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Walking Poles

Walking Poles


Postby 37lumleyst » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:57 pm

Following on from the thread of personal injuries I put a posting which outlined pain in my knee’s when doing lots of down hill work, especially when carry a pack, or in my case, our child carrier :( . I’ve always shunned walking poles as just another bit of shiny kit that the ‘older’ walker or the ‘all the gear no idea’ brigade would purchase and brandish strapped to the back of their day packs whilst telling everyone in the bar how far and how high they have walked (you know the sort) :lol: .

I am however considering getting a set as I have read that they can improve or reduce the strain on your knees especially when carrying loads. Has anyone else found using them beneficial against not? Or is it a case of just another but of kit? If so does anyone have any advice on which type to go for? Solid or shock absorbing? – I know they start from around £10 and I would guess you get what you pay for but apart from the weight of the poles what else should I be looking out for.

I am a little sceptical as I have been walking for many years and never felt the need to have them – perhaps its age catching me that I now feel the need to investigate poles and perhaps even buy some :?

Paul
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby susanmyatt » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:07 pm

Hi, nearly all our gang use poles and my husband swears by them, anyone having trouble coming downhill will benefit as the pole takes some of the strain when you plant it and theres less chance of your knee giving way. Its the third (tripod) point of contact, we both feel safer if the descent is a bit precarious :D Perhaps we are of the old brigade :lol:
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby Paul Webster » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:08 pm

Hi Paul

I have knee problems (dislocating kneecap and stretched ligaments) and I've used a single walking pole for several years now and wouldn't head down a hill without one. I did once try one with the shock-absorbing but actually found that a disadvantage - on steep hills I like my stick to stay just where I've put it!

I know there are people out there who advocate having two poles but I've found it annoying to not have a hand free.

My current stick is a fairly cheap Tiso own-brand one and I've had no problems.
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby jaggystu71 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:30 pm

Hi
I've been using poles for a few years now and wouldn't go without them. I use Leki which cost around £25 per pole, but I've noticed walking shops have a wider range now and are cheaper, probably just as good if not better.
I have cork handles rather than the rubber to stop blisters on your hands.
Tip
Dont use the straps I know someone who had a serious injury to their elbow when her pole got caught between rocks.
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby Alan S » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:50 pm

i bought my first set of poles at christmas from tiso after trying out my father in laws and definetly noticed the difference on my knees. great little set of poles which are as light as a feather.i never used poles at all but wouldnt go without them now.i found them handy when coming down the hills especially in slippy conditions.
they are leki ultralite at £80 per pair which i bought for his 50th i was so impressed i went and bought my own pair.
but just to warn you ive had a problem with mine where one of them isnt tightening up.
contacted tiso who said without reciept they wouldnt send them away to leki but would try and repair them in the shop i will let you no how i get on.
just a warning to others to never throw away the reciept like me :oops:
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby mountain tortoise » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:25 pm

Yes I use them.I always carry them but don not always use them. I use two when trekking always I find when out for several days my knee stay in better shape and last longer. Useful for short people when crossing things to you can use them to help you make the distance and crossing rivers to. My husband never uses them and I did have the fun recently of watching him fall in a river after refusing the loan of a pole. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:46 pm

I used to use a stick, as found in forests the world over, being free and versatile, and not heart-breaking if accidentally left behind.I was converted to walking poles after going climbing, when I left my stick at the bottom of the climb then stumbled miles missing my third prop. You can get cheap ones which are just as good as the expensive ones, don't let pricey ones put you off. If you go for the traditional wooden bit-off-a-tree option, you could buy one with a staghorn handle, and decorate it with wee badges from tartan shops, sold specially for the purpose.Some folk have lines of badges up and down their sticks, portaying places visited; Braemar, Pitlochry,Portree, etc.
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby GarryH » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:32 pm

If you do decide to use a pole(s) 37lumleyst you may find this link useful.
http://www.alpkit.com/support/products/ ... ing-poles/
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby yokehead » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:39 pm

I recommend using them. Good to take a bit of weight off the knees, especially at the end of the day going downhill. Gives a bit of upper body work as well. Know when to put them away though and make sure they don't get caught up when scrambling.
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:46 pm

I've just started using 2 poles in the past 3 months. I find them most useful when walking on the side of slopes - they really take the strain off your lower foot and even your balance out nicely. You usually don't need to bother shortening/lengthening them - just hold them a bit higher or lower on the pole.

The scientists reckon that they take about 20% of the strain off your legs. That doesn't sound much, but at the end of a 20m mile walk that makes a difference.

(I'm no oldie by the way :lol: )
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby 37lumleyst » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:49 pm

Thanks to everyone for the comments and advice – I think I was over half way there when I put the post on earlier today, but having read your comments you all seem unanimously in favour of poles. I particularly like Paul’s suggestion of using one pole as having a hand free sounds very reassuring, especially with my little boy strapped in the child carrier on my back.

Thanks to Susan for her views as well as jaggystue71 top tip for not wrapping your wrists through the straps – although I thought the idea was that the straps took the load meaning you don’t have to rely on your grip if you do stumble :? ??

Thanks Alan for the tips regarding leki ultralite at £80 per pair, but being a sceptic I don’t think I could justify that sort of money. Jaggystue71’s at £25/pole sound a little more realistic :D

mountain tortoise little tale of husbands in the river sounds so like the kind of thing I would do :oops: – and my wife would no doubt be laughing as much as you did with your poor hubby. As for using an old stick found in the forest – I think I’ll pass, I know that man kind has been leaning on lumps of wood since time began but for me I would prefer the option of being able to collapse the pole and stow in on the pack/child carrier. The comments did put a smile on my face all the same :lol:

Leithysuberbs - I didnt mean that folks with poles were oldies, I see plenty of young whippets with poles when I'm out and about. The general feeling is they are good and they do take some strain off the knees and in my book, thats got to be a good thing.

So poles for Paul it is – thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I'll pop a post on 'Walks outside Scotland' when I've done my first walk with them, which chould be early next week as were heading off to the lakes camping this B/H weekend for a good leg stretch and hopefully a few hills too.

Regards,

Paul
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:56 pm

I too use the cheapo Tiso poles and they seem fine to me (although don't lose the rubber tips like I did) - you get 2 poles for £30 (or £20 each).
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:09 am

Lidl's occasionally have them for about £10-£15 for a pair.Much less heart-breaking if lost!
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby 37lumleyst » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:16 am

We have been blessed with the opening of a new large Go-Oudoors store close by in Stockton on Tees - I have seen them there reduced in store from £25 to £14.99 a pair. I'm thinking of givening them a shot - at least if I dont get on with them it's not going to break me heart knowing I spent a fortune on them. there seems to be a slight split in opinion that its not always the most expensive ones that are the best - in fact it seems like the other way around :)

Perhaps I'll be reverting to your worthy suggestion of a stick found in the forest :lol: !!
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Re: Walking Poles

Postby maddjock » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:48 am

Im with Paul on this one.. I only use 1, and only because I found it... before this I had no intention of using poles, now I cant do without it.... it does make a huge difference ascending and descending...
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