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Walking Poles


Deleted member 397

I have just been listening to a long discussion on the radio on the use of walking poles. Nordic walking was originally designed by cross country skiiers to maintain fitness during summer. the whole idea of their use was to maintain muscle tone. To do this the technique is to take a longer stride than usual and lift off with the ball of each foot-presumably to replicate the action when skiing. My point is-why take them when walking on the camino? Everyone I saw using them were just ambling along and swinging the pole backwards and forwards-pointless.
The Danish fellow I met said that they were something of a fashion item with walkers in europe. If you usually walk without a walking stick why use one on the camino-just something else to carry in my opinion.
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It all depends on you, only you know your abilities and limits. I am a 61 yr old man who was very grateful to have both poles on 45 degree inclines and declines on very rough boulders and slippery rocks. John

Deleted member 397

I agree that they might be useful for going up or down rocky areas but what proportion of time on the camino would that be? On the 1000kms of the VDLP it would have added up to a couple of kilometres. My intention with this post was to prompt those who are unsure whether to take poles or not to consider how much they will actually use them as opposed to the nuisance factor of taking them on planes and walking along endless straight stretches of dirt tracks with them where they serve no purpose.
Others have said they are useful for threatening dogs-try throwing a stone over their head, which is what I did.


Kevin trust me I am old and my body is wracked with pain from doing the things that I enjoy like hiking long distance trails and Munro bagging but only in winter when its more fun. I still want to sail to Patagonia and replicate the climbs of Tillman and co and complete the Haut Pyrenean Route. The greatest aid I have found besides all the high tech lightweight gear are my walking poles. Scree running and glissading are even more fun now but just general everyday use is becoming more of a necessity rather than a fashion accessory.
I am sixty next birthday and when the poles no longer work I will buy another bike but not a mountain bike this time.
I wish you a long life and health and that one day you might stand on a summit and lean on your poles and agree that actually they do work.
New ambition. I will walk to Santiago for my hundredth birthday perhaps you will come with me and I will buy the beer.


Deleted member 397

Munro bagging? scree running? glissading?-are they things you can do in public, in the daylight?!
I'm 54 and 11 months and 2 weeks so it's a deal on your hundreth we will have a few beers in Santiago-although we'll probably spill most of it
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Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Trekking poles

On the Camino Frances you cross three 'mountain' ranges (not very high but still ascents and steep descents) with lots of rocks, shale and scree filled, rutted paths - even torrent courses for water run-off.
I wear bi-focal specs and find it difficult to look down at my feet with the glasses on so I don't use them while I'm walking. My trekking poles keep me steady. They are my exercise (lovely to put across your shoulders and hold onto, stretching shoulders and neck muscles) can be a 'washline' from bunk to bunk on a rainy day and good for chasing away dogs.
Give me my scallop shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.


Veteran Member
I'm with the Australian on walking poles

Partly I don't bring them because I want to travel with hand luggage only (and would have to check the poles) but mainly because most of the pilgrimage is pretty flat with only a handful of moderately steep sections (and with plenty of time to rest) - you just have to remember to take things gently when descending - and, at least outside winter, it's dry paths and sides of roads


Active Member
I used my poles. They are useful to me ascending and descending hills. Seems the Camino Frances is nothing but up and down hills...

I have NO troubles with taping my poles to my backpack and then get a plastic film wrapping job at the airport. I travel with just a small handbag.

I believe my poles helped me a lot on the rough roads (the descent to Roncesvalles trough the wet woods, up and down the Cebreiro in gail force winds, down from the Sierra del Perdon after Pamplona etc...)

If you like them bring them. If not, leave them at home and sell them on your return.


Sil apologies but I was musing on your previous posting and I know it doesn’t scan.

Give me my Ipod of soothing sounds,
My trekking poles to walk with,
My Michelin Guide for diet of joy,
My bottle of Hydro Max Carbo Engergiser drink,
My gown of Gore-Tex®, hope against storms that rage,
And thus I’ll do my pilgrimage.

I must get out more.

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