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Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

Illinois
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1,409 posts
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Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

My husband and I are in our early 40's and have done a fair amount of moderate to challenging hikes in Yellowstone, the Smokies, and Glacier. This will be our first trip to RMNP. After our last trip to Glacier my knees hurt for about 3 weeks so we're thinking about buying poles. Do we have to use 2 each or will one help at all? I usually find a nice sturdy stick and use that for my hikes so I'm leaning towards just 1-thinking if I use two I wil feel like I'm skiing.....or does just using 1 defeat the purpose of them? Hope this isn't a really stupid question-thanks!

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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1. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

If you hike quite a bit, two shock absorbing (collapsible) poles is definitely the way to go. You'll hike farther, faster and with less pain. I finally broke down and bought a pair after hiking Mt. Princeton last year. The hike up was fun but I frequently describe the hike down as "the trail of tears." Collapsible, adjustable, shock absorbing poles took me a day to get used to and changed my life.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

I would use 2, really helps me with my "old" knees. Not that much more moneywise.

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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3. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

I'll also endorse using 2 shock-absorbing poles (not all trekking poles are shock-absorbing, so look for that specific feature). Once you get used to them, you'll find they really help reduce the strain on your knees.

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
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for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
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4. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

Add one more vote for 2 shock absorbing poles. I have done a bit of hiking and backpacking including a long distance trek on the Appalachian Trail. I can confirm that two shock absorbing poles will indeed make a difference. Of course, 1 is better than none - and that's what I use on most short hikes . . . but over the course of a longer day hike, 2 poles help much more.

OK
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216 posts
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5. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

One will definitely help. I typically only use one shock absorbing pole - although, I do have two.

My disclaimer is that we typically don't hike more than 5 -6 miles at a time. Also, I may have just not wanted to take the time to get used to using two poles. I used the sturdy stick for years so am used to hiking with one pole.

As mentioned above, 'shock absorbing' is a key feature. I love having my own poles (even tho I only use one) and not having to look for a stick each time. They were well worth the money spent.

Happy hiking!!

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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6. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

I've read summaries of several studies that indicate that 2 poles can reduce the impact from each heel strike by as much as 30%. For an average person, that's the equivalent on your knees and ankles of suddenly getting 50lbs lighter on every step.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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7. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

And it is not just your knees that will notice the difference. Your ankles, your hips, your back, your shoulders and even your neck will thank you for using 2 shock absorbing poles. Plus, your descents will be much safer.

Edited: 09 July 2012, 15:47
Chicago
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277 posts
26 reviews
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8. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

Can anyone recommend poles that don't cost a fortune? We need 4 pair but will only use them on Co vacations (not much need in IL) and don't want to spend the whole trip budget.

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
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for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
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621 posts
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9. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

I personally use Leki poles but there are some cheaper alternatives. Looking on Amazon, I found 'Hikker HP-5 Anti-shock Hiking Pole, 2-pack by Hikker' for approximately $32.00 per pair. The poles get good reviews overall and the price seems decent. Just head over to Amazon and put the description above into the the search field . . . you should find it no problem.

Chicago
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277 posts
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10. Re: Trekking Poles-1 or 2?

Sounds good. I appreciate the recommendation.