rather than tents lets talk about poles
This thread branched from "Tent ideas" on . Explore the branch.
Talking poles will pollute a thread that should be on tents so beyond talking about tents that use a hiking stick as a pole we should make a branch. My fault I know I started the drift. I should use a pole as my knees are not great but getting used to the thing has been a nightmare. I have only completed one trip using a pole the whole way. On that trip I fell over in a flooded Orongaonga river and would of had a mid winter swim if it wasnt for the pole. As it was icy water aint great on those important little bits. That should of sold me on the idea but next trip the pole was tied to the pack after 200 meters and the last few trips it has not made it out of the car. (yes the wife does know Im not using it)
depends on the terrain, i tend to take one by default, find my shoulders and back suffer less of all things.
The interesting poles are the nordic style I know those that have used them for a while really love them but they seem unnatural. Last time I saw some in the bush they were being used by a french tourist couple that also took there boots off to cross the river by Triangle hut in the rain. They even rolled up there trousers. They then got out there coke can stove and aluminium billy cup and measured the amount of meths for making a brew. Water boiled they took the cup off in time to see the flame go out.
If you are getting sore shoulders and back, wayno, I'm guessing you're not using an Aarn pack (oops, drifting the topic again :) So, geeves, what are you finding are the issues with you and the pole?
I used to eschew poles, too, but at this point I couldn't go tramping without them. To each their own, and if they don't work for you, don't use 'em. For me, I've been able to adapt to most all conditions, including scrambling, bum sliding, boulder hopping, stream crossings, and scree/moraine skipping. It's the ol' quadruped versus biped thang. I find having more points of contact makes me more stable. Plus, I can anticipate hard landings and lessen impact with a pre-plant. Lastly, it allows me to correct a teeter or totter with a simple pole plant that allows forward motion to continue; without the poles it becomes a much more difficult, involved correction with whole body movement required to regain balance.
Im the sort of tramper that always grabs branches etc. The changes to poles just feel unatural. Its just me rather than the pole I know
I became addicted to TWO poles about 25 years ago and have never looked back. It completely revolutionised going down hill with a full pack on, which had always been difficult for my knees since being a young man. 25 years ago I was a sea kayak guide and thus had upper body strength which wasn't being utilised during tramping. Having the 2 poles then enabled me to use that strength not only when going up hill but to go downhill at speed. I was so fit and keen that I found myself running much of the time, even with a full pack on (I was in my late 40's and early 50's then). I could rave on and on about how I benefit from using poles - stability on river crossings, icy rocks, scree, etc., etc.. Not to mention as tent poles with a tarp and, using one pole, wading whilst trout fishing. Also good for whacking seed heads off thistles! lol I've lost carbide tips, but carried on OK with just the plastic, and snapped one pole, but managed to splint it with duct tape and 3 tent pegs and carried on. VERY occasionally they are a nuisance on a gnarly bit, and they either get thrown up or down, or fixed onto my pack. (Many people put their hands DOWN through the webbing loop and thus will have all sorts of problems when needing to use their hands. If they put their hands UP through the loop there are very few situations where they are a problem.) Meanwhile my partner would not be able to tramp at all without poles (and knees braces/bandages). We are all different and I totally disagree with Wayno's comment in the other thread "two poles are a nuisance, you cant use them properly,". On the contrary, he might not be able to use them properly but I can - just takes a few trips to get used to them. By the way - both my partner and I find that only using one pole is almost as bad as using none.
UP through the strap loop is very important (as with a snow ski-stock) 1. You're not having to grasp the pole all day - the pole lies loosely in the hand and the wrist carries the weight. 2. If you need a free hand to grab a branch or handhold, just let go of the pole - free hand and the pole is still attached to your wrist. Whacking thistles is definately a one additional function. Holding back wet vegetation is another. Splint for a broken leg (haven't needed that one yet), stick to poke person snoring (very useful).
I have used two poles for years. The benefits are many and are well described by deepriver. I find they considerably reduce the impact on my knees and I am able to tramp longer. It helps if you have upper body strength as you can transfer the load though your arms/shoulders, especially on hills. The more actively you use them the better the benefits. It took me about two trips to get used to them and now I wouldn't be without them. As mentioned, if you use the loops properly you can still grab hold of branches/foliage when needed and then revert back to using the pole in the next step. It is also important to adjust the pole length, if you have a long uphill then it might be worth shortening them, vice versa for a long downhill. If has to be pretty rough terrain or bushbashing for me to put them away, for most tramping I use both. When I am climbing I generally stow them in my pack or leave them at the base. Recently I broke a pole on the Tararua tops and having one pole was next to useless compared to two. A lot of people try one and don't like it but really you should try two first.
Some trips are "1-stick" when it's useful to have a longer reach. Some trips are "2-stick", for all the reasons stated above :) It DOES help, sometimes, to transfer load/weight off the knees by engaging upper body. Got to be careful, though, to be focused on where I plant boot rather than stick.
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