Do two hiking poles help that much?

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Sun_Ray
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Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by Sun_Ray » Sep 22 2006 8:25 pm

Just completed Rim to Rim for first time and used two hiking poles the whole time. I CAN'T believe the fact that I'm not very sore for the 15 hours and 24 miles I hiked. I was very hydrated, eat every hour, layed down twice and put my feet/legs up for 10 minutes twice and had max mg of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Was it the poles? Do they make that much of a difference? I'm a big guy and always feel it in my knees and legs the next few days. Any simular experience, comments?

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jcorder
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by jcorder » Jan 27 2009 9:19 am

As a moderate to severely overweight individual in questionable shape, the poles help to extend my range for hiking and backpacking so I can enjoy more trails...

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by Jeffshadows » Jan 27 2009 9:30 am

Well, that's a good thing then, right?

Here's the real question: Are you leaning on them and would you be able to hike without them? ;)
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azbackpackr
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 27 2009 5:30 pm

You don't see double poles very much in places where hiking is less popular. For example, hiking up Telegraph Hill in Yuma is a very popular form of outdoor exercise in the cool seasons, although hiking in general really isn't a very popular pastime here. But I can't remember seeing more than just a couple of people using poles there, although it is VERY steep and would be helpful for someone with bad knees.

You also don't see them much in the White Mountains except on very busy trails such as Baldy and Escudilla, and around Pinetop-Lakeside. Locals don't use them much. It's mostly the tourists from Phoenix who are using them. ;)
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rushthezeppelin
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by rushthezeppelin » Jan 27 2009 5:38 pm

azbackpackr wrote:You don't see double poles very much in places where hiking is less popular. For example, hiking up Telegraph Hill in Yuma is a very popular form of outdoor exercise in the cool seasons, although hiking in general really isn't a very popular pastime here. But I can't remember seeing more than just a couple of people using poles there, although it is VERY steep and would be helpful for someone with bad knees.

You also don't see them much in the White Mountains except on very busy trails such as Baldy and Escudilla, and around Pinetop-Lakeside. Locals don't use them much. It's mostly the tourists from Phoenix who are using them. ;)

Sorry we are used to the scree slopes everywhere near here : )

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nonot
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by nonot » Jan 27 2009 7:10 pm

Lots of people misuse hiking poles, and I see the death grip quite a bit. I disagree with the technique, if you want to take pressure off your knees, the strap should end up below your wrist so that the leverage of your arms (not hands) against the strap takes the weight off your knees. Requires barely holding onto the poles at all. If you do the pinch and grip technique you will end up pinching the fleshy part of your hand between the thumb and forefinger which will get quite sore after many miles.

The only downside is you can transfer weight so effectively you can bust the straps off the cheaply made poles.
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jcorder
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by jcorder » Jan 27 2009 10:30 pm

I agree with nonot about the technique. However, I'm too cheap to pay for real hiking poles, so I just use ski poles from Savers!

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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 28 2009 5:37 am

nonot wrote:Lots of people misuse hiking poles, and I see the death grip quite a bit. I disagree with the technique, if you want to take pressure off your knees, the strap should end up below your wrist so that the leverage of your arms (not hands) against the strap takes the weight off your knees. Requires barely holding onto the poles at all. If you do the pinch and grip technique you will end up pinching the fleshy part of your hand between the thumb and forefinger which will get quite sore after many miles.

The only downside is you can transfer weight so effectively you can bust the straps off the cheaply made poles.
Interesting comment! I'll try it next time, thanks.
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by kingsnake » Oct 30 2012 8:28 am

rushthezeppelin wrote:Another thing not mentioned much that poles help with is swelling of the hands. When your really getting your blood flowing your hands tend to swell and you can really feel it......and they look like sausage fingers. Carrying poles applies enough pressure to the hands to cut the swelling down so that it doesnt feel so awkward when you have do something with your hands.
I never thought of this until I happened on this old thread, but now that you mention it -- "then that you mentioned it"? ;) -- my fingers to swell a lot less with poles!
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cactuscat
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by cactuscat » Oct 31 2012 9:54 am

Almost all of the locals and NPS rangers here use two poles ... I always recommend two to the customers at my store - can't imagine hiking the Canyon without them.
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PLC92084
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by PLC92084 » Oct 31 2012 11:26 am

cactuscat wrote:can't imagine hiking the Canyon without them.
Amen to that!! Having come from CA, I didn't use them on my first trip to GC; what a mistake!!

Now, I use two poles; couldn't imagine hiking without them (except in CA where many of our "trails" are forest service roads or well-groomed routes). I can't grasp the concept of a single pole; seems too asymmetrical to be of any benefit (IMHO).

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nonot
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by nonot » Oct 31 2012 7:11 pm

one pole is the way to go!
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by Grasshopper » Oct 31 2012 7:53 pm

nonot wrote:one pole is the way to go!
One hiking pole works well for me, but I probably would hike with two poles if I was coordinated enough with two. I don't care to have my pole(s) strapped to my wrists, so for me when needing to handle my camera or GPS, I usually must first place the pole against my body while using those two devices, thus I only have to pick up the one pole that has fallen from my body to the ground vs needing to pick up two poles that would fall ;)
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Sredfield
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by Sredfield » Oct 31 2012 9:28 pm

Yes.
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by outdoor_lover » Oct 31 2012 9:51 pm

I still enjoy no poles..... :D
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by hippiepunkpirate » Oct 31 2012 9:54 pm

I think it is all situational. I do have some knee issues, which influences my decisions. When I am backpacking with a heavy load, I would only consider using less than one pole if the hike was really rugged and two poles would be an absolute hindrance. On the two backpacking trips I've done this year, both times I was grateful to have two poles. The first time, descending Boucher with less than two would've killed my knees, and they were a godsend for ascending Hermit on the way out of the Grand Canyon. The second time, I nearly blew my knee out, and without two poles, I might not have made it up the Havasu Canyon Trail on my own power. For dayhiking, I never use two poles, and usually only use one pole if the terrain is such that I find the extra balance useful (for instance, I always hike the Abineau Trail with one pole because the steep loose trail in the avalanche section has dumped me on my butt numerous times on different hikes). Also, I normally take a pole up Humphreys because when the wind starts whipping up there, you need something to keep you from faceplanting onto the jagged lava rock up there. With my knee issues, I really need to start taking at least one pole more often.
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CannondaleKid
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 01 2012 6:35 am

hippiepunkpirate wrote:two poles would be an absolute hindrance.
Agreed. As it is, going through thicker brush (like on my last few climbs) I wished my single pole would extend and retract automatically with every step. Since it can't, two would definitely be a hindrance for me.
Grasshopper wrote:thus I only have to pick up the one pole that has fallen from my body to the ground vs needing to pick up two poles that would fall
Only problem for me with that is the number of times I'd walk away, forgetting the pole on the ground. :doh: I've done that on a number of occasions with my snake hook, once hiking an extra 2.5 miles/1000' AEG to retrieve it. ](*,)
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 07 2012 7:53 pm

I just found out one hiking pole doesn't do any good if you leave it at the trail head... twice ](*,)

First I left it laying on the ground when we started our hike and had to go back to get it.
Then to make matters worse, when we returned from the hike I set it down next to the car... and never picked it up. :tt:

I'm a bit miffed at myself because although I just bought a new pair, they don't hold a candle to the one I left. And as things work out, new poles of the same brand nothing like the original.

So... if anyone will be hiking on the Ash Creek trail (like to Bassett Peak), my pole is probably laying within 20' of the Ash Creek TH sign. That is, if someone hasn't already found the very serviceable trekking pole and decided I left it there just for them.
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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by te_wa » Nov 08 2012 3:09 pm

I have one old pole, but it's in decent condition for 'used'

it is a BPL "Stix" carbon fiber, made by Komperdell. broke the match, so this one is free to a good home. please measure your elbow height with forearm bent horizontal. if it is between 41 and 43" this should work.

it is 3.7 ounces, but NON adjustable.

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Re: Do two hiking poles help that much?

Post by CannondaleKid » Nov 08 2012 3:32 pm

If it was adjustable I'd look into it, but for my use I adjust the length many times on a hike... shortened for climbs, medium for level ground and longer for descents.
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