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RE: [AT-L] hiking pole holes & hurricane

To Ginny "Spirit Walker"

Excellent points, and still, with all that is said, the $100 poles will last
a long time, too, and not damage the ground, if they just use the rubber
feet on the ends, also remembering to carry backups.

Edward S. LaVine                                        GridNet
Sales Order Administration                         http://www.gridnet.com
"If it is to be, it is up to me"

>From: 	owen[SMTP:owen@dc.ametsoc.org]
>Sent: 	Tuesday, September 17, 1996 1:24 PM
>To: 	Ed LaVine
>Subject: 	[AT-L] hiking pole holes & hurricane
>While out hiking on Saturday, I got to thinking about the hiking stick hole
>complaint - you are right, in soft soil on downhills, where I put weight on
>the pole, there is some temporary damage.  Most of the time though, I don't
>put weight on the stick.  That's one reason I use an old ski pole, I can
>carry it with two fingers - no weight.  Mostly I use the stick for rough
>rocky ground, getting over big blowdowns, stream crossings and steep
>downhills.  The other, and sometimes most important use, is that I can
>the trail without having to stop and bend over.  The trails we hike tend to
>get a lot of downed branches, and a flick of the stick clears the trail. 
>Easy and fun.  We get points for making them spin and circle, lose points
>they jump back into the trail.  I figure that the good I do probably
>outweighs the occasional hole in the ground.  A point that hasn't been made
>about hiking sticks - on a thruhike, your stick will shorten - sometimes as
>much as 4 inches.A bolt at the end will help, but be aware that your $100
>stick may not last the distance.  If my $5 pole wears down or breaks, I
>haven't lost much.  And they seem to take a lot of abuse.  Bamboo poles can
>also be good, though they can crack. They are light weight though, and
>flexible, so when they get stuck between rocks, they may not break.
>As a westerner, I didn't see the point of hiking sticks except for fording
>rivers, after spending 4 years in the East, clearing trail as I hike, I do
>appreciate the flick of the stick.
>Ginny "Spirit Walker"
>PS - Thanks Marti - good write up of Sunday's fun.  Shenandoah N. Park will
>not be the same.  It used to feel like a city park - now it is much more
>raw.  The winds must have been ferocious up there.  In one area at least
>tree in three was down.  We cut at least 100 trees, and left some of the
>ones behind because they would have taken too much time to clear. The
>district manager said that we got all but a couple of miles of the northern
>district cleared over the weekend.  Of course the side trails were
>untouched, and they are a mess!  It was good to be part of the big effort.