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trekking pole advice


mtruxfan
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I've been walking for 49 years but just getting into hiking recently. I thought the entire idea of trekking or hiking poles was a waste of money but after reading and talking to some folks using them I'm willing to change my mind. My knees aren't as young as the used to be and I've heard a good set of sticks would help. I've been looking at some in the $100.00 price range. I've noticed that some have flex tips, my question is, how much flex in a flex tip? I don't think I would want a tip to be too flexible where it bends under the pole. I'll be hiking in the Smokies and northeast Tn. Any help , advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm 5-9 and weigh 220.

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I've been walking for 49 years but just getting into hiking recently. I thought the entire idea of trekking or hiking poles was a waste of money but after reading and talking to some folks using them I'm willing to change my mind. My knees aren't as young as the used to be and I've heard a good set of sticks would help. I've been looking at some in the $100.00 price range. I've noticed that some have flex tips, my question is, how much flex in a flex tip? I don't think I would want a tip to be too flexible where it bends under the pole. I'll be hiking in the Smokies and northeast Tn. Any help , advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm 5-9 and weigh 220.

I don't even do day hikes without my poles. They have saved me a lot of wear ad tear on the knees and have been an assist on may uphill climbs and water crossings. The flex tips are mostly for some protection of the pole shaft flexing at he tip as opposed to bending and damaging the pole.

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I have a love/hate relationship with my poles. I hate having them in my hands, and my knees are better than ever because I'm a runner. I've thought they are only useful on the trail 5-10% of the time at creek crossings & really steep spots. But the older I get the more I appreciate having them. The biggest benefit for me is keeping me upright - I fall more when I'm not using them. I now use a tent that requires a trekking pole to pitch, so I'm pretty much bought in. Maybe they help my knees, but I'd never use them on a day hike.

I've had really expensive poles by Gossamer Gear but currently using really cheap ones from Big 5. Go for the basic poles without shock, flex, etc. Flick locks and cork grips are nice.

Edited by toejam
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I can't comment on flex tips however, to echo toejams thoughts, simple is better. Antishock systems are just a gimmick that adds noise and weight. Weight is probably the most key attribute; get the lightest poles you can afford. I love, love my Komperdell carbon fiber poles. They are very light and and yet have a stiffer feel than alloy poles of an equivalent weight. A "mid grip", which my poles have, or an extended grip, which is more common, is a feature that I could not do without as I often choke up on one or sometimes both poles in rocky terrain.

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Thanks for the input, ogg the features you mentioned was what I was looking at and I think Im going to go with a set of EASTON AL3, they have the extended grip and I think EASTON is a good company. I try to get in a 5-10 mile hike a week and one 15-20 mile a month. Day hikes here in the mountains can get tough with the ups and downs and Im hoping the poles help the knees.

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