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Here are some scientific papers, with my brief summaries. Saunders MJ ; Hipp GR ; Wenos DL ; Deaton ML, "Trekking poles increase physiological responses to hiking without increased perceived exertion," J Strength Cond Res 2008 Sep; 22(5): 1468-74 Using trekking poles caused them to burn calories faster, as measured by VO2max. In other words, ...


24

I've heard rumors of studies that show that trekking poles reduce the force on your legs during a hike (by transferring it to your arms). The only reference to a study I could find was this one, but I wouldn't know how to verify that the study was well constructed. 2010 UK Study This showed about a 25% reduction in the strain on the leg muscles of hikers (...


14

Trekking poles can telescope down and pack away. If you happen to have a shelter that uses trekking poles to hold it up, sometimes you need to be able to set your poles to a different height. Some people also like to lengthen/shorten their poles depending on whether they are going down or up hill. If your shelter doesn't require them, I think the answer ...


14

CHOOSING BETWEEN CARBON AND ALUMINIUM WALKING POLES As with most decisions about lightweight equipment there are tradeoffs, and your best choice will depend on your budget, your height and weight, and the way you use your poles. Characteristics of carbon poles As you probably know, carbon poles are a matrix of fibres set in resin. Not all composites are ...


12

They weight of the extra pole is counteracted by the energy saved using it. Poles do more than offer stability, they also save you legs precious energy on the climb, and on the descent. At 16,000ft you'll sing praises to your hiking poles, and I guarantee you'll find yourself resting on them a lot more than you would have expected. Get two poles, you won't ...


11

Here is a pretty useful article on the correct way to use poles. There are several aims in using a pole. In my opinion, the primary one is to reduce strain on the knees and ankles. Additionally they provide extra stability on rough ground and can make going uphill easier. The disadvantage is they result in extra weight and may increase total energy ...


11

There are people who swear by poles, and there are people hiking into their eighties without poles or knee trouble. Part of it is genetics, part of it is being intelligent about hiking. Poles may help with the symptoms, but wouldn't it be better not to cause the problems in the first place? If you're having knee problems, look at your pack weight. If your ...


11

The trekking pole should make a 90 degree angle with your elbow. This will be your reference setting that you might want change when: Going up a hill where you will reduce the length (helps you advance) Going down a hill where will increase the length (helps slow down or stabilize) For more information, I found this great image here


10

For USA to Canada flights, I have seen hiking poles being accepted (after a bit of explaining..) and refused (WestJet). If they are refused, you may be asked to go back to the luggage section which may end up making you or your poles miss the flight. In my experience it seems to vary on the carrier and the person performing the inspection. Because of these ...


9

If you get a pair, you can choose whether to actually use one or both for a particular day. I recommend that you buy a pair well before your expedition, and use them enough to you learn your preference. If you never want to use both, you still have one you can retain as a spare. Personally, I found that when I started using poles, I got very frustrated ...


8

I don't know of what quality are the poles which you are using, but it's a fact that the better the quality, the better the joints. It's one of the most important components of the price. For me, a good pair of poles from BlackDiamond behave pretty well under my 90 kg weight with a 30 kg backpack, which totals in 260 pound. This is a good side: yes, ...


8

It's highly unlikely that using poles will make anything worse. You still have to place your feet as carefully and in the same sort of position (training for technique/precision). Your legs still do most of the work of lifting you up on an ascent, which is when they work the hardest (training for strength). I descend more slowly with poles, and slow, ...


7

Trekking poles are a great helper if you have problems with your knees after a long march. A pain 'in knees' is usually a pain in the muscles around the knees, that are responsible for maintaining equilibrium. Those muscles are not very active if you walk on footpath, but in outdoors they are intensively used. With trekking poles, the equilibrium is ...


7

I have used both and it isn't really a difference to me. I would even prefer the ski poles, because they have baskets at the bottom, so that they can't sink deep into the snow. Trekking poles usually don't have this feature. So I would chose ski poles. But there are also two advantages if you're using trekking poles: Usually these poles you can adjust the ...


7

Trekking poles are lighter and sometimes easier to break than ski poles. Some have the advantage of folding up into a short package. If you use trekking poles, you may want some with changeable baskets so you can put on some larger baskets that won't sink into the powder so easily.


7

Also, overall strengthening of the body to build stamina, strength, and endurance since you're technically relying on something to make things easier. You have this backwards. As described in the medical study referenced below, trekking poles make you less efficient, so they increase your exertion. That means that if you do the same hike at the same pace, ...


6

Keep the inside of your poles clean. If they get soaked or sandy or muddy, clean them out after your trip and let them air dry. Clean the actual lock mechanism occasionally. Depending on the pole type, there may be a rubber cylinder that does the locking, clean it, and consider lightly abrading it with sand paper (not enough to remove any material, just ...


6

Based on where the pole is striking the ground, the surface hardness, and the extension of the poles you can get some vibrations and noise (I do). My guess is since the poles aren't extended all the way the shaft surfaces (where the extra length is hiding inside the pole) are colliding and causing that noise. You might be able to add a small o-ring to the ...


6

The main advantage of anti-shock poles is that they tend to be less jolting on joints (like elbows and wrists) when used on firm ground or rocky terrain. On softer ground, where the dirt, sand or snow provides natural impact absorption, they can sometimes feel "mushy", and most people would find the benefits negligible. For this reason (and also to prevent ...


5

I don't have any hard evidence other than personal experience, but using poles with shock absorption tends to be easier on the joints - it cushions, at least a little bit, the jolting on your body, especially when going down steep terrain. With a standard pole, when it connects with the ground, that's it - your downward motion is halted immediately. With the ...


5

I don't see why you couldn't. One key difference between ski poles and trekking poles is trekking poles often have a little shock absorber in them and ski poles never do. If you don't care about the shock absorber then you can use a whippet as is. If you want the shock absorbing properties of a trekking pole and the pick of a whippet then you might need to ...


5

I have recently hit 40 and have been using hiking sticks for the past five years. When I began having problems with my knees, my doctor originally suggested the problem was with osteoarthritis. Doing a little bit of searching on the Internet suggested that hiking sticks would help so I purchased a pair. The reasoning was that it removed some stress/...


5

It is my understanding that the Nordic or Exercise Poles are for walking fast and the grip is designed to release quickly forward in stride with a glove like fit and usually have either a rubber or paw type tip. The Trekking or Hiking poles are designed for pushing slightly down on to take pressure off of your lower body with a lighter thinner strap and have ...


5

When comparing shafts made in the same thickness with the same level of finish and quality of production, carbon will be lighter and stronger compared to aluminium. That said, it is rarely the case and it depends on the company making the poles and the quality of product. The case for aluminium Aluminium is a metal that, when used for walking poles, is ...


4

At UK airports you are not allowed to take them into the cabin. They must be in the hold. You wont get them through security and they confiscate them, whatever airline you are on.


4

It does not necessarily reflect poorly made poles. If you have used the poles for a while without problems and you're just recently having problems, they likely need to be cleaned. I would start by checking to see if your poles have maintenance instructions specific to your model. You should always follow the manufacturers advice if possible. If they do not ...


4

@Liam's answer above is great but I wanted to add one additional con of the clap lock system. You need a screw driver to adjust the tightness of clap based poles so you probably can't do it in the field. I have a pair of clam locks similar to these: About once or twice a year, I need to tighten the screw that that controls how tightly the clap lock is. ...


4

The Whippet is marketed as: ... the ultimate ski mountaineering tool ... that can help keep minor slips from turning into slides for life. For ski mountaineering, it is not feasible to carry an ice axe in your hands so the Whippet is better than nothing. Performing a self arrest with an ice axe is difficult and I would have serious doubts about the ...


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