I am not a trekking pole user in general -- tried them numerous times, don't like them, and I promise to ignore any posts trying to convince me otherwise -- I am dead sure you're completely wrong!
Now, that said, I am tarp guy. And it sure would be nice to have a viable pole for tarping above treeline.
And while I eschew walking with trekking poles, I do enjoy the benefit of the occasional walking stick when navigating certain tricky spots, such as some stream crossings. So I figure a tarp and one pole would provide a maximally useful combination (I also use an external frame pack that can act as an extra short support).
So for my pole I want it to be:
- on the light side, but heavy enough to be stormworthy when used in a rigorous pitch and sturdy as a walking aid.
- adjustable length (how do people even walk with fixed length poles? Is it always flat there?)
- locking (does this need to be said?)
- probably 5' long at least, when fully extended.
- breaks down, or shrinks somehow.
What I'm flexible on:
- size, when broken down. I don't really care if I'm carrying 14" or 18" or whatever segments, as long as it fits in a side pocket.
- price -- willing to pay for what I want (can I buy just one pole?)
- durability/comfort -- I only plan to use this trekking pole as such occasionally and for short duration. So a good grip would be nice, but I don't care much about shock absorption, for example.
One pole that has caught my eye is the Gossamer Gear LT5, but as yet I know very little about the available models out there, and what they have to offer. Any thoughts (other than the aforementioned pro-trekking pole proselytizing) or suggestions are appreciated!