Feathered Friends 300x250
Superior Down Sleeping Bags & Clothing

Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA)    

Lite Gear Talk

BCG Holiday Sale

Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Stay Healthy--Eat Well


Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals


Natural High


Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#193442 - 02/02/16 04:37 PM What Trekking Poles Should I Get?
Johannes Offline

Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 34
Loc: NE
I used to think trekking poles were a waste of space. Why would I need those when my pack is so light? Lately, though, I've realized that a pair of poles would make things a little easier.

I've never owned a pair before, but I've done a little research.
Here's the list of features I want in order from most important to least important:
-Packed Size

Price is no object. I'm 166cm tall (around 5'6").

Please share any experiences you've had with poles. Thanks!

Edited by Johannes (02/02/16 04:43 PM)
"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind." - Johannes Brahms

#193443 - 02/02/16 06:17 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
the-gr8t-waldo Offline

Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 134
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I take on all walks, but usually left strapped to the pack. Went trying to power up or down hills with much of a load, I pull them out along with leather gloves. The poles give a bit of relief to the old man's legs and also increase stability a bit. They also are used for tent poles. So in my case the addition of poles do not represent much of an increase in pack weight.

#193445 - 02/02/16 07:18 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
Glenn Roberts Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1454
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Like you, I've toyed with the idea of not using them as my pack got lighter. (I used a single staff, then two poles, when I was carrying a 40 pound pack for a weekend; now I'm at 20.)

However, I find that I always take them, and that they're always in my hand. They help establish a rhythm, and they help push aside brush, or knock down cobwebs (if I see them in time.) On uneven terrain, or crossing a stream by rock-hopping, they help keep my balance - unlike Redford and Nolte in Walk in the Woods, who fall into the stream with their poles famously strapped to their packs. On downhills, they're handy brakes, and on almost all surfaces, they do help absorb some of the pounding my old knees would otherwise take.

I've used them as tarp poles, but nowadays, with two pound tents, they are strictly a single-purpose item. My current preference is a pair of Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork poles.

#193447 - 02/02/16 11:21 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: the-gr8t-waldo]
Johannes Offline

Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 34
Loc: NE
What kind of poles do you have?
"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind." - Johannes Brahms

#193449 - 02/03/16 08:32 AM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
bluefish Offline

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
I would think comfort would be subjective and dependent on the size of your hand. I use Leki poles with twist locks and composite grips. Winter for me so far, has been all ice, very little snow, the poles have saved my butt, literally, numbers of times. There's times when I don't use them, and I just bought a pack that stows them on the fly very easily. It's a help when I get to spots where I need my hands and don't have much room on the trail to take the pack off and lash them on. The only time they've done me grievous harm was on a trip in the Sierra w/mosquito clouds and a liberal dose of DEET applied to my hands was trapped under the straps of my poles. I had a major chemical burn develop and had to bail out, as my hands were swollen and on fire. Products containing DEET have a warning about putting it on under clothing, I didn't think...... duh. Friction and strong sunlight at altitude didn't help, either.
Though I use a tent with dedicated poles, the trekkers have on numerous occasions served to make a cooking and eating
shelter with a light 6x8 sil-nylon tarp I carry when I think it's needed. They also are good for deterring the non-friendly dogs people let run on the trail, because they're in the wilds and anything goes. I love dogs, but hate getting bit....

Edited by bluefish (02/03/16 08:40 AM)

#193453 - 02/03/16 05:06 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
Pika Offline

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1747
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I have a pair of Leki Shasta poles. They have cork composition grips and twist-lock length adjustments. They weigh about 18 oz for the pair. In my opinion, if you get name brand poles and avoid extreme (wrap around) grip designs you can't go very far wrong. Sure, you can get "Mercedes" carbon fiber poles with racing stripes and other bells and whistles but they are pricey and don't work much better than "Fords".
May I walk in beauty.

#193456 - 02/03/16 05:32 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
4evrplan Online   content

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 690
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I haven't used poles myself (though I have old graphite golf club shafts to make a pair eventually). I've read the Costco ones are actually really good though, if they're still available. Here's a review.

#193457 - 02/03/16 05:47 PM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: 4evrplan]
bluefish Offline

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
I notice PMags, notes they are for the " relatively casual user".
I kinda would shy from putting much faith in them going down some nasty steeps.

#193464 - 02/04/16 12:18 AM Re: What Trekking Poles Should I Get? [Re: Johannes]
Rick_D Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I've used quite a few and have my preferences.

Material: carbon fiber. Lightest, which makes a big difference on a long day (you're swinging each hundreds of thousands of times), damps vibration, won't dent and not cold to the touch. Also won't corrode. Potential downside is sudden failure with no warning.

Segments: one-piece is best--lightest and strongest but difficult to stow and transport and of course, must be fitted and is not adjustable on the go. Two-piece is stronger and lighter than three or four but still large when collapsed.

Adjusters: internal expanding joints are stronger than flip locks and leave a smooth pole. Can be much more fiddly to adjust though.

Baskets: I prefer very small trail baskets to bare poles because every once and awhile a bare shaft will jam into something unexpectedly and cause all kinds of grief in a split second.

Confession: I stopped adjusting pole length on the go years ago, just set and forget. Adjustability can be critical when used as shelter poles.

I have CF from Leki and Komperdell, can't recall the model names at this point. Can recommend either brand; there are plenty others but no experience with them. Aim for 8oz or less per pole.



Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
CNOC Vecto 2L Water Bag
by Bill Kennedy
04/17/18 12:00 AM
Sawyer and Platypus Threads Not the Same
by Bill Kennedy
04/11/18 09:19 PM
Need a new cookset!
by steve-in-kville
03/30/18 04:32 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Salomon vs. Danner...what am i giving up?
by willie1280
04/06/18 08:44 AM
Does anyone carry a side arm in wolf country?
by toddfw2003
03/27/18 09:21 PM
backpacking tent blew away or got stolen
by toddfw2003
03/26/18 06:36 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Need Suggestions for Pack
by Bill Kennedy
04/15/18 01:44 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 41 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
kou, Onthego11, Alf, jchifos, AdamWang
12552 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com