). And the packs I use have loops and ties meant for holding trekking poles/ ice axes outside the packs.
Good points. Outside the pack is the most likely place to carry them which means length won't matter within reason.

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Old 11-11-2017, 2:47 PM
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I'll second the notion I've never considered storing them inside the pack. The tips will destroy any fabric they rub against. I guess you could keep the plastic tips they ship with but I don't see the point.

I've only used a single pair (REI Flash carbon -- ~15oz). I like them. They seems quite strong. Keep in mind these are the only ones I've used, though.

I figure in considering Al vs. CF that the poles are mostly to "help" when packing out heavy loads or doing fairly extreme hills or snowy/icy hikes. If I somehow break one (which I don't expect to do) I'll still have 1 (which is sufficient) and I've already been doing this 10 years without poles so I can do without. I went with what was lightest and on sale and had good reviews. It's going to be a pretty narrow margin of something that would break a CF pole and *not* break an aluminum one.
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Old 11-11-2017, 3:29 PM
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As far as Alum bending and then straighten out and using it. Sorry. Once you bend it it will not return to be usable again. It will have a kink(weak spot) and just bend more easily again and after trying to fix it will just break in two.

So there is no advantage to the Alum.

Personally I like the idea of a light weight one piece of wood for a solution.
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Old 11-11-2017, 3:39 PM
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Black diamonds all day long.
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Old 11-11-2017, 5:48 PM
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I had decided on aluminum based on reading. I didn't think you could repair aluminum permanently, just perhaps have some use on the trip down. Good point on the power of one pole. Maybe the carbon cork are the answer.

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Old 11-11-2017, 7:05 PM
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I don't use them currently but will probably grab a pair before my next hunt.

Regarding the aluminum vs carbon though, I'm also on the side that a bent aluminum pole isn't going to be easily fixable and even if it is bent back will be much weaker than it was before and need to be replaced.

Unless you absolutely can't live without them in the unlikely event you break one, I'd get the ones with the features you want (which sounds like cork/metal locks).

Thousands of people do just fine without them so in the (unlikely) event one breaks I'd think you could still make it out without it.

Cheers
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Old 11-11-2017, 7:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB-Stacker View Post
Look around for a pair of Leki poles. I've hiked much of the Appalachian Trail with them and I still use one when walking the dog to chase neighborhood mutts away. They are strong, well built and collapse quite well for strapping to a back pack.
Agreed.
I hunt with Leki Carbon and they are amazingly light and tough. Had mine years without issues.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:32 AM
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I have an old pair of Leki aluminum trekking poles (30 years old). I think the cork handles are better. Black rubber handles get hot in the sun. Foam handles wear out faster.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:39 AM
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I ordered the alpine cork carbon poles. I'll be able to compare 4 different poles. I'll likely use the trail ergo cork on my trip next week as the carbon ones won't be here in time.

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Old 11-14-2017, 9:12 AM
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I ordered the alpine cork carbon poles. I'll be able to compare 4 different poles. I'll likely use the trail ergo cork on my trip next week as the carbon ones won't be here in time.

I just went to their website. They have a lot more models than they did 30 years ago. Back then they only had 2 models of trekking poles.


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Old 11-14-2017, 10:08 AM
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I've never used them. How effective are they, *are they only good for trails, *do you become dependent upon them, *how about humping 60 pounds for 8 miles with a rifle, *are they cumbersom or get in the way, *why use them?
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:13 AM
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I've never used them. How effective are they, *are they only good for trails, *do you become dependent upon them, *how about humping 60 pounds for 8 miles with a rifle, *are they cumbersom or get in the way, *why use them?
From my experience, they provide a lot of stability heading down hill, especially through steep stuff. Also help going up some of the steep hills. Our packs weren't heavy because we didn't get anything but for many, they lessen the fatigue on legs and back when carrying a heavy load.

I'll let others with way more experience chime in. I leave tomorrow to try to fill my mule deer tag. Hopefully the pack will be heavy but the hiking will be mild.

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Old 11-14-2017, 10:19 AM
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I've never used them. How effective are they, *are they only good for trails, *do you become dependent upon them, *how about humping 60 pounds for 8 miles with a rifle, *are they cumbersom or get in the way, *why use them?
Effective? They are effective. Google it and you'll see it reduces energy expenditure (more than makes up for the added weight).

Only good for trails? No. I actually don't use them on trails -- only on terribly steep stuff or when hauling.

Dependent? I don't know. I don't see why you would.

Hauling: that's what I use mine for primarily. THe heavier the pack the more my knees complain and the more the poles help assuage that.

Cumbersome: sometimes, yes. You can drop them at any time and they'll stay attached by the strap. So if you fall and put out your hands or want to glass you can do that. I do find, however, that when using poles I typically strap my rifle to my pack rather than having it slung. It's an either/or proposition for me. If the hills aren't steep or I'm going very lightweight I leave the poles behind.

Why use them: google it. Some would say "it's 4x4 for your legs." Typical use is stability in uneven/slick terrain and load hauling. Long-distance back-packers often find it lets them travel farther/faster.

In the end if you're happy without them then there's no reason to complicate life. If you're curious I think -- like most people -- you'll find them useful for something.
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Old 11-14-2017, 1:15 PM
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I still can't get my head around them. I see a small benefit for backpacking but not enough to trade for the added gear & hassle of keeping them around. I've done a fair amount of hiking & trail running in all sorts of conditions, elevations, seasons, etc. If you like them, great. Stay with them. But they aren't necessary by any stretch.

The two major exceptions to my anti-walking stick ideas are fording rivers and trying to fend off a lion attack. In both cases, I'd rather have a single, natural walking stick than a light trekking pole any day of the week. Those are often waiting for me at the trailhead from a previous hiker or easy to salvage within the first mile. And I'll take a sidearm and a bad attitude for the kitty cats & teddy bears if my kids are with me. For hunting, when I have a bow or rifle in my hands already, no thanks! Just one more thing to clang on brush or mess around with all day.

Heavy packs can make trekking poles a lot more useful. But I'd rather carry 40 lb twice than 80 lb once. Most of the time, my packs are 30 lb or less. If you're a kitchen sink kind of backpacker, well, what's one more item?
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Old 11-14-2017, 1:56 PM
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I like trekking poles, I use them backpacking or if I know I'll be hiking in a rough area. I generally leave them home for day hikes or when I hunt, though I've often thought they'd make a handy rifle rest.

I've used them as part of my shelter, I've used them to wade through streams, I definitely use them cross country skiing, I use them to probe the snow in front of my while hiking, I use them to pick up or otherwise scooch things on the side of the trail (or in taller branches, etc).

They are cumbersome in that you'll always have something dangling from your wrists even when you drop them, so your arms are always encumbered to some extent.

That being said, I prefer aluminum since I often use them in the mountains in scree and talus, both of which will gouge or otherwise ruin carbon poles more quickly than aluminum poles. Like fishing rods I prefer cork to foam, but where as I'm willing to pay for natural cork on my fishing rods, I'm not willing to pay for natural cork on trekking poles (and synthetic or recycled cork sucks as much as foam so far as I'm concerned). I generally leave the big snow baskets on mine since I tend to lose whichever set of baskets I don't have on the poles (and big baskets in brush and scree is not so bad, but small baskets in snow SUCKS).

I'm still using the same pair of Black Diamond poles I bought 10 years ago. Three piece aluminum with a plastic flock lock and some pseudo janky push button thing on the bottom section that I don't particularly care fore. I've replaced the bottom section of both poles at least once after bending them on the side of some mountain.
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Old 11-14-2017, 2:25 PM
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I've never used them. How effective are they, *are they only good for trails, *do you become dependent upon them, *how about humping 60 pounds for 8 miles with a rifle, *are they cumbersom or get in the way, *why use them?
Trekking poles are like four-wheel drive for backpackers. They can keep you stable walking across rocky ground - like when crossing a stream or creek: They can keep you from spraining or breaking your ankles. They also keep some weight off your feet by distributing some to the poles.

I have never wished I did not have them, but sometimes I wished I had them. They cost a lot of money. A lot of people buy ski poles from garage sales and use those, but ski poles are not adjustable.





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Old 11-14-2017, 2:37 PM
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I could take them or leave them as I've never found they make a huge difference. But they do seem to help a little while hiking up and down steep hills. Also for balance as others have mentioned.

That being said, I take them on every hike (with the exception of short day hikes). I've never found them cumbersome. If I don't want to use them, I collapse them and strap them to my pack.
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Old 11-17-2017, 6:03 PM
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Infantry probably doesn't use poles because their rifle is in their hands.

They aren't the end all and they aren't a necessity, but they can be helpful.

I used the ergo poles this past trip and they helped when going up a hill with a load. Not necessary, but nice to have.

The carbon poles got delivered to work today.

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Old 11-17-2017, 6:51 PM
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If you break one, fashioning a splint shouldn't be difficult.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:53 AM
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Back to the topic at hand.

On my last trip, I used the trail ergo cork poles. I did notice when I tried to stick them in the ground to make them stand up, the shafts slipped a bit. Perhaps that is a no-no, but i would want to tighten the clamps a bit.

Today, I got the carbon cork poles and the trail pro poles. The flick lock 2 clamps are more robust which is nice. I did notice the carbon poles don't fold up as short as the aluminum poles. They can collapse, but due to the taper of the shaft, the clamps don't engage or latch down. This means the shafts can slide out a bit. I did read a review where the clamp caught on something and because of lack of tension, it opened and the pole bottom fell out. Based on how I carry my poles, tips up, I don't think that is too big of an issue. Plus, I would just clamp them a little longer.

Ultimately, the final decision will be foam or cork grips.

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Old 11-20-2017, 2:10 PM
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For $20 with free shipping, I don't think it would hurt to try the BAFX option. It's the #1 selling brand and has good shock absorption. The reviews are really good as well, it has over 3,000 reviews. You can check them out here: http://amzn.to/2hPq4Ru
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Old 11-20-2017, 2:18 PM
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Up in SEKI, the deer at a couple of the wilderness campsites were stealing trekking poles. Anything salty was getting stolen and/or chewed up -- including "salted bark" (where ever you peed). A quick wash in the creek before bed would usually keep them from getting taken at night. But those deer got at least two poles, a couple shirts and a few individual socks. All that just in early June of that year.
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Old 11-20-2017, 3:00 PM
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lol^^^
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Old 11-20-2017, 9:48 PM
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I deleted those hard core post, just wanted to share where I'm at. Guys like me think those poles are for lightweights, or dudes with man-buns. I was just trying to motivate you into building strength the old fashion way. An uncle of mine recently gave me this walking stick, or staff, whatever you want to call it, looks good but I'm not ready to depend on it. For hunting trekking sticks (poles) are to cumbersome and not useful for humppung loads IMO. Most of us are rugged, tough, too hard for on gear for gimmicks. I know this is also an Outdoors Forum and not just for hunting and fishing, more that I just wanted to share, finished rambling.

Here's a pic of the walking stick:

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Old 11-21-2017, 10:30 AM
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I deleted those hard core post, just wanted to share where I'm at. Guys like me think those poles are for lightweights, or dudes with man-buns. I was just trying to motivate you into building strength the old fashion way. An uncle of mine recently gave me this walking stick, or staff, whatever you want to call it, looks good but I'm not ready to depend on it. For hunting trekking sticks (poles) are to cumbersome and not useful for humppung loads IMO. Most of us are rugged, tough, too hard for on gear for gimmicks. I know this is also an Outdoors Forum and not just for hunting and fishing, more that I just wanted to share, finished rambling.

Here's a pic of the walking stick:

I hope you didn't delete it on my account. Though I don't have a man bun. Don't have any hair really.

Trekking poles can serve a purpose as can a walking stick. They in fact can serve the same purpose and one can survive without either.

If I can one day hump a 90lb pack all day, I'll be pretty stoked. It would sure make getting meat out of the woods easier. If trekking poles and walking sticks help me accomplish it, I'll take em

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  #31  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:32 AM
DolphinFan DolphinFan is offline
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I use Black Diamond Trail Back trekking poles
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