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Advice on Walking Poles

Ilgin Oya Yavuz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planing to walk the Camino during September 2015
Dear Camino Friends,
I will start my first Camino on September and need an advice for buying the correct walking poles.
Are there differences of men and women? The length, handles, weight, etc?
I will appreciate your experiences...
Buen Camino...
 

KerrySA

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
I bought the lightest ones I could afford. Loved loved loved them.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
There are many design and material differences, most of which will be meaningless to you until you have used poles.

Shock or anti-shock. A spring mechanism reduces the impact of the pole plant. I found it more psychological than real, but some with arthritis have found the stress reduction useful.

Cork or plastic hand grips. Many prefer the feel of cork.

Straight or angled grips. Straight grips are disappearing, so they must be less popular. You will find the straight grip on most inexpensive poles. The angle is more comfortable for me. I use Pacer Poles. The grip is about a 45 degree angle as part of a completely different engineering.

Aluminum, steel, or graphite. Graphite is lightest and most expensive. Graphite will shatter rather than bend, so you are left with one pole after a disaster. You can often bend a metal pole back to usability. Aluminum/titanium alloy is very light and strong, and a bit expensive. Steel is the cheapest and heaviest and has become fairly rare.

Some poles are marketed for gender. I bought a very light woman's pair once, and it really was a bit too flimsy for a large male.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Consider some of the ultra-compact poles made specifically for travel, they come apart to make them smaller and may fit inside your backpack for transit on an airplane. Here is a link to LEKI but there are other brands offering similar products http://shop.leki.com/en/category.php?product_category_id=8423

I like LEKI poles personally, they have a 7 degree angle on the grips and with the arthritis in my hands/wrists/arms I also use their anti-shock poles, which I really find useful on very hard surfaces like roadways, but it offers nothing on grassy fields, soft ground, etc. Do a couple searches and you will find some pretty extensive posts about trekking poles with photos. Sadly LEKI doesn't make a travel style pole with anti-shock.

As for grips, yes they are specific for Left & Right hands and yes there are Men's and Ladies grips (mens grips are usually larger) and most people tend to prefer cork or cork composite grips. They work well in all weather (wet/cold/hot/snow) conditions and your hands don't end up smelling like rubber/plastic. The difference is not so much the feel of the cork when you intially grip it but rather the overall way cork responds to the weather and tends to not become as hard in the cold, as hot in the heat, etc.

BUT no matter what brand you buy, make sure to buy the optional RUBBER FEET/TIPS/TIP COVERS so you don't make that clack-clack-clacking noise.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
@falcon269 and @Melensdad have not left much unsaid. I have used Komperdell, Leki and Black Diamond with great success, and some sprung poles from other makers that have been far less successful. Some people won't be hard on their poles, and are unlikely to notice the difference, but if you are serious, get as good a quality pole as you can afford.

Having made that investment, invest some time in learning to use them properly. If you aren't given some instruction when you buy them, or even if you are, there are plenty of good web resources. I find Pete's Pole Page one of the best explanations of the what, how and why of pole techniques. After that, its practice.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
I've seen the remains of broken poles left behind. I can only wonder at the accident that caused the person to put such stress on the pole. I also wonder what would happen should someone fall onto a pole that has just snapped.

Don't put your weight on the poles, particularly if you are using the pole to avoid slipping. Its not intended to take that kind of stress.

So okay for the camino but leave it at home if you are walking trails. Bring an ice axe instead.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
I've seen the remains of broken poles left behind. I can only wonder at the accident that caused the person to put such stress on the pole. I also wonder what would happen should someone fall onto a pole that has just snapped.
Carbon fiber poles tend to snap if the are flexed, my observation of broken carbon fiber poles is that they often snap if stuck between a couple of good size rocks. Aluminum poles will flex before they fail, but again its usually a problem where the end is stuck and bending force is placed on the pole.

Don't put your weight on the poles, particularly if you are using the pole to avoid slipping. Its not intended to take that kind of stress.
I totally, but respectufully disagree. The point of the poles are to take your weight. The problem is that many poles are reasonably poor quality. This is especially true of the 3 part poles. The "clamp" style locks are not as secure as the "internal twist locks" and can't take the same amount of weight as the twist style locks. But the clamp locks are far more popular because they are fast and simple. I've tested some of the "box store" poles and put my weight on those and had them collapse into themselves just under my pressure. They would totally fail under a slip/fall situation.

So okay for the camino but leave it at home if you are walking trails. Bring an ice axe instead.
:D
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
The problem is that many poles are reasonably poor quality
The poles are good enough for the purpose for which they are designed. The problem comes when people use them in situations for which they were not designed.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
The poles are good enough for the purpose for which they are designed
This is probably true. Many of those poles are probably designed for "exercise walking" on city & suburban trails by fitness buffs wearing a designer jogging suit.


whariwharangi said:
The problem comes when people use them in situations for which they were not designed.
But for people who don't know much, if anything, about trekking poles, how are they supposed to tell the difference between an "exercise type" walking pole set that can't support their weight when they stumble and an a set of trekking poles that are designed for off road use, rough trail use, and for long distance walking with packs?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
This is probably true. Many of those poles are probably designed for "exercise walking" on city & suburban trails by fitness buffs wearing a designer jogging suit.

But for people who don't know much, if anything, about trekking poles, how are they supposed to tell the difference between an "exercise type" walking pole set that can't support their weight when they stumble and an a set of trekking poles that are designed for off road use, rough trail use, and for long distance walking with packs?
And now we come to trust. Do you trust the person selling you those poles? Do they understand the usage you have in mind? A slip or stumble on a rocky slope with 10k-15k, let alone 30k, of pack on your back is a very different stress load than that delivered by the sudden avoidance of a dog-poo on the local circuit trail or the lean-out while you check your Garmin. Advice? Make sure you understand why you are buying poles and how and why you are going to use them. Make sure your supplier understands too. A search of this forum will lead you to much, sometimes heated, discussion on the topic. Some people consider poles essential, many walk the Caminos without.

Buen Camino, con o sin poles.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
The "clamp" style locks are not as secure as the "internal twist locks" and can't take the same amount of weight as the twist style locks.
@Melensdad, you have made this point before, and I didn't ask then but I will now - do you have some evidence of this? I ask because my personal experience is exactly the opposite, and the only poles where the lock has permanently failed were internal twist locks. In both cases, the plastic expansion plug had failed because the threads had been stripped, and there was nothing that could be done to fix them. In contrast, I have seen several flick locks that might appear to have failed, but on closer examination, I have found that all they needed was adjustment. (And of course, as a boy at heart, I had the necessary multi-tool with screwdriver blade to do that!)

The other issue that I have found with both types of lock is that with sprung poles, the sliding action in the pole section with the spring results in some very fine dust, presumably from the rubbing of the metal. I regularly clean this out with plain water then dry the poles out before re-assembling them. The latest Black Diamond sprung poles avoid this problem by having an external spring, a elastomer collar just below the hand grip. The action of the collar does not rely on the collar being tightened, so any dust created won't affect the effectiveness of the spring (at least, that is how it looks). If there is any disadvantage, it is that the pair I have are the heaviest set of poles that I have ever bought.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
@Melensdad, you have made this point before, and I didn't ask then but I will now - do you have some evidence of this?....
Here you go, it is from Leki, but it gives some facts about certifications.





And now we come to trust. Do you trust the person selling you those poles?...
In some box stores it would be difficult to find someone to sell you anything, harder yet to find someone who can explain how to use or why to use trekking poles. Yet these stores probably sell a lot of poles.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
The organisation cited, TUV Sud, is a German technical inspection agency. I doubt Fizan, Komperdell, Quechua or any of the other non-German pole manufacturers would be thinking of submitting their products for TUV assessment. Leki making it a point of discrimination in this advertisement is akin to saying German products are better because they are inspected in Germany, and none of our competition do that. Great advertising, but not particularly convincing!
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Actually TUV Sud markets itself as a world wide technical/mechancial/safety testing and certification company similar to the EU "CE" certification or the Underwriters Labratory here in the USA.

http://www.tuv-sud.com/home_com

But in addition to that LEKI actually guarantees their twisting lock system to hold at least 140kg of weight. While also claiming it is the strongest locking system in th world. (clearly an advertising claim, but I have seen no other company make such a claim and I've pretty much checked them all over the last few years)

They make no such claim about their lever style lock, while still saying their lock is the strongest lever lock in the world (AGAIN clearly an advertising claim, but I have seen no other company make such a claim and I've pretty much checked them all over the last few years, and you will note they don't claim the lever style lock is stronger than the twist style, nor do they claim the lever style is the strongest locking system, just that their lever style is the strongest lever style lock.)

I don't see any similar claims on the Komperdell, Black Diamond, etc websites about their products and one would presume that if their system was superior they would certainly make the claim. Further, as LEKI has been making these claims for at least the last few years, one could presume if it was not true there would be some sort of suit filed against them by now.

FWIW, the BLACK DIAMOND website claims they have the 'best' lock but not the strongest. KOMPERDELL makes no claims about best or strength. MOUNTAINSMITH claims their lock is guaranteed to hold 90#, roughly 1/3rd the rating of the LEKI's guarantee. FIZAN has a couple different locking systems and their instructions have warnings on how not to break them but no claims or guarantees as to strength or weight ratings.

I suppose we could keep up this discussion but I've never seen any evidence to the contrary of what I wrote about the twist locks being stronger. We each have our own experiences, I've had clamp locks fail, my wife had twist locks fail (but I tracked that down to her poling technique, which has since been corrected).
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I've first opted for the lightest pair of walking sticks, and then looked for a pair that would fold into my backpack. But after a scary climb on del Norte on El Brusco, thinking that if one of my poles failed I would die, I am now looking for strenght, no matter what. I will not lose my life because of the 10% theory of what one should carry.

This being said, I only found sticks useful, until El Brusco, when going over puddles or downhill. Have been told I do not know how to use them properly. So I have just bought a pair of Pacer Poles. Time will tell if and when I have a garage sale for the 2st two pairs ;0)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Have been told I do not know how to use them properly. So I have just bought a pair of Pacer Poles.
I have yet to try Pacer poles, but I have promised to fix this gap in my education and experience at the first available opportunity. What I would observe is that they are almost impossible to use incorrectly. I think you would have to try very hard indeed to not adopt the correct grip. The rest is then up to you.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I suppose we could keep up this discussion but I've never seen any evidence to the contrary of what I wrote about the twist locks being stronger.
You are right, we bring different perspectives to this discussion. I will continue to take the view that advertising is not a useful source of objective evidence, nor a good source of information for comparative assessments. I have used Leki, and still have a pair that I don't use any more, and use Komperdell or Black Diamond. I think Leki make a good pole, but equally, the only pole I have seen bend was a Leki, and the weight that one was carrying at the time was only around 100kg. Perhaps their locks are stronger than the poles themselves!!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Ooops, did we get carried away and forget to answer the question?

2 basic criteria: material and length. Carbon is lighter but can snap? Metal is heavier but will bend if forced. Your body wight will help you know if you can get away with carbon.

Then it's about how they fold and thei length when folded. Must they fit in you backpack? Do you mind fiddling with them even if you will have better length adjustment.

No men or women except if men don't like purple.

Tips are also a factor: for road work you will want a rubber tip. For gravel, rock and other hard surfaces you will want graphite tips that do not slip on rocks.

Length is key: 90 degree angle to your bent arm.

Hope this helps.
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
Pacer poles are my choice because of the fact it is almost impossible to use them incorrectly. That was their primary selling point to me and I haven't regretted the decision.
 

bystander

Veteran Member
Another point to bear in mind, as recommended by Pacer Poles, is to remember to adjust pole lengths, relative to hand/elbow/arm position, according to whether you are going up or down a steep incline so as to maintain a more vertical body posture.
 

indyrem

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June-July (2013) Camino Ingles (2015)
Pacer poles are my choice because of the fact it is almost impossible to use them incorrectly. That was their primary selling point to me and I haven't regretted the decision.
Ditto.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztan, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués. Future: Madrid (2019)
I never bothered with poles before, but I've just taken the plunge and invested in a pair of pacer poles. I now understand what all the fuss is about - they are great :).
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
These served me wonderfully on two Caminos!
First i bought only one to see if they were the real deal, and they are! (So I bought a second one)

-Carbon, so very lightweight.
-Quick lock adjustable length. (Not only important for your body length but also for going up/downhill adjustment.)
(I found that the quick lock system is easier, faster and less prone to damage/getting stuck.)
-Extended sleeve; you can just grip the shaft for going uphill instead of having to adjust the length.
-Straight handle! PacerPoles are great on even stretches but going downhill with those is just a nightmare!
My only wish would be a cork handle

Even with my full body weight (72Kg) on one stick, the locks don't budge.
I'm not sure how people manage to break there sticks but these are virtually unbreakable.

Just my advise, not an advertisement.
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
PacerPoles are great on even stretches but going downhill with those is just a nightmare!

Why? Just curious.
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
Your wrists will be in an impossible position trying to place the poles in front of you.
(I own a pare of pacerpoles)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I'm not sure how people manage to break there sticks but these are virtually unbreakable.
No walking pole is unbreakable, virtually or otherwise. If too much bending force is applied to the shafts, they will bend or break. The springs in sprung poles eventually collapse if they are getting compressed fully regularly. These things may not be common, but it is not unreasonable that they happen.
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
Sure, bend them over your knee and you will be able to snap them.
Otherwise it's just unnecessary to even mention it in my opinion.

I've used and abused poles for years and years, cheap ones, expensive ones of all sort of materials.
Did you ever had a stick broken dougfitz or see any reasonable way they would brake?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Your wrists will be in an impossible position trying to place the poles in front of you.
(I own a pare of pacerpoles)
That's why, on long downhills, one lengthens the pole a bit, whether it's a Pacer Pole or not. Just for the record, I own a pair of Pacer Poles, and have used them with great joy -- and occasional lifesaving results -- on four separate long European walks. One trip, I even refused an offer to sell them at any price.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Your wrists will be in an impossible position trying to place the poles in front of you.
(I own a pare of pacerpoles)
Are you suggesting that the shaft cannot be lengthened enough to bring the wrists into a more natural position?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Sure, bend them over your knee and you will be able to snap them.
Otherwise it's just unnecessary to even mention it in my opinion.

I've used and abused poles for years and years, cheap ones, expensive ones of all sort of materials.
Did you ever had a stick broken dougfitz or see any reasonable way they would brake?
It might not be your experience, but I have seen a bent metal pole from when it took someone's full weight when they slipped. I rather suspect that a carbon fibre pole would have shattered under the same circumstances. I certainly don't think it is usual, just clearly not impossible.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I have seen a shattered carbon fiber pole, and several bent aluminum poles. It is possible to get them into positions where they are damaged.

For a prolonged down stretch, lengthen the Pace Poles four to six inches, and they are more comfortable. It only takes about three seconds!
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
No, they can be lengthened enough for any reasonable amount of slope.
Its just... well hard to explain.

Give your monitor a thumbs-up, then bend your thumb towards you almost to the point were your wrist hurts.
Keep your wrist (and thumb!) like that and place it on the edge of your desk and push down hard.
Imagine doing that for half an hour and how your wrist would feel.
That is pacerpoles going downhill.

With straight handles you just grip them differently or place the palm of your hands on the 'knob'.

I'm not anti-pacerpole or anything... it's just they do have their downsides.
 
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pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
Thanks, everyone. I was curious since I do have pacer poles but live in flat, flat Florida.

EDIT MartinZ , we cross posted, but it seems to me that your grip explanation is totally not how the pacer pole folks say to use them in their video.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
No, they can be lengthened enough for any reasonable amount of slope.
Its just... well hard to explain.

Give your monitor a thumbs-up, then bend your thumb towards you almost to the point were your wrist hurts.
Keep your wrist like that and place it on the edge of your desk and push down hard.
Imagine doing that for half an hour and how your wrist would feel.
That is pacerpoles going downhill.

With straight handles you just grip them differently or place the palm of your hands on the 'knob'.

I'm not anti-pacerpole or anything... it's just they do have their downsides.
I'm still having difficulty seeing what the issue is, but then I am not a Pacer Pole owner or user. If this issue only occurs on extreme slopes, I wonder if it is likely to affect anyone on any of the pilgrim routes. Was it an issue for you on the CF?
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
Yes, I found that out on my first tour on the CF. (I live in flat Holland and never had an issue here)
On my second and third tour I found the joy of those cheap (but really good) Chinese poles.
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
Thanks, everyone. I was curious since I do have pacer poles but live in flat, flat Florida.

EDIT MartinZ , we cross posted, but it seems to me that your grip explanation is totally not how the pacer pole folks say to use them in their video.
Because of the pre moulded handle there's only one way to hold them isn't there?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
If this issue only occurs on extreme slopes, I wonder if it is likely to affect anyone on any of the pilgrim routes.
There are stretches, down from Alto del Perdon and into Molinaseca come to mind, where pole plants must accommodate rocks. I find the Pacer Pole grips make it easier to plant the pole, but extending them helps. The agile pilgrims just bounded from rock to rock. That look much easier to me, but then it has been a decade since my legs did any bounding, so I trusted my poles.
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
... into Roncesvalles (CF) through the woods springs to my mind as being pretty steep (but it was also slippery as hell because of downpour the day before).
 

jirit

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Given my uncanny ability to donate ( leave things behind ) I buy the cheapest hiking poles.

Obviously you don't want hiking poles that will break within the first week, but something reasonable in terms of strength and flexibility that will last the journey.

And considering length something long enough, so your arms and hands are resting comfortably as if you were holding that all important morning cup of caffe latte. ( most poles are adjustable )

Should you decide to accidentally donate them at some albergue long discovering long after you have wandered off down the way, then you pick up another set at the nearest larger town.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
The agile pilgrims just bounded from rock to rock. That look much easier to me, but then it has been a decade since my legs did any bounding, so I trusted my poles.
I leave bounding from rock to rock to my teenage grandchildren:)
 

Ilgin Oya Yavuz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planing to walk the Camino during September 2015
Ooops, did we get carried away and forget to answer the question?

2 basic criteria: material and length. Carbon is lighter but can snap? Metal is heavier but will bend if forced. Your body wight will help you know if you can get away with carbon.

Then it's about how they fold and thei length when folded. Must they fit in you backpack? Do you mind fiddling with them even if you will have better length adjustment.

No men or women except if men don't like purple.

Tips are also a factor: for road work you will want a rubber tip. For gravel, rock and other hard surfaces you will want graphite tips that do not slip on rocks.

Length is key: 90 degree angle to your bent arm.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I will definitely consider...
 

brkdn2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino francais, (2014 Aug.)
Dear Camino Friends,
I will start my first Camino on September and need an advice for buying the correct walking poles.
Are there differences of men and women? The length, handles, weight, etc?
I will appreciate your experiences...
Buen Camino...
Because I didn't want to deal with poles on a plane I bought mine in Pamplona for 9 euros. they telescoped down very small and were adjustable and had a shock for cushion . on the way home I stuffed them in my bag and had the airport shrink wrap my bag and checked it. I liked the rubber tips for traction here and there. They hang on the wall now next to my map of Spain whispering vamos !
 
Camino(s) past & future
"2011" Portuguese "2012/13/16"Frances X 2 + Finistere" 2015" Porto -SDC "2017"Primitivo
Consider some of the ultra-compact poles made specifically for travel, they come apart to make them smaller and may fit inside your backpack for transit on an airplane. Here is a link to LEKI but there are other brands offering similar products http://shop.leki.com/en/category.php?product_category_id=8423

I like LEKI poles personally, they have a 7 degree angle on the grips and with the arthritis in my hands/wrists/arms I also use their anti-shock poles, which I really find useful on very hard surfaces like roadways, but it offers nothing on grassy fields, soft ground, etc. Do a couple searches and you will find some pretty extensive posts about trekking poles with photos. Sadly LEKI doesn't make a travel style pole with anti-shock.

As for grips, yes they are specific for Left & Right hands and yes there are Men's and Ladies grips (mens grips are usually larger) and most people tend to prefer cork or cork composite grips. They work well in all weather (wet/cold/hot/snow) conditions and your hands don't end up smelling like rubber/plastic. The difference is not so much the feel of the cork when you intially grip it but rather the overall way cork responds to the weather and tends to not become as hard in the cold, as hot in the heat, etc.

BUT no matter what brand you buy, make sure to buy the optional RUBBER FEET/TIPS/TIP COVERS so you don't make that clack-clack-clacking noise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"2011" Portuguese "2012/13/16"Frances X 2 + Finistere" 2015" Porto -SDC "2017"Primitivo
Oh yes, that needless continuous click- clacking has really annoyed me on my caminos, especially on concrete level roads. I have speeded up to get away from it to find i get near another untipped pair. It spoils the birdsong, wind and quiet I love. I can only see there use on hills and uneven ground as being useful. I prefer a stick. Yes, please use hard rubber tips for the sake of others, or better still just walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"2011" Portuguese "2012/13/16"Frances X 2 + Finistere" 2015" Porto -SDC "2017"Primitivo
I love that noise! Throw away the rubber tips...
I hate it especially on level ground when they are not needed. It spoils tranquility, birdsong, wind/water-noise and contemplation
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I hate it especially on level ground when they are not needed.
Two points:
  • poles are a walking aid - not essential for most walkers but they do provide benefits when used properly
  • these benefits accrue just as much on level ground as they do when climbing or descending hilly terrain
That's why many of us use our poles continually because it is sensible and beneficial to do so.

Like you, I would prefer that people used rubber pole tips on hard surfaces, but I would far prefer that they used poles correctly than they didn't at all.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Oh yes, that needless continuous click- clacking has really annoyed me on my caminos, especially on concrete level roads. I have speeded up to get away from it to find i get near another untipped pair. It spoils the birdsong, wind and quiet I love. I can only see there use on hills and uneven ground as being useful. I prefer a stick. Yes, please use hard rubber tips for the sake of others, or better still just walk.
What you understand to be useful, and what is actually useful, are actually quite different.

My family just finished hiking across England (finished a few days ago) and trekking poles on all types of terrain have been proven to be useful by each of us, and countless others. You may not understand it, but even on flat ground the use of trekking poles are helpful when hiking, poles promote a better posture, which enhances lung capacity while carrying a pack.

FWIW, we all use rubber tips on asphalt/concrete, etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"2011" Portuguese "2012/13/16"Frances X 2 + Finistere" 2015" Porto -SDC "2017"Primitivo
What you understand to be useful, and what is actually useful, are actually quite different.

My family just finished hiking across England (finished a few days ago) and trekking poles on all types of terrain have been proven to be useful by each of us, and countless others. You may not understand it, but even on flat ground the use of trekking poles are helpful when hiking, poles promote a better posture, which enhances lung capacity while carrying a pack.

FWIW, we all use rubber tips on asphalt/concrete, etc.
Points taken and agreed on posture etc, its the continuous needless noise of bare metal I dislike. Your frequent posts make good sense. Continue using the tips please. Buen camino.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
... Continue using the tips please ...
Honestly the carbide tips are the most suitable for most surfaces, but the rubber seems to be less annoying. Rubber, however, can be very slippery, even dangerous, on clay, wet leaves, slippery mud, etc.
 

Annie G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
I have Black Diamond Z poles, carbon fiber, purchased for training. I've never actually used the rubber tips as I primarily train on dirt or gravel. I'm not opposed to using the rubber but it does seem cumbersome to have to switch back and forth all the time, all that unscrewing and screwing. Is there a product that just fits over the metal tips when your encounter paved surfaces?
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
I have Black Diamond Z poles, carbon fiber, purchased for training. I've never actually used the rubber tips as I primarily train on dirt or gravel. I'm not opposed to using the rubber but it does seem cumbersome to have to switch back and forth all the time, all that unscrewing and screwing. Is there a product that just fits over the metal tips when your encounter paved surfaces?
Different brands use different types. Leki uses a slip on rubber tip. Black Diamond screws on/off.

The disadvantage of the Leki design is you can, and will, occasionally lose a rubber tip. Out of the 6 rubber tips used on this trip across England we lost 1 of them, but it was AFTER we were done hiking.

The disadvantage to the B.D. design is that its more of a pain to change the tips because they screw on/off. But they are clearly more secure than slip on friction hold tips.

Some of the generic slip on tips are pretty low quality and don't hold up well. There are lots of reports of them wearing through after only short distances. We have a couple hundred asphault road miles on some of our rubber Leki brand tips.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I have Black Diamond Z poles, carbon fiber, purchased for training. I've never actually used the rubber tips as I primarily train on dirt or gravel. I'm not opposed to using the rubber but it does seem cumbersome to have to switch back and forth all the time, all that unscrewing and screwing. Is there a product that just fits over the metal tips when your encounter paved surfaces?
I haven't seen a slip on tip specifically for the Z poles that would allow you to use the carbide tip and then slip a rubber tip over the top. It is possible to use a generic pole tip such as the replacement Black Diamond or Leki tips, but they don't seem to be quite tight enough. If you use the carbide tip, and wrap a length of gaffer tape around the bottom part of the pole where the carbide tip screws in, you can get a much tighter fit. One that is less likely to see the tips coming off quite so easily.

On the subject of rubber tip quality, I have had good mileage out of Leki tips in the past, but they are very expensive here in Australia, and the replacement Black Diamond rubber tips give a similar life at lower cost. I have also imported the Swix walking foot when the Leki walking foot wasn't being carried by the Australian wholesaler. There are a variety of others that I have tried from time-to-time that have worn out much more quickly.
 

Annie G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
I haven't seen a slip on tip specifically for the Z poles that would allow you to use the carbide tip and then slip a rubber tip over the top. It is possible to use a generic pole tip such as the replacement Black Diamond or Leki tips, but they don't seem to be quite tight enough. If you use the carbide tip, and wrap a length of gaffer tape around the bottom part of the pole where the carbide tip screws in, you can get a much tighter fit. One that is less likely to see the tips coming off quite so easily.

On the subject of rubber tip quality, I have had good mileage out of Leki tips in the past, but they are very expensive here in Australia, and the replacement Black Diamond rubber tips give a similar life at lower cost. I have also imported the Swix walking foot when the Leki walking foot wasn't being carried by the Australian wholesaler. There are a variety of others that I have tried from time-to-time that have worn out much more quickly.
Thanks. I'll give the gaffer tape remedy a try.
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
Dear Camino Friends,
I will start my first Camino on September and need an advice for buying the correct walking poles.
Are there differences of men and women? The length, handles, weight, etc?
I will appreciate your experiences...
Buen Camino...
I "won't leave home" without them. Helps when climbing "the gently rolling hills of Spain" and descending said hills. Helps maintain balance on all types of terrain and takes a lot of strain off legs and back. I use Black Diamond folding cross country ski poles. Hundreds of miles of training walks and 2 Caminos. Take extra tips. Click click click is bad.
 

fiona99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Your wrists will be in an impossible position trying to place the poles in front of you.
(I own a pare of pacerpoles)
I didn't find that Martin...I thought they were extremely useful....made me feel more confident on some of the more tricky downhill bits ...loose rock and stones....maybe I had different technique of using my pacers.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I had never used poles until I walked the Camino. My Black Diamond carbon simply kept me on the trail longer by taking the stress off my knees. Kept me from falling more times than I could count (mud/steep terrain).

I would get annoyed by folks not having rubber tips as well. My biggest complaint fold them up when in tight cities so you don't poke not only adults but children!
 

Liina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Ponferrada to Santiago) and from Muxia to Finisterre June/July 2015.
Hi!
Does anyone know can I buy poles from Ponferrada?
I'll arrive in Madrid, but not sure I have time to shop there - but still, maybe someone knows a place near Chamartin station in Madrid? I have little time to look around there.

Thanks!
 

PastorCat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013
Sorry Falcon - about this you're wrong. This is Black Diamond's Alpine Carbon Solo Trekking Pole. Lightweight and functional, the 100% carbon fiber Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Solo trekking pole is perfect for a bit of stability on the trail. The primary difference between the model I posted and the Black Diamond Solo is weight and the cork handle. I want the lower weight and full cork handle.

The Camino Frances isn't the Pacific Crest Trail. Not everyone wants or needs dual poles on a walk like the Camino. PS - I'm trying to buy one not sell one.
 
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Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Sorry Falcon - about this you're wrong. This is Black Diamond's Alpine Carbon Solo Trekking Pole. Lightweight and functional, the 100% carbon fiber Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Solo trekking pole is perfect for a bit of stability on the trail. The primary difference between the model I posted and the Black Diamond Solo is weight and the cork handle. I want the lower weight and full cork handle.

The Camino Frances isn't the Pacific Crest Trail. Not everyone wants or needs dual poles on a walk like the Camino. PS - I'm trying to buy one not sell one.
No, the CF is not the PCT. But that misses the point and throws up a misguided bit of logic about the purpose of trekking poles.

If you don't want them that is fine. Nobody is going to make you use them, not 1 pole nor 2.

A single pole offers greater stability than no poles, but essentially nothing more.

Double poles offer much more, which has been detailed in several threads so there is no reason to repeat all the advantages of the use of a pair of poles.

It is your walk, do it as you wish. But I would not dismiss the advantages of dual poles in such cavelier fashion. You certainly don't have use them, but it seems you dismiss the concept of their advantages without due consideration.

Buen Camino.




It is probably not the best trekking pole when used alone. ;) The point of trekking poles is not in weight, strength, engineering, or price. It is in using two of them properly. Regardless, good luck in selling one.
BINGO

Using poles properly yields numerous benefits beyond simple balance.
 

PastorCat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013
...and yet, I've see far more people trekking with one pole than two...all over the planet...on every hike I've ever been on...Appalachian, Pacific Crest. You two pole types are religious about it. I get that. Annoying, but whatever.

Sooooo.... How about ya'll not step on my post, and I won't step on yours, and let me advertise the idea of sharing the cost of a new pole with another OP in peace. How about that?
 
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Liina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Ponferrada to Santiago) and from Muxia to Finisterre June/July 2015.
....and I still want two :) (not against one pole, not religious, but never had to use them and to help my knee I'd like to start with two) and would like advice on buying them in Madrid or Ponferrada.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Don't put your weight on the poles, particularly if you are using the pole to avoid slipping. Its not intended to take that kind of stress
sorry but I have to disagree. Have you ever used Poles?

For them to be effective you must put weight on them!

coming down steep sections, like from Acebo, I probably had 30% or more of my weight on my lightweight poles, that's over 30 kg.

Also the rubber tips are important. Use them on solid surfaces like rock, concrete, or asphalt. Otherwise the metal pole tips skate across the surface.

Most important thing about poles? Learn to use them properly or you are wasting your time....
 

Liina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Ponferrada to Santiago) and from Muxia to Finisterre June/July 2015.
I thought of that, but then again - if I haven't never used poles, I would like to try them, to hold and see how they "fit". Also, the price question is there also :) And time.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Lightweight and functional, the 100% carbon fiber Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Solo trekking pole is perfect for a bit of stability on the trail.
I love the way you are good at repeating the company's promotional lines!!

How about ya'll not step on my post, and I won't step on yours
Really. I don't think this forum is a place for silly threats like this.

let me advertise the idea of sharing the cost of a new pole with another OP
There is a Gear for Sale - Gear Needed section of the forum where you can do just that. It sits under the Equipment Questions section of the forum.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
Have a look at Leki Micro Sticks which are very light but get good advice on the correct length for you as they're not adjustable. They also have the advantage of folding very small into a little bag which is great if you want to go into a church, shop or other place where poles are unwelcome. Also please get rubber stops plus spares for road walking to prevent all that noise!
Good Luck.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Have a look at Leki Micro Sticks which are very light but get good advice on the correct length for you as they're not adjustable. They also have the advantage of folding very small into a little bag which is great if you want to go into a church, shop or other place where poles are unwelcome. Also please get rubber stops plus spares for road walking to prevent all that noise!
Good Luck.
There is a "Micro Vario" which offers about 20cm of adjustment.

And yes, please get a couple sets of rubber tips for your poles. Black Diamond and Leki rubber tips both hold up very well.
 

PastorCat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013
Kathar1na said:
I'm the "poles only needed when going down really steep mountain paths or crossing a snow field" type. I am more a one pole type than a two pole type. And I am a "only the best outdoor gear for me" type. Incidentally, I was planning on getting some Black Diamond set, having read that they are the best.
Exactly :)

When hiking a path that is exceedingly steep, (like Les Houches up to Parc de Merlet, pictured) or climbing or descending paths that are steep and slippery (like the pictured portion of a roadside path in Haute-Savoie/Rhône-Alpes), poles make sense. And, I suppose, if someone one wants to walk a gravel trail like they're working out on a Nordic Track, that's okay too. Walking with folks who do that is irritating; they're busy keeping form, while most people are trying to make time. Having hiked in groups like these, I can say from experience, it seems more a matter of fitness level than it does form. But whatever? To each their own.

38200177.jpg snow-squall.jpg

I stay in trail-shape by carrying a 40lb pack up a 24-degree incline, 15hrs a week. Last week I augmented my routine for "endurance" in place of "strength" by lowering pack weight to 22lbs, knocking the incline down to 12degrees, and upping the daily hike from 3hrs to 5. I can't imagine I'll need a pole for anything other than support on loose ground (incline or decline), or wet weather. Personally, I'd rather train than rely on poles. But that's just me...and admittedly, I'm only 50. I'm still comfortable hopping from rock to rock on most mountain paths. Older folks and people not keen on maintaining their fitness are free to do differently.

And this unnecessary need to explain myself, is what I meant about not stepping on each others posts. It wasn't a threat. Even suggesting that shows a lack of self-awareness. You're an aggressor in this conversation. I was pointing out that, continuing to argue about personal preferences could hijack the thread. Let's stop doing that and please, stop trolling my posts.

If someone (like
Kathar1na), who might want to walk with single pole (like I do), finds my post (like she did), then that person and I can chat about buying a new set, share that cost and split the set. And if you don't think such a request should be in this thread, Fine. Think that all you want. But please, keep your opinion to yourself. You don't need to be a hall monitor all your life. Sheesh! I am not hurting anybody. Just using an efficient, tactical means to locate a buying-partner.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
And if you don't think such a request should be in this thread, Fine. Think that all you want. But please, keep your opinion to yourself.
So now that you have expressed your opinion, all the rest of us are now expected to remain silent? This is a discussion forum! If you want to buy or sell something without discussion there is a place for that too. But don't expect to others not to contribute to threads in a discussion forum.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
So now that you have expressed your opinion, all the rest of us are now expected to remain silent? This is a discussion forum! If you want to buy or sell something without discussion there is a place for that too. But don't expect to others not to contribute to threads in a discussion forum.
Doug you silly silly man. Don't you understand that he gets to have his way, everyone else has to shut up.

Nevermind the fact that there is a trading/sales area on this forum, he wants to do it here, in an inappropriate area of the forum, and he wants others to abide by his dictates.

Now go back to your corner and play nice (which in this case means shut your trap and let him have his way) ;)

OH LOOK, there is a Sales/Trade area! Who knew? => https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/gear-for-sale-gear-needed.106/
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Hi guys. Perhaps, this article can be useful http://overmountain.uk/hiking-poles/
@lik, thank you for sharing this. It is a nice article, but not great. For a start, the headline is 'How to use trekking poles' - it clearly doesn't do that. Rather it presents some good, and some dubious, reasons for using poles. Most of these have been discussed here before, but it is useful to be reminded of them from time to time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014, VDLP 2018, Levante spring 2019
I'm just chipping in with my support for Pacer poles, both on the flat and on slopes (i.e. I use them all the time). I had a bad day at work in Afghanistan and am now a Blue Badge holder, but Pacer poles have made my long distance hiking possible again. Of course training helps, but walking aids aid my walking. I started with 'regular' poles and took a chance with Pacers and have never looked back. Each to his own, but I always fold them down each night and secure them in my rucksack; they are a lifesaver for me and should they go missing I would have to drop my daily mileage a considerable amount. One stick good, two sticks better!
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
@lik, thank you for sharing this. It is a nice article, but not great. For a start, the headline is 'How to use trekking poles' - it clearly doesn't do that. Rather it presents some good, and some dubious, reasons for using poles. Most of these have been discussed here before, but it is useful to be reminded of them from time to time.
@lik, thank you for sharing this. It is a nice article, but not great. For a start, the headline is 'How to use trekking poles' - it clearly doesn't do that. Rather it presents some good, and some dubious, reasons for using poles. Most of these have been discussed here before, but it is useful to be reminded of them from time to time.
I love the idea of using a hiking pole to defend yourself against attack by wolves and bears.
Presumably you wave your nice, shiny hiking pole at them and then run away while they lay on the forest floor peeing themselves with laughter?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I'm just chipping in with my support for Pacer poles, both on the flat and on slopes (i.e. I use them all the time). I had a bad day at work in Afghanistan and am now a Blue Badge holder, but Pacer poles have made my long distance hiking possible again. Of course training helps, but walking aids aids my walking. I started with 'regular' poles and took a chance with Pacers and have never looked back. Each to his own, but I always fold them down each night and secure them in my rucksack; they are a lifesaver for me and should they go missing I would have to drop my daily mileage a considerable amount. One stick, two sticks better!
"a bad day at work in Afghanistan" - I don't know which to admire the more, the level of your understatement or your choice of PacerPoles, both of which I applaud. May you continue to be able to use them for a very long time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Pamploma (April/May 2014)
VDLP March 2019
I'm just chipping in with my support for Pacer poles, both on the flat and on slopes (i.e. I use them all the time). I had a bad day at work in Afghanistan and am now a Blue Badge holder, but Pacer poles have made my long distance hiking possible again.
I too LOVE my Pacer Poles and would never go back to any make of ordinary poles again. The handle design is fantastic and doesn't require me to grip them like other poles. I find they help with posture enormously and the after sales support is excellent.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I love the idea of using a hiking pole to defend yourself against attack by wolves and bears.
Presumably you wave your nice, shiny hiking pole at them and then run away while they lay on the forest floor peeing themselves with laughter?
I had wondered when bears and wolves were last seen in the Lake District! Perhaps all those Pacer pole users have scared them off?
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I love that noise! Throw away the rubber tips...
I do not love that noise! But if you use the rubber tips to avoid the noise you could as well put away the poles. Rubber tips take away most the intension of the poles, the grip. You can never trust poles with rubber tips neither up or down, nor in mud when the tips often fall off. I use poles every day, and rather put them away on hard road.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
These are my favourite, weigh under 300gr a pair, expensive, yes, but my first pair lasted 7 years.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014, VDLP 2018, Levante spring 2019
Good choice of poles and I especially like the reflective 'Scotch' tape; I have red, white and yellow on my Pacerpoles, just to make drivers take a second look and slow down.

On road, rubber tips on: off the road, off with the tips (and into pocket, not to be lost in the muddy puddles !) Yeah, I do get the odd muddy pocket but it's a good routine that has stood up to the test of time, and I rarely lose a tip cover (and it doesn't seem to annoy fellow walkers)..
 

Finisterre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 2001,
Porto 2006,
Valenca 2008,
Finisterre 2010,
SJdPP 2012,
Tui 2014.

No plans to return, yet.
I love my leki z pattern. 230g each.

I use one on broken ground, two on hills, three when drunk. Which is why I fall over.

I've tried cheap ones, adjustable ones, even very lightweight ones, fell running jobbies too, mountain king trail blaze they were, they were nice. But go with leki fixed length z pattern.

PS PastorCat. some of us prefer to use poles rather than spend a great deal of effort becoming humongously fit.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
But if you use the rubber tips to avoid the noise you could as well put away the poles. Rubber tips take away most the intension of the poles, the grip. You can never trust poles with rubber tips neither up or down, nor in mud when the tips often fall off.
This is quite different from my experience. Sure there are some surfaces where a rubber tip will slip from time to time, but these are easy enough to identify and adjust the angle of the pole and pressure applied to the pole.

As someone who does a far amount of bush-walking, I prefer to avoid the damage that the bare metal tip can do on trails, and only take the rubber tips off when I really don't want the pole tip to slip. This is typically only on steeper downhill and uphill slopes. This works well on the camino as well, so tips on most of the time, always in towns, and off only when critical to avoid slipping.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I do not love that noise! But if you use the rubber tips to avoid the noise you could as well put away the poles. Rubber tips take away most the intension of the poles, the grip. You can never trust poles with rubber tips neither up or down, nor in mud when the tips often fall off. I use poles every day, and rather put them away on hard road.
I've never had a problem on a Camino with the grip when there was a rubber tip on the pole. On the other hand, if there is no rubber tip, I have had problems with the pole sliding on smooth surfaces, either stone or tile.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I've never had a problem on a Camino with the grip when there was a rubber tip on the pole. On the other hand, if there is no rubber tip, I have had problems with the pole sliding on smooth surfaces, either stone or tile.
Same here. For about the first two days on my first Camino I tried putting on/taking off the tips depending on the terrain and it was hard to remove them each time. I didn't have any problems leaving them on for approximately 2400 km of camino walking.
 

steve cole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting the french way today
Dear Camino Friends,
I will start my first Camino on September and need an advice for buying the correct walking poles.
Are there differences of men and women? The length, handles, weight, etc?
I will appreciate your experiences...
Buen Camino...
To be honest, depending on which Camino you are doing, I would not take walking poles, they are more of a problem than a help. I use them in Nepal and Ladakh but on most Camino's in Spain they are not essential. If both hands have a stick ; when you want some water or something else you need to stop and swop the sticks to get a free hand.

But everyone is different, if you have always used them , then you must be happy . Perhaps try one stick? If you have not used them before?
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Trekking/walking poles are great to use on the Camino. One walks more efficiently with them. They do not have to be of the expensive variety, either. It is the concept of using the poles that matters, not the poles themselves. One could use two plain wooden dowels cut to proper length with good effect.
As far as rubber tips go, I carried three extra sets and just left the tips on the poles all the time, putting on a new set as soon as the poles started that annoying clickety-clack noise of tungsten steel on pavement. Two or three sets should suffice for the average Camino walker. You can buy bags of them on amazon.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
To be honest, depending on which Camino you are doing, I would not take walking poles, they are more of a problem than a help. I use them in Nepal and Ladakh but on most Camino's in Spain they are not essential. If both hands have a stick ; when you want some water or something else you need to stop and swop the sticks to get a free hand.
I would suggest that this is a clear indication, @steve cole, that you were either using the poles without the strap, or have put the straps on your wrists the wrong way around. Only when the straps are worn incorrectly do the poles remain in the palm of one's hand when the pole is released and get in the road of your hands.

When the straps are worn correctly, the poles will fall away from your hands, leaving them free to take grab one's camera to take photos, retrieve one's water bottle, pick one's nose (or get a hankie to blow it!) or any of the other myriad uses we have for our hands.

There are plenty of good videos showing correct pole use on Vimeo and Youtube. Look for those where the strap loops up over the top of the wrist. Unfortunately, there are probably just as many showing incorrect strap use, where the loop of the strap goes under the wrist, and not over the top from the underside.
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
I would suggest that this is a clear indication, @steve cole, that you were either using the poles without the strap, or have put the straps on your wrists the wrong way around. Only when the straps are worn incorrectly do the poles remain in the palm of one's hand when the pole is released and get in the road of your hands.

When the straps are worn correctly, the poles will fall away from your hands, leaving them free to take grab one's camera to take photos, retrieve one's water bottle, pick one's nose (or get a hankie to blow it!) or any of the other myriad uses we have for our hands.

There are plenty of good videos showing correct pole use on Vimeo and Youtube. Look for those where the strap loops up over the top of the wrist. Unfortunately, there are probably just as many showing incorrect strap use, where the loop of the strap goes under the wrist, and not over the top from the underside.
I personally agree with @steve cole on this one, especially on the CF i feel there is no need for Walking poles at all. I saw many people walking incorrectly due to the poles. Of course. each to his own. But I would say that the main reason you would need poles on the CF is if you are carrying too much weight in your packpack.

Loose the weight = loose the poles.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I personally agree with @steve cole on this one, especially on the CF i feel there is no need for Walking poles at all. I saw many people walking incorrectly due to the poles. Of course. each to his own. But I would say that the main reason you would need poles on the CF is if you are carrying too much weight in your packpack.

Loose the weight = loose the poles.
Need trekking poles to walk the Camino? Certainly not. They are not a necessity. Tens of thousands of pilgrims a year walk the Camino all matter of distances without trekking poles, and do it successfully. Pilgrims of all varieties, age, weight, physical fitness levels. Of course many pilgrims do carry them and do not use them to their full potential. In that case the trekking poles are simply unused additional weight to carry. So yes, you are correct. Improperly used trekking poles are not needed to walk the Camino, just as you said overloaded backpacks are not either, but they will always be there.

Now trekking poles used correctly can (mind you I did not say will) aid someone to walk longer distances with or without a pack. I have walked the entire Frances with trekking poles twice and without twice. I have to say, the trekking poles did aid in keeping a good pace and in efficiency. My pack was not overloaded. Only about 5 kilos in weight. I like them. Also I like the fact they gave my arms, hands and shoulders a bit of a workout when walking. An added plus.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Dear Camino Friends,
I will start my first Camino on September and need an advice for buying the correct walking poles.
Are there differences of men and women? The length, handles, weight, etc?
I will appreciate your experiences...
Buen Camino...
Hola IIgin, over the years I have used a number of different poles from different companies and for different uses including trekking/climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. On my May-June 2017 Camino I used "Pacer Poles" (available from the manufacturer in UK - sorry don't a email or link to web site). I had seen these a couple of times before and (sillily) bagged them. BUT after two or three days on the Camino Frances from St Jean I was totally sold on them. Now they may not be the cheapest but I know that they are the best (for me). Buen Camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Of course many pilgrims do carry them and do not use them to their full potential. In that case the trekking poles are simply unused additional weight to carry.
I use poles for several reasons - wearing a pack shifts my center of gravity, and poles help with that, they have saved me from falling a couple of times, using poles while on the Camino help keep my arms toned and keep my hands from swelling.
On my May-June 2017 Camino I used "Pacer Poles" (available from the manufacturer in UK - sorry don't a email or link to web site). I had seen these a couple of times before and (sillily) bagged them. BUT after two or three days on the Camino Frances from St Jean I was totally sold on them.
I had never backpacked before my first Camino three years ago, and had never used poles either. I learned about Pacer Poles here and it sounded like they were pretty "idiot proof" with their ergonomic handles, and indeed that was the case. 😄
They can be ordered here: http://pacerpole.com/
 

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