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Advice on Walking Poles

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
I have used Paria poles in the Chilean Andes and the Camino CF. Worked great on both occasions and very different terrain. I love, love my poles.
One pole got stuck (I couldn't collapse part of it) my last two days on the Camino. I was not going to leave it behind!! So, I emailed Paria the problem, because I couldn't collapse it for the flight home. They said, "Leave it in Santiago. A new set is on its way to your home." Boom! A whole new pair was on the doorstep when I arrived home! Now THAT is customer service! Great poles. Great service!
.
Also, watch their excellent videos on how to use them properly.
I'd guess 75% of pole users don't hold or use them properly. Certainly true on the Camino!
Buen Camino!!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
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.
@MhaelK, this is an interesting line of argument to advance - one should not bring poles because other people don't use them properly. What you are saying is:

a. Some people on the Camino do not use poles properly.
b. You are a person
c. So you will not use poles properly
d. My advice to people who will not use poles properly is to not bring them on the Camino
e. So my advice to you is to not bring poles on the camino.

Clearly an argument that fails the test of logic. Do you have other advice based on such interesting thinking?

I don't think much of your simplistic view about pack weight either. Certainly it might be one factor, but I think one of many, and collectively not easily summarised in glib slogans.

I am much more interested in helping people use walking poles properly, and getting the benefit whether they are on the Camino or walking somewhere else. I see that then, if they do chose to bring them, they are competent in their use.
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
@MhaelK, this is an interesting line of argument to advance - one should not bring poles because other people don't use them properly. What you are saying is:

a. Some people on the Camino do not use poles properly.
b. You are a person
c. So you will not use poles properly
d. My advice to people who will not use poles properly is to not bring them on the Camino
e. So my advice to you is to not bring poles on the camino.

Clearly an argument that fails the test of logic. Do you have other advice based on such interesting thinking?

I don't think much of your simplistic view about pack weight either. Certainly it might be one factor, but I think one of many, and collectively not easily summarised in glib slogans.

I am much more interested in helping people use walking poles properly, and getting the benefit whether they are on the Camino or walking somewhere else. I see that then, if they do chose to bring them, they are competent in their use.
I honestly feel you should read my and the previous post again if that was your conclussion on my logic.

My main argument was the CF route, which is a long but fairly easy well-paved walking route. Would you also argue against me about people bringing way to too unessearry weight in backpacks as well. Extra weight is the killer of most caminos IMO and extra weight will make your body feel tired and lumpy very fast and then you need thoses poles to keep upright and keep going.

Sure if people bring walking poles then they should learn to use them properly. But somehow I feel the need to bring walking poles is just something people do because they think that they need it (rules of hiking) - just like, years ago, wearing hiking-boots was just the right thing to wear on the camino until people started thinking about the demands of the route and began wearing (trail)runners instead.

Walking poles are not bad, they definately have their use. I’m just saying I dont think that they are very useful on the CF unless you have special needs (bad knee, injury etc) or are carrying a lot of (probably too much) weight.

But as I said each to his own.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
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.
I was of the same opinion when I started my CF, that poles were completely unnecessary. I had done a lot of walking in Europe in my youth with a lot heavier backpack and no issues, after all. It wasn't too many days, what with the downhill to Zubiri, the downhill after Alto de Perdon, etc. before I shot my knees. I tried knee braces and ibuprofen, then a walking staff. It wasn't enough. Without poles I wouldn't have been able to complete my Camino. I think if I had started with the poles, and their ability to take weight off my knees, I wouldn't have had the knee problems at all, and wouldn't have needed the knee braces and ibuprofen, which I needed for the rest of my Camino.
 
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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
I honestly feel you should read my and the previous post again if that was your conclussion on my logic.
I have. I think both fail elementary tests of logic.
My main argument was the CF route, which is a long but fairly easy well-paved walking route.
Advancing any argument about pole use based on the nature of the route is to focus on the wrong thing. As many have said on this forum, people successful walk without modern technical poles. Its true, but not a good reason not use those aids when they are available.

The more relevant question is whether an individual will get benefit from using poles, and how much difference that will make. The answer to the first part is that the benefits from proper pole use are there in any terrain, flat and level through to steep and rough. How much benefit will depend on the individual and how actively they use poles. If someone doesn't put in a lot of effort with their arms, they won't get the same benefits as someone who is prepared to exert more pressure on their poles. Someone who uses them continually will get more benefit than someone who uses them intermittently.

I’m just saying I dont think that they are very useful on the CF unless you have special needs (bad knee, injury etc) or are carrying a lot of (probably too much) weight.
This seems to me a very narrow understanding of the what benefits might arise from pole use. I would suggest, for example, that early protection from joint injury would be just as beneficial as using poles to overcome the adverse effects of joint wear later in life.

It seems to me that we come to very different conclusions from very similar observations. I see people using poles incorrectly and wonder how I might help them change their technique and improve the benefits they will get from having poles. You seem to think they should be advised to ditch the poles altogether. I see people with their poles stowed in their pack, and wonder if they have been given instruction on the correct use of poles, and whether that would have allowed to feel confident using the poles continually. You seem to think they should be advised to get rid of the poles.

We don't seem to disagree on the fundamental issues, but have taken wildly different views on how they might be best addressed. I prefer to take the time and spend a few minutes helping someone use poles properly, and I do that rather than discouraging people to use them. You clearly know what the problems are, perhaps you could join me on the positivist side and help people understand how to make better use of their poles.
 

Hugh Larkin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
If you are flying out of Santiago, your pole/stick will need to be shipped under the plane. I had a collapsible walking stick I had used to assist my bad knee as we walked the VdP in May 2018. Security wouldn’t allow me to carry it in my small backpack that was my only luggage. I ended up trashing it, as several others had as well, rather than go out to the baggage check and spend 30 minutes there plus more time at security again.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
If you are flying out of Santiago, your pole/stick will need to be shipped under the plane. I had a collapsible walking stick I had used to assist my bad knee as we walked the VdP in May 2018. Security wouldn’t allow me to carry it in my small backpack that was my only luggage. I ended up trashing it, as several others had as well, rather than go out to the baggage check and spend 30 minutes there plus more time at security again.
I probably should have trashed my poles rather than spend the extra time (and lots of extra $) to add them to checked baggage after my CF but by that time they had so much sentimental value, having carried me so far and really enabled me to complete my camino, that I hadn't the heart.
 

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