Trekking poles? How to choose?

DesertRat

Junior Member
Joined
May 26, 2012
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18
Location
Colorado
Okay...so I've never used trekking poles but I'm getting older and I don't want to fall on my @$$ plus my younger hunting buddies all use them so they must either be in vogue, my friends are older than they say the are or these poles actually help you get along. I'm thinking they actually help you get along.

So I'm not going to toss off $150 for a pair of poles. I want something that is reasonably priced and doesn't weigh more than a 12 OZ each (or less). Maybe one of the staffers here can post up a comparison video or article to help us mere mortals. Else I'll just keep falling on my @$$.

-Andrew
 

weaver

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Feb 25, 2012
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I would look at the black diamond zpoles. I think those are what Aron uses. Reasonably priced and light.
 

JG358

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado
Check out Black Dianond trail ergos with flip locks... 8oz a piece. Think I paid around $60 them.
 

In God We Trust

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May 2, 2012
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Lakewood, Colorado
I have the black diamond flick lock trail shocks. Great poles. I used to think poles were for granola eating hippy back packers. Now I use them and won't hunt the high country without them.
 

thru-hunter

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Feb 25, 2012
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One thing I noticed is that with trekking poles I tend to use them to catch myself when a rock shifts under my foot crossing unstable boulder fields. This sounds like a positive but if the pole doesn't grip it is pretty easy to take a fall. Without poles I tend to shift my weight and balance the rock. I figured that using poles would be pretty natural but now that I have been consciously trying different methods I am realizing that isn't the case. I did make a dash up a spine to get on some rams last weekend without them and I was cursing every step! Going up or down they are indispensable!
 

Yukondog

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Feb 24, 2012
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Parker, CO
I have used them now on a couple different trips. I was amazed how much the helped going up hill with a 55-60lb pack on. The stability of going down also was amazing. I will always have them with me from now on. I will carry them in my pack so they are available for first load to camp as well. Very good investment.

I never bought any, my dad passed away suddenly in June so I have been using his. I have not weighted them. The seem heavy, but they belonged to dad so I will use only them.

Matt
 
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Ross

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Feb 24, 2012
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Liberty Lake, WA
The zpoles are an excellent choice but they will set you back $150. They are my current choice, for the weight, size and durability I have seen to date with them. The one downside, is if you prefer a pole that you can adjust to various lengths. I have also used the zpoles to set up my supertarp. For anyone on the downslope of the bell curve for age they are a huge saver on the knees!
 

broncoformudv

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Jun 25, 2012
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186
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Black Diamonds here as well. I highly recommend carbon fiber and either the flick lock or the Z-pole setups. From what I have seen with carbon fiber it absorbs impacts well so you do not need the shock absorber that some of the models come with. I was not sure about converting to the z-pole setup at first since I liked being able to adjust the height of my poles but after using them for a week I like the idea and will stick with it. Not having the flip locks catch on brush was amazing!

If you have the time prior to your hunt watch ebay and you can find the z-poles for around $50 brand new. Buddy of mine just picked up two sets for $50 of ebay!

They do take some getting used to and a number of people decide to only use one. To each their own but they are worth giving a try.
 

weaver

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Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,158
The zpoles are an excellent choice but they will set you back $150. They are my current choice, for the weight, size and durability I have seen to date with them. The one downside, is if you prefer a pole that you can adjust to various lengths. I have also used the zpoles to set up my supertarp. For anyone on the downslope of the bell curve for age they are a huge saver on the knees!
I didnt know the zpoles were that expensive. I have the BD carbon corks that i got off ebay for $120 i think. Love them but they'll set you back $150 too unless you can find a good deal.
 

KMT

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Aug 3, 2012
Messages
608
I bought a pair of Leki cork handle treking poles with the twist lock system at REI 5-6 years ago. The twist lock works fine and doesn't slip, but the flip lock would be easier to use if wearing gloves. If I were to buy a new pair, I would get the flip lock type. The poles are great to use on steep down hill descents and take a fair amount of pressure of my knees. They are also helpful when climbing anything rediculously steep while carrying a load. With that being said, I probably carry the poles only 10% of the time that I hunt.

However, don't be fooled into thinking you have to spend $50-120 on poles. The year after I bought my poles, my son decided he wanted to try some while we were driving to our hunting spot. We zipped into a local Walmart, and it had a set of cork handle poles for $11. The only difference I can see is that my poles say Leki and his don't. Both have cork handles, both work fine, and both weigh roughly the same. If you are unsure whether you will like using poles, try the Walmart ones. If you don't like them, you are only out $10-12.
 

fillthefreezer

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Jul 10, 2012
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eatonvile, wa
mine are the black diamonds right before they go carbon and they work fine for me, i did bend one up really bad in a fall but rei replaced them. i really like them for crossing streams and slushy snow
 

cmeier117

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Feb 24, 2012
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Salem, OR
The z poles are $80 that are aluminum. The carbon ones are $150. I have some Leki cork flip locks I like but they weight over a pound.
 

rodney482

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Feb 27, 2012
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2,686
I took a cheap pair of Walmart Poles and then dipped them in camo.

They work great and I wont be in the Mts without them.
 
OP
DesertRat

DesertRat

Junior Member
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
18
Location
Colorado
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be picking up a pair as I blew out my ankle this weekend. Might miss the entire Colorado season. I wish I had bought those poles sooner. ;-(
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
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5,533
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Piedmont, SD
I bought a pair of Leki cork handle treking poles with the twist lock system at REI 5-6 years ago. The twist lock works fine and doesn't slip, but the flip lock would be easier to use if wearing gloves. If I were to buy a new pair, I would get the flip lock type. The poles are great to use on steep down hill descents and take a fair amount of pressure of my knees. They are also helpful when climbing anything rediculously steep while carrying a load. With that being said, I probably carry the poles only 10% of the time that I hunt.

However, don't be fooled into thinking you have to spend $50-120 on poles. The year after I bought my poles, my son decided he wanted to try some while we were driving to our hunting spot. We zipped into a local Walmart, and it had a set of cork handle poles for $11. The only difference I can see is that my poles say Leki and his don't. Both have cork handles, both work fine, and both weigh roughly the same. If you are unsure whether you will like using poles, try the Walmart ones. If you don't like them, you are only out $10-12.

This except I bought the Black Diamond. My two and a half year old took immediate possession of the trekking poles when I got them. I figured he would tear them up so I went to Wal Mart and got him his own set. They have flip locks and cost $14 a piece. I can tell no difference between them and my $$$ Black Diamonds. Wish I would have just gotten mine at Wal Mart.
 

mtmiller

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May 20, 2012
Messages
586
Location
Montana
Just unwrapped my carbon z-poles. Wow, can't wait to take them for a test drive. So much lighter and simpler than my Leki's.
 

bigeasygator

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Jul 25, 2012
Messages
429
Location
New Orleans, LA
Man I love this site...just was wondering to myself what the thought on using trekking poles was by serious backcountry hunters. I'm going to CO in a week hunting mule deer at 12,000' and was contemplating getting a pair. Thanks to this timely post and replies I now have a set of Black Diamond Carbon Z-poles on the way. Thanks folks!
 

drthornton

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Feb 29, 2012
Messages
253
Location
Prosper, TX
I just spent some time at 11K feet in NV and bought trekking poles for me and my buddy. I can't tell you how great they are with a load on your back. I won't go in the back country again without them. Flip locks are a nice feature. I don't see how the few ounces of weight for carbon will make any difference. Get some you won't regret it!

Below are the ones I got (Leki-for me, BD for my buddy)and sunnysports.com was the cheapest I found them. Very good site and I have ordered a lot from them with no issue.

http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/CategoryID_2232/Context_2200/Sort_Relevance/DescSort_0/Filter_brand=Black__Diamond/Page_2/BKDTRB.html
http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/CategoryID_2232/Context_2200/Sort_Relevance/DescSort_0/Filter_brand=Leki/Page_2/LKICASL.html
 
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