Does anyone NOT like Pacerpoles?

Backpacks and poles = check or carry on?

The question was:

Has anyone used them and not liked them?
I had never considered using poles until I read about them on this forum. That is to say, when trekking in Thailand, I used a bit of bamboo on steep downhills to try to alleviate a tears-inducing knee pain, and in NZ bush I carry an old stick….but the thought that there are real proper poles was a new idea to me.
I’ve borrowed a pair of Lekis, which are OK, but Pacerpoles *sound* so much better. Certainly I’ve found positive reviews on this forum – but are there any bad experiences?
Just wondering.

Read this interesting conversation on walking poles on the Camino de Santiago here.

10 Replies to “Does anyone NOT like Pacerpoles?”

  1. Poles are NOT needed. Waste of space and energy. Skip thr hiking boots too. Blister factories

  2. ive never seen a point in them and I think they are just marketing. Its dead weight that you just dont need. It serves no real purpose for a hike like this or most hikes. I have had a few and they sit in the corner or get lost

  3. I agree. Best to use your core muscles for support, not relying on poles. And that irritating clatter when people drag them across asphalt roads…..

  4. Let me be the first to disagree with my brethren below :). I am ex army and I mocked my friends who were using poles. About a week in, as I was “feeling” the Camino I decided to try a pair from a walking companion for a few hours. They took a bit of getting used to, but I am a fan now. A big fan.

    I bought my own pair in the next town, within a couple of days my knees and feet felt a world better.

    They take the pressure off your feet and other joints, this was blessed relief for me. You use your arms to bare some of the weight, so your arms get a bit of a workout too. I finished in Finesterre with nicely defined shoulders and triceps ….clearly vanity was not something I shed on the Camino :).

    If you don’t like the clacking, some do, I’m not a huge fan, you can put rubber boots on the ends and they make no more noise than a pare of shoes. Do this when you’re on asphalt anyway so that you don’t disturb people who get irritated by it, and you protect your poles.

    A caveat here: I was a dunce and carried an overly huge backpack, 19Kg. Don’t do this!!! I am a 100Kg man. I can’t emphasise this enough. I was so desperate to lose weight from my pack that I was eying pieces of paper with suspicion. Perhaps with a lighter pack the poles would have made less difference.
    Buen Camino 🙂

  5. I have used them and plan to use them on my walk commencing in late April.
    It is my understanding there is scientific evidence to show a 30% reduction in knee and ankle stress. Walking the broken stone steps on the Machu Picchu walk hour after hour really damaged my knees. Now the sprung poles take some of the strain and give me really good stability on steep terrain. People who bag them without knowing why people use them show “contempt prior to investigation” Mine is a medical reason and for some prevention is better than cure

  6. I walked the Appalachian Trail (2200 mi, 3500 km) in 2009 without them, constantly answering questions about why I didn’t have them. Seems to me people use them because some outfitter said you have to have them. By the way, I was 62 at the time. Luddite? I don’t think so: i also carried 5 different electronic devices.Show me some kind of medical study.

  7. I have mixed feelings about using them. I pushed a little exercise bike for children with my gear–modified of course–; therefore, I had no need for walking sticks. However, I came across two women–one outside of Pamplona and the other in Burgos–who fell because of their walking poles. They accidentally tripped with them when they walked too quickly. One of the two women was severely injured to the point that her face was clearly bruised–she was also elderly. Honestly, sometimes you can really dress the part a little too well. If you want to be a cowboy…get a good pair of boots…and don’t worry so much about the rest of your gear. 🙂

  8. I, personally, prefer a walking stick. However the idea that the poles / stick is useful is very true. I believe that there are places along the Camino where a stick is almost a necessity for even a fresh traveler!

  9. Two common injuries on the Camino are blisters and shin splints. Trekking poles can reduce the incidence or severity of both by taking pressure off of your feet and shins, especially on downhills. They also provide stability and traction over long muddy stretches, which are not uncommon on the Camino after rain.

    Another benefit of trekking poles is keeping your hands raised, which minimize swelling in your hands over the course of the day.

    Carrying trekking poles does not mean always having to use them. Using them on dry level stretches or moderate downhill can slow you down. They are easy to carry in one hand while not in use, to avoid having to stow them in your pack.

    I would recommend picking up a pair at SJPP or wherever you start and trying them out for a week. If you don’t like them there will always be others happy to get them from you at a bargain (or in exchange for a round of beers) to try out.

  10. I am an experienced walker and would like to comment. Blisters are the result of friction. I would recommend to anyone not wearing proven footwear to use Duct Tape on the skin especially on the heel and toes. I plan on walking in sandals and without a sticks in a couple of weeks

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