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Trekking Poles Tips

Past OR future Camino
2022
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
1 depends on how much you want to annoy fellow pilgrims.
2 yes, even small stores that cater to pilgrim's needs normally carry them - if you can't find what you want in a Chinese Bazaar you really don't need it on Camino.
3 depends on the material: softer, rubber tips wear more quickly but you can even out the wear by twising them through 90 degrees every so often (doesn't work for the ones like little feet of course). I've had rubber tips last me from SJPP to SdC this way. The harder, plastic ones, are more durable but can more slippery on wet surfaces.

Cheap ones are fine (they're all made in China anyway) just make sure yours have a little metal washer inside - helps stop the titanium tip doing too much damage.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I leave the rubber tips on all the time. The tips that came with my Pacer Poles are very durable - I've never had them wear through even after 1000+ km.
Just looked at my PP tips - guess that honeycomb pattern helps prolong their life. The left one is more worn than the right so I suppose I still lean to the left as I walk. Have swapped them over now to even out the wear!
 
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Deleted member 61803

Guest
Just looked at my PP tips - guess that honeycomb pattern helps prolong their life. The left one is more worn than the right so I suppose I still lean to the left as I walk. Have swapped them over now to even out the wear!
How can you tell left from right? I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.

Agree, plenty available en route, never take them off and use a small washer. One pair should actually be OK for the whole trip, but some are softer than others, so wear out more quickly. .
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.

I take them off when on soft surfaces and put them in my pocket. When I reach Clickity-Clacky surfaces, I pull them out and quickly put them on.

With my Leki brand caps, I can do 500+ miles/ 800+ km of varying terrain.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
How can you tell left from right? I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.

Agree, plenty available en route, never take them off and use a small washer. One pair should actually be OK for the whole trip, but some are softer than others, so wear out more quickly. .

Place a colored paint or marker dot on the top of the handle on the 'right' side pole
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I'd guess I go through a pair a week so I always carry 3-4 extra sets of the rubber tips with me. They are cheap and weigh nothing. Sometimes I take the tips off before leaving the roadway/concrete, sometimes I do not. Either way, I never walk through a town, village or city without the rubber tips on. They are indeed obnoxious to hear without them. Clack clack, clack clack. Ugh. I also put my trekking poles up when I walk through the bigger cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon. Not good to walk through crowds using trekking poles.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Just a note for those who are interested in the Carbon-Z Flik series from Black Diamond:

These are my second pair of Black Diamonds -- I gave my mother my first pair, which are the telescoping kind. I bought the Z-poles because they are more reliable in dusty/dirty environments when it comes to avoiding have mechanisms jamming. They are also very much lighter, and they have vented grips that are a relief in hot weather.

BUT beware: the tips are an unusually small size. So if you want the rubber ends to go over them, you must buy the ones made especially for that model. I generally pick up 3 sets per year, all at one go and they last me over about 3500km of annual walking. I use mine pretty much every day.

When it comes to the tips, I really like that there is an intermediate end between the fat upper tip and the carbon tips. It is a small hard rubber tip that grips really well on concrete and other hard top surfaces (like cobblestones).

Why the hell am I using my poles on concrete you ask?

Because I have 3 blown disks in my lumbar and sacral spine. Poles used *everywhere* compensate for that problem, improve my gait and posture, and help keep my stride nice and swift.

So yes, I use my poles in the cities. You might also... and that's OK!!!! If you do want to, the Flik-Z poles might be a nice solution.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Many and many more.
I frequently lose mine long before they wear out. I leave my expensive carbon poles at home and set off with a pair of el-cheapos with the tips secured with two-part epoxy glue. Most of my Camino walking seems to have been on tracks and paths where it wouldn’t really be worth taking the rubber tips off in any case.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
How can you tell left from right? I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.

Agree, plenty available en route, never take them off and use a small washer. One pair should actually be OK for the whole trip, but some are softer than others, so wear out more quickly. .
Ah, PacerPoles, as used by the more discerning of Pilgrims ;) , have grips shaped to fit the hands:

1626373131547.png
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.
Mine are marked Left and Right. But the only difference is in how the overlapping/adjustable part of the strap lies. It lies flatter and more comfortably if I use them on the correct hand. On the wrong hand, my thumb has to overlap a double layer of the strap.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021
My wife and I have cork handled Leki trekking poles. We relied on them extensively throughout our three caminos, except some sections of the very flat meseta. One sturdy set of rubber tips lasts us an entire camino and we have an extra set in case they show wear. When we need a new set, we purchase in the Caminoteca store in Pamplona, located right down from the Cathedral. I don't recall ever hiking with the metal tips. It is so obnoxious to hear the clack, clack, clack walking near other pilgrims. We don't pay attention to the left or right pole, since they are adjustable. We have marked our trekking poles with paint and decorative tape so we can identify them in a flash. Since we are staying in private rooms, we are able to bring them inside. We always worried about other pilgrims "accidentally" taking our poles in the early morning and leaving rubbish poles behind. Bob
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
1. I generally keep them on, although I take them off when walking on ice.
2. They are not difficult to find on the Camino and cheap to replace, although cheap replacements wear through quickly.
3. It depends on what kind of caps you get. Some last a lot longer than others. On the Frances, using the typical caps, I probably went through at least four pairs. On the Portugues I got much more durable caps which I am still using.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I'd guess I go through a pair a week so I always carry 3-4 extra sets of the rubber tips with me. They are cheap and weigh nothing. Sometimes I take the tips off before leaving the roadway/concrete, sometimes I do not. Either way, I never walk through a town, village or city without the rubber tips on. They are indeed obnoxious to hear without them. Clack clack, clack clack. Ugh. I also put my trekking poles up when I walk through the bigger cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon. Not good to walk through crowds using trekking poles.
Great advice not to use while walking through bigger cities.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
Just a note for those who are interested in the Carbon-Z Flik series from Black Diamond:

These are my second pair of Black Diamonds -- I gave my mother my first pair, which are the telescoping kind. I bought the Z-poles because they are more reliable in dusty/dirty environments when it comes to avoiding have mechanisms jamming. They are also very much lighter, and they have vented grips that are a relief in hot weather.

BUT beware: the tips are an unusually small size. So if you want the rubber ends to go over them, you must buy the ones made especially for that model. I generally pick up 3 sets per year, all at one go and they last me over about 3500km of annual walking. I use mine pretty much every day.

When it comes to the tips, I really like that there is an intermediate end between the fat upper tip and the carbon tips. It is a small hard rubber tip that grips really well on concrete and other hard top surfaces (like cobblestones).

Why the hell am I using my poles on concrete you ask?

Because I have 3 blown disks in my lumbar and sacral spine. Poles used *everywhere* compensate for that problem, improve my gait and posture, and help keep my stride nice and swift.

So yes, I use my poles in the cities. You might also... and that's OK!!!! If you do want to, the Flik-Z poles might be a nice solution.
I have a pair of Black Diamond Women’s Distance FLZ, which I really like. I will not take them (not checking a bag), so will buy a pair of Leki in SJPDP.
 
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DyanTX

DyanTX
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I took my Black Diamond poles and left the rubber tips on for all of the CF. The terrain didn't really require removal. My friend bought poles in SJPdP and burned through the tips quickly and had to buy more.
 

Billy Buell

Walking Willie
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Francis, May, 2012
Plan VdlP May 2015
I take them off when on soft surfaces and put them in my pocket. When I reach Clickity-Clacky surfaces, I pull them out and quickly put them on.

With my Leki brand caps, I can do 500+ miles/ 800+ km of varying terrain.
I have lite weight collapsible poles. Much clickety noise came from the joining sleeves. Once extended I taped the joints and now they are much quieter.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
1 depends on how much you want to annoy fellow pilgrims.
2 yes, even small stores that cater to pilgrim's needs normally carry them - if you can't find what you want in a Chinese Bazaar you really don't need it on Camino.
3 depends on the material: softer, rubber tips wear more quickly but you can even out the wear by twising them through 90 degrees every so often (doesn't work for the ones like little feet of course). I've had rubber tips last me from SJPP to SdC this way. The harder, plastic ones, are more durable but can more slippery on wet surfaces.

Cheap ones are fine (they're all made in China anyway) just make sure yours have a little metal washer inside - helps stop the titanium tip doing too much damage.
Without a doubt about the most annoying thing any pilgrim on any camino can do is take their tips off or not replace them
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I take the caps off in the countryside but ALWAYS put them on in the city.
That click-click-click must be as annoying as hell to the locals, especially at 0-dark-thirty in the morning!

By the way, I keep my eyes peeled along the way. I'm constantly finding those and picking them up. I've never had to buy a pair!
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'd guess I go through a pair a week so I always carry 3-4 extra sets of the rubber tips with me. They are cheap and weigh nothing. Sometimes I take the tips off before leaving the roadway/concrete, sometimes I do not. Either way, I never walk through a town, village or city without the rubber tips on. They are indeed obnoxious to hear without them. Clack clack, clack clack. Ugh. I also put my trekking poles up when I walk through the bigger cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon. Not good to walk through crowds using trekking poles.
Not to be rude and I know that sounds silly because this probably sounds a little rude but to a very large number of pilgrims the sound of poles without tips on gravel, rock, roadway or just about any surface but grass is obnoxious for us to hear. Many times pilgrims walking are in a meditative or contemplative state and that sound can be like a fingernail on a blackboard. It would be wonderful for every pilgrim to keep their tips on all the time. Thanks and buen camino.
 

MacMac

The Ghost Who Walks
Past OR future Camino
2020
Using poles without rubber tips is one of the most annoying and irritating habits on a pilgrimage. Worse is loud chatter and hysterical laughter, worst is a JBL boom box hanging from your backpack and destroying the peace of the sorroundings. My humble opinion :)

I use two walking sticks the entire time. On Lt last Camino, the same pair of Leki rubber tips lasted the entire way from StJPdP to Finisterre. I had already used them for 500+ km before the Camino and have used them for 1000+ km in the nature here at home since, and they still aren’t worn out. It depends on the quality and the brand - I have had tips which were worn through after 300 km.

Spares are available on the way in the towns. I carry one spare pair with me.
 

mattythedog

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
I use my poles hard and on all surfaces. Blew through 3 sets in 3 days on first camino: Originals that came with poles, special foot shaped tips bought at outfitter in Pamplona guaranteed to last the whole way, and spares bought on amazon. Met Jesus in Granon who had walked several caminos on one set and he gave them to me. They were the bulbous kind, but he said they were only available in large cities like Burgos or Leon. Higher quality rubber. They went all the way to Santiago, Muxia, Finisterre and did Camino Ingles with hardly any wear. I left them on the poles on all surfaces.
Next camino I bought black diamond carbon z but made my own tips from marine grade fuel hose, and they lasted to Santiago and then reverse camino to Porto.
I wrap a foot of red duct tape around the right pole for easy id and for emergency. Clear packing tape around left pole for emergency. My name and email label on each pole. For carryon I remove the carbide tips and roll the poles up in my sleep sack and put it all in compression bag in my rucksack. Never been caught even in Santiago airport. I never check baggage. Too many pilgrims get delayed due to lost baggage.
 

MacMac

The Ghost Who Walks
Past OR future Camino
2020
Not to be rude and I know that sounds silly because this probably sounds a little rude but to a very large number of pilgrims the sound of poles without tips on gravel, rock, roadway or just about any surface but grass is obnoxious for us to hear. Many times pilgrims walking are in a meditative or contemplative state and that sound can be like a fingernail on a blackboard. It would be wonderful for every pilgrim to keep their tips on all the time. Thanks and buen camino.
Egg Sack Lee me thoughts. Obnoxious is a mild way to put it :)

The only sound a pilgrim should produce is their footsteps on gravel, which sometimes can’t be avoided.
 
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DyanTX

DyanTX
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
How can you tell left from right? I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.

Agree, plenty available en route, never take them off and use a small washer. One pair should actually be OK for the whole trip, but some are softer than others, so wear out more quickly. .
My Black Diamond poles have L and R on each pole strap. I will confess that I didn't know that for a very long time! Likely it really didn't make any difference, at least to me. :)
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Using poles without rubber tips is one of the most annoying and irritating habits on a pilgrimage. Worse is loud chatter and hysterical laughter, worst is a JBL boom box hanging from your backpack and destroying the peace of the sorroundings. My humble opinion :)

I use two walking sticks the entire time. On Lt last Camino, the same pair of Leki rubber tips lasted the entire way from StJPdP to Finisterre. I had already used them for 500+ km before the Camino and have used them for 1000+ km in the nature here at home since, and they still aren’t worn out. It depends on the quality and the brand - I have had tips which were worn through after 300 km.

Spares are available on the way in the towns. I carry one spare pair with me.
Yes, ditto on the music being played aloud for all to hear. Rude and obnoxious. I guess it would come to a surprise to people who do it that not everyone thinks it is a cool thing to do, and even more do not share their taste in music.
 

sid gustafson

Veterinario y Novelista
Past OR future Camino
(2018) Francés in the spring, Portugués in the fall!
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
Yes, your walking mates will require rubber tips to minimize the clickity clackity noise aggravation metallic tips generate on the mostly hard surfaces you will travel. Also, the tips are kinder on your hands. Every outdoor shop carries them. You will unlikely ever wear them out if you purchase the pricy ones.
 

Arleene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
I bought a heavy duty pair of rubber tips at the outdoor store in St Jean Pied de Port just down from the Pilgrims Office. I used them all the time, they outlasted the full camino to Santiago and have been on other backcountry trips in Canada and are still going strong!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Without a doubt about the most annoying thing any pilgrim on any camino can do is take their tips off or not replace them
Not to deny the annoyance of poles without tips, but I can (unfortunately) remember much more annoying things that pilgrims can do. Turning on the light and having a loud conversation when returning to the albergue room at 11:00 pm, rustling bags before 5:00 am, the lists goes on.
 
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Bend

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014/15)
Finisterre (2014)
Le Puy (2017/18)
Portugal (2019)
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
Take a spare pair! I lost a tip on flight over to my first Camino, everyone could always recognise me coming from miles away!!
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
We leave our Pacer pole tips on. Our tips lasted over 1500kms before being replaced.

One thing we have noticed is how much wildlife you see while walking quietly as opposed to the clackers when they are nearby.

The other thing is, that the Camino path often takes Pilgrims past houses where people live.

If Pilgrims continually walked past my house using non-tipped poles in the early hours of the morning, I recon I'd be away a lot, doing time for murder.

"How do you plead?"

"Guilty your honor"

"Did the deceased have tips on their poles or not"

"Not your Honor"

"I understand my son - driven insane by the clackers eh?"

"And a buen Camino to you, your Honor" :)

The Camino not only provides, it teaches patience, forbearance and tolerance!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Not to deny the annoyance of poles without tips, but I can (unfortunately) remember much more annoying things that pilgrims can do. Turning on the light and having a loud conversation when returning to the albergue room at 11:00 pm, rustling bags before 5:00 am, the lists goes on.
Oh the bag rustlers! Sometimes I positively enjoy my failing hearing! :)
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
2022 Piemont or Arles or Primitivo
I never knew Pilgrims’ meditative states were so fragile. :p I’ll have to reexamine my poles. My tips never lasted much beyond a week so I stopped using them. And I’ve never seen them for sale here in my region. Guess I better look harder.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Oh the bag rustlers! Sometimes I positively enjoy my failing hearing! :)
I always use ear plugs on the Camino. I was always amazed how well they worked because in the morning when I opened my eyes and saw all the people roaming about, I took them out and was surprised at all of the noise around me.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Mine are like boots. Replacements are usually quite available. From experience, my walking pole boots last more than 5,000 km so as long as there is good tread on them, do not anticipate looking for them on the Camino.

Having said that, I was between SJPdP and Valcarlos. One pole was packed away but the tip was sticking out. I rested on a guard rail for a few minutes and when I got to Valcarlos and looked at the packed pole, the boot was gone. And finding it would be impossible as the mountain fell away sharply behind the guard rail. As it was I only really needed one pole for most of the trip
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
2022 Piemont or Arles or Primitivo
The benefits of a small town…..I located and purchased McKinley brand pole tips 30 minutes after my previous post. I’ve now examined the metal tips of my many poles and learned something new. In the photo attached you’ll see the difference in my poles. The one purchased in SJPP has a small very hard tip that worked beautifully on the GR10 thru the Pyrenees. It bit into the rock and held its grip. However it chews thru rubber tips. The other pole does not chew through rubber but I found that its broader rounder tip slipped on rock and cobble stones. The 2nd photo shows the newly purchased McKinley rubber tip. It has a recess to safely encase the small hard tip as well as a metal disc to prevent wear. I will try it out.
As for “clacking” …. One of my fondest memories is the early clacking heard in SJPP. Surely the soundscape of travel is something to be treasured?!
 

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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I have lite weight collapsible poles. Much clickety noise came from the joining sleeves. Once extended I taped the joints and now they are much quieter.

My Leki poles and my Cascade cheapie poles are collapsible. I have gear tested various brands and models of trekking poles over the years for various manufacturers. Whether or not a 'collapsible' style of trekking pole makes a noise inside the sections, is dependent on the style and construction of the mechanism which keeps the section locked into place.

Yours did and you adapted and overcame !!! Of course, duct tape is the non-official Official universal standard by which all Tape-As-Hardware gets measured by. Hopefully, your tape was at, or above the Duct Tape Scale Of Wearability and Tenacity. Artistic creativity depends on color selection, and is graded as a separate component. :) :)

Another factor of internal looseness can be user error. Many users, particularly those inexperienced in all things backpacking and hiking, do not look at the instructions that come with their poles and do not know that many mechanisms are supposed to be adjusted for tension by the users themselves. There are some which cannot be adjusted, but many can.

I think the issue of the clickity-clacky noise in this thread was focused on the hard tips of the trekking poles hitting hard surfaces, so it is a good observation for you to add this information about other noises generated from a trekking pole.

Me, I will do everything reasonable to not disturb the 'vibe' of others around me. . and that applies to everything and not just poles. When generating unintentional and potentially irritating noise cannot be helped, for a very short period of time, then I try to minimize it. In some circumstances, i will not be able to be dead silent without eliminating useability, despite my efforts, so I try to be as quick as possible to move out of range to the listener.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
The benefits of a small town…..I located and purchased McKinley brand pole tips 30 minutes after my previous post. I’ve now examined the metal tips of my many poles and learned something new. In the photo attached you’ll see the difference in my poles. The one purchased in SJPP has a small very hard tip that worked beautifully on the GR10 thru the Pyrenees. It bit into the rock and held its grip. However it chews thru rubber tips. The other pole does not chew through rubber but I found that its broader rounder tip slipped on rock and cobble stones. The 2nd photo shows the newly purchased McKinley rubber tip. It has a recess to safely encase the small hard tip as well as a metal disc to prevent wear. I will try it out.
As for “clacking” …. One of my fondest memories is the early clacking heard in SJPP. Surely the soundscape of travel is something to be treasured?!

Most of the cheap China Store and some outdoor big box stores sell the protectors that are minus the washer inside. The ones that have a major manufactures name, like Leki or Black Diamond, typically have it installed just like your photo shows.

A small washer from the hardware store can work in the cheap protectors, but instead of a metal washer a better option would be a plastic or rubber version. The metal washers themselves can accelerate wear on the soft plastic material of the protector.
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
How can you tell left from right? I just had a look at my CF poles and my Aluminium poles, cannot for the life of me tell left from right as within their pairs they are both exactly alike.

Agree, plenty available en route, never take them off and use a small washer. One pair should actually be OK for the whole trip, but some are softer than others, so wear out more quickly. .
Fully agree Jimnorth, I can’t tell left from right.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Cars generally can be heard in advance and avoiding actions can be taken by the wary.

A cheap walking pole through the spokes of a Ninja cyclist can help others.
??? My post was a joke in response to your earlier joke, but I mistook the context by blowing past the part of them being fitted to poles. I was incorrectly referencing wearing earplugs to block the sound of clacking trekking poles. Sorry.

As much as I do not like the ninja cyclist, and having been knocked down by one, I still could not act to purposefully hurt a bicyclist. I will honestly say that I have gotten angry enough to imagine myself jamming up a wheel, though.
 
D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
DaveBugg, I agree, I wouldn't actually do that. But those silent ninja cyclists really cheese me off, a shout or a tinkle of a bell, is all they need to do. It's called social awareness, as is using rubber tips on poles. I'm happy to step aside. A former colleague who walked 4 miles along a disused wagon way to work daily got so fed up he tried carrying one of those handheld foghorns which he used just after a silent cyclist brushed passed him. He said it was a truly eye opening experience, he stopped using it as a couple got such a fright they came off their bikes and were very, very unpleasant with him.
(A wagon way is a disused former colliery railway line used for getting the coal to the docks, they are all over the former UK Northern coal mining area and now used for recreational purposes where possible)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
There are several past threads devoted to cyclists who do not warn pilgrims that they are approaching to which I have added my own two cents and story. I might add that those threads have produced some passionate replies.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
DaveBugg, I agree, I wouldn't actually do that. But those silent ninja cyclists really cheese me off, a shout or a tinkle of a bell, is all they need to do. It's called social awareness, as is using rubber tips on poles. I'm happy to step aside. A former colleague who walked 4 miles along a disused wagon way to work daily got so fed up he tried carrying one of those handheld foghorns which he used just after a silent cyclist brushed passed him. He said it was a truly eye opening experience, he stopped using it as a couple got such a fright they came off their bikes and were very, very unpleasant with him.
(A wagon way is a disused former colliery railway line used for getting the coal to the docks, they are all over the former UK Northern coal mining area and now used for recreational purposes where possible)

This is a post I had written a few years back.

When riding a bike on Camino paths which also have pedestrians on them

1. Assume the pedestrian pilgrims cannot hear you approaching. Bad hearing, conversation, self absorption, focusing on the scenery, traffic noise nearby.... there are a lot of reasons that don't include headphones and music. Given the nature of a Pilgrimage, it should be of no surprise that there is a lot of internal focus for the pedestrian pilgrim.

2. Give a loud enough warning, when you are far enough away, so as not to not startle pedestrian pilgrims. A startled pilgrim is an unpredictable pilgrim and could bolt right into the bicyclists path, causing injury to both. Additionally, it is quite unpleasant to be suddenly frightened.

3. As you approach a pedestrian pilgrim(s), slow down. This helps minimize the large difference in weight and momentum and makes everyone safer.

4. In general, except for those who somehow feel entitled differently, most rules of a shared pathway are based on what is written above and are simply normal commonsense to keep all pedestrians and bicyclists safe: Bicycles and Pedestrians yield to horses. Bicyclists yield to Pedestrians.

5. While it may seem advisable for a pedestrian walking along a pathway to be aware of bicyclists, and it is something one should try to do, pedestrian pilgrims are not responsible for your behavior on a bicycle. They cannot make a warning for the bicyclist, nor use the brakes, nor steer the wheel.

6. Pedestrian and Bicycle Pilgrims are on Camino for a shared goal. Each is there to gain some sort of fulfillment and experience from the Camino spiritually, or physically, or culturally, or religiously, or all of the above. Loving, caring, and respecting one another requires accommodation of differences and nurturing an attitude of giving. Pedestrians can assist the bicyclist by standing aside when you know they are approaching, offering to help with mechanical breakdowns (if knowledgeable), and grabbing a piece of the bike -- with permission -- to help the bicycle peregrino make it up a steep slope or extra muddy path.

Bicycle Peregrinos can be of similar attitude by simply observing the points above.

God Bless Us All; And Let Us Love One Another.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Why do you remove the straps? Without them would you have more pressure on hand grip vs. strap providing pressure on side of hand? Just curious on your reasoning. Thank you.
Hi, Lynne; I appreciate your question. My answer is not a debate on how or if straps should be used, only about why I don't use them. :)

I have been a user of trekking poles for a couple of decades now. They have been used for tens of thousands of miles wilderness backpacking including my PCT and Colorado Trail thru hikes. I have also used them on 3 caminos, and they accompany my on my training hikes on my 5 day/week routine in the Central Washington Cascade Mountain foothills.

I mention the above to give you some context to my personal preference.

I do not disagree with your rationale for using straps. I am familiar with subjective claims made about using straps regarding the efficacy claims for straps vs no straps. I have examined the literature on the attempts to objectively measure and quantify the mechanical-physiological interface from the strap of the trekking pole, as it connects to a users supporting points at the hand through the arm and upper body.

I am writing the above so that you know I am aware of the stated benefits when using straps.

I do not know what it feels like for anyone else but myself to use trekking poles with or sans straps. That leaves me with no basis by which to confirm or deny a user's subjective valuation of strap use.

1. Pressure on the hand grip. That can mean two different things. One is how hard you grasp the hand grip itself. The second type of pressure is how much force is applied to a point on the hand while using the pole to 'push off' with each step.

I never death grip the trekking pole. In fact i use the same exact looseness with my grip either with or without a strap. It takes minimal effort to keep the handle from slipping out of the hand; in fact I find that I only use my thumb and forefinger-middle finger to keep the handle in place. When the pole is not being loaded as I get ready to push off, it more dangles from my hand than it is firmly controlled.

When it comes time to push-off, my grip automatically shifts to include the other fingers. My grasping off the handle remains mostly loose, not at all tight. The grips themselves are formed, with an area of protrusion on the grip which 'organically' presses against the outer edge of my hand to take the loading pressure as I shove/push off.

I notice very little difference in efficiency or energy output between the straps and the no strap usage. if there is a noticeable difference, it would fractionally favor the strap use. However, the 'Pros' for using the strap are far outweighed by not having the straps due to the increased usability and flexibility that I have with the trekking poles.

While using straps, there has been several times when potential injury, and one actual injury has occured. On unstable or uneven terrain I have had occasion to slip while my wrists suffered strain because the pole was partially lodged upright. Most of the time, the trekking pole eventually slipped so that it released the severe momentary pressure on my wrist. One time, I suffered a severe sprain and ligament strain to the lower arm and wrist.

I cannot count how many times the tips of the poles have become unexpectedly wedged. My momentum did not allow me a to stop on a dime, meaning that when letting go of the pole the straps would still keep the pole attached to my body. Many times the pole would relent and break free. At least half a dozen times the pole was so firmly wedged, that as my momentum carried me forward with the strap attached, the tip of the pole snapped off. One time an entire lower segment of an adjustable pole snapped in two.

Without a strap, I can immediately release the pole and it remains undamaged. Or I do.

The most valuable usability feature with no strap, is the speed and ease with which I can shift a pole to the other hand when I want to grab a snack from my hipbelt pocket while walking, grab the water tube to locate it to my mouth and then to remove it, grab my camera to snap a photo, etc. I do not have to remove my hand from the strap or let the pole dangle from my hands while fiddling which can be a bit awkward and a potential tripping hazard if the pole dangles and catches on something.

My method of using tip protectors is to place them on the tips or to remove them based on the walking surface. On Camino it amazed me how often I would need to do this.

When I need to remove them quickly, I quickly shift one pole to join its sibling in the other hand. With the free hand I pull the protectors off of each tip, and shove them in my pocket. The pole quickly goes back to the other hand to continue onward. With no strap, it is a quick and seamless transition.

There are a number of similar situations where being able to shift poles in seconds is beneficial.

So that's it. Those are the broad areas of reasons why I remove the straps from my trekking poles. :) As I said, my decision to go this route is based on my actual needs and wants. Those who choose differently have done so for their own reasons. I do encourage folks to try it both ways and feel what the differences are for themselves.

BTW, for cross country or nordic style skiing, I do use straps. The mechanics of use are differently applied than for hiking, including the length of distance the push-off lasts and the sliding action of the skis.
 
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
The most valuable usability feature with no strap, is the speed and ease with which I can shift a pole to the other hand when I want to grab a snack from my hipbelt pocket while walking, grab the water tube to locate it to my mouth and then to remove it, grab my camera to snap a photo, etc. I do not have to remove my hand from the strap or let the pole dangle from my hands while fiddling which can be a bit awkward and a potential tripping hazard
Great post, @davebugg. These reasons are exactly why I do not use my hiking pole straps on the Camino. They hang loose🤙 and I never miss using them.
 

NYSE

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
I had caps on the entire way. Went through 4 pairs of caps from SJPP to Finisterre and Muxia.
 
Last edited:
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My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
If you have Black Diamond poles, tips are not available. I know, because that's what I had & the fellow in.. Burgos, maybe? told me tips for BD are not to be found in Spain, but he offered to fit some others by filling in the gaps with some sort of stuffing. I now have Leki - pieces readily available in the major towns along the Frances. I kept my tips on everywhere. Seemed too much hassle to put on, take off, put on, take off.
 

mike g

New Member
1 depends on how much you want to annoy fellow pilgrims.
2 yes, even small stores that cater to pilgrim's needs normally carry them - if you can't find what you want in a Chinese Bazaar you really don't need it on Camino.
3 depends on the material: softer, rubber tips wear more quickly but you can even out the wear by twising them through 90 degrees every so often (doesn't work for the ones like little feet of course). I've had rubber tips last me from SJPP to SdC this way. The harder, plastic ones, are more durable but can more slippery on wet surfaces.

Cheap ones are fine (they're all made in China anyway) just make sure yours have a little metal washer inside - helps stop the titanium tip doing too much damage.
I have cheap poles (with rubber tips) mine have lasted all of the Frances and 2/3s of the del norte. for the sanity of those around you use rubber tips. I had everything I could do not to say something to people causing a racket on the Camino. My main use of them was to keep my arms elevated and not get 'fat fingers"
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
My Leki tips come off as I leavy city surfaces, where rubber tips are self evident.
I change on the fly, as I walk, and put rubber tips in my back pocket.
As I sit down, I will always feel where they are.
Have lasted since ´14 on both CF, VdlP and internal trips.
Steel tips have saved my step on rock and slippery surfaces...
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi, Lynne; I appreciate your question. My answer is not a debate on how or if straps should be used, only about why I don't use them. :)

I have been a user of trekking poles for a couple of decades now. They have been used for tens of thousands of miles wilderness backpacking including my PCT and Colorado Trail thru hikes. I have also used them on 3 caminos, and they accompany my on my training hikes on my 5 day/week routine in the Central Washington Cascade Mountain foothills.

I mention the above to give you some context to my personal preference.

I do not disagree with your rationale for using straps. I am familiar with subjective claims made about using straps regarding the efficacy claims for straps vs no straps. I have examined the literature on the attempts to objectively measure and quantify the mechanical-physiological interface from the strap of the trekking pole, as it connects to a users supporting points at the hand through the arm and upper body.

I am writing the above so that you know I am aware of the stated benefits when using straps.

I do not know what it feels like for anyone else but myself to use trekking poles with or sans straps. That leaves me with no basis by which to confirm or deny a user's subjective valuation of strap use.

1. Pressure on the hand grip. That can mean two different things. One is how hard you grasp the hand grip itself. The second type of pressure is how much force is applied to a point on the hand while using the pole to 'push off' with each step.

I never death grip the trekking pole. In fact i use the same exact looseness with my grip either with or without a strap. It takes minimal effort to keep the handle from slipping out of the hand; in fact I find that I only use my thumb and forefinger-middle finger to keep the handle in place. When the pole is not being loaded as I get ready to push off, it more dangles from my hand than it is firmly controlled.

When it comes time to push-off, my grip automatically shifts to include the other fingers. My grasping off the handle remains mostly loose, not at all tight. The grips themselves are formed, with an area of protrusion on the grip which 'organically' presses against the outer edge of my hand to take the loading pressure as I shove/push off.

I notice very little difference in efficiency or energy output between the straps and the no strap usage. if there is a noticeable difference, it would fractionally favor the strap use. However, the 'Pros' for using the strap are far outweighed by not having the straps due to the increased usability and flexibility that I have with the trekking poles.

While using straps, there has been several times when potential injury, and one actual injury has occured. On unstable or uneven terrain I have had occasion to slip while my wrists suffered strain because the pole was partially lodged upright. Most of the time, the trekking pole eventually slipped so that it released the severe momentary pressure on my wrist. One time, I suffered a severe sprain and ligament strain to the lower arm and wrist.

I cannot count how many times the tips of the poles have become unexpectedly wedged. My momentum did not allow me a to stop on a dime, meaning that when letting go of the pole the straps would still keep the pole attached to my body. Many times the pole would relent and break free. At least half a dozen times the pole was so firmly wedged, that as my momentum carried me forward with the strap attached, the tip of the pole snapped off. One time an entire lower segment of an adjustable pole snapped in two.

Without a strap, I can immediately release the pole and it remains undamaged. Or I do.

The most valuable usability feature with no strap, is the speed and ease with which I can shift a pole to the other hand when I want to grab a snack from my hipbelt pocket while walking, grab the water tube to locate it to my mouth and then to remove it, grab my camera to snap a photo, etc. I do not have to remove my hand from the strap or let the pole dangle from my hands while fiddling which can be a bit awkward and a potential tripping hazard if the pole dangles and catches on something.

My method of using tip protectors is to place them on the tips or to remove them based on the walking surface. On Camino it amazed me how often I would need to do this.

When I need to remove them quickly, I quickly shift one pole to join its sibling in the other hand. With the free hand I pull the protectors off of each tip, and shove them in my pocket. The pole quickly goes back to the other hand to continue onward. With no strap, it is a quick and seamless transition.

There are a number of similar situations where being able to shift poles in seconds is beneficial.

So that's it. Those are the broad areas of reasons why I remove the straps from my trekking poles. :) As I said, my decision to go this route is based on my actual needs and wants. Those who choose differently have done so for their own reasons. I do encourage folks to try it both ways and feel what the differences are for themselves.

BTW, for cross country or nordic style skiing, I do use straps. The mechanics of use are differently applied than for hiking, including the length of distance the push-off lasts and the sliding action of the skis.
Thank you for not debating! i was just curious on why and maybe something that would work for me. Always open to new things. After trying and it’s not for me - no worries, I just go back to what I was doing prior to. I am curious though - do you get people commenting that you are using poles (strap) incorrectly and they want to show you the ‘correct’ way?!!!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I have cheap poles (with rubber tips) mine have lasted all of the Frances and 2/3s of the del norte. for the sanity of those around you use rubber tips. I had everything I could do not to say something to people causing a racket on the Camino. My main use of them was to keep my arms elevated and not get 'fat fingers"
I never thought poles would help with ‘fat fingers’, but you are so right! An added, unexpected benefit.
 
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If you have Black Diamond poles, tips are not available. I know, because that's what I had & the fellow in.. Burgos, maybe? told me tips for BD are not to be found in Spain, but he offered to fit some others by filling in the gaps with some sort of stuffing. I now have Leki - pieces readily available in the major towns along the Frances. I kept my tips on everywhere. Seemed too much hassle to put on, take off, put on, take off.
Good to know BD tips not available in Spain. Not taking BD, since only doing carry on bag. I will purchase poles in SJPDP.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Thank you for not debating! i was just curious on why and maybe something that would work for me. Always open to new things. After trying and it’s not for me - no worries, I just go back to what I was doing prior to. I am curious though - do you get people commenting that you are using poles (strap) incorrectly and they want to show you the ‘correct’ way?!!!

:) Believe me, I do not mind explaining the 'why' of my decision. If you do decide to try using poles without straps, and want to temporarily remove them instead of letting them dangle, most poles allow for their removal so that damaged or worn straps can be replaced. It is fairly easy to take them off and then put them back on.

I do not recall anyone being fervent in their desire to correct my pole use. And with past threads on the Forum, a lot of discussion between participants about using straps has been about how straps are designed to be used, and how best to position the strap over the hand to get the optimum use.

Some folks have a bit of difficulty in figuring out how to use their new trekking poles. I have assisted many beginning backpackers learn how to efficiently use trekking poles. The same on Camino, where I have offered to help other pilgrims who seemed to be 'struggling' to get into a rhythm on planting their poles as they take each step. In teaching, I do have them use their straps, and I help them understand how the strap should be 'worn'.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Not to deny the annoyance of poles without tips, but I can (unfortunately) remember much more annoying things that pilgrims can do. Turning on the light and having a loud conversation when returning to the albergue room at 11:00 pm, rustling bags before 5:00 am, the lists goes on.
I agree those things are amazingly annoying and inconsiderate and probably annoy a greater number of people in a greater way but would have to include the tips very close to the top of the list as well. It all comes down to what order we list own lists !;)
 

Loriene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I have a pair of Black Diamond Women’s Distance FLZ, which I really like. I will not take them (not checking a bag), so will buy a pair of Leki in SJPDP.
I am also planning on purchasing a pair when I arrive. I am traveling by train to Pamplona before going on to SJPP. Would you recommend purchasing them in Pamplona or SJPP? I just want to find a good quality pair and I'm nervous about having limited selection (this is my first Camino).
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I am also planning on purchasing a pair when I arrive. I am traveling by train to Pamplona before going on to SJPP. Would you recommend purchasing them in Pamplona or SJPP? I just want to find a good quality pair and I'm nervous about having limited selection (this is my first Camino).
Would you feel better purchasing the poles now and bringing them with you on the train? That way you would not need to worry about finding a store and finding what you want, but could be helped by a clerk where you live to be properly sized, have time to practice walking with them, etc. (Or have trains joined airlines and stopped permitting poles?)
 
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Loriene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Would you feel better purchasing the poles now and bringing them with you on the train? That way you would not need to worry about finding a store and finding what you want, but could be helped by a clerk where you live to be properly sized, have time to practice walking with them, etc. (Or have trains joined airlines and stopped permitting poles?)
Traveling from the US, I am trying to avoid taking my current pair with me. I am planning on heading straight from the Madrid airport to the train station, so no time to explore Madrid and purchase a pair there (I will see the city on my return!). From my research it seems that I can purchase poles in Pamplona and SJPP; however, just trying to plan out where I might have the best options...
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Traveling from the US, I am trying to avoid taking my current pair with me. I am planning on heading straight from the Madrid airport to the train station, so no time to explore Madrid and purchase a pair there (I will see the city on my return!). From my research it seems that I can purchase poles in Pamplona and SJPP; however, just trying to plan out where I might have the best options...
I see. When you wrote you were arriving by train, I thought you meant you lived in Europe.
Some pilgrims donate items and you also may be able to find poles at an albergue.
All the best.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
On the last Camino, I had emailed the lodging where I had reservations for the day I was arriving in Spain. I asked if I could have an Amazon package delivered to their location, to which they replied that they were more than happy to do.

I ordered a pair of "these will be good enough for a Camino" trekking poles thru Amazon.es and had them delivered to the lodging address. When I arrived in Spain and was checking in, I asked the person at the desk if there was a package for me. She told me it had already been put it into my room and was waiting for me.

They ended up working out perfectly fine, although they were not made of the most high quality or light weight materials, and the adjustments for length were more finicky than my regular poles.

At the end of the Camino I sold them to an outdoor gear store who had used equipment for sale. I cannot recall the name, but it was in the 'modern' part of SdC. The trekking poles were inexpensive to begin with and I only got 10 Euro for them. I considered the entire trekking pole purchase-resale adventure to be a type of 'equipment rental', with the 10 Euros being a return of a rental deposit.

Next pilgrimage, I will do the same thing.
 

Loriene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
On the last Camino, I had emailed the lodging where I had reservations for the day I was arriving in Spain. I asked if I could have an Amazon package delivered to their location, to which they replied that they were more than happy to do.

I ordered a pair of "these will be good enough for a Camino" trekking poles thru Amazon.es and had them delivered to the lodging address. When I arrived in Spain and was checking in, I asked the person at the desk if there was a package for me. She told me it had already been put it into my room and was waiting for me.

They ended up working out perfectly fine, although they were not made of the most high quality or light weight materials, and the adjustments for length were more finicky than my regular poles.

At the end of the Camino I sold them to an outdoor gear store who had used equipment for sale. I cannot recall the name, but it was in the 'modern' part of SdC. The trekking poles were inexpensive to begin with and I only got 10 Euro for them. I considered the entire trekking pole purchase-resale adventure to be a type of 'equipment rental', with the 10 Euros being a return of a rental deposit.

Next pilgrimage, I will do the same thing.
 

Loriene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
Brilliant! Such a good idea and I had never thought of this option. It will be nice knowing I have them waiting for me when I arrive. Thank you for the thoughtful reply.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022
My questions are regarding rubber cap/tips on trekking poles - on the Frances/Finisterre/Muxia -

1. do most pilgrims always keep the caps on the tips or do they remove them when not on pavement, concrete?
2. If I need to purchase a replacement pair are caps easy to find on the CF?
3. How many estimated CF miles/km will I get from a pair of caps?

thank you.
I always use the same rubber tips on all my Camino walks . They last me about 300/400 miles . I love them . They have awesome grip .
 

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