Author Topic: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?  (Read 49529 times)

Offline rustyknife

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2011, 08:16:37 AM »
I have a couple of aluminum ski poles I picked up at a garage sale that work well, however, I like to make mine when out hiking. I have two right now. I like to use them awhile then if they're keepers I start carving little designs on them. Kinda like a little totem. Might even attach some leather or feathers them. Must be something left over from scouting days.

Offline brokenbottle

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2011, 05:22:37 PM »
Granted I use my stick mostly for geo caching and don't go to far off the in the woods, but I made a really cheap stick out of a 48" long 1 1/2" diameter wooden dowel. I jammmed a BMX bike grip on one end and a 1" rubber table leg foot thingy on the other end. probably not the strongest or lightest stick, but suits me. It was a great family project too, kids all got to make their own and paint them how they wanted.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 05:47:58 PM by brokenbottle »

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2011, 07:01:04 PM »
I saw a pair of men's trekking poles at REI's used and returned gear garage sale late in the season (august or september I believe).

I paid $17 for the "Traverse Men's" poles. They are normally much much more and these were in mint condition (REI has a return policy that causes people to just return stuff on a whim when they don't use it or they even return boots after wearing them for 2 years — REI takes ANYTHING on return — an employee once told me they took a return on a TENT someone used for 15 years since the guy had the original receipt)!

Anyway — I have used them a lot on some decent length hikes and I now appreciate them a little more. I would never go backpacking again without them if I have a heavy pack. My last backpacking trip I took a heavy walking stick (that I picked up off the ground 3 years ago but like a lot — it is quite the perfect stick).

But yeah — if you adjust them correctly and use the straps correctly (very important for comfort sake as they do a lot of work for you when you loop them correctly). I can keep up with a very fast hiker friend of mine much easier when I am rocking the poles.

Offline RPZ

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2011, 07:24:04 PM »
Are they worth the money or are they for show? If they are worth buying how do you use them properly? Thanks
In addition to balance and support over difficult, steep or descending ground, they can be used to steady a field glass, lensatic compass, camera, rifle or pistol. Collapsed or cut they can be used to make a split for a broken limb, or just used as crutch. They can be used to kill a snake or defend against other creatures. A center pole for a shelter using a fly, poncho, tarp or other improvised cover. Spear for fishing or hunting (or defense). Yep - useless.

Offline TexGuy

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2011, 09:51:03 PM »
Funny you should mention that Tex - Cody does the same,.. It needs to be longer then you are tall so if you fall you don't jam it into your eyes, and a 'Y' on the end for snakes..

Multi-tool.

I just saw that episode a few weeks ago. It was Dave that made a similar one. I've never really thought about falling on it but that is a good idea. Need a rope on the end for the snakes tho, I don't like grabbing them just being pinned down. Guess Dave is more badass than I am.


Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2011, 01:49:00 PM »
Quote
In addition to balance and support over difficult, steep or descending ground, they can be used to steady a field glass, lensatic compass, camera, rifle or pistol. Collapsed or cut they can be used to make a split for a broken limb, or just used as crutch. They can be used to kill a snake or defend against other creatures. A center pole for a shelter using a fly, poncho, tarp or other improvised cover. Spear for fishing or hunting (or defense). Yep - useless.

Nice.

A lot of the nicer trekking poles are threaded at the top for standard camera mounting threads so you can use them for a monopod etc.

They also make backpacking tents that rely on the poles for structural support (for the ultralight crowd) — meaning you don't need to carry tent poles in your pack.

Offline RPZ

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2011, 05:08:10 PM »

They also make backpacking tents that rely on the poles for structural support (for the ultralight crowd) — meaning you don't need to carry tent poles in your pack.
Great that there has been some innovative commercial thinking on that one. Any particular tent makers you know of?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2011, 05:17:00 PM »
Great that there has been some innovative commercial thinking on that one. Any particular tent makers you know of?

Here's the Poncho Tarp from GoLite.


Offline RPZ

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2011, 07:30:46 PM »
Neat, and you could add stabilizing lines as desired to the top of the staff

Offline Wingman115

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2011, 10:32:05 PM »
I own a pair of Black Diamond Trekking Pole and I love them. You really notice how well they work when  your going down a trail with a full pack. They take a great deal of pressure of the knee's and are great for keeping the snakes away as well.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2011, 06:25:02 AM »
I won't go backpacking without hiking poles ever. The last time I went seriously backpacking, I took my "gandolf staff" which is just some piece of wood I found in the woods one day and have been using as a hiking stick ever since. However, I found a set of poles for $15 at REI at their garage sale one day and they’re the ones REI sells for $75. They are pretty nice, very light, and much more durable for those conditions than a pair of ski poles would be (especially the  tips). The hard carbide tips really suck on pavement, rocks, and wooden plank walkways where they can get caught inbetween boards, but they make rubber walking tips if you choose to use them on harder surfaces.

Offline Deeweext

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2012, 02:36:09 PM »
Trekking Poles are wonderful, but they can be more trouble than worth if you are not using them in a correct way.

First up, consider what you are actually walking in, if you are walking on solid surfaces with slopes, then they are great. They also give great balance when used on cliff-like terrain. But if you are walking on flat roads, or lose earth surface they don't offer the same weight reduction abilities, at least not in same extent. I suggest you go for some collapsable poles, with a round plate for lose surfaces in the bottom. They also make extra equipment in form of point covers, that allow you to use them on roads without ruining the tip, furthermore you can even get tents that use trekking poles as tent poles. Be sure to get some with a proper grip, as these vary a lot, and there are difference in pole grips used for faster walking and pole grips used for steeper walking.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2012, 03:00:35 PM »
Last year I spent a week in Denali, AK.  My pack was a bit on the heavy side... ~ 85+ lbs.  I took along a telescoping pole with a "spring" in the bottom to help reduce shock.  Crossing rivers, going up and down terrain, and just standard flat ground, the pole was really helpful.  I did test how much it helped, by stuffing the pole in my pack for one of the days... I was noticably more tired that day.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2012, 01:00:12 PM »
<------ Jealous. My best friend lives in Anchorage and we spent some time in Denali but not backpacking into the wild. We did meet up some folks who had spent almost a month out there and they looked more grizzly than the bears LMFAO...

My $15 hiking poles from REI broke a couple weeks ago, the internal wedge broke so they would not lock in place. I was able to fix them though by taking a piece of cardboard and putting it in where the plastic wedge used to be and it was enough to get them to lock again. I couldn't take them back since I got them at the "garage sale" where they sell crap that people have returned.

Still think they are decent poles but I don't know if I could trust some twist-lock poles for a serious adventure after that experience. I am just glad it was a local hike where I brought them to help keep up with my ultra-hiker friend who is training for the AT this summer.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2012, 01:04:40 PM »
85 lbs is crazy! My friends laughed at ME for carrying a 72lb backpack into Dolly Sods wilderness for a couple days until they were eating granola bars and i was rockin' a 6 pack of ice cold beer, NY strip steaks stuffed with gorgonzola and baked potatoes... Eggs and bagels for breakfast, etc etc...

In hindsight I was doing it for kicks to see how much I could fit into this military backpack I bought a year before but had never used (FIELD PACK LARGE / PATROL PACK) — and probably had enough crap to live out there for a month.

Next time I go long distance I am sticking with a 30lb pack LOL. I used my trusty hiking stick I picked up off the ground 3 years ago (that looks like something a character in Lord of the Rings would carry) that I love and I don't know how I could have carried all that weight without it.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2012, 01:30:59 PM »
85 lbs is crazy!

85 is heavy... though I am 6'3" ~ 215...
not saying that I am some gorilla... or sasquatch...
it just isn't THAT crazy when its 40% of body weight.

Offline Albatross2.5

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2012, 01:41:38 PM »
      Let me think,  rattlesnakes, copperheads,  Yup I usually have one in my hand.

Offline reefmarker

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2012, 05:20:02 PM »
What good would these do on flat terrain?

The reason I ask is because I had to take my daughter in to see a specialist in Vernon Hills (read, expensive property prices) yesterday. I noticed a couple of soccer mom looking women using them but they had no packs, the "trail" they were walking on was paved and the terrain was virtually flat since we're in Illinois. I just kinda looked at them and thought, "why would you weigh yourself down with those for your morning walk?"

Protection.  Either from animals or human animals.  I see a rather large man walking almost daily with a golf club over his shoulder, and I'm pretty sure he isn't heading for the driving range.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2012, 05:55:53 PM »
I thought 72 lbs was crazy when I did that. It sure made me slow. The worst part is getting the pack on and off not the actual hiking itself so much. I did it as a test and sure would not enjoy carrying more even thoigh that pack can sure hold well over 100lbs of garb. If I had to I would do it for sure but for recreation ill leave much more at home.

Offline cohutt

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2012, 06:49:29 PM »
old knee saviors when walking down grades with a load.

Offline TwoXForr

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2012, 10:25:03 AM »
If you are the first on the trail in the morning you can use the poles to clear spider webs.   And after a rain storm to knock rain onto from overhead trees onto your hiking buddy. ;D

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2012, 02:58:04 PM »
Or hold thorn bushes back so you can smack your buddy who's behind you in the eye with em LOL...

If I didn't have my trekking poles last weekend I would have been one unhappy camper. The trails where I went backpacking last weekend were so muddy that at times going down some of the steeps where there was nothing but thorn bushes on either side, forcing you to take the mud route, at times I felt like I was "mud skiing" and using my pole plants like I would going through a mogul run!

There were several hills I would not have been able to climb or descend safely without the trekking poles — without them I would have been covered head to toe in mud.

There was more than one occasion where the trekking poles sunk into the mud were the ONLY stable thing to grab onto while the soles of shoes may as well have had dress shoe soles on them.

I also find that my average speed is significantly higher when I am hiking with poles vs without them. They are a pain sometimes, but overall worth it.

Offline Cryptozoic

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2012, 09:12:09 AM »
When descending with a pack it is important to have a staff you can put some weight on.  It is your 3d leg or tail.  In rough terrain you may have to step down 2 or 3 feet and with a strong staff you can put its tip where you want to be and lean hard on its top as you take the big step.  Ski poles and fancy aluminum gadgets can't do that.

Being old school, I prefer a stout wooden staff.  I don't know how to post pictures on here (yet) but my latest staff I made of Oak with a T on top.  The T is secured with a wedged mortise & tendon joint.  The T vastly increases the multi-purpose capabilities of a staff.
I made it armpit high so it can double as a crutch.  When descending I can put a lot of weight on the top of the staff without hurting my hand.  If used as a tarp pole the 6" T won't poke a hole in it as would a simple stick.  I can pull down high-hanging fruit branches with it. 
And an Oak staff is much better for dealing with critters than a ski pole.

For you woodworkers; I did not use a solid piece of Oak but rather, used 1" plank and glued two sides together.  Then used a spoke shaver to make it round.  The T is rectangular with rounded corners and edges.  Oh, I also pinned the T with dowels.  This way the staff and T have two grain patterns, making it much stronger than a single piece. Modern wood glues are stronger than wood.  This staff will never break and once it all dried out in the house it is very light weight.  Watco oil finish periodically.

Offline snickers

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2012, 10:33:02 AM »
When I was out hiking on the PCT last summer I did not see a single person without them! There were young and old, male and female, super in shape and just kind of ambling people out there.

I've used them for hiking, for making shelters, and when I've dropped things off the trail I've used my poles to retrieve them. If you happen to injure a foot or ankle you'll be so happy to have them!

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2012, 11:21:43 AM »
I have always been a single hiking staff kind of person but have decided to get some poles and give it a shot.  If hikers who are so weight conscious they cut down the handle of their tooth brush to shave weight think they are worth it then there has to be something to it.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2012, 09:11:03 AM »
They are worth it because you can carry more items like a toothbrush with the handle cut off with much more comfort. Plus, when you have an awkward size backpack it is like having 4 legs on rough terrain.

I could never go backpacking without my poles anymore. They are way to valuable to leave behind. I also found wearing cycling gloves helps keep my hands blister free and the terry cloth on the gloves is nice for keeping sweat out of my eyes.

I think the biggest thing people should realize with poles is to use the straps correctly. People usually have no idea how to properly wrap them around your hands but if you do it correctly you don't even have to grip the poles with a closed hand to support yourself on them and it removes even more of the work.

Offline ToMegaTherion666

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2012, 03:38:23 PM »
spiderwebs

problem is where to find a stick store in the woods



Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2012, 08:04:33 PM »
Wussy Wands?  :P

Most of the time I'll only mess with them if I'm crossing water, to probe the bottom. I might pick some up and give them the old college try one of these days.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2012, 09:15:30 PM »
Found something interesting at a garage sale this weekend, a solid oak shaft, six sided about 5 ft long. First thing came to mind, "What a cool hiking stick for a buck". They said it was part of a railing on a stair in a house they built awhile back. They finally decided to sell after hanging on to it for a couple years since they couldn't figure out what to do with it. Just what I needed. ;D

Offline Crazy Fox

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Re: What is the point of those silly hiking/walking sticks?
« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2013, 11:19:28 AM »
I realize I'm reviving a dead post here, but I have an interest in this topic so I thought I'd give you my experience.

I prefer to use a single wooden stick (aka "hiking staff")  rather than two skinny metal ones (aka "trekking poles"). While having 2 trekking poles allows you to better utilize your upper body and provides great stability, I like having one hand free while hiking (grab water/snacks, check my GPS, grip a rock for stability, etc.).

Also, a hiking staff is usually more adaptable. Since it doesn't have a built in grip, you can grip any part of it with almost equal comfort. If you are descending steep terrain, you can hold on to the very top of the staff to ease your descent. If you are ascending, you don't need to reach way up to the top of the staff, you can grab the middle to pull yourself up. With trekking poles you are limited to the existing position of the grip, which is perhaps only an issue in undulating terrain, but worthy of consideration.