An FYI that came to mind...

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Juany118, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    586
    Now most everyone who uses trekking poles may already know this but just in case I figured I would put this out there.

    A couple weeks ago while doing a hilly loop, that @HalfTreaded can attest to, I saw another hiker with trekking poles going up one of the steep ascents. He basically had what I can only describe as a death grip on his trekking poles as he put his weight on them. This isn't the first time I have seen someone do this.

    Imo this isn't really the way to do it. The wrist straps are there not simply to make it difficult to lose a pole in my experience. Your hands should be primarily controlling the poles and, if you need to support weight with the poles as you hike, the wrist straps should be tensioned in a manner so that they support the weight you are distributing to the pole.

    There are obviously lots of different variations on this theme but this is the basic principle many of these other themes revolve around and since I have often seen this principle overlooked I figured I would put his out there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  2. chndlr04

    chndlr04 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,108
    Likes Received:
    2,835
    Location:
    Ruther glen, VA
    I have seen a few of them with the straps replaced with something resembling restraints that is used at hospitals to make it more comfortable
     
    central joe likes this.
  3. Odinborn

    Odinborn Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    926
    Likes Received:
    2,836
    Good information to know. I've never used poles while hiking, even using a stick makes me feel like I burn more energy.
     
    central joe and Wesleypipesyo like this.
  4. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    586
    The poles can indeed make you feel that way, of you don't balance them properly. I used to do the death grip thing until I found what I call my "work out loop" by pure chance/exhaustion I found myself leaning into the straps. It was an epiphany, then I did the reasearch and found out I should have been doing it that way all along.

    It was especially useful for me because, early on, one of my knees held me back a bit. Slowly between using a knee sleeve and the poles, in a proper manner, I have strengthened the knee to the point the knee sleeve is something I only put on if I am planning to do around 15 miles.
     
  5. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    9,196
    Location:
    Susquehannock State Forest
    Yeah, in my quest for poles, I was surprised there was actually a science to using them. I see a lot of "grippers and rippers" and they fatigue out rather quickly. It does take some getting used to, but after learning the proper techniques it has helped to improved my speed and distance. I would add depending on slope it may be helpful to increase or decrease the length of the poles if able. On some of the slopes up here (off trail) it is necessary. 4 points of contact are good!!
     
    central joe likes this.
  6. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    586
    Many people definitely do adjust the length of the poles both up and down. The way I handle that is as follows. I run my straps a little loose and pass my hands through the top of the pole. When I need the support going uphill or I just let my hand drop so that only my index and middle finger are on the cork handle and the other 2 are on the EVA foam that wraps the pole below the cork. On descents it's largely the same I just lean into the poles a little bit. Now for long, and steep, decents I won't do this and I will lengthen the poles, but on the east coast, especially PA, in my experience, you don't have really long down hill sections. Due to the age of the mountains I suppose (almost quintuple the Rockies) and thus corresponding erosion, I haven't really found the need to perform the transitions using the above method.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    central joe, Sandcut and scottmm2012 like this.
  7. HalfTreaded

    HalfTreaded Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    Pinelands NJ
    ACF6442D-6635-420F-A7F0-1DD7BD3CCC2F.jpeg

    "a hilly loop,"? Heck @Juany118, your French Creek State Park circuit, at a mere 7 miles, is worthy of a GoRuck “Light” event. :dblthumb:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    Juany118 likes this.
  8. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    586
    Lol, well part of it is just French Creek BUT, that said, in the next couple of weeks I will host another weekend day out. I think on that one it will be the Lenape trail. 6.2 miles and only 600 ft of elevation change and that change usually serpentines vs straight up.

    While there is a road stretch it goes into the Hopewell Furnace Historical site, so if people want to check out the water wheel and the other buildings, we can. That loop also has a decent Lunch break location as well, about 2/3 of the way is Scott's Run lake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    HalfTreaded likes this.
  9. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    4,329
    Likes Received:
    11,796
    Location:
    Portsmouth Virginia
    I probably should/should've invested in one. After a few thousand feet of elevation changes my right knee still starts bothering me on decents and I find myself praying for a climb. Need to get back to doing some more exercises, definitely helped some.

    Sticks used properly help you distribute the workload across your body. They can be great on the ascents and decents. I find myself just carrying them on cruisy bits of trail. I'll only take one if the trail has less elevation changes but more technical terrain. They also help lighten your shelter quite a bit ;)
     
    Juany118 likes this.

Share This Page