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Re: [pct-l] Information on using hiking poles

At 5:44 PM -0800 1/5/98, John Vonhof wrote:
>I am looking for information from any PCT or other hikers who use hiking
>poles.  Do you feel the poles are of value?  One versus two?  Homemade
>versus store bought?  Can you give some experiences of hiking without them
>to hiking with them?
>If you have tried them and don't like them, what were the deciding factors?
>This is both for personal use and research for a piece I am writing.
>John Vonho

Hi John,

      I have gone hundreds of miles with none, one and two sticks. No
         unless a level area and not looking for any speed in which case I
         use no sticks, I always use two.

      Here are my experiences.

      Like cross crountry skiing, you can use them to add speed.

      Great for going down hills covered with 'slippery wet leaves'

      Going across water areas with large cross currents and rocks underneath

      Better balance when going across all boulder areas covered
           in snow or ice

      They also take about 25 lbs off the "knees". Saves those knees on
      downhills.  Use the upper body to take some of the "strain" and shock.

      I generally use no sticks or two.

      Never Use one stick anymore, tend to favor one side or the other...
bad form,
        bad balance, can't make good time, etc.

      The one stick is good for battling snakes, or other animals if needed.
        Wack'em on the nose.

      With two, you can bop'em on the head also.

      One easily 'break the fallen tree limbs' to length if there are any.

      A telescoping stick allows one to adjust to correct height going
uphill and
      downhill to right height. In my opinion, one should not have a fixed
      length. Going downhill, extended.

       A fixed length stick is a hazard going up scampering areas if hard to
        stowe. I collapse my push-button Tek R3s quickly.

       Under links in hikenet (advice), there is an excellent link on the
        proper way to use poles.  (http://members.aol.com/hikenet)

      - Tom

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