How many of you guys use Trekking poles? I never used before but many people saying that once you try you hardly go back.. Reviews online are usually divided between Good and bad things about it. Direct experience with them? Especially from people that never used before and then they turn on it.
I think we've had a couple of similar threads on this forum. Personally, they're indispensable for me; couldn't tramp without them. As far as judging if, how, and when other people use them, that's their affair, not ours. If someone tramps carrying a Faberge egg while wearing chartreuse high heels, a mauve tutu, and an over-sized foam MAGA cowboy hat, all the while moonwalking along the track, I may think they're a nutter, but it's their biz and their tramp, not mine.
Any idea where i could get a mauve tutu?
Bivouac has 'em on sale right now for $799 each. They come in "Moody Mauve", "Crazy Camouflage", and "Orange Ya Glad I Didn't Say Banana"!
Make sure the tutu is merino
One thing I've been using my walking stick (not pole) for is when walking through the crown ferns: I hold my pole in front to detect hidden fallen branches along the track. Sometimes I've placed the tip of the pole in a dogdy place where I'm about to place my foot and then placed the foot on the inner side of the pole to avoid my foot sliding downhill off the slope. I did a 5 day traverse of the Red Hills in the Richmond Range a while back with an 82 y.o. and she used 2 poles. She was very footsure and methodically confident in exposed narrow tracks with bulging outcrops to step her way around. I consider her using poles made this possible. I took a video of her at one place in the left Wairoa River where my partner had baulked and turned back a few years ago. DoC had installed a wire cable there since. My walking stick has saved me from doing face plants when starting to trip over quite a few times. It is good for testing for verglas on boulders in streams in the winter time. The more you use them, the more you'll discover uses for them that you hadn't considered like pole vaulting when needing to jump across gaps. Recently I've been inducing myself to stand more upright to redistribute weight by holding the walking stick behind, against the back of my neck. One hand holds the end of the pole and the other dangles from the wrist loop. This is only possible to do on easy terrain e.g. a 4WD track because it's not so easy to look down and study the ground but it means you can walk upright with your shoulders back and expand your chest and is a nice variation on a long walk.
I used to be quite scornful of poles and pole users. They looked stupid to me. But then my knees packed up and I had to start using them to help spread the load. I liked them straight away and now wished I'd started using them much earlier as they might've saved me from future knee damage.
People I've spoken to about using a walking pole(s) overwhelmingly seem to be in favour of using them. I've never used walking poles but have used a slasher or ice axe as a defacto stick or walking pole on hill country. For some swift river crossings I'll find a driftwood stick or cut one from nearby bush to use as a crossing aid.
one is good. two are often too cumbersome to use on all but wide graded tracks in NZ
I don't generally use them (the knees are still going well in their 70th year), but I find they are handy in NZ, particularly for stream crossings and on steep descents. As previously mentioned, they're an accessory, along with a whole lot of other gear.
I graduated to using my walking stick from carrying an ice axe in my hand to prevent it being hooked up on vegetation on a Fiordland traverse. It got to the stage where if I had no pole, I needed to harvest a stick from the bush and use that in lieu.
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