Jul 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm #1277041
So I hiked 52 miles this week and my legs and feet are sore, but its a good sore. So I was looking into trekking poles a bit to see if they will actually make my legs less sore so I could hike more, but my biggest concern is I really only want the poles if they will make me hike faster. So does anyone have any experience to whether trekking poles actually increase their mileage and their hiking speed?Jul 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm #1761873
@dan_quixoteLocale: below the mountains (AK)
my experience is yes. As a bonus, loaning them to your traditionally-loaded friends will *almost* let them keep up with you and your UL load, without them. =)Jul 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm #1761885
@trailsavvyLocale: Arkansas Ozarks
I agree with Dan. It seems to me that my stride is longer when I use them, I fatigue less. This gives me more time to cover my distances. Since dropping weight and picking up poles, I rarely even break. I also find it easier to use a "rest step" with poles. Oh, and they're my tent poles too!Jul 22, 2011 at 10:46 am #1762008
Agree with everything above and I find I am less likely to misstep with trekking poles and even when I do I can put my weight on my poles and off my leg before a misstep turns into a trip ending injury.Jul 22, 2011 at 11:02 am #1762010
I don't think you can get much faster than running and you can't really use them running. I also find they slow me down if I'm absolutely getting it hiking downhill or flat. But if its a really steep climb I think the speed me up. But yes, in the long run you probably get more mileage because of how it eases the pain from your joints.Jul 22, 2011 at 11:07 am #1762013
Strangely, I think trekking poles make your body feel better after a long day of hiking/backpacking but might actually keep you going slower than a fast hiker without poles.
I've noticed that strong hikers/backpackers without poles move a tad bit faster naturally. But this might not be worth it for you if you want your body to feel better.Jul 22, 2011 at 11:20 am #1762015
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
ADD: may need to see "Nordic walking" for a demonstrated difference in pole vs, non pole.Jul 22, 2011 at 11:26 am #1762022
Well they speed me up too. And they actually help me with my fitness program. I get upper body exercise using two wooden walking sticks.Jul 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm #1762039
I don't use poles.
But some ultra runners claim they help them go faster on steep terrain.
One issue, however, is does the increased output (speed) exceed the increased input (use of upper body for propulsion).Jul 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm #1762219
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
They speed me up in general, especially on the uphills, rough downhills, and stream crossings. But there are some cases where they slow me down. If I'm REALLY trying to make time on the downhills, I can go faster without them, but it'll wear me out (both structurally and cardiovascularly). They slow me down any time I need to take the straps off/on–crossing gnarly blowdowns, taking a snapshot, boulder hopping, etc.
Overall, though, they allow me to go farther and faster with less fatigue and body aches.
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