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mtnman2888 03-20-2008 06:51 AM

Are trekking poles a worthwhile expense???
Hello, i've been looking at getting some trekking poles for a while now (i still have the link to those rei poles, thanks byron!) but i haven't took the plunge and got them because i'm a little unsure about them. I'm going on many long hiking/fishing trips this year (10+ miles) and i thought that they may help save my joints and not let my legs tire out as easy on some of the more grueling trails. I know they're not real expensive in the grand scheme of things compared to rods and reels, but i still want to make sure i'm going to get something out of it before buying them. So are they worth it? Do they really make a noticeable difference in making hiking easier? Thanks.


CinciVol 03-20-2008 08:01 AM


I've used treking poles for several years including some long mounain hikes in the Smokies and out west. I found them to be very useful in three conditions: steep trails, bad footing, and stream crossings. I'd say they are definately worth it.

WNCFLY 03-20-2008 08:23 AM

mtnman I was looking at some of your posts about hiking in to Hazel creek from clingmans dome and got to looking at a map last night. That's will be a **** of a trek. Should be some absolutely beautiful scenery though. Are you hiking from CD to silers bald and dropping down into the headwaters that way? I figure most of your trip will be downhill, so maybe it want be too bad. I would love to hear the details of the trip when your done so maybe one day I will plan that one. I have some crazy treks in mind for this year but yours seems really interesting. Well good luck and be safe.

mtnman2888 03-20-2008 09:24 AM

Ok good then, i will most likely pick up a pair. Mainly what i was worried about was the steep trails, i figured they would take some of the load off of you and distribute some of it on the poles instead. Do you seem to have more endurance with poles than without?

The hike down from the dome is one of the main reasons why i am looking into it. It is all downhill, but 12 miles is 12 miles no matter if it's downhill or flat. Plus, there are a couple other trips that are planned where we are going down from the dome yet again. That hazel trip should be great though, that is the one trip i have circled for the year and am REALLY looking forward to it. Guess we will see if it is worth the effort. By the way, i've been called crazy on more than a few times..........


snaildarter 03-20-2008 10:46 AM

My in-laws, in their mid-60's, use poles, and they are hike-a-holics. They really like their poles, although I make fun of them when we hike. I think the primary benefits are 1) that they really do help balance, especially when going downhill on long hikes (seems like it is similar to putting a hand on the ground), and 2) they help save joints, because you don't have to contort your body angles as much. Having said all that, I won't be using any until I'm old enough to feel like I really need them.

tennswede 03-20-2008 01:41 PM

Don't forget the cheap low cost solution of a Home Depot broom handle with some foam for a grip. Add some string to it and maybe a copper cap and you have a functional wading/walking stick for under $10. It won't win any design competitions and you might lose a friend or two on the trail but your wallet will love you for it.

sammcdonald 03-20-2008 02:19 PM

with as many water crossings as there are in the park, i got a pair....but i only use one....gave the other to a friend

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