Trekking poles newbie

10:58 a.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Just got a set of Black-Diamond "Alpine Carbon Cork" sticks.  My first, ever.

 

Did a brief 'shake-down' with them, and some old, familiar gear (like my clunker Fabiano boots) in preparation for some upcoming  AT / Shenandoah N.P.  hiking.

 

No mountains here, so I went to my local community park.   Also, went to the local H.S. athletic field ... where I stepped / climbed the ball-field bleachers.

WOW !!   Tough on the old quads and hamstrings, especially in those Fabianos.

 

Anyhow, I'm impressed with the sticks.   I can navigate gnarly above-ground tree roots, small rocks, slippery slopes, etc. with greater confidence.   Have seen where trekking-poles can improve walking / hiking efficiency by 15%.  Definitely easier on the knees going downhill.

Still trying to determine a comfortable and convenient way to manage the wrist-straps, while maintaining good grip and control, and being able to access other gear items when I stop hiking for a few moments, and keep them on my wrists while doing so.    I like the cork handles.   These "Alpine Carbons" are stouter than the regular hiking-poles.   Should be useful in other apps, while minimizing breakage, like 'pole-vaulting' small streams without getting feet wet.   Very light ( carbon  ... duh ... d'oh ).   They collapse down into 1/3 full lengths, for handy stowing.

 

Anyone ??   Would welcome your comments.

 

 

r2

 

 

 

6:55 p.m. on April 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I have found that regardless of how I hold the poles when locked into the straps, I always look and feel awkward trying to access other gear.  Typically I just take one off and hold it with the other hand to access other gear, and I don't bash someone with the pole while doing so this way :)

11:39 a.m. on April 15, 2011 (EDT)
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I have to agree with D&G, it is just easier for me to remove them when I need to get at anything.  About the only thing I do with them "on" is the quick map and compass check.

3:36 p.m. on April 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Do you guys have Nordic Walking in the States? We have Nordic Walking trails all over the place here in Germany. I seem to cross these trails with my hiking trails. It involves poles, but I believe there is a certain way to use them. There are also stretches you do before going off on the trail. The poles are used in the stretching routines. I have seen signs at the beginning of the Nordic walking trails that show the stretch routines.

7:12 p.m. on April 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Do you guys have Nordic Walking in the States? We have Nordic Walking trails all over the place here in Germany. I seem to cross these trails with my hiking trails. It involves poles, but I believe there is a certain way to use them. There are also stretches you do before going off on the trail. The poles are used in the stretching routines. I have seen signs at the beginning of the Nordic walking trails that show the stretch routines.

 

 

Never heard of it, D-Dog.   Fill us in.   I'm a Yoga instructor ... always interested in stretching and flexibility routines and exercises.

 

 

r2

9:38 p.m. on April 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, there is Nordic Walking here, and a number of clubs, as well as gyms and YMCAs, offer courses and group walks. Just have to look in the right place. I'm a bit surprised that r2 hasn't heard of it, since it is big with Yoga instructors around here. But then, the SFBay Area is its own world {8=>D

12:50 a.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, there is Nordic Walking here, and a number of clubs, as well as gyms and YMCAs, offer courses and group walks. Just have to look in the right place. I'm a bit surprised that r2 hasn't heard of it, since it is big with Yoga instructors around here. But then, the SFBay Area is its own world {8=>D

 

 

Naawwww.   Never heard 'tell of it, in these parts.

The only different 'walking' around these 'red-necky' parts is jaywalking.

And that is sometimes hard to do ... what, with all these jacked-up pickup trucks with horrendously loud exhaust systems.

BTW, Bill S ~~ cool little picto-graph.   Very subtle, yet effective.

 

r2

2:09 a.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert,

Wikipedia has a great description:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nordic_walking

A lot of health resorts/spas are really big into this sport. I also notice a lot of older people on the trails doing the sport. Volksmarching/hiking/walking is a normal routine for most Germans on the weekends. The people are healthier and stronger even in their older years then. There are a lot of hills/mountains in my area, so it gets your heart pumping.

 

I posted these pictures a few weeks ago under trip reports, so sorry for the repeat.

Here is a sign that crossed  Nordic-Walking trails with my hiking trail


SAM_0521.jpg

Here is the Nordic trail for the red arrow. It starts from a local health spa which also includes Yoga classes. These trails go on for many miles. There are also loop trails.
SAM_0526.jpg
A rest area for hikers and Nordic walkers. Notice this green emergency sign that has phone numbers in case of injuries.
SAM_0520.jpg

This is the hiking trail I continued on. Notice that the trail is not so smooth and cleaned out. But it is more natural and beautiful.
SAM_0522.jpg

 

6:33 a.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Very helpful, D-Dog.

Oddly, I am doing this, already.

I have posted this topic "Trekking poles newbie", which elaborates.   Briefly, I am now acclimating to using the poles, and wearing my 'old school' Fabiano hiking / mountaineering boots ( 6-lbs, the pair) to condition my legs.   I recently (3-months ago) had hernia-repair surgery, and could not do much of anything physical.

I like this, and will continue the practice.

 

Thanks, again.

 

r2

5:06 p.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm a big fan of trekking poles and have used them for years. I don't nordic walk, though I always see a Leki-led group walking the streets of Salt Lake City during Outdoor Retailer.

Anyway, for those who missed them, here are some articles on trekking poles on the site:

10:58 p.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Thnx, Alicia ....

 

 

r2

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