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Re: Hiking pole holes

Alice, IL Fltlndr@aol.com wrote:

> Okay.....I gotta say it. Quite often when I am hiking and staring down at the
> trail so I don't trip and break a leg, I see the holes from the hiking poles,
> etc. I find that they take away from my "experience"...
> <<Edit..>>
> Yet......I would use the poles too if they helped
> me to hike my hike, and I am considering it, but I wonder if my "holes" will
> bother those coming behind me????

Myself, I don't notice polehole damage in most places, but what I do
notice are the marks and presence of what I consider to be the far
greater threats to hiking enjoyment, horses and mountain bikes
(human-powered). Those are the REAL problems. 

As for poles, they can certainly help if you are an infrequent hiker
and/or you're carrying a heavy pack- particularly on rocks, stream
crossings, and steep climbs. But, in the spirit of the "less is better"
philosophy, I've always tried to make it without hiking sticks or poles
of any kind. I believe it strengthens you and improves your balance and
concentration to the point of not needing them in most situations. 

I know the inveterate stick/pole users will disagree, but I would
encourage you to try hiking sans poles for a while first. 

Michael Vaughn
Chattanooga Hiking Club
Chattanooga, TN  USA