Apr 4, 2006 at 12:34 pm #1218225
I would really like to get rid of my hiking poles but I feel that I need them for my tarp. I know that in many of the camps I’m in I can use surrounding trees but I’m always worried that this will not be an option in one of the places I plan on camping. Plus I like the thought of being able to set up anywhere.
So, is there a lighterweight option then carrying poles around? I used to need them but don’t feel I do any more as the weight of my pack continues to drop.Apr 4, 2006 at 1:04 pm #1354086
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
The no-cost option is to collect a stick or two before you head above treeline, to use as support(s).
It’s oftentimes possible go pole-less by stringing a ridgeline or overhead suspension line. There are also some tarp schemes that either call for only one pole, or don’t require a pole at all.
I’ve found tarping above treeline much easier if I’m sleeping solo, as it can be surprisingly hard to find a flat sleeping space for two next to an elevated spot to tie a ridge line.
Alternatively, you could carry one or two collapsable tent-type poles that would be lighter than trekking poles and would stow away easily.Apr 4, 2006 at 2:32 pm #1354093
@happycamperLocale: South Bayish
The collapsing straight tentpoles can work although they are more flexible than treking poles. There are also rigid telescoping tent poles available, as in the ones available from Golite.
If you look at Ray Jardine’s Beyond Backpacking he illustrates the use of sticks to set up a tarp. You can always just trim up some sticks and bring them along.Apr 4, 2006 at 3:07 pm #1354099
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Check out Fibraplex for tarp poles up to 48″ long (scroll down just a bit)
http://www.fibraplex.com/tentpoles2B.aspApr 4, 2006 at 4:09 pm #1354103
@walksoftlyLocale: Piney Woods
I find that I need some kind of stick or pole when I’m hiking to get rid of the spiderwebs that cross the trails. I would rather be able to control the size and weight of the stick that I carry – so I bring my own pole.
An alternative would be to find a gullable six-footer who likes to lead the way.Apr 4, 2006 at 4:17 pm #1354105
@garkjrLocale: Southwestern Ohio
Gossamer Gear sells tarp poles made both from aluminum and carbon fiber – look at the poles for the SpinShelter and the SpinnTwinn. They are lightweight and break into short sections that store well in a pack.
The only downside to carrying poles like these instead of trekking poles is that you’re “stuck” with always pitching your tarp at the same fixed height. (Never found that to be a particular problem, myself.)
I never really got comfortable using trekking poles, either – just like you, they seemed increasingly extraneous as my pack load dropped. I no longer use them – but I also no longer use a tarp. I’ve switched instead to a Hubba tent, primarily because bug protection is a big or bigger problem than weather here in the Midwest.Apr 4, 2006 at 5:00 pm #1354108
@be_here_nowearthlink-netLocale: Upstate New York
I have the aluminum CG pole set for the SpinnTwinn. They weigh very little and for most situations they are quite sufficient imo. Because of the larger surface area of the SpinnTwinn (two person ample tarp) the main pole, 3 sections does bend quite a bit in sudden wind gusts, to the point I am worried about it. The solution is to storm pitch the tarp, down to two sections and this problem is removed. For me, wanting to use it at higher altitudes makes me want a wider section carbon pole set or carbon hiking stick. Right now I am returning the pole set and looking for an alternative.Apr 4, 2006 at 6:12 pm #1354116
Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
I’ve recently reverted to poleless hiking and can’t say I miss trekking poles too much. In the past, I relied on found sticks, fibraplex poles or flexible aluminum Easton poles to set up my silshelter. But good sticks are sometimes hard to find and fibraplex and Easton poles were too flexible for my taste. Anyone remember these?
I was rooting around my basement and found my golf-ball retriever tent pole the other day. The one I made extends to 42″, collapses to 21″ and weighs 3.6 oz.Apr 5, 2006 at 1:42 pm #1354183
I was thinking of having Fibraplex make me a 2 section pole. I was hoping this would flex less. I guess I will have to order it and see.
Thanks for all the suggestions.Apr 8, 2006 at 6:44 am #1354406
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Where are you hiking?
What’s your shelter?
I NEVER carry trekking poles.
To set up my shelter, I just keep my eyes open as evening camping time approaches. The perfect stick is out there!
My shelter is just a tarp that needs just one pole, about 4 feet long. I can ALWAYS find a stick on the side of the trail to use as my pole.
– – – a n d – – –
I have some old tent poles that I use in the canyons of utah where finding a stick isn’t that easy. I take three and they end up about four feet tall when connected. I work at an outdoor school, so we have a bin full of old broken tent parts, so it was easy for me to get ’em. They come in at 3.4 ounces.
I had to put a tiny piece of duct tape on one of ’em, because the clove hitch on the string would slide down the slick aluminum.
They are surprisingly pretty strong.
M!Apr 8, 2006 at 8:28 am #1354410
@be_here_nowearthlink-netLocale: Upstate New York
I use one Titanium Goat Carbon Treking Pole. It collapses into two sections. Perfect for my tarp and weighs about 3.5 oz.
EvanApr 8, 2006 at 9:23 pm #1354439
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
I’ll take them!
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