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Discussion Forum - Gear ! - Shorter walking poles


Author: David Sawdon
Posted: Sat 30th Jul 2016, 16:13
Joined: 2016
Local Group: Wessex
Have a look at Pacer Poles http://www.pacerpole.com/product - the 3-section versions pack fairly short and the difference the angled head makes is astonishing. I've used several makes of poles over the years but the Pacer poles make hills less steep and significantly increase walking speed. Everyone who's tried mine has been surprised at the difference they make.

Separately from the above, these days I don't stow my poles when hiking. All I do (while wearing the rucksac) is slip the end of the pole down between the waist band and the lower bag strap and then wrap the pole strap around the shoulder strap (sounds odd when written down but only takes a few seconds). It means the poles are out of the way for most activities but quickly available without having to stop - so packing length doesn't matter and the poles get used more.
Author: Paul Glynn
Posted: Fri 15th Apr 2016, 20:59
Joined: 2015
Local Group: Cumbria
I've used Fizan compact 4 poles for the last 2 years, very light and pack down small (50 cm furled, 49.5cm disassembled) - expensive but in my view worth it.
I used the 3-section Fizan poles previously, gave good service but the 4-section poles have the edge.
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2016, 11:49
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Having not been able for some time to shorten the Trekmates pole fully (all but the top section are stuck at in-use tightened positions), I've replaced it with a new lightweight, also a Trekmates. This one's the Locklite folding version, purchased from Dash4it for £24.

It's only slightly heavier than the previous one and has a novel trigger-lock (release and fasten) mechanism for adjusting and holding the retractable top part. Unfortunately, the total minimum in-use length (130cm) is about an inch more than I've become used to, so I'm having to adjust to it rather than the other way around. So far it's not causing serious problems, but I haven't yet done more than 19 continuous miles. (The minimum length would be fine for normal-height people.)

More problematic is the fact that it's elasticated and folds, like an old-fashioned tent-pole, rather than telescopes (Dash4it have added a photo). The furled (folded) length could be a little as 33cm, but after some experimentation I carry it at 58cm. This means I can attach it to the rucksack when not in use (e.g. on trains) without it excessively sticking up at the top or out at the sides - the original point of this thread - but not as short when furled as the previous Trekmates.

Another unpredicted problem is that when stuck in soft ground and removed, the individual lengths tend to pull apart. I therefore have had to resort to leaving the ferrule on while in use. Better on rocks - my very first pole's metal tip became wedged, causing shoulder injury - and harder surfaces, but wears the ferrule out (I have spares) and makes it hard to remove (it won't go on the rucksack otherwise).

So it may be a novel solution, but it's still on trial. Not being able to stick it in the ground means that I'm more likely to stand on or bend it. Being thinner than telescope-able varieties it's stronger if slightly heavier than the previous lightweight, but how long the elastic core will last - if it breaks, end of pole - remains to be seen. If the shoulder problem returns, or it pulls apart in a bog, I'll have to get by with version number one.

Iain
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Thu 12th Feb 2015, 11:45
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Trekmate pole: It's been a year and I'm still using it, so I guess I'll have to recommend it. It must the lightest on the market, if not the shortest fully furled. It was cheaper than many competitors, though I doubt it will last for a second year.

As previously described, section 2 of 4 (ground up) disappeared into its lower neighbour early on, so I use the remaining three extended to just below the safety marks. The tip is surviving well though I lost the outer flange (they can work loose if not firmly screwed on) and replaced it with a spare. The lower of the two remaining tighteners doesn't - tighten that is - so I fit together sections 1 and 3 without its assistance.

It's ok like that if not ideal - on the occasions I don't take it I realise how much I rely on its help - old knee problems - though I use just this one and swap it over as necessary. Poles undoubtedly do reduce impact and stress on the lower legs if not the feet, but they are something of a nuisance when negotiating stiles and two-hand obstacles such as gate fasteners. Some pole people seem unaware that when not in use they carry them with the business end(s) sticking out behind - please keep them upright as far as possible, or when carried horizontally (they all have a balance point) make sure the tip is in front of you where you can see it. Thanks.

Iain
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Thu 19th Jun 2014, 23:06
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Have a look at Black Diamond, 3 sections, various lengths. Just long enough for someone 5' 4". After using Leki, I find Black Diamond very practical
Some rucsacs have side meshes and you can stow poles vertically at the side,, which is neater.
Beware of some 4 section poles where bottom section can easily drop out leaving you with a very short pole!
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Thu 19th Jun 2014, 14:14
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Trekmates poles news: against expectations, it's still in use, albeit with only three of its four pieces, and surviving the usual mis-treatment (though I don't throw it about, much). The (now two) tighteners are a little difficult to loosen after use, but seem to be surviving ok, and apart from the expected scratches and abrasions it's doing pretty well. It compacts nicely and is, as was the intention, easy to carry on top of or slung behind the rucksack without catching on branches or becoming stuck in narrow gaps.

I cut the wrist-strap off early on, since an early model gave me severe shoulder problems after its tip became lodged between rocks, but apart from that (and having to extend both lower pieces to full length when in use), it's survived its first seven months much better than anticipated. If it makes it to a year I might go so far as to recommend it.

Iain.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Sat 22nd Feb 2014, 21:18
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I saw some in Needle Sports, Keswick.
I cannot remember the brand name but they were in 4 sections and shock corded.
The were expensive, over £100 per pare, or maybe each
But furled they were short
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Sun 9th Feb 2014, 15:43
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Latest on the Trekmates poles: as I feared might happen, the four-segment and very lightweight pole has developed problems after only three months of use (though chucking it over fences probably doesn't help). The middle of the three tighteners has come off and I can't get it to stay back on; segment 3 has become wedged inside segment 2 and I don't want to force it out and risk damage.

Temporary solution: it's three segments fully extended, overall length the same as the previous one (which lasted three years not three months). I expect it'll fail fairly soon, hopefully without breaking (dangerous) or bending (easy to do, like predecessor). Memo to self: do not throw cheap lightweight gear over walls and fences, particularly when there are rocks on the other side.

Iain
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Fri 1st Nov 2013, 13:48
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Thanks. I looked online at Trailblaze, but the price is a bit high for me, so trailed again round local shops. One which is about to close had a last set of Trekmaktes Compact Slimline poles, which when compacted measures just 45cm (maximum 120cm unfurled), the smallest in the range. It's in four sections (three tighteners), which may make it a little less robust than others but is short enough both for carrying and for my height. Local price for a single pole was good too.

Iain
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Wed 23rd Oct 2013, 20:35
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
I use the Trailblaze, "Mountain King" poles, they are 4pce not adjustable in length, but they come in different lengths - so you measure and chose your ideal. I can't fault mine, very light and also tough (enough for me). I buy mine from Likeys as they are local.
http://www.likeys.com/acatalog/Trekking_Trekking_Poles.html
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Wed 23rd Oct 2013, 14:12
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Anyone know of a walking pole which is shorter when *furled* (not in use) than the more commonly found varieties, that is, no more than about half a metre (one and a half feet) ?

The familiar makes, e.g. Leki, Vango, are too long to be easily carriable (e.g. laid across the top of a rucksack rather than attached vertically), particularly by short(er) people like me; and we've all left one behind, haven't we ?

I had one such (the previous to current, which is worn out), but found it only by chance, haven't seen one like it since, and yes, I've forgotten the maker name (no clues from the many online sites).

Walking poles for the vertically challenged, please. (Minimum length, not maximum).

Thanks, Iain

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