UL Trekking Poles

Posted by: Anonymous

UL Trekking Poles - 02/02/10 03:40 PM

Has anyone used the Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 poles with straps? They seem like the best lightweight poles I've found. About 8.2 w/out baskets.

Posted by: Doorknob

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/06/10 03:26 PM

I have the GG poles, but without the straps. As of now I would not use any other poles.
Posted by: jasonklass

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/06/10 03:55 PM

Originally Posted By Doorknob
I have the GG poles, but without the straps. As of now I would not use any other poles.

I have the same ones. I don't like straps. To me, they just get in the way and I never really noticed any benefit when I had poles with straps. But whether you get them with or without straps, you will love these poles.
Posted by: lori

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/06/10 06:02 PM

The point of straps is to be able to put weight on the pole without carrying them in a death grip all the time. The GG Lightreks are so light and so easily adjusted in your hands as you go along that I never grip them that hard, and I don't have the straps. Used to use straps all the time with the heavier metal poles I have.
Posted by: scottyb

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/07/10 03:54 PM

I would really like to try a set of Lightreks but I think I would stick with the straps. To me, the straps are more about distributing the load to my wrist and forearms, rather than using my grip to support me, and less about the weight of the poles.
Posted by: Shrike

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/08/10 12:14 AM

I plan to put straps on the bamboo poles I am making. As Scottyb pointed out they spread some of the weight above your wrists thus keeping them from getting sore.
Posted by: lori

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/08/10 11:40 AM

I used to say the same thing. I think straps would get in my way, now... used to nordic walk and all, not even necessary any longer.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/08/10 05:35 PM

I put a LOT of weight on my poles when on rough ground, and without the straps my carpal tunnel syndrome flares up. With the straps, the point with most weight on it is very close to my wrist (under the heel of my hand) and I'm not gripping anything.

I waited what seemed like forever for the long-promised GG Lighttrek poles with straps to come out or for the Ti Goat poles (with straps as an add-on) to get back in stock. Finally I found a pair of Leki carbonlite poles on sale (regular price is far too much for my budget) for about the same price as the Lighttreks without straps. Several ounces heavier than the Lighttreks, but far lighter than my old poles. And I had them about 9 months sooner.
Posted by: BarryP

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/08/10 06:28 PM

“With the straps, the point with most weight on it is very close to my wrist (under the heel of my hand) and I'm not gripping anything.”

OM, isn’t that strap smack on your carpal tunnel?

My wife gets carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) every once in a while. She has found hiking with the 2.4oz strapless GG Poles for a few days totally clears up her cts. My theory is she is using her full hand muscle which is an important cts preventive measure--- the constant flexing and relaxing. Also using these poles keeps her wrist in neutral position which is a plus for cts.

And another thing I like, the strapless pole totally eliminates swollen hands on long walks.
This is just my insight. A chiro or orthopedic surgeon would have more/better ideas.

Posted by: lori

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/08/10 06:49 PM

I spend a lot of time on the computer. I feel the repetitive stress most on the back of the hand, for some reason.

With the nice wide cork grips on the GG poles, I find my hand naturally slides up to palm the ends on downhill slopes with my fingers gripping lightly to direct the points. On the uphill my grip automatically shifts down to the flared bottom edge of the handle. Neither of those would be comfortable with straps on. The rest of the time the poles rest lightly in my hand, so much so that every once in a while, a gust of wind can pick one out of my fingers.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/13/10 10:21 PM

So I think I'm going to get the GG poles. Not sure if I should get the regular or short. Comparing the lengths to leki's carbon and komperdell makes it hard. I'm about 5'9". What do you guys have?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/13/10 11:16 PM

Lots of info on trekking poles!

You also need to think about how long the poles need to be to support your shelter. If it's a Tarptent Rainshadow (which I have for going out with my grandkids), they need to be 48".

EDIT: I recommend not getting poles with shock absorbers. I find they don't do anything for me; they are noisy; they are more expensive.
Posted by: phat

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/14/10 12:59 AM

I'm 5'11 and I could get *by* with the short - since I typically have my poles at about 125 cm.. Problem is I sometimes extend and I also use them sometimes for shelters as a pole - so I don't get "short" length poles, I get the standards.

I suspect, but again, it's personal preference, that you'd be ok with the shorties being 5' 9", unless you were using them as shelter supports.
Posted by: phat

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/14/10 01:01 AM

I just realized how incredibly silly that post sounded, given that I was quoting my height in feet and inches, and my poles in centimeters..

The funny part is - that's canada for you. I have no bloody clue how tall I am in centimeters, and I have no bloody clue what my poles are normally set at in inches..

(A few things like height and weight are commonly still quoted in the old units, because it's what people continuously know..)

Posted by: 300winmag

Re: UL Trekking Poles(STRAPS!!) - 02/14/10 01:45 PM

For those of you who "don't like pole straps" you likely never cross country skiied, where proper use of pole straps is necessary.

Pole straps are PRIMARILY to push against, not to keep the poles on your hand. Thus they relieve your need to grip the pole handle firmly, and that eases lower arm muscle fatigue a lot.


1. Put your entire hand, thumb and all, UP through the pole strap as if putting on a bracelet.

2. Be sure the pole strap forms an upside down "V" on the palm of your hand betwen your thumb and forefinger at the web of your thumb. Also be sure the straps are buckled so they lay flat all the way around your hand.

3. Now, with the pole planted at a slight angle with the tip back, push down against the pole strap when walking.

4. Adjust the strap so it is not too loose or too tight.

With this use of pole straps you can have a far more comfortable walk than without them.

When descending steep and/or rough trails pole straps become even more important.

** Newer hiking poles have "ergonomic" handles that lean forward but even with these better handles pole straps are still a better way to go for the reasons stated above.

BTW, cross country skiers adjust their pole straps so there is a "right" and "left" pole. This is done by having the thumb side strap come out of the pole BENEATH the other, outside pole strap. This gives more room for the meaty thumb muscle and just makes it more comfortable. A small detail but one that works.
Posted by: lori

Re: UL Trekking Poles(STRAPS!!) - 02/14/10 02:19 PM

I didn't say I didn't like pole straps - I used to use them religiously. Were I to use my old poles I would be using them again.

I simply find that the GG poles work differently and that straps are not necessary with them.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: UL Trekking Poles - 02/14/10 04:08 PM

Phat, not so silly, since even here in the US, only holdout for the old-fashioned measurement system, trekking poles are measured, or at least marked, in centimeters.

According to the cute little converter that comes with the "dashboard" on my iMac, 48 in. = 122 cm. Even for short folk like me, I wouldn't get them any shorter, just to be sure the poles will work with any shelter for which they might be needed in future.

EDIT, NEXT DAY: You'll also want 47-48" poles if you're interested in the ZPacks Twin Hexamid under development. I suspect there may be others with similar height come along in the future.