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Trekking poles - ideas for replacement

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Well - my Exped trekking poles were confiscated in May...(Santiago to Barcelona on Vueling). I don't blame the airline... it's pretty well know that security at Santiago airport will pull you up if you have poles in your carry on. I was taking an unplanned trip with only carry on and hoped for luck.. No such luck. I was given the opportunity to check them but as I had less than an hour at Barcelona and also had to get to another terminal for a Ryanair flight to Dublin... I wouldn't have had time to collect and re-check.

Well... I'm heading to Spain again but don't want to buy super expensive poles this time. I'm heading to USA for 5 weeks prior to my flight to Spain and can purchase poles there. (I'll be doing some walking in Utah)..

Since my Exped poles had a 'twist lock' mechanism... I tend to prefer it...as the clip locks or whatever they are called...look bulky and I'm sure I'd knock my legs with those clunky locks for sure.
I'm wondering if you can advise a brand that telescopes down to a reasonable size ., which would be okay for me to fit inside my backpack when checked in.. ( yes... my usual is to check in my pack)...
Would you tell me what minimum length yours can telescope to please. If I can't get something via Amazon in USA while I'm there... that is... a size that will fit into my pack... I'll buy an 'el cheapo' pair there.... and leave them with my son for use next time I visit or for them to use if they wish.. They won't be wasted. I can then get a pair at a Decathlon in Spain. Not sure though what is available in short transportable length in Decathlon though.. I'm not after expensive poles - having had one set confiscated... I'm happy to just have poles.

Sorry about the long winded post (that's just me :))...... but if you have any positive comment about the clunky locking system... I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Since my Exped poles had a 'twist lock' mechanism... I tend to prefer it...as the clip locks or whatever they are called...look bulky and I'm sure I'd knock my legs with those clunky locks for sure.
I now have several sets of poles with an external lever lock, after using poles with internal locking mechanisms for some years. I had similar concerns when I bought them that they might catch my clothing or body. That has never happened. The worst is that with one pair, the lower locking mechanism catches the steps of taller blades of grass if I forget to orient it so that it faces to the rear when I am walking. It is a little annoying, but really just a minor nuisance from time to time.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Where will you be in the US? Normally Walmart has cheap poles. Ozark Trail brand comes to mind. You can order online or check availability at the store near you so you can see them before you buy. Lots of Walmarts in the US so you can take them back if they aren't right. I don't love Walmart, but it could be a good choice for this.

We use Black Diamond collapsible poles that fit into a little pouch, but they are a little more expensive. We've had them for 6 years and use them at home for hiking in the mountains as well as on the Camino. We've replaced the tips several times as they come with both rubber and steel tips that screw on or off. On the Camino when not in use we stick them in a water bottle pocket. Usually check them along with a pocket knife in a lightweight nylon bag that folds up in my backpack (3 oz or so.) Mine are 110 cm and Phil's 130 cm. They fold up into 3 sections with a shock cord arrangement so his are slightly longer than mine collapsed.

Best wishes in your search. If you go through Santiago on your way to start the Camino you can often get a set of donated poles from Pilgrim House. My husband did that one year when he was there for a school before starting his Camino.
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Where will you be in the US? Normally Walmart has cheap poles.
Thanks for your reply... I hadn't thought of Walmart. I'll be In Las Vegas visiting my son and family...and latest granddaughter...No 3.. I've often been to the REI shop there but it would only stock more upmarket brands.
So looks like I can safely leave my purchase until September there... I'm sure I can find something in Walmart...and if not...I'll order through Amazon. They are very quick in delivery there.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
I now have several sets of poles with an external lever lock, after using poles with internal locking mechanisms for some years. I had similar concerns when I bought them that they might catch my clothing or body. That has never happened. The worst is that with one pair, the lower locking mechanism catches the steps of taller blades of grass if I forget to orient it so that it faces to the rear when I am walking. It is a little annoying, but really just a minor nuisance from time to time.
Thanks Doug. So I'll keep an open mind now about the external locking mechanism when I choose a new set of poles. What length do yours come down to?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Thanks Doug. So I'll keep an open mind now about the external locking mechanism when I choose a new set of poles. What length do yours come down to?
All of mine are three section poles, so they don't collapse that far. They are about 68 cm collapsed. My wife's Z-poles are about 2/3 this length collapsed.
 

Dennis Pack

Member since 2017
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago Norte 2018
🥱 Not this topic again .... Spain has some of the best outdoor equipment you can find. Why not buy from those who make the caminos possible, instead of some US corporation who has no invested interest other than your money?
Bonus ... no hassles with airlines.
 

MelloYellow

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May 2019
Well - my Exped trekking poles were confiscated in May...(Santiago to Barcelona on Vueling). I don't blame the airline... it's pretty well know that security at Santiago airport will pull you up if you have poles in your carry on. I was taking an unplanned trip with only carry on and hoped for luck.. No such luck. I was given the opportunity to check them but as I had less than an hour at Barcelona and also had to get to another terminal for a Ryanair flight to Dublin... I wouldn't have had time to collect and re-check.

Well... I'm heading to Spain again but don't want to buy super expensive poles this time. I'm heading to USA for 5 weeks prior to my flight to Spain and can purchase poles there. (I'll be doing some walking in Utah)..

Since my Exped poles had a 'twist lock' mechanism... I tend to prefer it...as the clip locks or whatever they are called...look bulky and I'm sure I'd knock my legs with those clunky locks for sure.
I'm wondering if you can advise a brand that telescopes down to a reasonable size ., which would be okay for me to fit inside my backpack when checked in.. ( yes... my usual is to check in my pack)...
Would you tell me what minimum length yours can telescope to please. If I can't get something via Amazon in USA while I'm there... that is... a size that will fit into my pack... I'll buy an 'el cheapo' pair there.... and leave them with my son for use next time I visit or for them to use if they wish.. They won't be wasted. I can then get a pair at a Decathlon in Spain. Not sure though what is available in short transportable length in Decathlon though.. I'm not after expensive poles - having had one set confiscated... I'm happy to just have poles.

Sorry about the long winded post (that's just me :))...... but if you have any positive comment about the clunky locking system... I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I got these Cascade Carbon Fiber Collapsible Poles from Amazon…they are they same brand sold in Costco. It collapses to 16” so it easily fully fit inside my backpack. I was able to take it from SFO to Lisbon and back via TAP Air Portugal during a recent Camino Portuguese trip in July/Aug…no questions asked during security screening.

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles - Carbon Fiber Folding Walking Sticks with Quick Adjustable Locks (Set of 2) https://a.co/d/0jIAhmy
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
🥱 Not this topic again ....
Because...
I'm heading to USA for 5 weeks prior to my flight to Spain and can purchase poles there. (I'll be doing some walking in Utah)..

... If I can't get something via Amazon in USA while I'm there... that is... a size that will fit into my pack... I'll buy an 'el cheapo' pair there.... and leave them with my son for use next time I visit or for them to use if they wish.. They won't be wasted. I can then get a pair at a Decathlon in Spain.
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
REI will have Black Diamond trekking poles on sale beginning August 26 through September 5. Likely still won't be as cheap as you will find in Spain.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
🥱 Not this topic again .... Spain has some of the best outdoor equipment you can find. Why not buy from those who make the caminos possible, instead of some US corporation who has no invested interest other than your money?
Bonus ... no hassles with airlines.
Come on, if we were to have a rule prohibiting repeat topics, this forum would be a very dead place. And I don’t think Spanish corporations are any more invested in my welfare than US corporations. My bet is that the walking sticks sold in both places are made in some country other than the US or Spain. Unless you are talking about buying a hand carved wooden stick from someone along the camino.

Anyway… @OzAnnie, I think the best idea is to buy sticks in the US, take a lot of walks in Red Rock Canyon, and take them to Spain. I used collapsible sticks on my first two caminos and have gone to foldable since then, but I think Leki is the best collapsible stick. Not too expensive. They are likely to fit into your pack, though why in the world you would check your pack is beyond me. :oops:
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I've used somewhat expensive trekking poles and super cheap trekking poles for walking the Camino. I noticed no real difference between any of them. None ever came close to collapsing on me and at the end of 800 kilometers save for the rubber tips, looked just like they did when they were new.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Well - my Exped trekking poles were confiscated in May...(Santiago to Barcelona on Vueling). I don't blame the airline... it's pretty well know that security at Santiago airport will pull you up if you have poles in your carry on. I was taking an unplanned trip with only carry on and hoped for luck.. No such luck. I was given the opportunity to check them but as I had less than an hour at Barcelona and also had to get to another terminal for a Ryanair flight to Dublin... I wouldn't have had time to collect and re-check.

Well... I'm heading to Spain again but don't want to buy super expensive poles this time. I'm heading to USA for 5 weeks prior to my flight to Spain and can purchase poles there. (I'll be doing some walking in Utah)..

Since my Exped poles had a 'twist lock' mechanism... I tend to prefer it...as the clip locks or whatever they are called...look bulky and I'm sure I'd knock my legs with those clunky locks for sure.
I'm wondering if you can advise a brand that telescopes down to a reasonable size ., which would be okay for me to fit inside my backpack when checked in.. ( yes... my usual is to check in my pack)...
Would you tell me what minimum length yours can telescope to please. If I can't get something via Amazon in USA while I'm there... that is... a size that will fit into my pack... I'll buy an 'el cheapo' pair there.... and leave them with my son for use next time I visit or for them to use if they wish.. They won't be wasted. I can then get a pair at a Decathlon in Spain. Not sure though what is available in short transportable length in Decathlon though.. I'm not after expensive poles - having had one set confiscated... I'm happy to just have poles.

Sorry about the long winded post (that's just me :))...... but if you have any positive comment about the clunky locking system... I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Sorry about you losing your poles, Annie. I did a super quick search - trekking poles Utah 😁 and found REI, not sure if they are actually in Utah - with a brand called Mountainsmith, and another Komperdell, both well under 50 dollars. Wish you luck.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Anyway… @OzAnnie, I think the best idea is to buy sticks in the US, take a lot of walks in Red Rock Canyon, and take them to Spain. I used collapsible sticks on my first two caminos and have gone to foldable since then, but I think Leki is the best collapsible stick. Not too expensive. They are likely to fit into your pack, though why in the world you would check your pack is beyond me. :oops:
thanks for feedback Laurie.. I prefer to check my bag for a couple of reasons.
1.. coming from Australia...we usually have a transit stop... I don't have to cart my bag around with me whilst in transit.
2. I usually take small scissors with me... and I'd have to discard them at security if I had carry on.
3. the main one about checking my bag is that there is always a risk of having the poles confiscated...not always I know when coming from certain countries....but quite a risk departing Santiago.. as I found out in May this year.

thanks Laurie for the link to the Leki.. poles. btw...is that price for one pole or the pair?

Oddly...a friend contacted me last night and was coming up my way .. She alerted me to the fact that we have a store called 'Anaconda' near me. They sell trekking gear! I popped in there this morning and they had some Leki brand....I noted they were made in Czech Republic. I'll go back tomorrow when I have more time., to measure and weigh etc...
🥱 Not this topic again .... Spain has some of the best outdoor equipment you can find. Why not buy from those who make the caminos possible, instead of some US corporation who has no invested interest other than your money?
Bonus ... no hassles with airlines.
Hi Dennis.. My post was rather long and you may have missed that I will be walking in USA before I head to Spain. IF I can confirm that I will be able to pick up a reasonable set in Spain when I land.. (I'm thinking of walking from Almeria from very late October.....unless I make a last minute change to that too.).. I'll get my regular poles there.
So...I 'may' get a pair in USA for walking in Utah.... Bryce Canyon & Zion... and also locally in Las Vegas around Red Rock Canyon etc.. Since I visit there fairly regularly... I will more than likely leave that pair there for next time.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Sorry about you losing your poles, Annie. I did a super quick search - trekking poles Utah 😁 and found REI, not sure if they are actually in Utah - with a brand called Mountainsmith, and another Komperdell, both well under 50 dollars. Wish you luck.
Interesting ...thanks Kirkie.. There is an REI in Las Vegas (it's where my son and his family live)... I will look those brands up. I thought REI would only carry more expensive range..
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
I got these Cascade Carbon Fiber Collapsible Poles from Amazon…they are they same brand sold in Costco. It collapses to 16” so it easily fully fit inside my backpack. I was able to take it from SFO to Lisbon and back via TAP Air Portugal during a recent Camino Portuguese trip in July/Aug…no questions asked during security screening.

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles - Carbon Fiber Folding Walking Sticks with Quick Adjustable Locks (Set of 2) https://a.co/d/0jIAhmy
Hi Mellow Yellow..
thanks for the feedback.. the link going to Amazon shows that they are unavailable on Amazon now... I will check Costco when I'm in Las Vegas.. though to see if they are currently selling hiking poles.. Worth a look.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I've used somewhat expensive trekking poles and super cheap trekking poles for walking the Camino. I noticed no real difference between any of them. None ever came close to collapsing on me and at the end of 800 kilometers save for the rubber tips, looked just like they did when they were new.
My experience has been quite different. Any cheap pole that I have bought has not been worth the bother. Mind you, some mid-range poles haven't been that good either, but they have lasted more than the three days that one cheap set of poles lasted before the spring mechanism collapsed. I currently have a mix of Leki, Helinox and Black Diamond poles, and have used Komperdell and Fizan in the past. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but the current set are all looking good for a few more kms.

The rubber tips are a completely different matter, and finding long lasting ones is always a difficult. I am currently using Black Diamond tips for bush walking, and a Swix walking foot for anything with a lot of sealed road. Leki also make good tips, but I find they are more expensive and don't seem to last any longer than the Black Diamond rubber tips.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
If I can't get something via Amazon in USA while I'm there... that is... a size that will fit into my pack... I


I would think that among those 19K ratings and 240 questions answered you may find some sensible ones which will help you ...
Actually, Amazon US has enormous number of poles to offer (including premium brands), so one may have a busy day to go through them :)
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Salvador Primitivo
Come on, if we were to have a rule prohibiting repeat topics, this forum would be a very dead place. And I don’t think Spanish corporations are any more invested in my welfare than US corporations. My bet is that the walking sticks sold in both places are made in some country other than the US or Spain. Unless you are talking about buying a hand carved wooden stick from someone along the camino.

Anyway… @OzAnnie, I think the best idea is to buy sticks in the US, take a lot of walks in Red Rock Canyon, and take them to Spain. I used collapsible sticks on my first two caminos and have gone to foldable since then, but I think Leki is the best collapsible stick. Not too expensive. They are likely to fit into your pack, though why in the world you would check your pack is beyond me. :oops:
I think I’m as guilty as anyone in not reviewing old threads before I spout some nonsense. My excuse is that over time the advisable answer evolves. What was true a few years ago or when one was more able may be no longer valid. So re-hashing the “poles issue” keeps the topic fresh.

My thinking 5 years ago was to buy when I arrived. Then it became dismantle them and hide them with great cunning in the carry on. Now, because of the long delays at airport security and the possibility of being outed, it’s become declare them and put them in the hold.

Next year when the thread is revived someone will have a new idea that I can latch onto.

As for the OP @OzAnnie I was once advised when buying locally in San Sebastián not to buy latch lock style poles as the latch mechanism bolt was easily lost. I was sold poles with a twist lock mechanism. I still have them.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I was once advised when buying locally in San Sebastián not to buy latch lock style poles as the latch mechanism bolt was easily lost.
I am trying to imagine how this might happen, but am having difficulty. Was more explanation given about how this happens?
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Salvador Primitivo
I am trying to imagine how this might happen, but am having difficulty. Was more explanation given about how this happens?
I looked today at some and they are fastened with a bolt. I guess the bolt had a tendency to fall out. The bolt on the right in the picture has some blue locktite compound on it. I don’t recall this in the past so maybe the issue is resolved. I don’t think the sales person was up selling me. In fact the poles were cheaper The poles were for the GR10 and he was concerned that on such a rigorous hike that poles would last F18B3AA5-B751-4B56-90E3-9EAE2B837563.jpeg
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I looked today at some and they are fastened with a bolt. I guess the bolt had a tendency to fall out. The bolt on the right in the picture has some blue locktite compound on it. I don’t recall this in the past so maybe the issue is resolved. I don’t think the sales person was up selling me. In fact the poles were cheaper The poles were for the GR10 and he was concerned that on such a rigorous hike that poles would last
I still don't see how the screws/bolts would become so loose that they would fall out without being noticed. I have had poles with a similar lock for over a decade. It the screw loosens even the smallest amount, the lock no longer exerts enough pressure to keep the inner pole section from sliding up, and shortening the overall pole. At that point, it normally takes not much more than a quarter turn on the screw head to return the lock to full effectiveness. I have just checked on one my poles that has this type of lock, and it took nine full turns to remove the screw from its companion nut. The lock was completely ineffective after the first turn.

As for new poles not being able to withstand a rigourous hike, I am also left wondering. There are relatively few moving parts to any pole. as well as some parts subject to normal wear that might fail. And I have had poles fail:

a. on my first Camino Frances, one of the poles that I had lost the carbide tip, which exposed the plastic shaft of the tip to wear. Even with a rubber tip over the top of the shaft, this wasn't working very well, and I replaced the poles. When I was doing the CF again with my wife a few years later, at some point I noticed that the carbide tip had come loose on one of my poles. I fashioned an expedient repair, which is still working today.

b. on every set of poles with an internal metal spring mechanism, eventually one of the springs has collapsed. The worst was an el-cheapo pole that lasted three days. The next shortest I estimate lasted perhaps 2000 km, and then the last set of poles that I had with this mechanism took around 4000 km before one of the springs gave way.

In contrast, I have a set of Black Diamond poles that has an external elastomer collar as the spring mechanism. At the start, one of these wasn't expanding properly, and BD exchanged that pole. They have now been going strong for nearly a decade. Sometimes on very cold mornings, the collar is a bit loose and doesn't expand quickly, but once it warms up, it is fine.

c. I have had one internal locking mechanism fail when I overtightened it, and stripped the internal thread that expands the plastic internal locking collar. This was a shame, as otherwise this was a quite nice set of poles.

c. foam handgrips do eventually wear through, and expose the hard plastic underneath. Noting that I have poles that I mainly use in urban environments, and others I use for bushwalking, it took about eight years for one set of foam handgrips to reach the point of wearing through in places. The other pair of poles took a couple of years more, but has recently reached the same level of wear on the foam padding. This was at a time when I was regularly doing 100,000 steps a week, not all with poles, but perhaps somewhere around 50% might have been with poles.

Where I have had poles with cork handgrips, they look like they will last forever, I'm just too much of a miser to stump up the extra cost most of the time. That said, I note some recent links provided by forum members have been to poles with cork handles that seem reasonably priced. I will be looking more closely at these when I next need to replace a set of poles.
 
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auburnfive

Active Member
A question about the tips, I bought some replacement tips, the rubber is very hard, and make the poles noisy? Anyone know of quiet tips?
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Can we pack them in carry on ? Thank you
As with the comments of others, that must be checked with each country's TSA regulations.
In my case, in two Camino attempts, I injured myself and really needed the poles to go anywhere. Because of this, I was allowed to retain the poles, on and off the flights going home. Also, I had to emphasize my need once I got off the flight and my travel from the airport to my home.
 

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