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9/1/2019 7:54 AM
 
For those who use Trekking poles for stability, what are some lessons learned? Do you have a favorite brand or length? How about tip material? Is there a particular tip that works best? Same question on handle materials, and wrist straps.
 
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9/1/2019 9:36 AM
 
I've put hundreds of miles on a pair of old Black Diamond Contours (telescoping aluminum shafts with "FlickLock" adjustments) with no problems under pretty heavy loads. (FWIW, I do use rubber tips since they're a bit quieter and don't seem to "skate" across the wet slate/sandstone substrate I'm usually on.)

As for technique, unless I'm really digging uphill, I try to keep a rather loose grip on the handles and let the bottom of the pole swing forward like a pendulum, then take up the load with my wrists against the wrist straps rather than using a "stabbing" motion. At any rate, they're an essential piece of kit for me these days.
 
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9/20/2019 8:38 AM
 

No expert, but started using them a few years ago, mostly a pair of REI/Komperdell aluminum poles, some time with Komperdells, and a few miles with a pair of Black Diamonds (carbon fiber? - anyway much lighter). Definite preference for the flick lock adjustments. Run them shorter uphill, longer coming down, and one long and one short if serious side hilling. If it's mostly relatively flat, very brushy, have to use my hands on really steep stuff, or I'm "close" they are collapsed in a side pocket on the Ute. I seem to make much better time/less energy going up steep ground with them, and they add a lot of stability coming down, especially with a meat load. With gloves on the handle material doesn't seem to make much difference for me. Bare handed the cork is nice, but can not speak to longevity of that material (so far so good). I use the metal (carbide?) tip, and they work fine for me in the mountains of central Idaho.

Saved my bacon a couple of years ago during elk season. I had a weird fall in the dark in rugged backcountry and broke my ankle. Used them as crutches to hobble out. Can also prop up a tarp if you are traveling light.

 
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11/7/2019 10:39 AM
 

I'm late to this thread but have been quite happy with the BD Carbon Cork model. While I use the carbide tips 99% of the time, I did Whitney in September and having a rubber foot on the carbide was helpful as it's mostly rock and the carbide will slip on smooth rock from time to time.

Pica's (and marmots) do like salt, so be sure to keep them inside your tent with you at night or the grips will get chewed on or the entire pole will go missing.  This goes for shoes/boots as well in certain alpine locations.

 
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