Trekking poles revisited.

10:04 p.m. on July 20, 2019 (EDT)
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46 forum posts

For years I used a pair of Leki cane style T-grip trekking poles.  I used them, mostly, for crossing streams and to save my knees going downhill.  But they are an annoyance.  Whenever I needed to use my hands for something, the poles were just in the way. 

Two or three summers ago I decided to do some testing,  I bought a few pairs of regular straight trekking poles in addition to my cane grip.  My cane grip poles were my first trekking poles and the only ones I really had a lot of experience with, so I wanted to see if I was right that the T-grips were more functional and if trekking poles had any performance advantage.  I did some timing with and without poles and just did short local hikes with and without poles.  I concluded that trekking poles were more trouble than they are worth.  I went pole-less.  

I don't seem to be as steady on my feet as I used to be.  I recently took a bad fall.  With the huge snow pack this winter, all the streams are running strong and I miss my trekking poles whenever I need to cross a stream, and my knees are taking a bit of a beating.

After my testing, I decided that straight poles were probably better for going uphill but I still felt that, overall, cane grip poles were superior.  But my old Leki needed an upgrade.  The twist lock pole sections weren't very secure and the grips could be a little more ergonomic.  So, I ordered some new, improved Leki cane style, T-grip trekking poles.

I'll let you know how they work out.

1:00 p.m. on July 22, 2019 (EDT)
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2,273 forum posts

this was educational for me because i had never heard of cane grip trekking poles. 

there have been at least a few fairly extensive threads on this site about trekking poles or not. there have even been a few relatively informal studies of the subject. I think it's to some degree a matter of personal preference. for me, i think they help absorb some shock that my lower joints would otherwise absorb, and in some situations, I think they help with balance.

that said, i was hiking uphill a few months ago with poles and wiped out, both knees and one forearm whacked the ground hard.  i had hooked one foot in a root. didn't matter what kind of shoe I was wearing, how grippy the sole or supportive the shoe, and the poles didn't help either.  

November 20, 2019
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