• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

Poles...a recommendation

DowtyCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-July (2014),
May-July (2017)
My wife and I took Komperdell carbon poles with us on our 2014 Camino. These were excellent and we really liked the Nordic Walking style gloves that attach to the handles. I know they aren't recommended for trekking, but we found them excellent.
Unfortunately we were lost one of the poles recently (floated down the Dan River in NC, USA)...and I've been trying to source a similar pole for our 2017 Camino.

My criteria (in order of importance to me) were:
1) Nordic Walking style grips
2) Lightweight
3) Collapsable
4) Cork Handle

Unfortunately Nordic Grips and Collapsable don't seem to be too common...adding the cork grip made it impossible to find.

Recently I've contacted York Nordic and they've been exceptionally helpful and have agreed to MacGyver up a custom pole set. I've tried them out for a few weeks and they entirely meet my needs. If anyone is interested I can pass along contact information.
 
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Ill always swear by my ash pilgrim's staff, but pace trecile, there's definitely a learning curve involved in getting used to them and then using them properly (and even in learning how to select a good one), and most people's Caminos are simply too short to get there.

Interesting contribution from DowtyCamino anyway, it's true that for most people the Nordic poles aren't what they want, but the only really important thing is to find what's best for your hiking style and your personal needs, whether it's Nordic, Pacer, nothing at all, or the traditional staff, or a classic walking stick, or medical crutches, or whatever.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
Another vote for pacerpoles
On my First Camino in 2015 I used Leki poles, although I liked them I bought Pacerpoles after reading many positive reviews and viewing some video's on the internet.
They were indead a big improvement, the proper use of the sticks comes natural. (Left feet - lefthand movement)The handshaped grips are a decisive factor in this I think
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Pacer poles for the win. I've used them (the same set, still going strong) for the past six years, including five pilgrimage walks in Europe. The second year I was walking in France, a German couple offered to buy them off of me, "name any price". I refused! What I have found is that the ergonomic shape of the handle allows quite a lot of pushing-down force to be applied through the hand. This makes for propulsive support when going uphill, and significant shock/stress avoidance on the knees going downhill.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Pacer poles for the win. I've used them (the same set, still going strong) for the past six years, including five pilgrimage walks in Europe. The second year I was walking in France, a German couple offered to buy them off of me, "name any price". I refused! What I have found is that the ergonomic shape of the handle allows quite a lot of pushing-down force to be applied through the hand. This makes for propulsive support when going uphill, and significant shock/stress avoidance on the knees going downhill.
That's what I found too. They really make you feel stable and secure.
 

clearskies

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - 2011 to 2018
Camino Portugués - 2018, 2019, April 2021
Celtic Camino - 2019
I echo all who recommend Pacerpole
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Recently I've contacted York Nordic and they've been exceptionally helpful and have agreed to MacGyver up a custom pole set. I've tried them out for a few weeks and they entirely meet my needs. If anyone is interested I can pass along contact information.
That is wonderful news, and thank you for offering to share the information.

You will have seen by now that the pacer pole aficionados think that any discussion on poles is an opportunity to trot out their support for this product, irrespective of it being completely out of context as a response to your post.

I suspect that there aren't many of them that have actually compared pacer poles with other design approaches to know whether or not the claimed advantages are real. I know that I finally got the opportunity earlier this year to use a set of pacer poles for just long enough to realize just how awkward and cumbersome they were compared to conventional trekking poles. I think @trecile has it right - they are idiot proof. Which is quite different to being substantially better than the alternatives.

Anyhow, having fulfilled a commitment that I made on this forum some time ago to try pacer poles with an open mind, I was left with just a couple of thoughts. The first goes along the lines of an old song lyric - is that all there is? The second is that if one were already an experienced walking pole user, why would one change? Unfortunately, the answers keep coming back to yes, and I wouldn't.

Thanks again for sharing your news, and all the very best for your 2017 camino with your custom poles.
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
A

AJ

Guest
You will have seen by now that the pacer pole aficionados think that any discussion on poles is an opportunity to trot out their support for this product, irrespective of it being completely out of context as a response to your post.

The thread is entitled "Poles... a recommendation"
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The thread is entitled "Poles... a recommendation"
Indeed, but that headline is not the context established by the actual text of the original post. I suppose there might be some people who merely read headlines, and form their responses on that basis. But in this case, I am suggesting that there is more to understanding the context than that.
 
A

AJ

Guest
Indeed, but that headline is not the context established by the actual text of the original post. I suppose there might be some people who merely read headlines, and form their responses on that basis. But in this case, I am suggesting that there is more to understanding the context than that.

So the OP is not a recommendation and has nothing to do with poles?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
So the OP is not a recommendation and has nothing to do with poles?
Strange as it might seem, I think the first part of your assessment is correct. I also couldn't find a way of reading it as a recommendation, just a good news story that @DowtyCamino had been able to get a suitable replacement for his poles, and an offer to share the information about that. Instead of thanking him for that offer, what we seem to have had so far is the pacer pole product promotion players touting that particular brand. In its place, there is nothing particularly wrong with that, provided that we don't confuse the volume of the promotion with the quality of the product.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Yes, I can see where you're coming from @dougfitz and I have to admit to not reading the OP thoroughly, and just jumped on the PP bandwagon. Personally I don't see anything wrong with 'idiot-proof', and I further admit that I have not tried any other types of poles. So I fit your description exactly. But I am happy in my ignorance. :)
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
@Magwood, I am always torn in any discussion that includes pacer poles. I would rather people get the benefits of proper pole use than use them badly, and the one advantage that I think pacer poles have is that they appear impossible to use incorrectly.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
@Magwood, I am always torn in any discussion that includes pacer poles. I would rather people get the benefits of proper pole use than use them badly, and the one advantage that I think pacer poles have is that they appear impossible to use incorrectly.
The last sentence in the post by dougfitz for me seems to imply that for a first time pole user pacerpoles could be a possibility that deserves consideration. I for one would have been happy to know of this alternative before I bought my expensive Lekis which are kept unused in my closet since buying my Pacerpoles. ( A big disadvantage of pacerpoles stays that you have to buy them in the internet and cannot try or see them in a shop)
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
That is wonderful news, and thank you for offering to share the information.

You will have seen by now that the pacer pole aficionados think that any discussion on poles is an opportunity to trot out their support for this product, irrespective of it being completely out of context as a response to your post.

I suspect that there aren't many of them that have actually compared pacer poles with other design approaches to know whether or not the claimed advantages are real. I know that I finally got the opportunity earlier this year to use a set of pacer poles for just long enough to realize just how awkward and cumbersome they were compared to conventional trekking poles. I think @trecile has it right - they are idiot proof. Which is quite different to being substantially better than the alternatives.

Anyhow, having fulfilled a commitment that I made on this forum some time ago to try pacer poles with an open mind, I was left with just a couple of thoughts. The first goes along the lines of an old song lyric - is that all there is? The second is that if one were already an experienced walking pole user, why would one change? Unfortunately, the answers keep coming back to yes, and I wouldn't.

Thanks again for sharing your news, and all the very best for your 2017 camino with your custom poles.

Interesting observations @dougfitz. I was never quite able to master 'normal' poles, which is probably why I love my pacer poles. They are definitely idiot-proof. Having said that, I agree that they are somewhat cumbersome, especially when trying to squeeze them into a backpack to take as hand luggage (hope I'm not re-opening that perennial can of worms here!).

I'm thinking of trying the conventional poles again - after all, the majority of pole users have never heard of pacer poles and manage just fine. It would be good to have the option a less cumbersome pair some of the time. I'll probably still love my pacers, but it doesn't have to be a monogamous relationship :)
 

DowtyCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-July (2014),
May-July (2017)
For what it's worth...as OP, I was just posting to inform others of the good news that I'd found a company willing to custom make a set of poles that I had been looking for for a few years. Not very often you can find a company willing to do that. It's not like I was purchasing a few hundred gross.
Anyway, if anyone is interested, just send me a note. The cost for my two poles was $75. That's a good price for carbon with quickloks....and like I said, it ticked all the boxes for me.

To be honest I really didn't like formed grip poles. I can see their advantage, but with the glove grip of the Nordic Walking style, all the load is in your wrist (during a down thrust). My favorite thing is with the glove you don't actually have to grip the pole at all.

Anyway...it's what works for me and my wife. I bet if I'd never tried them I would have gone au naturale.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
To be honest I really didn't like formed grip poles. I can see their advantage, but with the glove grip of the Nordic Walking style, all the load is in your wrist (during a down thrust). My favorite thing is with the glove you don't actually have to grip the pole at all.
Used correctly, the wrist strap on a conventional technical pole will also transmit the load through the wrist. There should be no need to grip ever, other than a light touch to guide the tip if that is needed.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I still use my Nordic poles with the click-in gloves for local walks, but nothing beats the Pacer Poles for the Camino (my new ones are the carbon, but I cannot bring myself to give up the scratched aluminum old ones)!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The company used by the OP seems to me to be worth all the promotion it can get. Such customer service deserves recognition.
I think that @DowtyCamino handled this quite well in the OP, and provided the name of the company that helped him and offered to provide the details to those that asked. I personally think that promoting a business is the concern of the business itself, not of forum members.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I have spent my life with poles in my hands, many years more than 100 days a year, skiing, hiking, even fly fishing.

Three pieces of wisdom (or stupidity deending on whether you agree)

1. The strap is way more important than the grip
2. Once properly strapped on I don't think that here is a right way or wrong way too use them. You'll figure out what works for you
3. The carbon fiber poles at Costco are one of the best bargains in sporting gear. I left my fancy Black Diamond poles home and took the $29.99 costco poles to Nepal for the Manaslu circuit.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I have spent my life with poles in my hands, many years more than 100 days a year, skiing, hiking, even fly fishing.

Three pieces of wisdom (or stupidity deending on whether you agree)

1. The strap is way more important than the grip

Cross-country ski poles are one exception to that rule, just to nitpick :p
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
image.jpg no, that is particularly true for xc ski poles. The hand is seldom even on the grip. I know that sport very well as that is where most of my 100 days a year poling are spent. My friends and neighbors here are national team coaches and Olympic medalists, and we spend more time discussing pole straps than pilgrims spend on blisters and bedbugs.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
hmmm, interesting, but that sounds like high-level sports cross-country -- my mum, who taught me, grew up in Finland where she'd ski to school, so for her it was just a normal daily activity not a sport. I actually learned at an Alpine resort, and it was funny to be ski-ing UP an alpine slope, but doing that with your hands off the poles sounds risky.

The pole in that photo looks pretty weird to my eye ...

EDIT -- but thanks for the explanations !!
 
Last edited:

JamesGeier

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
I had never used poles before, but I absolutely love my Pacer Poles, which I learned about from this forum. I have the carbon fiber ones. The grip feels so natural that I joke that they are idiot proof - really no learning curve.

I used Pacer Poles on my first Camino Frances this past April after reading recommendations on this forum. I, too, fell in love with them, especially the grips. When fellow pilgrims tried my poles, they also expressed how much better they liked the grips compared to their own poles. A big vote for Pacer Poles.

--jim--
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
I have used Komperdell carbon fibre poles on all three of my Camino's and I am a huge fan of them.
Carbon fibre is super light and strong.
The added benefit of carbon fibre is they have some spring in them.
For times I want to crank off a few kilometers quickly, I do my usual double pole plant and step, step. I have good upper body strength so I load the poles when I plant them and they act as a spring when I step.
I can keep up a very rapid pace for miles with very little fatigue. Almost like cross country skiing without the skii's.
I do cross country ski in the winter so this feels very natural to me.
Virtually everyone I see with poles uses them in a more common stride, stride pattern.
Personally for me, the double pole plant and step, step works well for and allows long days with little fatigue.
Great upper body workout as well
 
Last edited:

jostony

Camino del Vino
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
I had never used poles before, but I absolutely love my Pacer Poles, which I learned about from this forum. I have the carbon fiber ones. The grip feels so natural that I joke that they are idiot proof - really no learning curve.
Walked my first Camino 2015 and I used Pacer Poles. loved them and they saved me many a time going down steep inclines. They become part of you and the handles were really comfortable. Highly recommend
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

Steve Goods

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2016)
If you start at SJPDP in France, you can buy your poles at the store just outside the registration office.
I bought one pole, see photo, for 12-15 euro.
It can be smart to buy them at SJPDP, because airlines and airport security usually dont want them as carry on handbagage.
Beside, my pole was lost for 1 week after arriving home, it was not at the bagage pick up after the plane landed. image.jpeg
 

Rod Murray

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016) Portuguese Coastal (Sept 2019)
Used correctly, the wrist strap on a conventional technical pole will also transmit the load through the wrist. There should be no need to grip ever, other than a light touch to guide the tip if that is needed.

As a former Cross Country Ski Instructor, many people were amazed to discover there's a right way to use pole straps, with the hand coming up from below, grabbing the strap and then the pole grip. If the straps are adjusted correctly, the hand does not need to hold onto the pole at all, allowing for greater push and longer reach, as the straps are the pivot point.
see image- http://cdn.epicski.com/1/17/500x265px-LL-176e3d19_Trekking-Pole-Straps.jpeg
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
As a former Cross Country Ski Instructor, many people were amazed to discover there's a right way to use pole straps, with the hand coming up from below, grabbing the strap and then the pole grip.

yeah my mum taught me the same -- and my alpine ski instructors

Not much use to me now anyway, as I use an ash staff :p
 

martyndeh

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2013, 2014 Camino portugese 2015,2016
Camino fisterra 2017
I prefer a t handle with shock proof sprung sticks. I can get cheap ones but wonder with all the pontificating on the subject of poles. Can I get a a good quality pole with these characteristics? Help would be appreciated
 

DowtyCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-July (2014),
May-July (2017)
Can't say for certain, but you may be able to buy a shock absorbing tip (in lieu of a shock absorbing handle) that may fit your existing poles. I've seen them advertised, but I can't seem to find it at the moment....OK back to work.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I prefer a t handle with shock proof sprung sticks. I can get cheap ones but wonder with all the pontificating on the subject of poles. Can I get a a good quality pole with these characteristics? Help would be appreciated
Can't say for certain, but you may be able to buy a shock absorbing tip (in lieu of a shock absorbing handle) that may fit your existing poles. I've seen them advertised, but I can't seem to find it at the moment....OK back to work.
I found this link -->> http://www.cross-skate-shop.com/KVplus-Vid-Tip-Antishock-shock-absorbing-tip, which appears to be for a cross country ski pole.

I also contemplated whether something like the Komperdell Walker, a t-handle two section pole could be adapted by using the middle and bottom parts of a normal (sprung) pole. That would require the top section of the t-handle to be an 18mm diameter tube, to fit in the 16mm diameter middle section. Unfortunately, the Walker uses the narrower 16 mm and 14 mm tubes for the top and bottom sections. There may be other makers who take a different approach, and use an 18mm tube for the top section of the t-handle. In that case, it might be possible to replace the non-sprung bottom section with the bottom two sections of a regular sprung pole.

Edit: After posting this, I also did a search using the terms t-handle walking cane shock absorbing. There are a large number of results that look promising, largely from what appear to be rehabilitation equipment providers.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 60 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 207 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 338 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 101 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 29 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 399 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 171 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 10 0.7%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top